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Mosaic knitting is so much fun, and you can learn how to do it — and make a great gift! — with this easy mosaic cowl knitting pattern.
This pattern is part of the 2022 Christmas in July blog hop! Learn more about it here, or find more details after the pattern.
All About Mosaic Knitting
Mosaic knitting is a kind of slip stitch knitting popularized by Barbara J. Walker. Her book Mosaic Knitting covers all the basics and includes tons of charted patterns you can use in projects. (This chart is adapted from her book.)
The cool thing about mosaic knitting is that you only have to work with one color of yarn at a time. You work with one color for two rows or rounds, then the second color for two rounds. Slipping stitches creates the pattern by pulling the other color up into that row.
The patterns are presented as charts. When knitting flat you first work across the row reading the chart from right to left, then you turn the work and repeat the same row, working from left to right. Mosaic knitting can be worked as Garter Stitch (knitting every row) or Stockinette Stitch (knitting one row and purling the next).
If worked in the round you can just repeat each row of the chart before moving on to the next row.
You need to pick two colors that have good contrast. I used a multicolored yarn and a solid yarn to give it a more interesting look.
Mosaic Cowl Knitting Pattern
This easy knitting pattern gives you a chance to learn the basics of mosaic knitting while working in the round and making a simple cowl. If you’ve never done mosaic knitting before there’s a tutorial below.
One thing to note about this pattern is that because it is worked in the round, we lose the edge stitches that would be found in the pattern if it were worked flat. The only time that makes a difference is on round 5, where you slip two stitches at the beginning of the round before knitting any stitches in the opposite color instead of starting the round with the new color.
- one skein each of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Oatmeal (Color A) and Ferris Wheel in Evergreen (Color B). I used about 148 yards of the Fisherman’s Wool and about 105 yards of the Ferris Wheel, so you could actually get two cowls out of one ball of each. Or use medium weight yarn of your choice.
- size 7 US (4.5 mm) circular knitting needle, 16 inch cable
- scissors and yarn needle
20 stitches and 24 rounds per 4 inches/10 cm in mosaic pattern.
My cowl is 23 inches around and 13 inches long (58.4 cm around and 33 cm long). You can make it whatever size you want as long as you increase or decrease the stitch count by multiples of 4.
Using color A, cast on 120 stitches. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.
Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 1 inch. Knit 1 round.
Work the mosaic chart, repeating the stitches shown around the work. Repeat each round before going to the next row of the chart. As a reminder, on round 5 you are still knitting with color B, but you start by slipping the first two stitches in color A.
Complete the chart 7 times, or as many times as you like to make the depth of the cowl 1 inch shorter than you would like it to be.
Change to color A and knit 1 round. Work knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 1 inch.
Bind off, cut yarn and weave in ends.
Mosaic Knitting Tutorial
Mosaic knitting is always worked from a chart that shows boxes in two colors corresponding two your two colors of yarn. Here the light yarn is my color A, which corresponds to the empty blocks, while the green is the dark yarn and corresponds to the black blocks.
You start with a row of your color A as a base and then start working row 1 with color B.
To read a mosaic knitting chart, start at the bottom right. The first row is worked from right to left. Knit the stitches that correspond to the dark blocks and slip the stitches that correspond to the light blocks, as if to purl. For example on the first row of the chart above, you would knit 3 in color B, slip 1, knit 3, slip 1, knit 2. Then repeat that pattern across.
If you’re working flat, work from the same row of the chart, this time reading from left to right. You can either knit or purl this row, depending on the look you’re going for or what the pattern says.
When working mosaic knitting in the round, repeat the first row of the chart, reading from right to left again.
The second row of the chart starts with a white block, so you start knitting with your lighter color, knitting the stitches for the white blocks and slipping the stitches for the black blocks.
Continue in this manner throughout.
About the Christmas in July Blog Hop
I’m participating in the Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter. Come join the fun! 28 bloggers have teamed up to bring you a month full of free patterns to kick start the handmade holiday season — including crochet, knitting, and sewing projects. There’s something new to make every day in July. Each week will have a theme.
Week 1 (July 1-7): Babies, Kids, and Teens
Week 2 (July 8-14): Women
Week 3 (July 15-21): Gifts for Anyone
Week 4 (July 22-28): Home
Week 5 (July 29-31): Pets
We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies to get some great prizes for you. Find out more information about participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes on Underground Crafter. The deadline for entering the giveaway is Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
How To Join the 2022 Christmas in July Make Along
- You can join in by crocheting, knitting, sewing, or making the projects as you have time.
- Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #CIJMakeAlong2022 on all social media.
- If you’d like to chat with other crafters, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group
- By the end of the Make Along, you’ll have up to 31 awesome projects. Get ready for the handmade holiday season while having fun with us!
Visit Underground Crafter to learn more about the prizes, enter the giveaway, and to get links to each Christmas in July Make Along post as it is released.