LMB Designs Blog

Meandros Mosaic Mitts KAL: Week 1
by Lisa
on 10/31/16 06:00 am
by LMBDesigns on 10/31/16 6:06 am
Categories: Knit-Along Tags: Mosaic kal Mitts

After weeks of anticipation, today’s the day we kick off the Meandros Mosaic Mitts knit-along!
 
Each KAL post will start with an overview that outlines what we’ll be learning and working on for the week. You should read the “review” section before working on the corresponding “action” section of the pattern. At the end of every KAL post, you’ll receive information on where to post your progress and questions and get a preview of next week!
 
This is the longest article of the KAL, as there is a lot to go over in the beginning of the pattern. Let’s get started on our mosaic adventure!

Week 1 Overview

  • REVIEW:
    • Pattern Inspiration
    • What is Mosaic Knitting?
    • Pattern Overview
  • ACTION: Cast on
  • REVIEW:
    • How to Read a Mosaic Chart
    • How to Work Mosaic Garter Stitch Pattern
  • ACTION: Work rows 1-20 of the pattern

 


Review

Pattern Inspiration

The "Greek Key" or "Greek Fret" design on the cuff is an ornamental motif found throughout Greek art as well as on the iconic contemporary New York City coffee cups (more about this here)! The motif takes its name from the Greek Maiandros River, noted for its exceptionally winding and twisting path.


The meander motif is one of the most important symbols in Ancient Greece because of its connotations of unity and infinity. The continuous interlocking lines and repeated motif reflect the fluid movement of the ocean wave and thus the eternal flow, the meandering of life. It also symbolizes the everlasting bonds of friendship, devotion, and love. 


What is Mosaic Knitting?

Mosaic Knitting is a color-knitting technique which creates patterns in two colors, but only one color is worked per row while the other color is slipped. The term was coined by Barbara G. Walker who included mosaic patterns in her series of Treasury of Knitting Patterns as well as in her first book dedicated to the technique. Unlike Fair Isle stranded colorwork, which uses two colors at once and produces floats across the back of the work, Mosaic Knitting only uses one color on any given row. Mosaic knitting is an easy technique and can be created using only knit (or purled) and slipped stitches, creating a mosaic pattern.

Pattern Overview

These mitts are worked flat on straight needles, then folded and sewn, leaving an opening for the thumb. A Mosaic Garter Stitch pattern (stitches are knit on both sides) is worked on the cuff and the hand and a different Mosaic Stockinette Stitch pattern (stitches are knit on the right side and purled on the wrong side) is worked on the wrist.

Decide which colors you want to correspond to the main color and contrast color in the pattern (the contrast color creates the "Greek Key" and pattern on the wrist).

You may want to consider making both mitts at the same time. To do this: cast on the required number of stitches using one end of your main color yarn. Then using the OTHER end of the SAME ball of yarn, cast on the stitches for the second mitt onto the SAME needle (you may need to use circular needles to accommodate this many stitches). Work the first row on the first mitt. Drop the yarn, pick up the other yarn attached to the second set of stitches, and work the first row of the second mitt. It is important that you continue working each set of stitches with its corresponding end of yarn (or your mitts will be connected).

Also before we get started, you may want to enlarge the charts on a copier to make them bigger. In addition, it is helpful to print out multiple copies of the Mosaic Garter Stitch chart, then tape them together side by side (overlapping the red lines) so you can see how the pattern repeat will look.


A quick note about yarn choice and gauge: My test knitter tends to knit tightly, so she ended up using US#9/5.5mm needles for the samples. If you know that you knit tightly, I'd suggest going up a needle size. Also, a yarn such as Noro Silk Garden, which has less of a wool content than the Queensland Brisbane (100% wool), will tend to be "drapier" and will feel looser on your hand even if you get the correct gauge. If you like your mitts to fit snugly, then consider using a needle size to get a slightly tighter gauge (such as 18 sts per 4 inches/10 cm) if you're using a wool blend yarn for your project. And if you are using a patterned yarn like Noro, consider buying a second ball of the Main Color so that both mitts will have a similar color shading (we did that with our samples). But don't expect to be able to match both mitts exactly, that's what's fun about Noro!

ACTION

Cast on now using your favorite cast on method. The knitted cast on or long-tail cast on are good choices for this project. I do not recommend the backwards loop, or “ewrap” cast on, created by simply wrapping yarn loops around the needle.


Review

how to Read a Mosaic Chart

  • As with other charts, each square represents a stitch and each horizontal row represents a row of knitting.
  • Row 1 and subsequent odd-numbered rows are read (and worked) from right to left, and Row 2 and subsequent even-numbered rows are read (and worked) from left to right.
  • The odd-numbered rows are the Right Side rows, and the even-numbered rows are the Wrong Side rows.
  • In a mosaic pattern, each charted row is worked twice. In other words, each WS row is the same as the RS row, worked backwards.
  • The red lines indicate the pattern repeat.
  • There is always an unnumbered edge stitch at the beginning and the end of the row. This stitch is always knit (or purled if on the wrong side of stockinette pattern). This stitch determines the instructions for each row: the color of the first stitch is always knit (or purled), and the contrast color stitches in the row are slipped.
  • The slipped stitches are always slipped as if to purl, with the yarn on the wrong side of the project.

how to Work Mosaic Garter Stitch PATTERN

In this project, the first pattern worked is the Mosaic Garter Stitch pattern.
  • Note that the first four rows are actually just stripes (rows 1 and 2 are knit in the Main Color, and rows 3 and 4 are knit in the contrast color).
  • On row 5, reading from right to left, knit all of the "grey" stitches with your Main Color yarn, and slip the "white" Contrast Color stitches.
  • Slip the applicable stitches as if to purl (put your needle into the stitch as if you're going to purl it, but just slip it from you left needle to your right needle) with the yarn in back (on the wrong side).
  • After knitting the first stitch, work the 6 pattern stitches between the red lines multiple times until you have one stitch remaining, then knit the last stitch.
  • On row 6, reading from left to right, knit all of the "grey" stitches with your Main Color yarn, and slip the "white" Contrast Color stitches with the yarn in front (on the wrong side).
Continue in this manner, working through Row 16 of the Mosaic Garter Stitch Chart.

ACTION

Work Rows 1-20 of the pattern (16 rows for Mosaic Garter Stitch plus rows 17-20 of pattern directions).
 


Ask me questions

During the week, if you have questions, please feel free to post them as comments to this blog post or in the Meandros Mosaic Mitts KAL thread in my Ravelry group here.
 

Share your project

If you’re on Instagram, you can share photos of your mitts in progress using the hashtag: #LMBKAL. Make sure to tag @lmbdesigns.
 

giveaway

In order to be eligible for the giveaway, you MUST be signed up for the KAL. To sign up, click here and select "I am interested in... Knit-Alongs."
 

Next week

Next week’s post will discuss how to make the Mosaic Stockinette Stitch pattern. If you don’t get the whole cuff done in a week, that’s okay! Work at your own pace, and I’ll be here to answer your questions as you go.

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