Tag Archives: white

Mandalas on Display

One of my daughter’s friends creates the window displays for this local Optician and I offered her my mandalas. She has created a wonderful display, don’t you think? She has given me permission to use her photo at the top of this post. The rest of the photos are mine.

A few little spiders have been added as if they have been working away at their intricate webs.

The window looks especially lovely lit up at night, although I haven’t managed to get a photo.

It is a thrill to see them so beautifully displayed.

The mission to create 50 white mandalas continues; 32 are finished and 7 more await the final touches.  The three below are all in Rico Essentials cotton thread, my favourite so far.

I am making Zoya Matyushenko’s Agnes in three different sizes by varying the hook size. They then need to be washed and attached to hoops.

The most common question I am asked, is “how long do they take?”

I really find this difficult to answer as time taken is the least important aspect to me. I did try to time myself but there are so many interruptions to the process, it was impossible. I make mandalas because I enjoy making mandalas. Crochet relaxes me and resettles my mind. I do it whilst doing other things, it fills pockets of time. It is part of maintaining my sense of ok-ness or well-being, it gets me through stressful times.

So I want to say – they don’t take time, they take attention, concentration, love and joy. They are a connection with my Mum and my Grandmother who taught me and all other crafting women now and through the ages.

But that answer would most likely be more than the person bargained for!

So my answer usually is:

Some take a couple of days, some take a week, depending on the thickness of the thread and the complexity of the pattern. Some sit waiting to be finished for months.

But that doesn’t tell you how many actual hours are spent making stitches. I often feel neither the questioner or I feel satisfied with the answer.

Any ideas?

If anyone in the UK would like to borrow the mandalas for an event, let’s have a chat. I would love to see them displayed in other settings.



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


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


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


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!


Creativity and Knitted Pigs

Sometimes I get obsessively fixed on a ‘thing’ and can’t let it go until it has worked itself out. It’s a WONDERFUL feeling! There have been the doodle weaves, (actually loads of different sorts of doodling), and the machine embroidered crazy patchwork, mandala making, knitted wigs, and daisies to name but a few …..


I am in the delicious grip of another obsession right now. AND I have felt a low level of inner critic muttering away at me, saying that these obsessions are somehow wrong – like an addiction and should be avoided or at least kept under control. Where has that inner critic come from? Was it school? Or was it in my childhood? Being the eldest of 4, I was expected to help, not sit in my room all day reading or drawing – getting lost in a story or the endless variations one could create with a Spirograph – my most treasured Christmas present, and first experience of a creative obsession.


I am currently obsessed by knitting little cream coloured pigs – ??/@*! – I know!

I went to a friend’s for lunch and she showed me some cute pottery pigs made by a local artist, Rose Swann, who, by the way also runs a delightful looking B+B.

My friend likes all things white (or cream) – her house is a sunlit haven of whiteness – she also loves cuteness. We sometimes give each other silly presents at Christmas, so …. could I knit a couple of little pigs to join her Rose Swann collection …..

pigs 2

My toes curl at the horrendous commercialisation of the Winter Holidays and as I knitted the 8th little pig – I was trying to get the pattern right –  I had the idea to give each of my 8 grandchildren (aged 1 – 6) a little white pig for Christmas. My thought is that as the years go by,  I will make the same thing for each of the 8, every Christmas. This will link them together, link them to me and link each year. I hope to take a picture of them all together with the gifts so there is a record all those weird presents Granny gave them!

Because I am lucky enough to have so many grandchildren, each item will have to be quite small and quick to make – little white pigs fit the bill – (well we are a farming family, does that make it any less weird, probably not!).

The validity of this obsession grows as the next little pig lines up on the table. As I subtly adjust the pattern, each pig is subtly different, it has its own little character.


And then I watched a programme about Edmund de Waal.

He makes thousands and thousands of simple straight sided porcelain pots – mainly in white. It might seem a bit ridiculous to relate little knitted pigs to de Waal’s pots but the creative process is definitely related. I feel a kinship in the creative process – hurray!!! Repetition allows for a meditative atmosphere to develop, and in that rich ground other ideas creep in and grow and become – well poetic and meaningful and to me, beautiful!



Have I gone too far!!?? No! we creatives must celebrate the process and enjoy the fact that other people think we are crazy!

“He who can not hear the music, thinks the dancer is mad”

If you too would like to make some cute little pigs, I’ve put the pattern, with photos to help along the way, in my Etsy shop. £1 for an instant download PDF. (I’d love to see some pictures if you make one)

Are you too in the grip of any creative obsessions?