Monday, February 13, 2012

Mosaic and Duplicate knits

In this article, we'll define the remaining two color work styles in the series:  Mosaic and Duplicate knitting.  There are more styles of color work that I won't cover, including Brioche knits, Double Knitting, and Needle Felting.  They are wonderful knitting styles, but represent a very small percentage of color work patterns.  As such, they just don't seem to be "intro" to color work material.
Duplicate knitting is very easy to do, but not always intuitive to understand from written directions.  In this color work method, you thread a tapestry needle with the desired color, and stitch following the exact pattern of the yarn in the knit.  It differs from embroidery, in that embroidery can be stitched in any direction, whereas duplicate stitch can only follow the yarn of the knit itself.  In the example at right, the green of the mitten is stockinette stitched, with an intarsia white circle stockinette stitched into the back of the hand.  The Red Cross inside the white circle is duplicate stitch.   It really looks as if it were knit that way in the first place, doesn't it?  Duplicate stitch is great in areas where stranded color work would be complicated or messy, or in spots where you only need to change the color of a few stitches.

Mosaic Knitting (above left) is a form of Slip Stitch color work, and as such will not be covered separately.  The term seems to have been coined by Barbara Walker in the early 1970's, and her approach to slip stitch is a little different from the average.  Uniquely, only one color is worked at at a time, ever.  Otherwise, basic slip stitch rules apply (slip a stitch from left needle to right without knitting it).  In Mosaic Knitting, you always slip the color you're not working, and only knit the color you are.  This work is also pretty easy once you've practiced a little. 

The next article will talk about tension, and how to keep your color work looking smooth, even before blocking!

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