Category Archives: mandalas

Sand Circles

Today I learnt a friend and unique artist has died.

I am sad beyond words. I need no sympathy because that belongs to his family and closer friends. I just want to celebrate his talent and his art.

Marc created this wonderful ceremonial expression of connection – a magical time on Mwnt beach. One of those people casting moving shadows is me.

Here is the post I wrote about it.

And another when I went with my cousin to Mwnt beach for a New Year’s Sand Circle.

~

Sand Circles

 

In a Vase on Monday: Pink, White and Grey

in a vase on Monday, crochet doily

The colour combination that is floating my creative boat at the moment is pink, white and grey.

In the vases (two jam jars and an old Victorian ink pot) are Stacchys, a white perennial wallflower with a delicious scent, red campions and a pink geranium.

The crocheted doily is from a pattern by Zoya Matyushenko – oh I do love her patterns – but oh boy! you do have to concentrate very hard when making them. This one is Birgitta and has yet to be blocked. I am thinking of putting it on a wire hoop to hang on the wall.

I used a 3mm hook and Junaluna gradient yarn, which is a 3ply cotton and not the easiest to work with, but it looks fabulous and it so wonderfully soft, it would be gorgeous for a shawl.

I am joining Cathy as she gathers lilacs from her gardentoday, with lots of other locked down gardeners from all over the world – and what a wonderfully colourful lot we all are, to be sure.

Labyrinth on the beach

Ringstead beach

A glorious sunny morning, just right for a beach clean walk and for making a labyrinth.

I’m so lucky that this beach is just a 10 minute drive away.

I found some sea glass too.

seaglass

Pastel Mandala Madness

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Spiro star centre for Mandala MadnessIt is WIP-busting time here. This project has been lying patiently in the pile since August 2017. It was originally started as one of a pair for my twin Grandaughters, but I decided that it would be more practical to make their blankets in SSDK  so this project was put away….. until now.

Here is a link to my Photo tutorial for the Spiro Star Centre. and how it connects to the Mandala Madness pattern

Both patterns are by Helen Shrimpton, and she kindly gave me permission to share how I joined the two together. There are superb video tutorials by Esther from Its All in a Nutshell for the rest of the Mandala Madness pattern.

Made with Scheepjes Stonewashed, 78% Cotton, 22% Acrylic, Sport/Baby weight and a 3.5mm hook. The colours are wonderfully subtle shades, easy to blend for an ombre effect, but have not come completely true in the photo. Go to the Scheepjes link to see truer colours.

The Colours I have used are (in order of use): Moon Stone as the main colour, Rose Quartz, Citrine, New Jade, Larimar, Amazonite, Axinite, Pink Quartzite, Green Agate, Crystal Quartz.Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn

Colour order Round by Round as follows:

