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What is Mosaic Crochet?

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I thought I would start this series with a definition of what Mosaic Crochet is. Since Lily Chin’s book came out in January 1999, there have been so many different types of intarsia crochet that have been called mosaic. Let’s put to rest what “mosaic” actually means.

After reading several sources of what Mosaic Crochet is, this is what I am going to boil it down to:

Mosaic Crochet is a colorwork technique that creates interesting colorwork patterns simply and easily. Only one color is worked per row, so there is no worry about changing colors midstream. Using only single (sc) and double (dc) crochet stitches you will create all sorts of patterns that can emulate inlaid tiles or even traditional patterns from all over the world. And the best part? You can easily create original mosaic patterns too!

In doing some research about Mosaic Crochet, I discovered there are just two types that are truly considered mosaic:

  1. Interlocking Mosaic Crochet allows for row turning which means that you will do two rows in one color then 2 rows of the next which helps prevent skein tangling. With this technique, you will be working in both loops of the stitches. This means when you need to drop down a row or three you will have to work through a stitch, but you don’t have to cut the yarn when you change colors. For the most part, the pattern is reversible. And the cool thing is that you can use stitches like “V’s and “X”s in the pattern
  2. Overlay Mosaic Crochet is worked only on one side – so for right-handers, you will work right to left, and lefties will work left to right. This creates tails on flat pieces, but it makes for working in the round a cinch! You be working in one loop on the top of the stitch, usually the back loop for single crochet and front loops for double crochet, this allows the “overlay” process to happen, making a true right and wrong side. You can do things like increase and decrease to make shapes but the overlay is only done in verticals, at least as far as I have discovered. Nothing is slanted or crossed.

As I researched I did discover that within these two main types, there are many derivatives of the two.  What I am going to do each week going forward is do a trial swatch of each that I have sources for. I will do a bit of a review and let you know what I learned from each.

But before I delve more deeply into the nuts and bolts of what I am learning, I want to give you a few resources to check out.  These are some good reference points to start with.

  1. Lily Chin’s Book – Mosaic Magic – Afghans Made Easy (Interlocking)
  2. Margret Willson’s Book – How to Mosaic Crochet (Interlocking Derivative)
  3. Sixel Designs – A Beginner’s Guide to Mosaic Crochet (Overlay)
  4. Esme Crick’s Book – Mosaic Crochet Workshop: Modern Geometric Designs for Throws and Accessories (Combines a bit of Interlocking and Overlay)

When I am learning new things, I always like to go bigger with my yarn and hook. So I will be working these learning pieces with Cascade 220, which is a worsted weight yarn, or in some cases, I will use worsted weight cottons like Lily Sugar and Crème and depending on how it goes, either a US Size H/8 (5.0 mm) or I/9 (5.5 mm) crochet hooks.

If you would like to follow along with me, I am going to learn the interlocking way using a pattern from Lily’s book.  Next week we will get started.

Which type of Mosaic Crochet would you like to learn? Is there something I missed on this that you can share with me?


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