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Book review: Mosaic and Lace Knits by Barbara Benson

Barbara Benson is a little bit of an insane genius. I first noticed her propensity toward beautiful madness with her Golden Lion Throne pattern, and then again in her Courant pattern featured in Twist Collective. Now she’s encapsulated her brand of ingenuity into a book, Mosaic and Lace Knits (Stackpole, 2017). 

Barbara’s iconic brand of knitting brilliance comes from combining mosaic knitting, a form of two-color slip-stitch knitting, with lace patterns to form unique, beautiful pieces that are a joy to knit and wear. Before you run screaming for the hills, keep this in mind—as with most slipped-stitch knitting techniques, you only ever work one color at a time, one row at a time, so the process looks a lot more difficult than it actually is.

Barbara walks you through the basics of mosaic knitting as outlined by Barbara Walker, and expands upon that technique to incorporating different stitch patterns. There’s a super-simple mosaic knitting patterns for mittens to get your feet wet, if you’re unfamiliar with mosaic knitting. Barbara even walks you through how to choose the best yarn colors to work together to ensure that your work is shown off to its best—no muddy colors here!

Yarn weights used in the book range from light fingering to super bulky, so there’s plenty of opportunity to practice with anything in your stash. We’re so honored to have Berroco yarns used in two projects within the book—the first is the Clupeidae Scarf, knit in Berroco Ultra® Alpaca Light. This piece is a “self-styling” scarf that Barbara designed to wrap nicely around your neck AND show off the right-side of the fabric at the same time.

The second design featuring Berroco yarns is the Isochronal Arc capelet, knit with two colors of Berroco Artisan™. The mosaic and lace pattern creates delicate arches in the fabric for a gorgeous shoulder warmer. 
Clupeidae scarf knitting pattern Barbara BensonIf you want to get your hands on this great book, be sure to ask your LYS if they’re carrying it! And to celebrate the launch of this incredible new book, we’re giving away one copy of Mosaic and Lace Knits! You could win one copy of the book and the yarn to knit one of the two projects in Berroco yarn.

To enter, simply leave a comment letting us know which of the two projects (Clupeidae or Isochronal Arc) most catches your eye, and which colors of the yarn (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light or Berroco Artisan, respectively) you’d like to use. We’ll have another opportunity to win a copy of the book and yarn on our Facebook page, so be sure to check that out as well! Giveaway is open to anyone 18 years or older anywhere in the world. Responses must be received by 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 26.

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! Congrats to our lucky winner Laura!


57 thoughts on “Book review: Mosaic and Lace Knits by Barbara Benson

  1. What a fascinating technique! I’d like to try the Clupeidae pattern before moving on to some of the more complex pieces.

  2. I’d love to knit the Clupeidae scarf in Berroco Artisan in the Biscay and Sargasso colors.

  3. I love all the video’s about this book from Barbara Benson, and also mosaik & lace knitting, I want to make all of the patterns in this book, but to begin with the Isochronal Arc , in the colors Maritiem & Ocean Floor. Kind regards to all of you STUDIO ROOTS, Joke Blokland, The Netherlans <3

  4. I love the Clupeidae Scarf! The colors that appeal to me are Potting Soil Mix and Winter White – they would go perfectly with my coat 🙂

  5. The Isochronal Arc capelet would be a dream to gift to any one of my 3 daughters. My favorite shade of the Artisan yarn is Caspian Sea. Not sure if I’d pair it with the green shade or the other Sea shade. Y’all choose.

  6. I would love to knit the Clupeidae scarf in Moonshadow and Zephyr. Perfect for spring.

  7. I love Isochronal arc and I would use exactly the same colors that she did of Artisan- Maritime and Ocean Floor. It really is striking.

  8. I would love love to knit clupeidae scarf in blueberry mix and zephyr. I really live blueberry mix and zephyr would give it a nice contrast.

  9. I like Clupeidae Scarf, I would make it in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light using Orchid and Eggplant.

  10. I’d like to knit the Clupeidae Scarf using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light Moonshadow and Garnet Mix.

  11. I love the Isochronal Arc, and I would knit it in Berroco Artisan in Strait of Gibraltar and Biscay.

  12. Beautiful patterns! I’d start with the Isochronal Arc capelet in Gulf of Maine and Deep Pacific.

  13. I would try the Clupeidae scarf. And what a fun chance to play with colors! I’d try Moonshadow and Boysenberry Mix together.

  14. I would love to make the Isochronal Arc caplet in the beautiful Berroco Artisan yarn.

  15. I’ve been thinking of knitting a capelet for myself. I’d like to try the Isochronal Arc capelet in Berroco Artisan in Strait of Gibraltar and Celtic Sea.

    1. Hi Laura! You’ve been chosen as one of our winners! I’ll be emailing you shortly. 😀

  16. Isochronal Arc looks like a blast to knit. I’d use Berroco Artisan in Arctic Ocean and Ocean Floor.

  17. I’d love to knit the Cluepedie scarf using Ultra Alpaca Light in Concord Grape and Caribbean mix.

  18. What a hard decision! Both are beautiful! But if choices must be made I’d choose the Isochronal. Since seeing your sample I’d choose those colors, Artisan – Maritime and Ocean Floor.

  19. I love the design of the clupeidae scarf. I would make it in the orchid and pitch black. Looking forward to trying mosaic knitting.

  20. I want to try the Isochronal Arc, and I’m leaning towards Arctic Ocean and Celtic Sea although I have my eye on the Caspian Sea too.

  21. I love the Clupeidae scarf and would use Turquoise Mix and Oceanic Mix in the Alpaca Light. I’m excited about this book!

  22. These are beautiful! I’d love to try the Clupeidae Scarf in Ultra Alpaca Light Tupelo and Pea Soup Mix.

  23. The pattern that caught my eye was the Isochronal Arc capelet. I would like to use the maritime and ocean floor color ways. What a beautiful knit ! Thank you!

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