Monday, 26 August 2013

Onwards and Upwards and on a roll. Tutorial number 2 . A bright Mandala

I really was nervous about the tutorial for my first Mandala but the support and encouragement I get from my lovely followers spurs me on. My delight was complete and quite vocal when Anna Marie actually said she sat with her computer and it worked. She made one!
Now, not only am I chuffed that it worked but that she was inspired to try one immediately. I am a very happy Chalky!

So not one to let the grass grow under my feet and all that, here is another Tutorial for a different Mandala.
A bright and cheerful one which might make the perfect contemplative vessel for the grey winter days

I think you will be able to use many of the techniques in my first Tutorial. That dropped stitch is such a handy one to master and very decorative.
In this Mandala I worked in Trebles and in sets of 2 and clusters of 5s. It makes a really compact Mandala.

So here we go 
Tutorial Number 2

1. Chain 3 .Slip stitch to make a loop. Work 2 chains to represent the first treble. I find if I work the usual 3 chains for this first treble it is too long. So, then you need to work 11 more trebles into the loop wiggling a little if need be and finish the round with a slip stitch.

2.Work 2 trebles in every space from the previous round--- the foundation round. You are establishing little groups of 2 trebles together.

3. Start your next round  between one of the groups of 2 from the previous round.
 Work 2 trebles. Now work a dropped stitch in the middle of the set of 2 from the previous round. Then work 2 trebles in the very next space which is the other side of the set of 2..
So you are establishing a pattern of 2 trebles, 1 dropped stitch 2 trebles.
.I think you can see it clearly in the photo below. It is the rusty orange round.

4. Work 1 breezy round of half trebles. It is the round in Cream in the picture.

 The next 2 rounds I love and they are very different than the rounds in my first Mandala.So, here we work in clusters of 5 Trebles.

5.Chain 2 to represent that first Treble then in the sane space work 4 more Trebles. This makes your first cluster of 5. Chain 1,miss 1 space. Slip stitch into the next space from the previous row. Chain 1 miss 1 space. Work 5 trebles in the next space. Continue this sequence all the way round----- 5 Trebles,Chain1,miss a space,slip stitch in the next space, Chain 1 and work 5 Trebles. If you look at the picture it is the mossy green round. With my usual " no worries approach it always seem to work out that the spacing is fine. If not just squeeze in the last slip stitch and finally slip stitch into the last chain of the beginning cluster.

6 .This round is worked with exactly the same pattern and sequence but this time you are working the 5 Trebles into the slip stitch from the previous round ( the mossy green one ) and working the slip stitch into the top of the 3rd Treble on that green round. I think you can see it clearly here. The 2 rows dovetail beautifully.

7. Another breezy Half Treble round.  It is cream in the picture I find these rounds not only give a balance to the more ornate rounds but also make the Mandalas firmer.

8. To finish choose your colour for the border and work 2 rounds. 1 in half trebles to make a base and the final one with the picot edging. Instructions can be found at the end of my first tutorial here .

Saturday, 24 August 2013

My Tutorial for my first Mandala.

I spent ages yesterday trying to sort out a perfect tutorial for this pretty Mandala. I choose the colours with the help of Design Seed.


Have a look here if you want to be inspired.



Anyway, I could not make it perfect. I am sure someone will know how to solve the Mathematical problem but for me it really does prove that Crochet is a very forgiving craft.


In a way I am quite glad that this is not perfect .. Sometimes we strive too hard and forget to enjoy.


So here we go.


1. Chain 3 and slip stitch to make a loop. Working into this loop chain 1. Then Double Crochet 11 more stitches into the loop. You might have to wiggle the circle a bit to get them all to fit in.



2.Then working in the following pattern continue the next round. Double crochet 2 in a chain space from the previous row. Then Double Crochet 1 in the next chain space,then Double Crochet 2 in the next and so on.



3. Changing colour and now working in Half Trebles continue as follows. 2 Half Trebles, 1 Half Trebles, 2 Half Trebles and so on all the way around the circle.

Here is where you might meet THE problem --- you end up with 2 Half Trebles next to each other. I ignored this and carried on merrily. I always like to start my next round in a different place so all is well.


4. Working in Trebles keep up the 2,1,2 pattern but drop the stitch on the 1 part of the sequence. This means that you are working your 2 Trebles in the stitch from the previous row but dropping the single Treble into the space between the stitches. This dropping the stitch starts to add detail.


Here is the round completed and its beginning to look interesting.

5. Working in Double Crochet work a stitch in every stitch from row 4 but again drop the stitch between the sets of 2 Trebles from row 4.

Here we have the dropping stitch with pictures.After working 2 Double Crochets you are ready to start.

You are actually poking your hook into the stitch two rows below. And in the middle of each set of 2 Trebles on the row you have just finished.

Here we have a view from the back of your Mandala where you are hooking the yarn over your hook ready to pull it to the front and up.

