Mosaic crochet in the round/One-row mosaic crochet: reading charts – Newsletter May 2019

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Mosaic crochet in the round/One-row mosaic crochet: reading charts.

I have been thinking about mosaic crochet for quite a while now. I have discussed the topic in my newsletters for January, March and April.

As we have previously seen, there are two different mosaic crochet techniques. Up to now, I called them “mosaic crochet worked flat” and “mosaic crochet in the round”. I wasn’t completely happy with these designations since the “flat” technique can be easily adapted to work in the round, and vice versa.

What seems to hold true on all occasions for these two techniques is that in the first case, the pattern is formed on two rows (or rounds), and in the second case, the pattern is formed on a single row (or round).

That’s why I think it might be more appropriate to talk about “two-row mosaic crochet” (instead of “mosaic crochet worked flat”) and “one-row mosaic crochet” (instead of “mosaic crochet in the round”). What do you think? Perhaps I’m the only one to geek out about this…

In any case, the time has come to explore more stitch patterns for the second type of mosaic crochet – last time, we used only the pattern “Apache’s tears” to explain the technique.

When studying this technique and, among others, Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir’s beautiful patterns, I realized that the same charts can be used for both types of mosaic crochet. However, you need to read the chart in a different way – and the result will, of course, look different!

Let’s start with how to read the charts – you will see that you need to forget what you learned in the January newsletter, and use the chart in a different way.

This is the chart I chose to use for this tutorial. It’s one of the “practice charts” included in the newsletter for January, which means it was initially designed for two-row mosaic crochet.

The previous row numbers are no longer applicable. In the technique we are looking at today, one row on the chart is also one row in our work.

To start my swatch I worked two rows of sc blo in the main colour.

Here I have worked the first row of the contrasting colour, which is the first row in the chart. In this type of mosaic crochet, no stitches are skipped and all stitches are worked on every row. I put Post-its on my chart to know which row I’m working, but the row in itself is simply a full row of sc blo in the contrast colour.

From row 2 you will need to pay close attention to the chart and note the stitches in the active colour (here, the main colour) that are set on top of a stitch in the same colour in the previous row (see the stitches at the arrows in the photo). This indicates that you need to replace the sc blo with a dc worked under the front loop of the corresponding stitch two rows below (this stitch will be in the same colour as the current row).

Note that all other stitches, independently of their colour in the chart, are worked as sc blo in the active colour.

On row 3 the rule is the same, except that the stitches to work as dc’s are, of course, in the contrasting colour, which is the active colour in this row.

We can observe that the pattern showing after each row is a “temporary” one – except after a one-colour row, like row 4 in this chart.

Since row 5 follows a one-colour row, it’s a row completely worked in sc blo.

To complete the stitch pattern, we must consider that the row after row 7, which is not included in the chart, is a one-colour row in the main colour. You will need to work dc’s at the appropriate spots (see the arrows in the photo.)

I finish my swatch with another row in the main colour.

But if we can follow the same charts, which are the differences between the two techniques?

These two swatches were worked in organic cotton according to the same chart. The left swatch is worked in two-row mosaic crochet and the right swatch is worked in one-row mosaic crochet.

The one-row mosaic crochet gives a much more textured fabric. The dc’s creating the stitch pattern lie over the sc’s in the row below – there are truly two layers of stitches. In two-row mosaic crochet the dc’s are worked around ch arches – this adds a little bit of thickness compared to an ordinary dc, but not at all as much.

There are also differences in the proportions and the presence of the different parts of the stitch pattern. The pattern is longer in two-row mosaic crochet, with lines that vary in thickness depending on whether they are created by sc’s or dc’s. In one-row mosaic crochet, the lines are more uniform. However, some details in sc, such as the single orange stitch surrounded by grey in the center of the stitch pattern, show up far less than other parts of the pattern.

I expected the difference in height between the two swatches to be bigger, since the left one includes twice as many rows! Working in the back loop only, as in the left swatch, really adds height to each row.

Which type of mosaic crochet should you choose for a given stitch pattern?

Part of the answer depends on your personal preference. Moreover, we must take into account not only the stitch pattern but also the project itself. The thickness, drape or sturdiness of the fabric will be determined both by the type of mosaic crochet used and the size of the hook.

From my point of view, since one-row mosaic crochet in all cases implies working all stitches on a row in the same colour, it seems interesting to use stitch patterns in which horizontal lines play an important part.

What do you think?

See you soon!

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