Round 1: Moon Stone

Round 2, 3 : Rose Quartz

Round 4, 5: Moon Stone

Rounds 6,7,8,9: Citrine

Rounds 10, 11: Moon Stone

Joining Round 1: Pink Quartzite

Joining Round 2: Moonstone

Joining Round 3, 4, 5: New Jade

Joining Round 6: Larimar

Spiro Star centre to MM

Now you go to

Round 20 in Part 2 of the Mandala Madness pattern: Larimar

Round 21: Larimar

Round 21: Larimar

Round 22, 23: Moon Stone

Part 3

Round 24: Amazonite

Round 25 and 26: Amazonite and Citrine

Round 27, 28: Amazonite

Round 29:Rose Quartz

Part 4

Round 30: Axinite

Round 31: Pink Quartzite

Round 32, 33, 34: Moon Stone

spiro star into Mandala Madness

Part 5

Round 35, 36: New Jade

Round 37, 38: Green Agate

Round 39: Larimar

Round 40: Crystal Quartz

Part 6

Round 41, 42: Moon Stone

~~~

This completes the colour order as shown in the top picture.

The lack of stretch in the cotton yarn takes a bit of getting used to but I love the colours and the feel of the piece – strokeable – verrrrrry strokeable.  🙂

 

All together now

crochet mandalas

All Zoya Matyushenko patterns.

I am in awe of her talent.

I have made three others as presents, but these are all mine! 🙂

Edit: I am often asked where I get the hoops from

I am in theUK. I try not to use Amazon and other large companies as I’m unsure of their ethics and I know Amazon avoids making tax contributions to the UK economy. I always use small independent firms when I can.

I get the hoops up to 50cm from Glitterwitch and the 70cm hoops Dannells

Calla

Another beautiful pattern by Zoya Matyushenko available on Ravelry

crochet mandala, pattern by Zoya Matyushenko

I wanted it to look a little more open so I made this small variation:

Part of Row

28:

FPDC in FPDC, BPDC in BPDC, – (ch3, skip one BPDC, BPDC in next BPDC) 4 times

29:

FPDC in FPDC, BPDC in BPDC, (ch1, sc in ch3space, ch1, BPDC) 4 times

30:

FPDC in FPDC, (3FPDC around the BPDC, sc in ch1 space, FPDC around sc, sc in Ch1 space) 4 times

~

This one is sewn onto a 50cm coated metal hoop from Glitterwitch.

First I attach the mandala to the hoop with stitch markers at each picot point, then I sew each point onto the ring going over the ring 3 times. I thread the yarn through the edge of the work along the back, to the next point.

Made with Scheepjes Sweet Treat 2ply cotton in Snow White and a 2.5mm hook

That is Crochet Mandala/Dreamcatcher number 10 made, 3 as presents for my grandchildren, 7 for me. The obsession continues!

 

Another Day Another Dreamcatcher

crochet mandala

This is my second ‘Agnes’. (a free pattern) You can see my first one in Turquoise here.

I made it with Scheepjes Sweet Treat, Snow White and a 2.5mm hook.

It took 2 balls, with just one row to go, so I had to break into a third to do the last row and for sewing onto the 50cm hoop.

I first attach the completed doily onto the hoop with stitchmarkers and then sew each point onto the hoop, threading the yarn through the work to the next point….

like this one: Ruta

crochet doily

also in Scheepjes Sweet Treat, but this time in Tropic 

and a 2mm hook, attached to a 40cm hoop.

Onto the next one.

 

Yennefer

Sometimes to urge to start a new project is overwhelming and I have to set all of the WIPs aside and just go for it. IMG_4144

Zoya Matyushenko’s new pattern Yennefer was irresistable.

The instructions are well written but do not come with a photo tutorial, so I make a copy of the photo on my laptop and then crop it and enlarge so that I can see the details as a guide.

I’m using Scheepjes Whirl Turquoise Turntable – ooooo – I just have to pause to delight in this gradient yarn – it feels gorgeous and looks so inviting – I had to stroke and squidge it for a few days before breaking into it. The photo does not do it justice. Oh the joy of the colour and how it fades from light to dark ………… ………… …….

It is soooooooooo pretty.

I tried a 4mm hook, but it did not hold together, so I am using a 3.5mm hook to make a mandala which I will sew to a metal hoop and hang in the wall. You can see other mandalas/dreamcatchers I have made here , here, here and one for a wizard here.

I am not getting the stitches even but hope, by the end, they will look ok

IMG_4146

Zoya is a magician with crochet and creates all sorts of amazing effects. Each round is an adventure and the sense of achievement is huge and so satisfying.

DSC_0446

I am working from the pale turquoise on the outside and by the end of Round 14, I thought I would, cut the yarn and wind off some of this pale turquoise, in order to get the full range of the gradient colours into the mandala.DSC_0448

At each join another strand of darker turquoise is added, I wound the yarn past one join and cut it at the next

DSC_0449

Round 15 is started with the slightly darker yarn.

Working these Rounds is like reading an exciting book, I’m eager to get to the end of the ‘chapter’ and to get onto the next one, a real page-turner. I want to see how the next bit of the story affects the last bit and see the story unfold, each new stitch, a new character. I can’t put it down.

Sometimes I wish there was a photo to explain the next Round, so for my own future reference, this is the beginning of Round 17.crochet mandala

I am often asked how long I take to make a blanket or a mandala and it is always a difficult question to answer as I pick crochet up in odd moments and never time myself. But I was interested to see how long each of the ‘Petals’ took to make so I set my Stopwatch

timed crochet

At least I have an answer if asked about this one – if only for one part of it.

The work is much softer in Scheepjes Whirl than in a finer crisper cotton, but I’m hoping that once stretched on a hoop the details will be defined enough for a pleasing effect.

Onto the next petal….

 

 

Celebrating Narcissi

From the field that surrounds my daughter’s new home

narcissi field

circle of narcissi

mandala

narcissi and cerinthe

mandala of daffodils

There is also a cherry tree, so in homage to last week’s vase from Greenway House:

cherry blossom

vases of flowers

looking good against the colours in the sitting room and adorning the golden locks of the resident flower fairy

narcissi in your hair

Joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Find Green

find green

Find green

Put it in your heart

Wrap it all about you

Roll in it

Live it

Become it

 

Bathe in green

Bask in green

Receive the peace and love of green

 

When you truly have a sense of green

Its hues

Its colours, textures, shades and depths

 

Add layers of golden light without and within

The strong, yellow, glisten

And shining warmth of gold

 

Sprinkle silver stars above your head

Around your feet

And wear a cloak of raindrops

Casting rainbows as you move

And slowly, surely

 

Find your dance again

 

copyright Sandra Dorey

