Yes, the Tech Talks by Jude Skeers are coming faster…because his time with us is coming close fast!
Here is #8 in the series…As noted in the first Tech Talk article (posted January 15, 2015) he has sent these articles to Roisin to be shared with us. 

The article was first published in the Australian magazine Yarn which you can see at the store.

Slip-Stitch and Mosaic Knitting
By Jude Skeers
Slip-Stitch knitting is usually grouped with stranded knitting, Fair Isle, Intarsia and other techniques of colour stitch manipulation. While coloured Slip-Stitch designs have a similar appearance to stranded knitting, which uses two or more yarns in each row, Slip-Stitch has only one yarn in each row and could be seen as the lazy knitters approach to coloured knitting.

Along with ribs and moss stitch, Slip-Stitch is one of the basic knitting patterns. The technique requires slipping one or more stitches between knit and purl stitches. Slip-Stitch motifs are not attributed to any particular knitting tradition. Writing in her 1943 book of knitting patterns, Mary Thomas describes the technique:
“Slip-Stitch Motifs are very simple, but they make the most effective patterns, and permit of a pretty ply in yarn movements. The method consists of slipping a stitch from the left to right needle without knitting it, while carrying the yarn either behind or before the stitch so slipped.”
Mary Thomas uses the term ‘Slip-Stitch Motif’ when the stitch is slipped to the back of the fabric creating a vertical pattern; when the stitch is slipped to the front of the fabric a horizontal pattern is generated which she calls ‘Stranded-Slip Motifs’.

The simple technique of slipping stitches opens the way for a multitude of possible variations and permutations. Many patterns have been published with this uncomplicated concept. Stitches can be slipped to the back or front of the work. The number of stitches to be slipped can vary as can the number of rows that a stitch is slipped over.

Single coloured Slip-Stitch motifs are used where the design is about texture, for example to create a ladder or herringbone effect; using more than one coloured yarn puts the emphasis on the variations in colour. Montse Stanley in her 1982 book Creating & Knitting Your Own Design for a Perfect Fit emphasises that slipping stitches is always done purlwise. She points out that a woven look is achieved when the strands are slipped on the right side.

When working with slip-stitch it is good to remember that the technique will tighten the fabric, although the knitted fabric is not as dense as a fabric knitted with stranded knitting using two or more yarns in a single row.

The use of the term Mosiac Knitting for Slip-Stitch motifs can be attributed to Barbara Walker, first used in her ‘Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns’ published in 1970.  Most authors, although not all, have credited the title to her. In her first book, ‘Treasury of Knitting Patterns’ (1986), Walker had a stack of single and multiple colour Slip-Stitch patterns with no particular name. In her Second Treasury, she calls “sophisticated designs in slip-stitch color knitting” Mosaic knitting. In the introduction to the chapter, Mosaic Patterns, which included over forty patterns, she points out that once the slip-stitch technique has been mastered any number of patterns can be created. “Mosaic knitting features a technique of the utmost simplicity and an application as broad as human ingenuity itself.”

Barbara Walker’s 1972 ‘Charted Knitting Designs’also has a chapter titled “Mosaic Patterns” consisting of over fifty multiple two coloured slip-stitch designs, predominately geometric. In each of her book Walker increased the number and variety of her Slip-Stitch patterns leading to the publishing in 1986 of her definitive book ‘Mosaic Knitting’.
In the introduction to ‘Mosaic Knitting’Walker writes “Mosaic knitting is a new term in the knitting vocabulary. It describes a novel development in color-knitting techniques and a whole new class of patterns, each different from any pattern that has ever been used before. The term was coined, and the patterns of this class have been invented by the author of this book.”

Most wide-ranging books on knitting, whether they be encyclopaedias, treasuries, essential guides or handbooks, include a section on slip-stitch and mosaic knitting. There are many excellent recent publications with coloured slip-stitch motifs, including ‘Colorwork for the Adventurous Knitter’ (2012), by Lori Ihnen, which is excellent for the knitters wanting to start experimenting with this technique. For the more experienced knitter, ‘Pop Knitting’(2012) by Britt-Marie Christoffersson is recommended. ‘The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques’ (2008) by Margaret Radcliffe has an extensive range of slip-stitch patterns.