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The Absolute Basics of Overlay Mosaic Crochet

The Double Mug Rug!


The technique of Overlay Mosaic Crochet captured my attention recently. Upon first glance, I thought WOW that is so impressive looking and assumed it was a difficult craft to learn. It looks intimidating right? Then I watched a video and then another and I was hooked. This entire technique is made up of single crochets and double crochets. If you can do those stitches, you can do this with absolutely stunning results. My goal is to expand into rugs, pillow covers, table runners, blankets and wearables. But for now, lets start with the absolute basics!


The first thing you will need is the graph I created. If you choose to just leave it on your phone or screen and follow along, you can just place a sticky note and move it as you go through each line. If you choose to print it, you can use this image. It's free! I used a piece of construction paper to cover all the rows above the one I was working on so I wouldn't get confused but so that I could see the graph forming on my work to match the pattern. You'll find it above the written pattern below.


And finally, if you would like to follow along, here is the link to my video on my YouTube Channel. You can click on the picture below or on the button below below the picture.



The Materials

  1. If you are using this project to make the Double Mug Rug or anything that needs to be absorbent, you will want to use cotton yarn. I used "I love this cotton" from Hobby Lobby because I like the feel of it, but really any cotton in a size 4 will be fine. You can do this in any two colors you like.

  2. For Mosaic Crochet, I have found that I get a tighter weave and a nicer look if I go down a few hook sizes from what was recommended for the yarn. I believe this yarn asks for a 5.5 mm, so I used a 3.5 mm hook.

  3. Scissors

  4. Tapestry Needle (a smaller and sharper one for fraying the tassels)


Mosaic Crochet is done in rows. You start on one side (right if you are right handed and left if you are left handed) and work in single crochets and double crochets according to the graph until you get to the other side, then you knot it, cut the yarn and start again back at the original side. We don't turn it at all.

So YES, you will have ends on both sides of each row, but don't panic. As much as I enjoy weaving ends in, I could never enjoy it THAT much. We will not be weaving those ends but instead, we will twist them into a cute little fringe.


Abbreviations

fsc - Foundation Single Crochet

ch - Chain

sc - Single Crochet

scblo - Single Crochet Back Loop Only

sl - Slip Stitch

st - Stitch

dc - Double Crochet

hdc - Half Double Crochet (used in final row if you chose the fsc option in row 0)

hdcblo - Half Double Crochet Back Loop Only (used in final row if you chose the fsc option in row 0)



The Instructions

Row 0: (color a) Here you can make a choice. I started with a foundation single crochet (fsc) for 27 stitches. If you do not like foundation rows, you can instead ch 28, skip 1 ch and sc in the next. Then sc all the way to the end of the row. Sl to knot it, leave a tail of about 3 inches, then cut the yarn. (27 sts). Stitch count will stay the same for whole project.


Row 1: (color a) Pull up a loop through first st leaving a tail of about 3 inches, Ch 1, sc 1 in same stitch (the first one). Scblo in all sts across except the last st. Sc 1 in last st of row, Sl to knot, leave a tail to match the one from the previous row and cut yarn. Each row should begin and end with a full sc under both loops, but all the other scs in between should be in the back loops only. This creates a ridge in the row below and a frame on the sides.


Row 2: (color b) repeat Row 1. Notice the ridge created across Row 1. This is an important tool and the entire backbone of Overlay Mosaic.


Row 3: (color a) Off to the races! Now if you look at the graph on row 3, you will notice x's at different intervals across the row. Pay no attention to the color changes, only pay attention to the x's. Join your color just like in row 1. The first st after has an x on it. When you see that x, you want to place a dc through the front loop of the matching color 2 rows down. So for my graph, you skip over the white row and place your dc in the front loop of the stitch directly below in the orange row. For the squares with no x, place a scblo and follow the pattern across. Remember to always end the row with a full sc under both loops to keep your frame. Be careful when placing a scblo after a dc. Be sure to skip the stitch where the dc should have gone and place the scblo in the next one.




That's it! Now all you do is keep switching colors every row and follow the graph and then after the graph we will finish with a final row which I will explain below.


