Making a shift to mosaic knitting

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.

9 thoughts on “Making a shift to mosaic knitting”

  1. These shawls are gorgeous with all their colors! The remind me of Joseph’s coat of many colors from the Bible!!💯❤️

  2. The COLOURS in the cowl above the shawls are magnificent!!!
    My neighbor made 6 Nightshift shawls this past year after I gave her the pattern- little did I know one of them was for me!😍 (I’m not a knitter- but printed the pattern in hopes that one day I could learn – this is not a pattern for which to learn on!)

    • I’ve made two nightshifts so far…now I’m waiting for some yarn that I bought in Pennsylvania to be sent to me so I can make another nightshift…well actually this one will be knitted with a cotton type of yarn…but I love this pattern so much…and the colours above are absolutely amazing…you must have been really excited when you were gifted with one of those beauties…enjoy…🌸

    • The pattern to all these is Nightshift by Andrea Mowry. These are just individual creations using Schoppel’s Edition 3


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