Mosaic Knitting

Does anyone know anything about mosaic knitting? In particular, I'm curious as to what the WS looks like.

JPaul's picture

It looks like the back of plain stockinette (knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side), but with short floats.  In mosaic, you only knit with one color every two rows.  For instance, if you are knitting a pattern that uses black and white, at the beginning of a right-side row you will start with one color (let's say white) and knit all the white stiches of your pattern.  Whenever you come to a black stich you slip it to the right needle without knitting it and carry the working yarn (white) behind the stitch.  Then on the way back (working on the wrong side and purling), your still only working with white and slipping the black stitches, but you'll keep the working yarn in front when you slip a stitch.  So every time you slip a stitch (or two or three or however many) you'll get a "float" or a short length of unworked yarn across the back of the fabric.  Then when you've completed two rows and get ready to start the next right-side row, you switch colors.

It's similar to fair isle, except that in fair isle you work with both colors every row, so the back of the fabric is a series of horizontal lines formed by the floats.  In mosaic, you've got fewer floats because you only work with one color, so you can see more of the wrong side of what is basically a stockinette fabric.

Here's a picture that shows how the floats have been used to create a textured pattern in mosaic knitting done in one color instead of two (so you would have to rely on counting stitches to keep track of which stitches get slipped).  It was done on machine, but the concept could be duplicated by hand.  But the picture gives you a good idea of what the wrong side looks like, and in this case it's being used as the right side of the fabric.

Darrel's picture

Your kung fu is too good! Thanks so much for the clear explanation and the most excellent example of perspective shift. I'll never look at the wrong side the same way again.