Wednesday, July 2, 2014

African Flower Hexagon Mandala, with a twist

I have always loved doilies. As I said in a previous post, I remember watching my grandmother crochet such delicate doilies with Knit-Cro-Sheen and I always wanted to try my hand at hooking one up. I haven't yet, but it's on my to-do list.

Instead, I've discovered the mandala craze. I love the colors and uses for these versatile creations! I've sort of gone hog wild in collecting patterns, both doily and mandala... as if I need more patterns!! But that's another story for another post.

I'm especially pleased with my second mandala. I started with Alice's pattern at Crochet with Raymond (available here), who offers a pattern for "Ornamental" Pot Holders. She refers to a tutorial for an African Flower Hexagon Crochet Tutorial that eventually leads to Heidi Bears' tutorial, so I'm providing the link here.

Although I don't write my own patterns, I do tend to 'modify' sometimes as I did on this one. I added another 'granny' row on the fourth row after the African Flower Hexagon (the last completed row in the photo above). It didn't affect the pattern at all and I wanted my mandala a little bit bigger.

I am using a combination of I Love This Cotton yarn from Hobby Lobby and Sugar 'n Cream yarn by Lily. The hook is a size H.

The pattern at Crochet with Raymond is for a pot holder, and I didn't want a pot holder. The final row is the joining row to make the pot holder and didn't look right on the mandala. So I modified once again and added the last two rounds from the Little Spring Mandala by Barbara Smith at Made in K-town.

But the cotton wasn't filling up the space like I wanted it to so I even modified the last round a bit more. One section has 1 HDC, 4 DC, 1 HDC and the next 1 HDC, 3 DC, 1 HDC, followed by 1 HDC, 4 DC, 1 HDC. It repeats all the way around. I tried with 1 HDC, 4 DC, 1 HDC around the entire mandala but it ruffled and wouldn't lay flat.

Sometimes you have to think outside of the pattern. Experimentation is the only way we become comfortable with our craft, and in turn projects take on our personality. I encourage you to be bold and try new things. You may have a few frustrations along the way, but the joy of the finished project is worth it!

Happy on the Hook!

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