~~~~~

A poem for Spring

Part of a series I wrote over 20 years ago, it came to mind as I was doodling the mandala.

Victorian Snowdrop Garden

Lost Garden by Helen Shrimpton

I have been beavering away at a new blanket: Lost Garden, another gorgeous pattern from Helen Shrimpton. This one really is a joy and very relaxing to make.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and the colours are, from the top: Lincoln, Cream, Stone and Parchment.

The hook is 4.5mm

Helen has taken her inspiration from the Lost Gardens of Heligana favourite place of mine, full of history, magic and delight.

This blanket will be a wedding present for the daughter of one of my closest friends. The colours are to go with her sitting room – a lap blanket to fold over a sofa and use for romantic snuggling in front of the TV. ❤ ❤

crochet snowdrop mandala

Not a palette I would have chosen, but I am finding it oh so calming to work with.

crochet blanket

The photo above shows the truest colours and was taken in Egypt. It was my early morning project before the rest of the house was up and doing.

The colours and their placement have got a lot of attention in the Helen’s Hookaholics Facebook Group. Some have said it looks Victorian, like a Meissen Plate and like Snowdrops. I love all these references – especially the snowdrops.

This is just before I start to square the corners.

A few people have asked me to give the colour order, so here goes:

Lost Garden by Helen ShrimptonRounds 1 – 10: Cream

Round 11: Parchment

Round 12: Lincoln

Round 13: Stone

Round 14: Parchment

Round 15: Stone

~

crochet snowdrop mandalaRounds 16 – 18: Parchment

Round 19: Lincoln

Round 20 and 21: Cream

Round 22: Lincoln

~

crochet blanket

Round 23: Lincoln

Round 24 – 26: Parchment

Round 27: Stone

Round 28: Cream

Round 29 – 32 : Parchment

~

Round 33 and 34: Parchment

Rounds 35 and 36: Stone

Round 37: Parchment

Round 38: Lincoln

Round 39: Parchment

Round 40: Lincoln

Round 41: Cream

Round 42: Lincoln

Round 43: Cream

Round 44 and 45: Parchment

~

 

Rounds 46 – 50: Parchment

 

 

and just in case you were wondering what it might look like in just two colours:

grey and white

It could look rather sophisticated in just grey and white don’t you think?

And for the next bit – the corners, see this post.

Every Day Art

I just saw this on my #seriescd Instagram page and it excited me so much I just had to share it with you

series of doodles Since starting the doodles in my 6″ x 6″ sketch book, to travel with ,I have become immersed in continuing with a Series using a CD as a starting point. I have to do one as I wake up and can’t settle to sleep at night without doing another.

And today I got some Posca Pens in the post!

Eeek!!!!!posca pens

they show up so well on the black card – they sort of glow!

Not cheap at £14.99 for 8 pens but so worth it.

I am on my second sketch book – they each have 40 pages in them ….

Must go – I have doodles to doodle doodle doo!

In a Nest on Monday

ode to March, nest, hellebore

Hellebore and Hebe in a Lost Garden.

This little hebe is the star of the show in my garden at the moment, I just love it’s pink tips.