Below the graph is the written version of the graph if you prefer to read it rather than see it in graph form. I like to have both so I can compare incase I get lost. I noted the difference between back loop scs and regular scs, but all dc's are dropped down and placed through the front loop of the matching color stitch 2 rows below. Also remember to leave a beginning and ending tail of about 3 inches for each row. The first three rows were already covered in the instructions above.




Row 1: 1sc, 25 scblo, 1sc (covered above)

Row 2: 1sc, 25 scblo, 1sc (covered above)

Row 3: 1sc, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc (covered above)

Row 4: 1sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1sc

Row 5: 1sc, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 6: 1 sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 sc

Row 7: 1 sc, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 8: 1 sc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 9 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5scblo, 1 sc

Row 9: 1 sc, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 10: 1 sc, 1scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 11: 1sc, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 12: 1 sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 13: 1 sc, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 14: 1 sc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 3scblo, 1 sc

Row 15: 1 sc, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 16: 1 sc, 1scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 17: 1sc, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 18: 1 sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 19: 1 sc, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 20: 1 sc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 9 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 sc

Row 21: 1 sc, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 22: 1 sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 23: 1 sc, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc

Row 24: 1 sc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1 scblo, 1 dc, 3 scblo, 1 dc, 1scblo, 1 sc

Row 25: 1 sc, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 5 scblo, 1 dc, 1 sc


Row 26: For this final row you have a choice just like in the first row. If you started this project with a fsc, you'll want your final row to be 1 hdc, 25 hdcblo, 1 hdc

If you used a chain and then a row of sc, your last row should be 1 sc, 25 scblo, 1sc.


Beginning of Row 3: When placing your DC in the ridge two rows down, point your hook from the bottom up.



What your first DC in Row 3 will look like



Row 3 completed looks like this



Beginning of Row 4



End of Row 4



End of Row 5



End of Row 13, the half way point



The Fringe

Option 1) To create the fringe, you will be twisting two strands together in a special way. First go through the strands on each side. If you started with a fsc row, you should have (from bottom to top) 2 color a strands, 12 sets of one color a and one color b strand and then one odd strand in color a at the top. We will add a strand at the top to make it even.


Option 2) If you started with a chain row and a single crochet row, you will have on one side: 2 color a strands, 12 sets of one color a and one color b strand and then 2 color a strands, but on the other side you will be missing the first two color a strands. We will add 2 strands at the bottom to make it even.




Take the first two strands in hand. Hold one strand but twist the other following the natural twist of that strand until it is so tight that it starts to curl on itself. Hold that strand still while twisting the other of the two in the same direction. Now hold both strands together and twist them together in the opposite direction. They will do most of the work for you. In fact, if you let go, they will continue to twist around each other and stay in position. Now knot the two strands together at about the length you want the fringe to be away from the main piece. Mine are about 1 inch away. Choose whatever makes you happy. Repeat with all the other sets, placing your knot at about the same spot as the others so they are all pretty even. Leave the odd pieces at the top.





If you chose option 2 and you are missing one set of strands on the lower right, simply pull a 6" piece of color a through that corner. Center it so you have about 3 inches on each side of the piece and then twist the two pieces together as stated above.


If you chose option 1, you will want to add one strand on each side that is slightly longer than the one you have left on the piece by using your needle to pull the yarn in from that side as if weaving ends in using the back and forth method (link to my one minute video for how to do this). This method keeps the strand in so it won't pull out. Then simply twist the new strand with the existing strand as state above. Repeat on the other side.

Now trim the extra yarn off the at the end of the knot leaving a small bit of yarn and use the tip of your needle to fray the strands. If that makes them messing, just trim the extra fluff. You're done! You have learned the basics and your Double Mug Rug should look like this:


I truly hope you enjoyed learning this fun technique as I did. I already have big plans for more projects ahead. If you would like to play with more designs, you are invited to take a look at my collection of Mosaic Crochet Graphs on Pinterest. I mostly saved the free ones I found or ones that I though I could pretty easily figure out. There are also a lot of paid graphs out there too. Have fun exploring!


If you found any mistakes or you had a hard time understanding the instructions, please post a message here or you can also join us on my Facebook group called Ginell's Quarantine Crochet. I would love to help you and we all love to see pictures of each others' work so be sure to share your journey with us.


Thank you for enjoying the journey with me!




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