Crochet-Off Goals: Crochet Mandalas

A throbbing fatigue in my neck caused me to put my crochet hook down. I adjusted myself in the hard kitchen chair and stretched. With a sigh of relief, I arched my back and my spine realigned in a series of satisfying cracks. I’d been hunched over my crochet mandalas for several hours.

I was in the zone. I hadn’t perceived the hours ticking away, or the dog silently imploring to go for a walk or the sound of my teenaged daughter, Kacey, coming home from her shift at the local roller rink. She plopped herself down in the chair nearest to me and set her bag of fast food on the table next to my balls of yarn. She dug into the paper sack and pulled out a box of fries.

“Whatcha workin’ on?” she asked between mouthfuls of deep-fried potatoes.

I snatched a fry from her box and popped it in my mouth. “Mandalas,” I replied. “It’s for Interweave; it’s called the DIY Crochet Mandala Wall Hanging Kit.”

I bent down and retrieved the completed mandalas from my project bag. I had crocheted four different patterns from the book Modern Crochet Mandalas: 50+ Colorful Motifs to Crochet: the Mint Chips, Violet Eyes, Perfect Pinafore, and Tumbled Weed Junction patterns. Kacey picked up the top mandala and looked at it with interest.

“I like the colors,” she commented. “Where did you get the yarn?”

“I had it in my stash,” I said proudly, motioning to the balls of yarn at Kacey’s elbow. I had acquired the yarn from who-knows-where, but I was more than happy to make use of it for the mandalas. I had 2 shades of green, 2 shades of brown, a cream, and a deep magenta for a pop of color among the earth tones. They were all sock-weight but differed in fiber content. The greens and magenta were cotton, and the browns and cream were a wool blend.

I took one last look at the four mandalas sitting on the table, gathered them up, and stuck them back in my project bag. I made a mental note to bring them to the office with me the following day. I went to bed that night with the feeling of satisfaction that only comes when I’ve successfully completed a crochet project.

The next morning, I sat at my desk, sipping my coffee as the rest of the customer service team trickled in. Jennifer, Michelle, and Suzanne were all participating in the mandala “crochet off,” and all of them were interested in what I had completed. Jennifer is new to crochet and had been struggling getting started; she didn’t have a completed mandala to show just yet, but assured me she was working diligently to get one finished.

crochet mandalas

Michelle had completed the Blue Days White Nights, Violet Eyes, and Marbled Star mandalas. She worked with yarn in varying weights and fiber content. She told me it posed a bit of a challenge for her, and she was excited to see the outcome. She also talked about raiding her bead stash to give the wall hanging some dimension.

Suzanne had completed the Mint Chips mandala in a worsted-weight gray yarn and was in the process of finishing up the Marbled Star. She told me the chart was easier for her to follow than the written instructions.

We chatted excitedly about the project. I briefly pondered how to approach the next step in the “crochet off” before turning to my computer to get down to some real work. The mandalas would still be there at the end of my work day.

Keep on hookin’ on,
—Dana Leigh


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