Monday, March 12, 2012
on mosaic knitting
It's this sweater, by the way. I've had it on my queue for two years (and had the yarn on stash for just as long), and I managed to knit it in just under a month. I have no finished photos yet, it still needs blocking and some buttons to be sewn, but I thought I'd give a small explanation on a very interesting technique I learned while doing this project.
It's called mosaic knitting. Now I've been knitting for a few years and had never heard about it till I started this sweater, so my guess is that it might not be exactly common knowledge.
When I started the front of this sweater I had a hard time understanding this at first. The pattern itself doesn't explain it, and while trying to follow the chart that was provided I probably frogged those first couple of rows a dozen times till I decided to use mr. google and clarify this mystery.
So the technique itself is actually very simple, once you get the hang of it. Starting with color A, for example, you follow the chart by knitting all the stitches in that color, and slipping all the stitches - keeping the yarn in the back - in the alternate color (color B). On the wrong side, you do the same: purl all the stitches that were knit and slip the ones that were slipped (which means that each slipped stitch is actually slipped twice) with the yarn in front. On the next right side row, you change to color B and work the next two rows just the same, following the chart.
This is how the reverse side looks like ...
And basically that's it. You don't have to fiddle with two different strands as you would in regular colorwork, and it is very quick to knit once you understand the rules. This herringbone pattern in particular was easy to memorize, which is very useful when you're doing shaping with several increases and decreases (which the original pattern didn't specify but I decided to add in).
More details on mosaic knitting here and here.