Thursday, 25 September 2014

Round and round in circles - Mandala time!

I've been a little bit naughty today - supposed to be working on the order list, and hunting down kitchen equipment for the new house at the lake, testing a pattern for a friend... but instead all I wanted to do is play with my new cotton supplies that arrived yesterday! 


It's Red Heart Miami, 4 ply 100% cotton, from loveknitting.com. Such vibrant colours and reasonable prices! 

This colourful cotton is to make pretty and useful coasters and heat mats for the house my parents are building at Lake Macquarie. My mission sent me hunting for good coaster patterns that show off the lovely colours, while also being the right size and shape. It took me ages to find one that I actually liked, and when I tried the pattern, I just couldn't get it to look neat :( 

But then... hunting through Zooty Owl's blog for other things, I saw some of the amazing mandalas she has designed. I haven't really been interested in mandalas before - I like the things I make to be practical, useful or good to cuddle, and the contexts I had seen mandalas in before was as art or just being beautiful. Mandalas are round though - could they make good coasters and heat mats? 


Absolutely!! Above is Zooty Owl's Sunny Flower Mini Mandala in two sizes - 10.5cm for coasters, and 21cm for heat mats. The coasters are made with a 1.5mm hook and one strand of the cotton yarn, and the heat mats are made with a 3.5mm hook and two strands of the yarn. I also washed and blocked the heat mat to make it sit nice and even :) 


Sadly, as you can see in the photo above, the orange dye ran a little bit being washed and ironed. I am a bit reluctant to wash the pink yarn now. Any ideas on how to stop the colour running in the finished piece?


I'm really looking forward to making a whole stack of the little coasters and some more heat mats in this pattern. Plus, I discovered Zooty Owl has a table runner pattern using the same mandala! House decoration solved :D 

Have you ever tried making mandalas? What have you used them for? 

22 comments :

  1. oh the colors are so bright ! I like them very much. I've never done mandalas or coasters maybe one day .... have fun with your new cotton !

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    1. You should definitely try some day - these ones are pretty quick to do, and so lovely (and practical!) :)

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  2. Beautiful mandalas! I love the color! I'm a Red heart fan... for the colors, for the price.
    Lucie

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    1. Thank you Lucie! I am becoming a Red Heart fan too - they are much more consistent than a lot of the brands we can get here.

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  3. The advice is to late; but is it possible to wash the yarn before crocheting? The same you do with fabrics before sewing?

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    1. I think it is but it would involve unwinding the skeins and making long hanks so they can hang to dry properly, then rewind into centre pull balls for working. Does anyone know any other ways to solve the colour run problem?

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    2. It's not too late for the next ones! I'm not sure how to wash the yarn though without it tangling up into big knots. I read somewhere that I could crochet it up simply and then wash that piece and dry it, and then undo and rewind into balls... but that seems like an awful lot of effort for a little bit of colour leakage...

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    3. Jodie that could work, but still seems like a lot of work! If only there was an easy way...

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    4. I would only ever wash it by hand and in hanks to keep from tangling, but you are right, a lot of work and who needs that?

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  4. They're lovely! Just been bitten with the mandala bug as well :)

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    1. It's a dangerous problem :P Hopefully I can take enough time to make items to sell, so that I can keep buying yarn to feed my new habit!

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  5. Hi Michelle! That is annoying that the colour/s were not fast!
    I've never come across this problem myself. :(
    But your mandalas are looking nice, lovely pattern! (Zooty's Owl is also a useful blog for ideas!!)
    Happy crocheting!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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    1. Hi Ingrid! I also have never had a problem with colours running before, but I think that's because I have mostly used acrylic which doesn't run (as the colours are fixed in manufacture, not dyed afterwards). Thank you :)

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  6. Did you try one of these colour savers for the washing maschine yet? You toss one paper in and it "eats" all the colour which escapes. I always use it with new clothes or mixed washing loads.

    Oh and you get it in Australia because that's where I discovered they existed :-)

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    1. Ooh, I will have to go look for it. Could you get it in the supermarket?

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  7. Soak in venegar before washing. Not diluted and it will stop colours from running and helps keep them from fading. :) I add a cup to the rinse water also.

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  8. I am unable to find Red Heart Miami cotton yarn. It keeps coming up 404 error or oops a tangle on loveknitting site. Do you have a direct link to the yarn. Google says loveknitting but still 404 error? Thanks, Sharon

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    1. How odd Sharon! This link works for me: http://www.loveknitting.com/red-heart-miami

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  9. Very good blog Michelle! Love all designs... and want to share some beautiful roundie mandala designs. Please check - http://www.fairdecor.com/-round-fringe-mandala

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