Knitting Instructions, Techniques & Tips

Mosaic Knitting Patterns: How to Add Glorious Color

Mosaic Knitting Patterns

With mosaic knitting patterns, you can add beautiful color designs to your work. Here are 3 fabulous patterns to try

When you want to add color to a knitting project, you have a few options. You can try stripes; that’s probably the easiest way.

You could try stranded colorwork or intarsia; those are probably the hardest ways!

Or you can try a deceptively simple way, using slip stitches, called mosaic knitting.

Mosaic knitting patterns are a little harder than stripes, for sure. But because you work with only one color at a time (like stripes), it’s infinitely easier than stranded knitting or intarsia.

Now, mosaic knitting patterns can be a little difficult. The hardest will require intense concentration. But the easiest mosaic knitting patterns are close to mindless. This is a technique that can be as simple or as complex as you desire.

The following are 3 free slip stitch knitting patterns that will create glorious mosaic designs!

Abbreviations used in these patterns:

MC: Main color

CC: Contrasting color

(All 3 patterns use 2 colors of yarn.)

K: Knit

P: Purl

Sl: Slip

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1. Simple Mosaic Stitch

This is the easiest of the three mosaic knitting patterns. It results in a brick-like design, as shown here.

Simple Mosaic Knitting Pattern

With the MC, cast on a multiple of 6 stitches minus 1. For my example shown here, I cast on 23 stitches. (6 x 4 = 24, minus 1 = 23)

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: With your contrasting color, *K5, sl1, repeat from * to last five stitches, K5.

Row 4: *P5, sl1, repeat from * to last five stitches. P5.

Continue these four rows until you’re finished!

2. Fancy Mosaic Knitting Pattern

This is definitely the hardest of the three mosaic knitting patterns. The difficulty lies in the 24-row stitch pattern. The even-numbered rows are all different, so you’ll have to follow the pattern carefully.

However, the pattern itself is still just knit stitches, purl stitches, and slipped stitches. And the end result is a true, traditional mosaic!

Fancy Mosaic Knitting Pattern

Note: sometimes the knit row will call for you to, at the end, abandon the repeating pattern for the last few stitches.

Row 3 is a great example. When you get to the “k4” at the end, you’ll be nearly finished with the previous k11. That’s fine – just go ahead and knit to the end.

You can double-check your row to make sure you haven’t made a mistake, but in all likelihood, everything’s all right!

Using MC, cast on a multiple of 12 plus 3. For my example here, I cast on 39 stitches. (12 x 3 = 36, plus 3 = 39)

Row 1: K1, *sl1, k11, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: Purl.

Row 3: With CC, k1, *sl1, k11, repeat from * to last 4 st, k4.

Row 4 and all other even rows: Purl the stitches that are the same color you’re working with, and slip all the others.

Row 5: With MC, k3, *sl1, k7, sl1, k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 7: With CC, k2, *sl1, k3, sl1, k1, rep from * to one st remaining, k1.

Row 9: With MC, k5, *sl1, k3, sl1, k7, rep from * to five st remaining, k5.

Row 11: With CC, k2, *sl1, k1, sl1, k5, sl1, k1, sl1, k1, rep from * to 1 st remaining, k1.

Row 13: With MC, k7, *sl1, k11, rep from * to 7 st remaining, k7.

Row 15: As row 11.

Row 17: As row 9.

Row 19: As row 7.

Row 21: As row 5 .

Row 23: As row 3.

Repeat these 24 rows until you reach the desired length.

3. Honeycomb Mosaic stitch

This mosaic knitting pattern is nearly as easy as the simple mosaic. Once you get past row 4 of the first set of “honeycombs” and row 12 of the second set, it’ll become almost second nature!

Honeycomb Mosaic Knitting Pattern

With MC, cast on a multiple of 8 stitches plus 6. For my example here, I cast on 30 stitches. (8 x 3 = 24, plus 6 = 30)

Please note: rows 11 through 16 will be different depending on the cast-on number you choose. If your multiple of 8 is also divisible by an even number – 2, 4, 6, and so on – you’ll have a different number of knit or purl stitches at the ends of the rows than if your multiple of 8 is divisible by an odd number.

In my example, my multiple of 8 was also divisible by 3, which means I used the “odd” set of directions.

I will mark these differences with an e (for even) or an o (for odd).

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Rows 3, 5, 7: With CC, *k6, sl2 purlwise, repeat from * to 6 st remaining, k6.

Rows 4, 6, 8: With CC, *p6, sl2 purlwise, repeat from * to 6 st remaining, p6.

Row 9: As row 1

Row 10: As row 2

Rows 11, 13, 15: With CC, k (e=3, o=2), sl2 purlwise, *k6, sl 2 purlwise, repeat from * to (e=3 st, o=2 st) remaining, k (e=3, o=2).

Rows 12, 14, 16: With CC, p (e=3 o=2), sl2 purlwise, *p6, sl2 purlwise, repeat from * to (e=3 st, o=2 st) remaining, p (e=3, o=2).

Continue working this pattern to the desired length.

Let me know when you try these, and how you like them? Which one is your favorite? I haven’t decided yet, I think they’re all so pretty. Mosaic knitting patterns are such a delightful way to inject color into your work!

Visit this post to learn how to turn one of these stitch patterns into a project!

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