Doodle: a free mosaic knitting chart

The other week, I posted a needlework chart I called doodle, because I’d doodled on graph paper. I did in fact have some particular things in mind when I made the doodle; I wanted a design that I could turn into various kinds of knitting stitches to demonstrate how that works.

A key thing when I’m playing with stitch patterns is that I’m rarely concerned with making the variations look like the original chart. I’m more interested in seeing how the original chart is transformed by the process.

This variation is mosaic knitting. The nice thing about mosaic knitting is that the charts are similar to the final appearance of the knitting, so I’m not going to provide a swatch this time. Mosaic knitting looks difficult, but it’s really easy to do! Basically, knit two-row stripes, and slip stitches from the row below to make the contrasting pattern. If you can knit stripes, you can knit mosaic patterns.

Here’s a post I wrote about how this works.

doodle allover

Doodle: a free mosaic knitting stitch pattern, by Naomi Parkhurst

This is a Barbara-Walker-style mosaic chart for doodle. Each row of squares in it represents two rows of knitting (which is why there’s a row number at each end). The square in the column to the right of the row numbers indicates the color of yarn being worked in that line. So in rows 1 & 2, all black squares are knit or purled, and all white squares are slipped with the yarn being held on the wrong side of the work. In rows 3 & 4, all white squares are knit or purled and all black squares are slipped.


  • This is a stitch pattern such as might be found in a stitch dictionary. This is not a pattern for a finished object.
  • Doodle is a multiple of 8+1 stitches and 24+2 rows.
  • The non-slipped stitches in the second row of each stripe may be either knit or purled, as desired.
  • Before starting any of these instructions, knit two plain rows in Color B, represented by the white squares on the charts.
  • Designers, please feel free to use this in your patterns. I’d like credit but won’t be offended if people don’t give it.
  • If you like my posts like this, please consider supporting me on Patreon or donating with my Paypal tip jar in the sidebar. Thanks!


So how did this:

Doodle: a free colorwork chart for any craft

become this?

doodle allover

The key is to look at the dark squares on the original chart as representing actions rather than a finished design. At the most basic level, if I were to knit the original chart as colorwork in the colors shown, I think of that as “knit in the yellow yarn until I see a marked square, at which point knit with brown yarn”. When I make a knitting chart from a needlework chart, I replace the marked squares with standard knitting chart symbols, each of which represents an action.

When I doodled on graph paper to get the original chart, I was deliberately considering the factors necessary for a chart that could be made into several different kinds of stitch patterns; the main things are to not have too many marked stitches next to each other horizontally and not to have any marked stitches directly above any others.

An obvious thing to do would be to knit the original chart with a purl stitch in every marked square, and indeed I will probably do that another time. Or I could replace marked squares with YOs and then figure out where to put decreases. But this time, I made a mosaic knitting chart.

doodle mosaic.png
The three stages of converting a needlework chart into mosaic. This will not work with all needlework charts; there are rules for successful mosaic knitting design. Scott Pakin’s site linked below has more information about this.

The three stages I use as shown in the illustration:

  1. place a slip stitch symbol in every black square.
  2. remove the color from all squares.
  3. carefully recolor each row. In odd-numbered rows, I fill the plain squares with black and leave the slip-stitch squares white. In even-numbered rows, I leave the plain squares white, and fill the slip-stitch squares with black.
  4. the last stage is to remove all the slip stitch symbols and make the final chart which can be seen at the top of this post.

You can double-check that the final result is feasible with Scott Pakin’s mosaic knitting chart web app.

What questions do you have?