Overlay Mosaic Crochet from The Center-Out

I love how there is always something new to learn! Our next trick is overlay mosaic crochet from the center-out!

I recommend you get familiar with how basic overlay mosaic crochet works BEFORE attempting to work from the center-out.

I also want to point out that my tutorials are tailored to my patterns – other designers may have different styles of charts and written instructions and I can’t guarantee that my tutorials will be applicable to those patterns.

This page goes over the hows and whys of center-out overlay mosaic crochet. You’ll find a step-by-step walk-thru in the free PDF download.


There’s a lot of information offered here; use the Table of Contents to learn about overlay mosaic crochet and use the video or downloads below to practice your new skills!


I recommend becoming familiar with the regular bottom-up overlay mosaic crochet stitches before attempting the center-out option.


Since all my patterns come with the interlocking crochet option as well, I thought it would be handy to quickly link to those tutorials as well.

I created a full walk-thru of this new square

Crochet with me or skip to the spot giving you trouble!

I created a full walk-thru of this new square

Crochet with me or skip to the spot giving you trouble!


  • no need to cut the yarn each row!
    • this also means no need to add an envelope border to cover the tails!
  • you don’t need to start with a million chains in your foundation row
  • it looks amazing with yarn that changes colors gradually (like these cakes from Canadian-owned Panda Yarns)
  • you can work until your yarn runs out instead of having to decide how wide your blanket will be before you start
  • it’s fun to learn more skills
  • final outer border line can be in whichever color you prefer
  • helps keep the square even on all sides (sometimes when working back and forth like normal your square ends up taller than it is wide = tension issues)

Photo shows Belle to Infinity.


The best piece of advice I can give is to look at the pattern. The key on the chart and the written instructions should be where you get the information of which color to use first.

Most of my patterns begin with the darker color in the foundation row. You can usually think of the MC as the pencil lines I’ve drawn – but please look at each pattern carefully because I do have a few that don’t follow these guidelines.

For the center-out technique we need to look at the center dot to determine which color is going to be our foundation “round”. Remember, the colors need to contrast well so that the image shows up clearly.

Yarn weight of each color needs to be the same, but the technique will work with any weight of yarn. You can adjust hook size based on your own tension and preferences. If you use a different weight yarn, you will need to use a hook size that is appropriate for that yarn. The finished size of your square will be different than mine if you change yarn weight, hook sizes, or simply have a different tension.

Photo shows me working on Double Wedding Rings.

Pattern Key

MC = Main Color: blue in chart

CC = Contrasting Color: white in chart

ch = chain: yarn over and pull a loop through

SC = single crochet: insert hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through both loops on hook

DC = double crochet: yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop, *yarn over, pull through two loops* twice

MR = magic ring: place yarn across the front of your fingers with the tail hanging down, wrap yarn over and behind your fingers, cross yarn at the top of your hand towards your wrist, insert hook under first loop on the back of your hand and grab the second loop, pull the loop up and chain to keep it in place. View my video tutorial or photo tutorial online: AshleesLint.com/magicring

Key (con’t): Special Stitches

Take note of the lower case versus upper case.

sc = SC into Back Loop only

dc = dropped double crochet: DC into Front Loop of stitch in the round below, skip the sc stitch that gets hidden behind this dropped stitch

scC = single crochet corner: SC into Back Loop Only of previous round’s corner chain, chain 1, SC into the same Back Loop again

dcC = double crochet corner: do a dropped DC into front loop of previous round’s corner chain, chain 1, do another dropped DC into same front loop again. The next stitch, if it is a dc, will use this same front loop as well.

Remember to skip the same number of stitch(es) behind your dc(s) before doing your next sc.

Mosaic Crochet Technique

  • The front of your work is always facing you (this is the right side, the side showing the design)
  • Yarn colors can be anything you like
    • They need to contrast well (try a black and white photo to see if they are too similar)
    • They need to be the same weight (size/thickness)
  • Do not cut your yarn at the end of each round, carry it up through the corner stitch
  • Join at the end of each round; use an invisible join into the first stitch of the round
  • After joining, pick up a loop of the other color and make a really tight chain to lock it all in, then continue with your corner stitches in the chain of the previous round’s corner stitches
  • Even-numbered rounds use MC; odd-numbered rounds use CC. We start with round 1. (please check your pattern to be sure this statement applies)

The wrong side will be striped with a faint illusion of the front design. 


Foundation Round (Counts as round 1)

Check the pattern to see whether you begin with the Main Color (MC) or Contrasting Color (CC).

Crochet 8 single crochets in a magic ring, use an invisible join to close the circle.

Alternatively, chain 2, then do 8 single crochets into the 2nd chain from your hook, use an invisible join to close the circle.

Magic Ring.

Eight (8) single crochets in the magic ring.


One of the main benefits of doing overlay mosaic crochet from the center-out is that you don’t need to cut your yarn!

To join your contrasting color yarn to your foundation round that you just completed, simply pull the new yarn through the loop on your hook and pull the MC yarn tight. Tighten the new loop on your hook and chain 1 to lock it in place.

The loose tails will need to be woven in, or knotted. But I usually wait until at least round 3 because then there’s room to actually weave the ends in.

Your Main Color (MC) Foundation dot in the center will loosen if you do not secure the tail from that magic ring!

Each stitch in the pattern is either a single crochet in the back loop (abbreviated to simply sc in my patterns) or a dropped double crochet in the front loop two rounds below (abbreviated to dc in my patterns). The dropped double crochets will always be using the front loop of the same color (as in, if you are using blue yarn you will be picking up the front loop of the blue yarn from the round below).

New color pulled up.

Reading The Chart

A Key for the chart is also included in the FREE PDF download.

Basically, an X on a square means you do a dropped double crochet (dc in my patterns) and no x means it is a single crochet in the back loop only (sc in my patterns). The row numbers tell you which color of yarn you’re using: Main Color (MC) is blue on the chart, Contrasting Color (CC) is white on the chart.

The corner stitches are shown as light blue or light grey on both sides of each row; when you repeat the chart for each side of your square make sure you are only doing ONE corner stitch between sides. An asterisk (*) on a corner means it will be a dcC, otherwise it is a scC. Corner stitches always have a chain space between each sc or dc. The next row’s corner stitches will be made into the back loop of the chain stitch.

I show detailed instructions in my PDF Photo Tutorial and on the YouTube Tutorial.

The chart for my tutorial square. Find the KEY in the PDF.


DON’T FORGET THE FINAL STITCH OF EACH ROUND! The final stitch seems to “hide” in front of the color changes and can be easy to forget.

You may wish to lock in your dropped double crochets (to eliminate the flap on the back). I have a tutorial on that here: https://ashleeslint.com/2021/07/06/mosaic-locked-double-crochet/ and I also go over it in the YouTube tutorial for Center-Out.

The downloadable PDF has many photos to walk you through the tutorial. The video tutorial on YouTube is an hour long and there are timestamps in the description so you can jump to whichever round you are having problems with.

Learning new skills can be difficult, take a break if you’re feeling frustrated and try again later. Watch the video tutorial. Ask for clarification and help in my Facebook group: Ashlee Brotzell Designs. Don’t give up! You’ll get it eventually!

Quick reminder (probably telling the people that don’t need to know): copyright status applies to free patterns as well.

You can see my copyright statement here: https://ashleeslint.com/2021/03/23/copyright/


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