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Copyright 1997, 1998 Esther Smith Bozak. All rights reserved.
Please read full copyright notice at end of document.

Part of the accompanying materials for a presentation to the Twisted Stitches of Central New York Knitting Guild, by Esther Smith Bozak on December 6, 1997.

Mosaic knitting patterns were first identified and categorized by Barbara G. Walker in the late 1960's. She is credited with coining the term as well as collecting, designing, and exploring the possibilities of the knitting technique. Hundreds of patterns, mostly in chart form, appear in many of her books. Today's knitters are enjoying a renewed interest in mosaic knitting, as seen in the Fall 1997 issue of Interweave Knits and by the reprint of Ms. Walker's Mosaic Knitting by School house Press, for example. Don't overlook older pattern stitch dictionaries; mosaic patterns can be found in many of these volumes, although they are usually not labeled as "mosaics." Instead, look through the slip stitch patterns sections for patterns which follow the principles and rules of mosaic knitting.

As defined by Ms. Walker, "[m]osaic patterns are slip-stitch designs in two color. Two different strands are used, one at a time. They are changed at the beginning of each right-side row. So a mosaic pattern is made by working one right-side row and one wrong-side row with Color A, then dropping Color A at the right-hand edge. picking up Color B, and working the next two rows with Color B -- and so on...The two primary principles of mosaic patterns are: (1) every slip-stitch is slipped with yarn in back on all right-side rows, and with yarn in front on all wrong side rows (that is, with the yarn held always to the wrong side.; (2) every wrong-side row is just like the preceding right-side row, with the same stitch being worked, and the same stitch being slipped." (Walker1, p. 185)

Mosaic patterns are generally presented in chart form. These charts are fundamentally different from other charted colorwork. That is, they are not worked in the same manner as other charts with which knitters might be familiar. There are only a few basic rules to using mosaic pattern charts; the reader is referred to any of the references (especially those by Ms. Walker) listed below for detailed discussions of these rules.


Bartlett, Roxanna. Slip-Stitch Knitting. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1998.

Gaughan, Norah Susan. "Experimenting with Mosaics." Knitter's, Vol. 5, No. 1 
     (Spring 1988).

Staff of Interweave Knits. "Beyond the basics: Working with slip stitch patterns."  
    Interweave Knits, Vol. II, No. 3 (Fall 1997).

Walker, Barbara G. Charted Knitting Designs. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 

_________________. Mosaic Knitting. Pittsville, WI: Schoolhouse Press, 1997.

_________________. A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. New  York: Charles 
     Scribner's Sons, 1970.


"Checkerboard to Crop" Sweater by Lily Chin. Knitter's, Vol 5, No. 1 (Spring 1988).

"Cream and Brown Mosaic Stitch Sweater" by Melissa Leapman. Family Circle Knitting,
     Fall '96.

"Diamond Maze" by Barbara Venishnick. Interweave Knits, Vol. II, No. 3 (Fall 1997).

"Diamond Pullover" by Brenda Lewis. McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Vol. 43, No. 6
     (November 1997). NOTE: Although this sweater's instructions are for stranding, a
     quick review of the pattern's chart suggests it can be easily adapted to mosaic 

"Evening of Falling Stars Socks" by Roxana Bartlett. Interweave Knits, Vol. II,
     No. 3 (Fall 1997).

"Kitty Dreams Blanket" by Suzann Thompson. Cusick, Dawn. Cat Crafts: More than 50 
     Purrfect Projects. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1997.

"Mighty Mo" Sweater by Norah S. Gaughan. Knitter's, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 1988).

"Mosaic Grapes" Afghan by Suzann Thompson. Cast On, Vol. 13 Issue 58 (Fall 1996).

"Mosaic Square Jacket" by Wendy Keele. Interweave Knits, Vol. II, No. 3 (Fall 1997).

"Step Up to Slip Stitches" Vest by Karen Yaksick. Knitter's, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 

"Tile Mosaic Style" Afghan by Ann Regis. Knitter's, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Winter 1995).

"Tone-on-Tone Mosaic Sweater" by Kathleen Power Johnson. Interweave Knits, Vol. II, 
     No. 3 (Fall 1997).

"Treasure Keepers" Bags by Deborah Levine. Knitter's, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter 1997).

"Tree of Life Mosaic Jacket" by Lynne Vogel. Falick, Melaine. Knitting in America. 
     New York: Artisan, 1996.

"A Walk in the Woods Vest" by Roxana Bartlett. Interweave Knits, Vol. II, No. 3 
     (Fall 1997).

"Where's-the-Fire Afghan" by Suzann Thompson. Needham, Bobbe. Dog Crafts: More Than 
     50 Grrreat Projects. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1997.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copyright 1997, 1998 Esther Smith Bozak. All rights expressly reserved. This document may be used by individuals for personal use only. It can be distributed to and shared with others as long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice. It may not be sold, used to produce items for sale, or used in a compilation or archive of any kind without the expressed written permission of the author.
Last Updated: July 8, 1998
Esther S. Bozak, ebozak@cs.oswego.edu
URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/esb-patterns/mosaic-intro.html