Saturday, January 14, 2017

Joining Mandalas

I have so many mandalas, it's ridiculous, and there isn't much I can do with them. So I've been trying to think of how to make them square. Then someone I follow in Instagram was making a beautiful blanket with hexagons (@dreamsofanne), and I thought it would be easier to turn circles into hexagons than into squares. So I thought about that off and on for a while, but I wanted rectangular edges which is hard with hexagons. I know this from quilting. Then two days ago I had to clear off the sofa in the sewing room where the mandalas are piled. I must have dreamed the solution because the next day I came up with this idea and it works. Make the mandalas into octagons and then pick up stitches on the diagonal edges and reduce at the corners each side by working 3 dc together.

The mandalas are all the simple mandala by Wink (link here). To make the mandala into an octagon start at 4th dc of any 6 dc scallop (US terms). Over each set of three scallops work: * sc, 2 hdc, dc in sc between scallops, 2 hdc, 2 sc, one hdc, dc, then work 8 tr over next sc-scallop-sc, dc, hdc, sc. Repeat from *. Invisible join.

To make diamonds, work from large diamond to small, 5 rounds.
For the first dc 3 together, you have to ch 3 for the first dc.
For the center diamonds, the first 4 rounds should be joined with a sl st. Work in ends before starting the next round. I find invisible join to be too complicated here. I also vary the starting edge so that I'm not joining each round in the same corner.

(round 1) start in 5th of 8 trs on each octagon side: dc 3 together, dc 15, dc 3 together along 1, 2 or 4 sides depending on whether you're working the corner, side, or a diamond in the middle. End in 4th of 8 trs.
(round 2) start in first dc together: dc 3 together, dc 11, dc 3 together on each side.
(round 3) start in first dc together: dc 3 tog, dc 7, dc 3 tog on each side.
(round 4) start in first dc together: dc 3 tog, dc 3, dc 3 tog on each side.
(round 5) dc all remaining stitches together. if working the center diamond you will have to use two hooks, and when pulling the final loop through you will have to transfer the loop from one hook to the other. Be careful not to drop the loop on this step—it's hard to recover. Pull loop through and secure on the back.

My mandalas are two sizes because I used an "H" hook for the ones in the picture but an "I" hook for a few others. So my plan is to make a center, add a border to widen, and then add the larger mandalas to the sides. We shall see, this project is not my #1 priority and I don't have enough mandalas to finish a complete blanket.

I apologize for any ambiguity or errors in the instructions.

Whoops I forgot to mention, you have to join the octagons together. I used zipper stitch - sl st through back of loops of both sides together. I'm sure other methods would work too. I'm not done designing so I'm not sure if it makes sense to join into the first and last stitch of the diamonds so as to not leave a gap.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Scheepjes CAL

I finished this beautiful blanket in October and gave it to my mother-in-law, who absolutely loved it. I joined the Scheepjes CAL at the last minute and didn't know what I would do with the blanket. But my mother-in-law saw me working on it a couple of times and loved the squares, so I knew I would make it for her.

I tried to be true to the colors that were chosen by the designers, but because I started this project at the last minute, I didn't have time to get the Scheepjes yarn. So it was an improvisation. I learned so many new things by making this blanket. Most importantly I learned a new way to join blocks, which I've used to solve a problem with another project. Most of the different blocks were new to me and some were a real challenge, but it was definitely worth the effort!

Monday, May 16, 2016

May Mandala

This month my Mandalas for Marinke were featured on Immediately I wanted to make another one. So here it is! The variegated yarn is Nicole Stitch Studio from A.C. Moore. These are one-off yarns in a sale bin, and I always look them over when I'm getting my other yarn.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Today's WIP

I'm calling this today's WIP for the simple reason that I have a good picture of it. I'm not working on this one today because I have two others that are online CALs (Crochet-A-Longs), and I want to keep up with them. One, I could do easily but two requires me to really focus. Plus my Mandalas for Marinke were just featured on, and I started another mandala. Today I have to get more yarn. Well I am rambling now.

This blanket is going to be for my eldest. I am joining as I go, and what you see here is the top four rows. There will be either eight or nine rows so that it will fit nicely on a twin bed. The blocks are coming out wavy so I thought the join would flatten, but I am going to have to massively block the thing once it's done. Or not! I am not a fastidious blocker.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thrift Shop Yarn

I got this awesome yarn in a $2 bag at the Good As New Shop where I work on Wednesdays. Dark green, very pale green, and two gray green. And the grass is green too.

Monday, March 21, 2016

March WIPs

These are only a few of the WIPs that I have going on now. There are quilts in progress, knitting in progress, charity blankets, CALs, presents, etc. It is just insane, and one reason I'm not posting here more often.

This lovely arrangement represents the colors of a blanket that I'm making as a surprise for someone. I learned this method from Attic 24, on her blog. Before I would have added purple and pink, but that would have made the composition garish rather than colorful and just lovely. Now if only I had an extra 40 minutes every day, I could crochet one stripe a day and be done on time.
This is one of the CALs. (The other one hasn't started yet.) It is by spincushions (A.K.A. Shelley Husband) and it's called the Fran Mystery Crochet-a-long. I bought this heavy cotton yarn from a company in Australia. The yarn was not cheap and neither was the shipping. But the outcome will be just awesome. Also going to be a surprise for someone.
Finally here is a sweater I'm making for my big kid Carter. I had given them a sweater of mine that they loved, but they had to give it back because they grew out of it. This kid of mine (21 years old) is very tall. I got this lovely Noro yarn discounted at WEBS, the yarn superstore. It's enough to make a very large sweater for a very tall person.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Colorful Mandala

About three years ago I made this knitted blanket. I knitted it straight across from start to finish, carrying all the colors across the row and twisting strands when I changed colors. At some point I estimated how much yarn I would need for each color patch, and I cut all the lengths of yarn that I needed to finish.
I ended up with this basket of yarn ends, which decorated the short wall between the kitchen and living room.
I decided to crochet the bits of yarn into a mandala. These are the first five rounds.
The finished mandala had ten rounds plus the shells. Towards the end I added some yarn ends from other projects, that were a little bit larger. The outer shells are a single variegated yarn, not ends.