There is something soothing and meditative about crocheting a mandala. And you can truly understand why this is when you explore the meaning of the word Mandala. The word ‘mandala’ comes from the classical Sanskrit language. It is made up of words mand, meaning “to mark off”, and la meaning ‘circle’ or ‘sacred centre’. Sometimes ‘mandala’ is translated as ‘essence container’, a phrase that hints at its psychological and mystical meanings.
You will agree that the stresses of our lives may leave us feeling disconnected from our authentic selves and separated from our deepest needs and desires. It’s been proven that working with mandalas can help you reconnect with your body, mind and spirit so that you feel whole and integrated, rather than stressed and pulled apart.
I am currently doing my master’s thesis on Mandalas and their healing properties. I started off colouring mandalas (here are some free downloadable mandala designs for you to colour) and it was not long thereafter that I discovered many wonderful mandala crochet patterns on line.
During a visit to Paternoster in April 2014 I had the privilege of meeting Anneke Wiese who in my opinion is the queen of the crochet mandala carpet. It was there that the idea for a very specific crochet mandala floor runner was born. Today I am the proud owner of a very special mandala crochet runner which now has pride of place in my home.
I asked Anneke to share with us what she experienced while crocheting each mandala. This is what she has to say…
This was my very first large hallway rug. I had absolutely NO idea what to crochet? Where to start? Once Anisa briefed me on what she wanted I literally jumped up and down with sheer excitement! I contacted Anthea at my local yarn shop, ( https://www.facebook.com/50swolwinkel ) and asked if they had any denim coloured t-shirt yarn in stock.
I’m not sure that everyone knows this, but t-shirt yarn is off-cuts from textile manufacturers. Before we started crocheting with it, it was simply thrown away. So stitch by stitch, rug by rug and basket by basket we are doing our bit to save our planet.
We waited about two months for the right shade of denim. And all we got was 8 x 1kg balls. I was worried that it won’t be enough. Between Anisa and I we roughly estimated that we needed about 10 doilies of 50cm in diameter.
I started with the easiest non flop pattern I know. Then I thought, aaargh I am not going to do ten of them! I also thought ten doilies in the dark denim colour might just end up looking a bit flat and dead. That’s when I decided to add a lighter shade of denim to the second doily. For the second doily I started with my own doily pattern, but altered it a bit. I then took photos of the two doilies, played around in Pic Collage, to get some sort of visual presentation of the hallway rug to be able to show Anisa where we were heading. She loved the combination of two shades of denim and from there on gave me carte blanche as to the pattern and look for the rest of the doilies. I was so relieved! Yay! She likes it! And Yay! I can crochet TEN different doilies!
We call them doilies, but some may also call them Mandalas. I really love crocheting Mandalas with t-shirt yarn. I find it very calming and relaxing working in the round. Have you tried a Mandala yet? Every round looks beautiful!
While searching in my files for progress and finished rug photos for this post I saw my first photo was taken mid Oct 2014 and the last one was taken early in Feb 2015. A large rug like this could easily have been completed in one month. But a very good crochet friend of mine always says: “Life gets in the way”. That is so true. In browsing through photos, I see two school holidays; the toddler starting school; about 6 other single rug orders; my heart basket photo tutorial; weekends away with the teenager’s sport games; l teamed up with two fabulous crochet friends and we now have stock at the Trading Post in Paternoster; etc. I think you get the idea! And I get side tracked with new crochet patterns and ideas on a daily (hourly) basis!
By end of February the mandalas were finished. I mailed them to Anisa. And waited in anticipation. Will she like it? And then three days later I received a photo from her. She loved it! That made me deliriously happy!
For some of the doilies I used patterns from other designers. And the rest are “one-of-a-kind-no-pattern” design mandalas.
Below are a few links to some of the patterns that Anneke used in creating my beautiful runner.
Anneke started off with this basic rug. Pattern by Susan Potter
The second pattern is a variation of Anneke’s own pattern
The Lacy Doily is a free pattern by Anabelia. It is in Spanish, but there is a diagram. This mandala was sized a little smaller by Anneke.
The Shabby-Chic Star by Anabelia is available for sale at 2 €
Crocus Snowflake by Deborah Atkinson. There are lots of other awesome snowflake patterns there as well!
The Six Zero Snowflake is really gorgeous
Anneke’s parcel contained a rather gorgeous surprise gift to me! And this surprise was a rug made from The Alekarabesque Hexagon pattern by Magda De Lange from Rawrustic. It was in Ideas Magazine. You can buy your copy of the March issue via zinio.
Anneke has truly transformed the world of crochet mandalas and is a true asset to our craft!
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