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Mosaic intarsia crochet

Mosaic Intarsia is a technique that uses two or more colours within a single row, especially when these colours form substantial blocks.

However, unlike mosaic tapestry, you don't carry the secondary colour throughout the whole row. Instead, it is attached before it is required and then dropped at the end of the colour block within the row. It's basically using bobbins of colour for a small area within your mosaic project.

There are many videos on YouTube by some very talented designers that can help you understand mosaic intarsia crochet.

This video by The Craft Pixie explains how to do mosaic intarsia crochet in US Terms –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbCHt3sQZXw

This video by Daisy Knots explains how to do mosaic intarsia crochet in UK Terms -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXx-JCdFZTI

Here is a quick summary of the mosaic intarsia technique:

  1. Tie on your 1st colour only when creating your border stitch and crochet as normal. 

  2. Work up to the stitch before where the 2nd colour stitch starts.

  3. Complete the last yarn over of the stitch with the 2nd  colour you want to use.

  4. Drop the 1st colour and pick up the 2nd colour. Pull the 2nd colour through the loops on the hook to complete the stitch (leave a long tail to sew in later)

  5. Continue working with the 2nd colour, carrying the 1st colour along the back of your work (trapping it within your stitches).

  6. When you're ready to swap back to your 1st colour - on the stitch before it resumes, complete the last yarn over of the stitch with the 1st colour.

  7. Pull the 1st colour through the loops on the hook to complete the stitch.

  8. Now drop the 2nd colour, leave it hanging on the back of your work, and complete your row as required.

  9. On the next row, when you’re crocheting along before you get to the section of intarsia from the previous row, pull the yarn that is hanging at the back across to where it will start again on the next row, crochet over it, trapping it in the stitches. Now, it will be ready for you in the correct place in the next row.

Mosaic intarsia chart

You can see in the image below that green and white are used throughout the pattern. Alongside these are distinct blocks of yellow, blue, pink, and orange. These individual blocks will be crocheted using the mosaic intarsia technique, with dedicated colour bobbins for each section.

Intarsia.JPG

The chart below is how my patterns will look should they require more than one colour in a row.

Remember that the chart shows you what the pattern looks like ONCE it has been crocheted.

Colour A sometimes covers the stitch from the previous row. Whilst my chart details when to change colour with the circle symbol, you can also refer to the written instructions, as this details the colour of each stitch.

​This chart is just an example.

Row 9 - Work the whole row with Colour A

Row 8 - Work the whole row with Colour B

Row 7 -Work the whole row with Colour A

Row 6 - Start with Colour B. Change to Colour C on ST3 and change back on ST6

Row 5 - Work the whole row with Colour A (trapping Colour C from row 5 within)

Row 4 - Start with Colour B. Change to Colour C on ST3 and change back on ST6

Row 3 - Work the whole row with Colour A

Row 2 - Work the whole row with Colour B

Row 1 - Work the whole row with Colour A

I'm designing the charts in a way that simplifies the mosaic intarsia technique for you, indicating precisely when to change colours. Please note that this approach is specific to my designs, as other designers might have different methods.

Mosaic intarsia chart legend

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Mosaic intarsia instructions

​​How to use more than one colour per row as per the chart above:

  1. Row 1 to 3 – work your mosaic crochet rows as normal.

  2. Row 4 - Tie on your colour B when creating your border stitch (as normal)

    • Work up to the stitch before where the colour C stitch starts (in this case, stitch 3)

    • On stitch 3, complete the last yarn over of your stitch with colour C (leaving a long tail to sew in later). Pull colour C through both loops on the hook to complete the stitch. Stitch 3 will be in colour B, but leaving colour C as the loop on your hook, ready to start stitch 4.

    • Continue working with the colour C, carrying colour B along the back of your work, trapping it within your stitches.

    • Work up to the stitch before where colour B stitch restarts (in this case, stitch 6)

    • On stitch 6, complete the last yarn over of your stitch with colour B. Pull colour B through both loops on the hook to complete the stitch. Stitch 6 will be in colour C, but leaving colour B as the loop on your hook, ready to start stitch 7. 

    • In this example, we are now finished with colour C, so drop colour C and leave it hanging on the back of your project.

  3. Row 5, when you’re crocheting along with colour A before you get to the section of intarsia from the previous row, pull Colour C across to where it will start again on Row 6, and crochet over it with Colour A. This will trap it in the stitches and be ready for you in the correct place on Row 6.  

  4. Row 6 – Repeat stage 2 as above.  In this example, we are now finished with colour C, so snip it off at the back, leaving a long tail to sew in later.

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Mosaic intarsia written instructions

  • BS - Border Stitch – Single Crochet through both loops

  • SC - Single Crochet in the back loop of the stitch in the current row (regardless of the colour in the box)

  • DC - Double Crochet in the front loop of the stitch two rows below (regardless of the colour in the box)

 

The table of written instructions for each pattern tells you which row you’re on and which colour to use on that row. In the example below:

  1. Row 1 is highlighted in white; therefore, you are crocheting the whole row in colour A.

  2. Row 2 is highlighted in green; therefore, you are crocheting the whole row in colour B.

  3. Row 3 is highlighted in white; therefore, you are crocheting the whole row in colour A.

  4. However, Row 4 is highlighted in green and orange; therefore, this row uses the mosaic intarsia technique.

The colour of the stitches within the written instructions details which colour should be used for those stitches.

Of course, your colour C might be many different coloured yarns within the pattern repeat. This is the joy of the mosaic intarsia technique - being able to use many colours for different blocks within the pattern.

 

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