The hellebore sits in one of last year’s blackbird’s nest found in the loganberry which is trained against a wooden fence.

The crochet mandala is a pattern by Helen Shrimpton, called Lost Garden and inspired by the Lost Gardens of Helligan. It will be a blanket.

I had a play with the photo to create a more vintage look

Which do you prefer?

Do you think either would make a good greetings card?

Pop along over to Cathy’s Garden blog and see what gardeners all over the world are putting in a Vase this Monday.

Edit:

I’m adding a close up for Cee’s Flower of the Day

birds nest and crochet

Egypt: inspiration

embroidery

The first thing I notice in any new place is the colours, designs, textures and textiles – like this gorgeous cushion in the villa where I was staying in Hurghada. chain stitch embroidery

I’m assuming this is a chain stitch done with a machine – do you think so?

I really like the effect.

And I would have loved to have brought home some of these mandala decorated ceramic bowls, but I didn’t think they would survive the trip

mandala decorated ceramic bowl, Egypt

ceramics

So I contented myself with having my breakfast muesli in them each morning.

Just look at the colour combinations in this woven table runner

faded colours

I see Stylecraft Special Dk : Duck Egg, Buttermilk, Pale Rose, Raspberry, Mushroom, Storm Blue, Parma Violet, Clematis, Pistachio, Lincoln, Blush and Vintage Peach

Makes me want to rush for my hook – but no – I must not start another new project ….. ………  😉

There was an interesting mix of art on the walls of the villa collage

I have a bit of a thing for zebra stripes at the moment, and would love to be able to carve out some time for making more collages

Here is one of my own zebra doodles

rainbow zebra stripes

Don’t be surprised if you see more in another post – as another mini-obsession takes hold.

(you can see more on my Instagram Page)

There is inspiration for doodling everywhere you look – even tiles in a public toilet!

marble tiles

And how about this as inspiration for a Valentine’s or Anniversary card

your smile makes me smile

I’m thinking it would be a fun on a Never Ending card, like the ones I made here and here

My friend and I went to the shop that sold the ceramic bowls, Wood U Like

to see what else they had to offer – oh so many interesting things – sorry for the quality of the photos (taken on my friend’s phone)

 

The wooden cabinets were made of a wonderful jumble of decorative wooden off cuts. And although I did not particularly like the style of the bags, I loved the combination of needlepoint on canvas, with leather. I have lots of needlepoint I don’t know what to do with – so maybe they could be turned into bags …. hmmmm – now to find somone who works with leather.

Hanging in the hall of the villa was this beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy

arabic

Apparently the meaning it conveys is something to do with love – but I can’t remember exactly what. (I have just sent a message to my friend to ask her and will edit in the meaning later)

 

Crochet Mandala

crochet mandala

Ever since making a dreamcatcher for Little Miss M, Another Birthday, Another Dreamcatcher, I have wanted a similar one for myself.

The design is Tuuli by Zoya Matyushenko.

I made this with Scheepjes Sugar Rush and Rico Essentials 2ply cotton yarn and a 2.5mm hook. Attaching it to a 50cm coated wire hoop from Glitterwitch.

If you make this design, don’t make the same mistake as me and make far too many loops and points on the final rounds – oops – when will I learn to constantly check the stitch count!

Here it is photographed against a turquoise background

dreamcatcher

Now to decide whether to hang it on the wall or dangling from the ceiling.

What to Do on an Aeroplane

gel pensWhen planning a trip, I put more thought into what I will do on the plane, train, whilst waiting in airports, stations and in quiet moments on holiday, than almost any other aspect of the trip. I have to get that planned well in advance, only then can I think about clothes and what the place will have to offer.

I will be taking my Scrap Happy blanket to crochet – yes you can take crochet hooks on board a plane. I have done so many times. (Just in case I meet with a problem, I take a cheap old plastic hook that I wouldn’t mind losing, keeping a better one tucked away in my case).

There needs to be an alternative to crochet as well. At first I thought I would take this 11″ x 11″ sketchbook in which I have painted some backgrounds,mandala on acrylic

but it is rather big and heavy, so I bought two 6 x 6 inch sketch books, one with black paper, one with white, and some gel pens intending to draw some small mandalas.

