mosaic knitting

February KALFH #3: Hashtag Cowl

One of my first forays into colorwork was a mosaic knitting project - so it's fitting that I now get to share a mosaic project with you! And although this pattern wasn't specifically written for either gender, I think this cowl looks beautiful on both a man and a woman. 'Course, I'm probably slightly biased since this sexy man is my hubby.

Hashtag Cowl by Cheryl Faust

Mosaic what?

So Mosaic Knitting is also known as Slip Stitch knitting. It's always with two colors and can be worked flat or in the round (though I more often see ITR than flat). But what's really fun about this type of knitting is that only one color is worked on any given round so there's no floats to catch and carry. All the color changes are done at the beginning of the round. 

Is it hard?

Nope, not at all. In fact, if you've ever done any stranded colorwork, you're going to find this laughably easy! Here's a really great overview video about the technique of mosaic knitting in general. It talks about how to read charts and how the colorwork is created when only 1 color is worked on any given row: http://tinyurl.com/gt5pnky

It's all about the chart!

The best part about Mosaic knitting is the charting - it's so visual. The colors in the chart very clearly show what your work should look like so there's no guessing if you've made a mistake. Essentially, every second row is a repeat of the first (at least in the case of this design) - the only difference is that rather than knitting, you'll be purling, to create the ultra-cushy garter stitch fabric. 

Tips on the cowl

This is an incredibly well-written pattern with links to helpful tutorials and notes that take all the guesswork out. I just have a few little tips to help you work your way through the project: 

  • You'll only need to work the Jogless stripe technique when you change colors in the ribbing at the beginning and end of the project! You won't need to do it anywhere else in the pattern.
  • At each color change as you work through the chart, cross your yarns inside the cowl in the same direction each time! This will catch the yarn so you don't have to cut at each color change, and locks the  yarns in place so you don't have loose-y goose-y yarns inside the cowl to catch earrings on (the worst!)
  • On the even rounds (the purl rounds) when working the colorwork chart, remember to move the working yarn to the back when you slip stitches to avoid running threads on the front of your work.
  • Each even round is worked exactly the same as the odd round before it - just purled! So you only have to count sttiches on the odd numbered rounds. 

Wrapping it all up! 

And that's all there is to it! Once the chart repeats are complete, you work the same ribbing that you started the project with. Easy peasy, right?!

To block the cowl, I recommend using the steam method. Wet blocking is a great option but in my soggy part of the country, with the cushiness of the fabric, it just takes far too long to dry for my impatient self. So! To avoid creases where the cowl folds, I recommend using either old paper towel or wrapping paper tubes, or, in a pinch, SOCKS! When you steam the edges, if you have a rounded object inside, you won't get a crease so that the cowl hands nice and drapey when you wear it. 

If you're unfamiliar with steam blocking, here's a little video from Very Pink Knits. She's demonstrating on a flat piece of work, but it'll give you a sense of how to hold the iron - don't touch it to the yarn: http://tinyurl.com/j9ky75a

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with us on this project! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! I can't wait to KALFH with you!