So have you noticed how I tend to say things like ‘don’t worry, it’s not really colorwork‘ or ‘it’s ok, you only ever work with one yarn at once‘ when I talk about my projects? Yeah, that’s because I’m sort of scared of having to manage two strands of yarn on one row (and just possibly a little in awe of folks who can pull it off it). Judging from what I hear from you guys, I’m not alone. If you’re with me in the one-yarn-at-a-time camp (or if you’re one of those fancy two-at-a-time folks and want to try something fun), check out Barbara Benson’s new book, Mosaic & Lace Knits (as always, amazon links are affiliate links).
My first introduction to mosaic knitting was in Barbara Walker’s books (she talks about it in some of her stitch dictionaries, and later did a whole book on the subject). Barbara Benson was inspired by the same books (as so many of us designers are!), and wanted to take the technique even further. She’s developed methods for incorporating lace and patterning into mosaic knitting. The result is fabric and projects that still have the ‘how the heck did you do that?’ wow factor, but without any of the heaviness that sometimes comes with traditional mosaic knitting.
The book starts off with a very approachable introduction to the subject and shows you all the techniques you’ll need to work the patterns. Now, Barbara isn’t mean enough to say this, but I am…don’t skip this bit. This technique is probably new to you, and you’re going to have much more fun with the patterns if you take the time to read the introductory bits. I promise it’s worth it. Once you’ve read it, you’ll be ready to dive into the patterns!
Twelve of the 20 projects are what I affectionately think of as snuggly neck things (meaning scarves, shawls, and cowls), three are hats, three are hand things (the fingertip equivalent of snuggly neck things), and the last two projects are a shopping bag and a pillow.
Smaller scale projects like this are the perfect place to experiment with a new technique. They give you enough room to practice and feel clever without making you worry you’ve taken on something daunting! I confess I wish a few more of the patterns came in multiple sizes (I have a big head and big hands…one-size-fits-all things don’t generally fit me), but I suspect for many of them you can improvise by either adding in extra repeats or working at a bigger gauge (you’re a knitter, you’re clever, I have faith in you).
If you’re looking for something new to tackle, I’ve got a copy of the book to send home with a lucky someone! If you think it should be you, just leave a comment telling me which one of the patterns in the book catches your eye first. I’m especially taken with the Quatrefoil Cap, but I love hearing what you guys like.
Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 21, 2017 will be entered to win. I’ll pick winners, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send the book their way. Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winners). If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Photos are from the book and are used with permission.