There it is. You have to loosen your tension a little to get the new stitch up to the same height as your double Crochet stitches already worked.

Yarn over hook.

Pull through to complete your dropped stitch.

And here we can see the round completed.

6. After that a row of Double Crochet seems a breeze!

7.We are going to work another row using the dropped stitch. Work in exactly the same way but this time set the dropped stitch in the middle of the 2 dropped stitches from that row.
You can see the layers of patterns building up in your Mandala.

8. Another Breeze round. Double crochets all the way.

9. To finish you Mandala work a little Picot Edging. A real favourite of mine. I worked mine as follows.
In Double Crochet work 4 stitches. When you have worked the 4 chain finish the little loop by working a Double Crochet in the same stitch. Then work 4 Double Crochets in the next 4 stitches and 4 chains and finish the picot in the same space. Continue in this way all the way around. I never seem to have to count and it always seems to work out just fine ---- "No Worries!"


So here we have the tutorial I hope it makes sense and most importantly I hope it works for you. Perhaps we actually learn most when we have to adapt or maybe that is just a Chalky excuse!


Friday, 23 August 2013

I think I was a dreamy child.

When I look back at my childhood I can remember a lot of the time I was literally "off with the fairies!"

I still have my school reports upstairs. They make me laugh out loud. I was called everything from chatty,dreamy,inattentive,lazy to ebullient ... I could go on but I think you get the picture. When I was called ebullient I thought that a very good thing but the teacher said it in a very exasperated tone and my Mum was less than impressed!!!



  1. Cheerful and full of energy: "she sounded ebullient and happy".
  2. (of liquid or matter) Boiling or agitated as if boiling: "misted and ebullient seas".
exuberant - boiling

I don't think I was naughty or disruptive I just turned off and dreamed a lot! I loved English,Art and Making things but subjects like Chemistry,Physics,Mathematics and French left me cold.

I don't think Grammar Schools in my day did much to help rounded pegs like Chalky fit into square holes.


I realise I dreamed too much. There are some very wide gaping holes in my knowledge. Egghead I am not!

I never,for example knew that North was always at the top of a map. No wonder I am so bad at map reading.


Also I was not helped by older brothers filling my dreamy head with msinformation. They told me that R.I.P meant Rise If Possible and I thought that for years!


Now "The Sporty One " and I do try and think that every day is a school day and that we really are not too old to learn new things. Remembering such new information is not so easy these days however!


So, just now I have been learning about Mandalas. Just the sort of learning I like. Colourful and creative.


We went to visit some friends high up in a tiny village in Spain and there on the wall were 2 beautiful hand crayoned pictures. They reminded me of the Spiroraph pictures I used to create when I was a child.


Did you have one?

I loved it. The gentle repetitive movements of cogs within cogs. Simple patterns that evolved without any planning or angst. The beauty was in the surprise that you could create something so easily.

And then ones which were so complex the paper would develop a hole. So frustrating!


I did not like to ask these lovely people if they had,too, enjoyed Spirograph. I just quietly remembered mine and admired their creations.

The very next week I was lucky enough to receive a Reiki treatment from my Yoga teacher. It was truly wonderful and when I got up from the treatment bed there on the wall was another Sprirograph type picture. What was going on?

Anyway I asked her about the picture and she said " that is a Mandala. A wonderful tool which helps and develops meditation."

That was it. I was inspired. I googled the definition.

man·da·la (mnd-l)


Any of various ritualistic geometric designs symbolic of the universe, used in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation.

I thought about all the blogs where I have seen Mandalas. I had always thought them to be mats for homes,doilies, prettification. Perhaps a lot are but I think a lot of them represent the word Mandala at its deepest meaning.

Pinterest has some absolute beauties and I have spent many happy hours just admiring them. Quietly,gently taking in their beauty almost by osmosis .

I have said so many times here that I find crochet soothing,gentle,quiet and reflective. If I feel out of sorts it sorts me out! I often start my day with just a few stitches because it sets the scene for me.

A scene of contemplation. A scene of completeness. So,crochet is a bit like a moving meditation. And creating a Mandala is taking this contemplative journey a little further. I am so enjoying the patterns,colours and designs.

Here is one I finished this morning and I have just spent " hours " trying to write a tutorial for it. Now that should be easy but just now the mathematical patterns are not working out evenly on the rounds.not good for the idea of gentle contemplation !

So here is a picture of my latest Mandala and for me it is just fine. It might need to be fine too for you my lovely followers because unless I get it figured out by tomorrow I am going to run out of time.

It totally fits in with my " don't worry be happy " approach to crochet and truly "a blind man on his galloping horse would never notice " that among all those stitches the rounds are not completely following the same numerical pattern.

One way or another I will pop back tomorrow with a tutorial, but right now some hoglets are squeaking that they want to be delivered.