I’m not sure if the airline will be happy with a compass, hence an old CD to draw round. sketch booksI drew some circles in preparationdots

and could not resist having a quick doodle.

dotty cloud doodle

and another

doodle on black

I remembered the ‘false writing’ Julie Balzer had shown us on the Whimsical Collage Workshop

It is such fun to do

doodle on black 6 x 6

These mandalas were not turning out at all as I had originally planned. I thought I would re-visit Alisa Burke’s superb online Mandala Magic Course, that I first took back in July 2015. She has so many wonderful online classes. I can highly recommend them – Alisa is very generous with all of her tips, techniques and ideas. Once you have bought a class you have unlimited access to it forever.

I was on a roll and enjoying this more minimalist form, keeping to the CD as the basis of the patterns – it feels like it might turn into a little series – I’m fantasizing about how I will frame them as a group …….

But Stop! This is supposed to be for when I’m travelling.

doodle writing

Luckily there are 40 pages in each book.

Reluctantly I have put them away for now.

What do you take with you to do when you are travelling?

 

Happy 6th Birthday

dreamcatcher, wall art, crochet

I finished the Dreamcatcher in time for Little Miss M’s birthday!

Hurray!

She loves it, especially as her big sister has one, she seemed especially pleased about that. I love it so much I am going to have to make one for myself as well.

It fits perfectly on a 40cm coated metal hoop which I got from Glitterwitch.

The 2ply crochet thread used is Rico Essentials with the turquoise (Tropic) from Scheepjes Sweet Treat. I used a 2mm hook.

The pattern is Tuuli by Zoya Matyushenko, a free pattern if you join her Facebook Group

Zoya’s patterns are a delight to work, at almost every row you could stop and have a finished designTuuli

crochet doily

I’m tempted to try one in DK to see what size it would be, but just at the moment it is so hot here I don’t even feel like crocheting – now that is seriously hot!!!

Little Miss M’s birthday party was yesterday – on the hottest day so far this summer in the UK (according to the News) – the theme was ‘The Greatest Showman’, there was a bouncy castle, dressing-up, a Mum brought a rainbow coloured parachute for parachute games, circus skills eqipment to play with… it was fun! It was HOT! I got out my little indoor watering cans and sprinkled the children on their heads, wrists and the backs of necks to keep them cool.

Rain is forecast for Sunday – yes please!!!

Another Birthday, Another Dreamcatcher

Looking for a slightly cheaper cotton yarn than Scheepjes Sweet Treat, I am trying this Rico Essentials 2ply cotton yarn which comes in 50gm balls rather than 25gm.

crochet cotton

The colours above are from the Orange going clockwise: Orange, Fuchsia, Emerald, Orchid, Purple, Turquoise, with Yellow in the middle.

There are fewer colours to choose from in this range and the yarn seems ever so slightly thicker than Sweet Treat, but other than that I am pleased with the quality of the Rico and see little difference so far.

Little Miss M also has a birthday this month and after seeing her reaction to the Dreamcatcher I made for her big sister, I thought I had better put other projects to one side and see if I could make another dreamcatcher in time for her 6th birthday.

Her favourite colour is orange, with pink coming a close second – one of my favourite colour combinations.

You might remember the Mandala Madness bedspread I made for Little Miss MMandala Madness, pattern by Helen Shrimpton

mandala madness, single bed

I want to make a dreamcathcer to go with it, so I started with the gorgeously vibrant OrangeTuuli

to make Tuuli,  another free pattern from the brilliant Estonian designer Zoya Matyushenko. Oh how I love her patterns, each round is a gem.

After the pink I wanted to add a turquoise, but which one?

colour choice

I went for the Scheepjes: Tropic

Tuuli by Zoya

You don’t see much of it at the front, but if the dreamcatcher dangles from the ceiling, it will show more at the backback of Tuuli mandala

It seems perfectly ok to mix the Rico and the Scheepjes yarn together.

I’m using a 2mm hook.

If you are tempted to have a go, you can find Zoya’s free patterns in the Files on her Facebook Group Page.

Now I’m off for a yarny natter with Cathy and her Crew over on Nanacathydotcom, always a treat on a Friday.

Edit: Here is the finished Mandala Dreamcatcher.

