Fair Isle compared to Mosaic

I have never done mosaic knitting, so I was watching a few videos on this topic. To me it looked like the end result of mosaic knitting is the very same as with fair isle: with fair isle you take both yarn with you and create floats of both colors, with mosaic you take one yarn at the time, slipping all the wrong colored stitches (creating float) and thus you go over each row twice, creating floats of both colors.

Is my observation right: any mosaic pattern could be made with fair isle and an observer looking at both the right side and the wrong side would not know which technique was used?

Mosaic knitting seems less versatile than stranded knitting. Since you’re pulling a stitch up over one or two extra rows it can tighten the fabric. For that reason, the slip sts are usually limited. The overall effect is similar but you can usually tell the difference because of the length of sts and the floats.

That said, it’s an easier technique than stranded and creates lovely patterns. Although any mosaic could be created with stranded knitting, there are stranded patterns that would be difficult to work in mosaic due to the length of floats.

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This was exactly my thought when I looked at those videos.

When looking at the videos I have been understanding it differently: You are normally not pulling a stitch up (even thou a few are doing it for creating a special effect). So for example if you got black and white colored yarns, then first you knit the white (skipping the black stitches) then knitting the black (skipping the white stitches). Each time you skip, you create a float, as in fair isle knitting. Because of all this, you do not create long stretched stitches but both the black and the white stitches end up on the same row.

When you skip the sts, that’s pulling those sts up one row. Instead of pulling a new strand of yarn through the skipped stitch, the stitch is elongated.
If that happens inadvertently in my own knitting, even in a single color, I can see that elongated stitch.
This is a nice example of the beautiful patterns that are possible with the stranded technique.

I understand what you mean (I am also using the elongated stitch sometimes for heels), but in this case (if I understood it right) you first knit one round of only color1, skipping all those stitches that are of color2. This means that on the next round, when knitting with color2, you skip all those stitches were just knitted with color1 and thus color1 and color2 are truly on the same row and not pulled up.

As you say, on the next round (that’s round 2) the knitted sts are skipped and the slipped sts are knit. That means that over 2 rounds you’ve knit all the sts once. But that’s over 2 rounds. Some sts on each single round are elongated in mosaic knitting.
It’s like a slip stitch or an eye of partridge heel. Lovely patterns but you can see the slip sts which become elongated.

I have a mosaic knit flat gater stitch.
This show the stitch elongation.

If you knit mosaic in the round. You are passing the needles through the same row twice, one for black then again for white. But you only have knit one row. No elongation. (After a search and video review, I see I am wrong. I was thinking it is natural to alternate colors)

You both are right. :blush:
Or I am wrong. :slightly_frowning_face:

Why would they knit two rows of the same color before changing to the other color?!
(Because classic knitting uses straight needles and are one directional):thinking:

That is madness! :tired_face:I Guess it was invented before circular needles. :hushed:

In my defense I also use double pointed crochet hooks too. Often. (Yes, I am a geek.):wink:

So my logic was based on my experience and what I think would be the best way to do mosaic in the round or flat by using circulars.

@engblom and I are innovative.
@salmonmac is traditional or classic.

And I should stop commenting on techniques that I don’t remember doing. :yum:


Aha, I see what you mean, @engblom. Thanks, Jack!
I’m used to maintaining the elongated stitch but this version of mosaic uses 2 rows to complete one row. It seems like twice the work and easier to do in the round but if you want to avoid carrying 2 yarns, it’ll work beautifully.


Wow – this is mind boggling. I’ve not tried mosaic, and after reading this, I’m not sure I’ll ever brave it. :upside_down_face:

Lol. @justfriends3 it isn’t hard to mosaic knit, it is just -intricate- more detailed in the number of steps.