Decisions need to be made, do I go for Mosaic Knitting or Stranded Colour work for my new hat and cowl design? I have a new cowl and hat design in the works and I’d really love your feedback

I had cast on for a simultaneous set-in-sleeve sweater (worked top down and without the need to pick up for sleeves) using some stash yarns from Lanas Stop, their 4ply/fingering weight superwash Prima Merino. It’s buttery soft, has great stitch definition and knits up really well. However, I wasn’t happy with the shoulder and sleeve shaping and had to start again, rip, rip, rip it.

At that point, the yarn was telling me it really wanted to be a colour work cowl and hat set. I have three shades of blue and two shades of green with work with. Who am I to argue with the yarn?

The yarn colours for my hat and cowl using Stranded Knitting or Mosaic Knitting, mint green, forest green, navy blue, dusty blue, medium blue
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The yarn colours for my hat and cowl using Stranded Knitting or Mosaic Knitting, mint green, forest green, navy blue, dusty blue, medium blue

What is Mosaic Knitting?

What is mosaic knitting? For those who haven’t heard of it, or tried Mosaic Knitting. It’s a technique where you only use one colour every two rows (when worked flat) or one colour per row/2rows if worked in the round. You slip the stitches which aren’t being worked. It’s so much easier for a newer knitter than stranded colour work, but you can get some really fabulous effects with it. You can change your contrast and main colours frequently, or use self striping yarns, it’s very adaptable with simpler mosaic patterns, but also you can create complex designs.

Aine Hat, knitted in camel and red Alpaca Silk.  The lower body of the hat features Mosaic Knitting with stripes on the crown, there is no stranded colour work knitting on this hat.
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Aine Hat, knitted in camel and red Alpaca Silk. The lower body of the hat features Mosaic Knitting, the crown of the hat is striped , two rows of either colour.

One of my favourite mosaic hats is from 10HoursOrLess and is called Chorus of Cats, if you click the image below it’ll take you to the Ravelry pattern page, link opens in a new window. The hat features an all over mosaic pattern of cats with a striped crown (garter stripes for texture), a pompom in a contrast colour and a simple garter brim in the grey MC. The cats are knitted in a creamy white colour. The pom pom is in the denim contrast colour.

Chorus of Cats

by 10 Hours or Less

A Chorus of Cats, a mosaic pattern by 10HoursOrLess showing cats on a plain background.
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What is Stranded Colour Work Knitting?

What is Stranded Colour Work Knitting? It’s colour work knitting, usually with 2 or 3 colours per row/round of knitting. It’s called Stranded Knitting because you carry the yarn which isn’t being used at the back of the work, creating strands or yarn floats of the unused yarn. These are in the back of the work and are not seen when the garment is worn but you can create simply or complex patterning with them.

In the photo below, I’m wearing my Frosty Morning Hat, which uses two colours of Blue Faced Leicester Aran to create a colour work pattern using stranded knitting. I used Burnt Orange for the main colour and Mustard for the contrast colour. The hat has a ribbed, folded brim knitted in the main colour, then you join the contrast colour and commence stranded colour work knitting. It’s a simple pattern and an easy beginner pattern as long as you’re comfortable knitting in the round.

Frosty Morning Hat, Stranded Colour Work Knitting with two colours
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Frosty Morning Hat, Stranded Knitting with two colours

What do you think?

Stranded Colour Work or Mosaic? Let me know which you’d like to see for my next pattern.

Stay safe, be well and get crafting.

Loraine

You can purchase both the above patterns in our Ravelry Store or our Payhip Store, or in the online shop on this website.

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