Saturday, September 9, 2017

Mosaic/Slipped Stitch Practise

I'm a big fan of slipped stitch/mosaic knitting for socks. It's a way of getting that fair-isle look without having to worry overmuch about the tension. Slipped-stitch patterns are a bit tighter (and thicker!) than regular stockinette, so you do have to watch your tension a little (I usually use one needle size larger than I'd usually use - so a 2.25mm rather than a 2.0mm), and my socks turn out well.

I'm not sure what the official definition of "slipped stitch" patterns is versus "mosaic" patterns, but my working definition is that slipped stitches are the technique, and mosaic knitting is a particular group of designs made using the technique of slipped stitches. Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries feature pages and pages of what she terms "mosaic knitting", and I've noticed that one commonality is that these patterns feature TWO ROWS of knitting/slipping per colour. So perhaps that's how she classifies them? There are also lots of pages of what she calls "slipped stitch" designs, that don't seem to share this feature.

Anyways, what you call these patterns is neither here nor there. They work great for socks!

 When I first started exploring these stitches I made a scarf, which was great fun to do and didn't take long. I picked some fun-looking stitches from various sources. Here it is:

[mosaic scarf]

It's done in three colours (this one was from some alpaca yarn from KnitPicks, which is rather sheddy but very soft and warm) - I find that using a limited number of colours ties the design together in a pleasing fashion.  The basic idea is 8x8" sampler blocks separated by garter rows and finished with a few rows of garter edging. It's not very long (it's more suitable for manly crossover-type wear rather than a wrap-around-your-neck style), although you could easily add more sampler blocks to make it as long as you want. 

Anyways, download the pattern for the thing below, and make in time for the holidays!


  1. This is a beautiful pattern which is gender neutral. A great addition to anyone's knitting pattern repertoire. Thank you for making it available for free. I hope to start learning to knit mosaic patterns next year--already have too many patterns queued for the rest of this year!

  2. I'm almost finished the pattern but found the math doesn't work for charts 5 & 7....charts are not supposed to include 2 edge stitches to should show 30 stitches, but in these two charts they add up to 32. Works if you figure it out beforehand!