 

Rosslyn

My Wednesday Wip this week is one of Helen Shrimpton’s paid for Patterns – Rosslyn

Rosslyn, Helen Shrimpton

Photo taken with my iPhone, it looks a bit harsh as if made of cotton, but it is in Stylecraft Special DK, made with a 4.5mm hook.

8 Colours chosen from the centre:

Buttermilk, Soft Peach, Pale Rose, Duck Egg, Cream, Lincoln, Raspberry …….. Storm.

This is a wonderful pattern to work with. A pattern I will be happy to make twice as I am making one for Twig and one for Twiglet, my 5 year old twin Granddaughters.Rosslyn by Helen Shrimpton

I’m loving the way the characters of each of my 8 grandchildren are reflected in the colours and patterns of their blankets. I have already made 4.

The first was Miss E’s daisies . To see the finished blanket go to the Throws Page and scroll down through links to other blankets and throws I have made.

I am joining Ginny in her magnificent YARN ALONG – she asks us to share a book we are reading and this is mine

Nudiknits

Novels take up too much crafting time for me but I have been bingeing on watching Outlander on DVD whilst crocheting

I loved the books by Diana Gabaldon in the days when I did read fiction,  now I’m enjoying the emotional rollercoaster of the DVDs.

There is a mass of Outlander knitting pattern sites on Etsy .

Happy Yarning!

 

 

Mandala for Little Miss M

Mandala Madness, pattern by Helen Shrimpton

My celebratory TaDah! Moment

I started making this blanket back in July 2017 when I needed a break from working with the dark colours requested by Master R.

The pattern is Helen Shrimpton’s Mandala Madness with her Spiro Star at the centre.

It is for a single bed so I stopped at Round 88 in Part 14 .

I like the way the edge is shaped at this point, so I created the next few rows to keep that shape.

crochet edge, blocking pins

Edge

Little Miss M likes orange (Spice), so the edging had to be in orange.

I made small popcorns (3dcs instead of 5) at some of the points and the simple edging is 2scs, ch 2 repeat (US terms)

Blocking was done on an old blanket laid on the floor over a carpet.blocking crochet

I smooth the blanket out – take an overhead photo which shows up any lack of symmetry;

adjust;

pin with steel blocking pins right through the carpet;

spray mist the whole thing with water, then using a damp tea towel and the iron on its highest setting I VERY lightly press round the edges only of the blanket, reheating the iron when necessary (it has to be unplugged to reach);

I then lightly pressed the yellow and turquoise pointy bits so that they would lie flatter;

left it in situ over night to thoroughly dry.

Stylecraft SpecialDK and a 4.5mm hook – the blanket mearures 4’8″ across

List of colours (mostly chosen by Little Miss M):

Spiro Star Centre

Fondant, Saffron, Fondant, Cloud Blue, Bluebell, Bright Pink, Spice

Mandala Madness Part 2

Meadow, Turquoise, Fondant,

Part 3

Wisteria, Saffron, Wisteria, Sunshine,

Part 4

Spice

Part 5

Aspen, Pistachio, Cloud Blue, Bluebell

Part 6

Soft Peach, Duck Egg, Fondant

Part 7

Lobelia, Petrol, Bright Pink, Spice, Turquoise,

Part 8 

(My favourite part!)

Bright Pink, Cloud Blue, Saffron, Bright Pink,

Part 9

Meadow, Pistachio, Aspen, Sunshine

Part 10

Bluebell, Soft Peach, Meadow, Fondant, Bluebell, Cloud Blue

Part 11

Bright Pink, Spice, Turquoise, Fondant, Candy Floss, Bluebell

Part 12

Bright Pink, Spice, Saffron, Meadow

Part 13

Turquoise, Spice, Fondant

Part 14 

and Edge

Bluebell, Bright Pink, Petrol, Sunshine, Spice

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could never have made this without the fabulous video tutorials by Esther at Its All in a Nutshell.

Huge thanks to Esther and Helen.

~~~~~~~~

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. She asks us to add a book that we are reading, but I rarely read books nowadays. I do however watch DVDs whilst crocheting or knitting and one I have thoroughly enjoyed recently is this documentary about Gauguin, which gives a fascinating account of his difficult and colourful life

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