How to Read Mosaic Knitting Charts

Mosaic knitting is a colorwork technique using only 1 color at a time. The charts for mosaic knitting are just a little bit different from other colorwork charts. Learn how to read mosaic knitting charts in this video tutorial!

How to read mosaic knitting charts

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What is Mosaic Knitting?

Mosaic knitting is sometimes also called slip stitch knitting. Using the magic of slipped stitches, you can knit each row using only one color at a time. You just slip the stitches that should not be in the color you are currently using.

stairstep mosaic texture

You can do mosaic knitting with more than 2 colors, but for this tutorial, we’ll use a 2-color pattern.

Colorwork Charts

For most colorwork techniques, charted patterns are more compact and simpler to read than written instructions. Different colored squares on the chart show you which color you should use for that stitch.

How are Mosaic Knitting Charts Different?

Pairs of Rows

We are only working with 1 color at a time, and carrying the unused color up the side of our work. For a flat piece, we need to knit 2 rows (a right side and a wrong side row) in each color, in order to get back to the starting edge and pick up the next color.

If you’re knitting in stockinette, the wrong side stitches will be purls, and if you’re knitting in garter, the wrong side stitches will be knits. As far as colors go though, the right side and wrong side row of any particular pair will be exactly the same. On many mosaic charts, including the ones we are looking at, each line represents 2 rows instead of 1.

Row Color

Each pair of rows is knit in 1 color, the other color is not used for that row. For a clean edge, the first stitch of each row is usually worked in the color of that row. That means you know which color to use by seeing which color is the first stitch on that row of the chart. For 2-color knitting, they will usually alternate (though they don’t strictly have to).

Chart showing right and wrong side rows

Slipped Stitches

As you go across each row on the chart, you will see stitches in a different color than the one you are using. If the pattern is written correctly, each should be the same color as the stitch below it. To carry that color up into your current row, you slip that stitch. Sometimes the charts will indicate the slip, and sometimes they will just assume you know to slip it.

How to Read Mosaic Knitting Charts

  • Determine if the chart shows 1 row per line or 2 rows per line. You can tell this from the line numbers.
  • Determine if you should knit the wrong side rows or purl them. This should be specified in the pattern.
  • Determine the color of the pair of rows. This will usually be the same as the color of the first stitch. Pick up that color and start to knit.
  • For each stitch, if the color on the chart matches the color you are using, knit it. If it does not match, slip it.
  • On the wrong side row, knit or purl each of the knit stitches, and slip each of the slipped stitches.
  • Pick up the other color, and repeat the process for the next pair of rows.

Mosaic Sampler Blanket Mystery Knit Along

Knit along as we make a blanket in 6 sections! Each section will be a different mosaic knitting pattern in two colors. Join in the fun and enter the giveaway too!

Mosaic Sampler Blanket MKAL on Stitches n Scraps

How to Read Mosaic Knitting Charts – Video Tutorial

Watch This Video on YouTube

How to read mosaic knitting charts

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