So I’m an avid crafter. I love to Crochet, Knit, Sew etc. Recently I’ve been experimenting with Crochet as Art rather than a piece of clothing or a blanket. I am a member of many online craft groups so am often seeing posts on patterns, yarns and tools and where to find them. I became inspired after seeing a number of Crochet Mandalas that had been posted in some of the groups I follow and started searching for something I could create for our living space at home.
There are many places I can recommend to find patterns for crafts such as Crochet but I happened to find this one on Pintrest. It’s chart based so you need to understand what the symbols mean. I keep a handy legend with me when following such patterns.
Our main living space is wallpapered one wall with the fireplace area in a complimentary colour and all other walls are traditional Magnolia. I wanted to create something that brighten up the room and work well with the decor. Luckily I had a perfect colour change yarn cake from Hobbii
Stunning isn’t it. It’s a 4ply yarn that is a composite of 55% Cotton, 45% Acrylic. It’s called Twister and this colourway is number 50 and it’s called ‘Weightless’. Hobbii also have a ranges of matching Twister Solids. To complete the border to my work I chose colourway 131 ‘Violet’.
Before starting it’s important to understand yarn weights and what stitch gauges are. This is also important in Knitting too. Hobbii Twister is a 4 ply yarn but as you can see in the table below that it not obvious where 4 fits.
But all yarns contain the weight/category and gauge information on the label. As you can see in the second image it has the symbol for category ‘2 – Fine’ and information on knitting needles & crochet hook sizes and most importantly the gauge.
Your gauge will effect the size, look and feel of your project. You will usually make a swatch that is 10cm by 10cm and then count the number of rows and the number of stitches per row. I have a little measuring tool which also allows you to check your needle and hook sizes, in case the size label wears off.
Now I Crochet quite loosely, so I often need to use a smaller hook size than most. With this project I opted for a 3.25mm hook. Whilst the pattern had no information on gauge I’d seen a similar pattern and what that was and then made adjustments for the size I wanted it to be and the yarn weight I was using.
So the pattern itself for me worked up really quickly and was able to complete it easily within a week with only a little done each day. I suffer from RSI and have to manage the amount I do crafts to avoid pain and longer rest periods.
But to turn this into displayed Art it needed something to keep it taut and mountable. I’d see many folk add their works of Art to hoops and after much searching I found the wonderful Eva @ Hoops and Strings on Etsy who just so happens to be local to me. I purchased a number of different hoops sizes for this and future projects. Given my gauge I needed a whooping 1m diameter hoop for this mandala as you can see in the last photo above. I attached to the hoop initially with ties in the Twister Solid to get the positioning correct. Then I used Single Crochet stitches between each tie (covering the tie ends) to attach it to the hoop and make a lovely border. I worked out the number of stitches required between each tie but using a measuring tape to work out how many centimetres were required for 10 single crochets and using my amazing math skills (πd) based on diameter of the hoop and the number of splits I was able to make a suitable border. I also included a loop at the start of the border so it could be hung on the wall.
Now isn’t that fabulous and a work of Art? And it works really well as a reflection of the opposite wall.
So I’ll be continuing to experiment on the crafting space so watch this space, there will be more art around the corner.