Friday, July 15, 2011

Lily Chin Mosaic Crochet

Mosaic Crochet sample
I finally got to finish watching Lily Chin's Mosaic Crochet DVD. They did a really nice job on this DVD!

Here is a sample piece I worked of some of the stitches demonstrated.

If you don't want a DVD, Lily Chin does have a leaflet Lily Chin's Mosaic Magic (Leisure Arts #4229). I don't have the leaflet, but I do have her book Mosaic Magic : Afghans Made Easy. I haven't made anything from it yet though.

What is Mosaic Crochet? That is the first question you probably want answered and the first thing she covers. In the video, Lily Chin says that mosaic crochet is based on the principles of mosaic knitting. Only one color is worked at a time and you do stripes of two rows of each color. In crochet, you go downwards with the new color to cover up old color. You don't work into a stitch but work 3 rows below the stitch. Only right side rows have patterning.

To put it briefly, I would add that it is a method of crochet where you use sc, long and/or post stitches, and color to create pleasing textural patterns. (I have a brief tutorial on the long stitch here. This is also on my to-do list for videos but you can probably find one by someone else at YouTube.)

Basically, in Mosaic Crochet most of the stitches are worked over 3 stitches and 3 rows down using two colors. You start your piece with one row of the first color, then two rows of the second color, and go back to your first color to begin your "mosaic" row. So you are working Color B into Color B. However, she also demonstrates how to use just one color and also three colors.

There is one that is worked over 5 stitches called chicken feet. I have to agree that it does look like chicken feet. LOL

You are working in single crochet and long double crochet for the most part  though I found that in some cases I preferred to use a triple crochet, but then my double crochets run a little short.

Lily Chin does an excellent job of explaining each stitch clearly and thoroughly. The video camera is perfectly placed so you can see just what she is doing. At some points they move in a bit close to give a different angle. For each stitch she demonstrates the procedure multiple times.

She starts at the beginning with the slip knot and chain. She goes into the back hump or middle part of the chain (as I do) for her beginning foundation chain. She also gives a complete demonstration of how to work both the sc and the foundation chain at one time which she calls the foundationless single crochet. I have a tutorial at the Cabana on this method using different stitches - the chainless foundation.

She explains the difference between mosaic knitting and mosaic crochet, which I found interesting.

After you learn the stitches, she shows you how they can be used in a project, with variations in color and also combining several stitches that you have previously learned into one project.

You will notice that right at the start she begins by leaving a tiny little beginning  strand. She doesn't mention it, but I know from reading another of her books that she weaves that strand in later.  What she does is she weaves the needle where she wants the tail to go, then threads it and pulls it through. I am too paranoid to do that. I always leave a super long tail and sew much of it in going in different directions. :-)

In another spot there was a huge knot in her yarn. She did not stop her work or even mention it, but just continued working. I cringed. I don't know if that was because she was filming and couldn't stop or because this was just a sample piece and it wasn't important in the scheme of things, or if that is what she would normally do. As I said, it wasn't mentioned and I didn't notice it on the worked piece. Maybe they cut it out during a break and just continued...?

Some of the examples had cute names, such as the one called Mardi Gras, made with silver and black yarn. It is in the chapter on X stitch variations, almost to the 2 minute mark. I am noting that because I want to go back to it. The finished piece is reminiscent of the fleur de lis. She has an afghan using this pattern in the book Mosaic Magic : Afghans Made Easy. In fact, I think many of the projects shown on the DVD are in this book - at least they looked similar to me.

Then there is another she calls Roman numerals because it uses an I, a V and an X. If you know your Roman numerals you know that I is one, V is 5, and X is 10.

Many many projects are shown. Beautiful work. Great color use.

The video chapters include the I Drop, V Stitch, Lopsided V Stitch, Slashes, X Stitch, Chicken Feet, Post Stitches, Tunisian Stitch, and Designing on the Computer. Each chapter has a few additional sections in it. There is also a section that discusses using Mosaic Crochet in garments, shaping, sleeves, etc. She does not give a tutorial on how to do these, but shows a number of examples.

If my ears were working right, I think she said purple when she meant blue at the beginning of the Tunisian section. Minor gaff if I am right in what I heard. I've made similar errors in my own videos and heard them in others as well. Sometimes our voice doesn't say what our brains are thinking.

There is a section on how to plan your pieces with the compute which is very interesting. 

Each section is fairly short so you could watch each even if you have only a short amount of time if you are not going to work it as you watch.

Happy crocheting!


  1. Did you enjoy doing it? I used to like the look of doing sc and going down several rows to create different colors and texture; but found it pretty hard on the hands and arthritis, so rarely do that anymore. When I've looked at mosaic, it seems like it might be the same type of thing...hand wise? You're really doing lots of new things. Well done.

  2. I did enjoy it, but I don't know as I'd do as much of it as Lily apparently does. I didn't find it hard on my hands, but each person is different. It does take longer and you have to do some planning. Since I was doing different stitches along the same piece rather than starting over each time, I did rip back each row to get the pattern to come out even. :-) That is me being picky.

  3. I have the Mosaic Magic Afghan book too, and the patterns are lovely. But I agree with you about it taking longer, and I definitely have to concentrate when I'm doing it. Have you seen the book Interlocking Crochet by Tanis Galik? It's similar to Mosaic, and makes some really interesting patterns too.

  4. Great description of what mosaic crochet is all about. Looks like a lot of fun!