Mosaic knitting is one of those techniques that truly is easier than it looks. It offers a simple way to manipulate what is essentially striped knitting into a wonderful variety of decorative elements.

In mosaic knitting, you alternate between two rows of a darker and a lighter color, but instead of working every stitch in the row, some stitches are slipped. That’s really all there is to it.

The term mosaic knitting was coined by Barbara Walker and described in a 1976 book devoted to the technique. While the name is sometimes used more loosely to refer to all slip-stitch patterns, Walker used it to refer to a technique defined by a specific set of rules. What makes mosaic different from most other slip-stitch patterns is that within the constraints of those rules, a designer can create new motifs and repeat patterns and images.

I’ve often been asked why a knitter who loves to do stranded colorwork would want to try mosaic knitting. Given stranded knitting’s endless design possibilities, why would a knitter embrace the angular, geometric look of mosaic knitting? The reasons are varied and many.