Making a shift to mosaic knitting

Robber's Bride's 2nd Nightshift in Edition 3

Mosaic knitting an introduction to colorwork

If you’re intrigued by beautiful colorwork patterns, but daunted by trying colorwork for the first time, try mosaic knitting.

Mosaic knitting uses slip stitches to create intricate geometric patterns that are simply stunning. The extensive use of slip stitches to create patterns was described as mosaic knitting in the 1970s by Barbara G. Walker.

Unlike stranded colorwork, mosaic knitting means you don’t have to worry about holding two or more yarns in your hands at any one time which often daunts beginners to colorwork. Another plus, we tend to find the fabric that mosaic knitting creates much more flexible, with more drape than stranded colorwork often is.

While I’ve lauded mosaic knitting over stranded colorwork as easier, when it comes to maintaining tension you still need to be aware of the tension of your working yarn. Make sure your working yarn is loose enough on the wrong side of your work to not pull or strain the fabric when you block.

Andrea Mowry’s Nightshift shawl is a beautiful example of how mosaic knitting can create something truly spectacular. And being a Drea Renee design, it is just one of a series of patterns that make use of marled yarns, those formed by plies of different colors, in multiple stripping colors to produce a shifting display. The Shift cowl, the precursor to the shawl, Sam recently knit in a combination of Malabrigo Arroyo and Schoppel Edition 3 to create this subtle shift below.

knit cowl in blues, greens and purples
Word Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry in Edition 3 and Malabrigo Arroyo

Mowry’s shawl is made with a worsted weight yarn, but given that we are in Tucson we thought a DK weight might be a little more desert friendly. Check out these stunning Nightshift shawls we found on Ravelry made from Schoppel Yarns Edition 3 yarn. Fancy one of these combinations? We stock many of the colorways of Edition 3 and can help you pick out the right combination for you. Ask our resident color champion Pam for input. What’s your favorite combo? Let us know in the comments below. We’re thinking kits might be in order if we have interest.

Robber’s Bride’s 2nd NightShift
Robber's Bride's 2nd Nightshift in Edition 3

Vogelgryff’s Nightshift

Angorika’s Nightshift

Nightshift knit by Angorika

Findus92’s Nightshift

Findus42 Nightshift Shawl

Our thanks to all of the knitters for granting us permission to use their photographs.

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller


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8 thoughts on “Making a shift to mosaic knitting”

  1. I love the colour choices in the Word Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry in Edition 3 and Malabrigo Arroyo shown above. What are the colour names?

  2. Hello.

    I want to make the Shift cowl, the one Sam made in the shade of blues on your page. What exact colors did she used. I want to make it so badly.

    France CT

    • Sam used Edition 3 colors 2301 and 2298 and Arroyo color Lotus. One skein each. The yardage was close at the end.

  3. I would totally be interested in a kit for the Robert’s brides 2nd nightshift!!! Maybe two or three for sister ponchos!

    • Hi Sally, I was planning on getting more Edition 3. We could definitely put that together for you. Contact us after April 17 and we can talk about it more. Thanks, Holly

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