Ever since I started working on the lace crochet top, I’ve been practicing openwork with other projects. This is where all those lace crochet magazines finally got my attention. Years ago my mom gave them to me and I (almost) grudgingly took them, thinking I’d never make anything with such fine thread.
A few years later and I’ve already used those magazines for help, inspiration, and side projects. When Jason and I went to Peru I packed a magazine and a spool of thread. I chose a mandala that looked pretty and made me think of spring (yes, the pattern is aptly titled). I worried at first that I would finish the project too quickly or get so frustrated and angry I wouldn’t work on it after the first attempt. So I packed a skein of DK yarn, thinking I would find inspiration for a project while in Peru. What ended up happening was unexpected of course. Our journey to Peru was not a smooth one – missed connections, spending a night near an airport hotel, bad weather and delayed flights – so you can imagine we had A LOT of time to kill at various airports. And it turned out that a crochet thread mandala takes a butt load of time to make! Even longer when you’re not used to using a size 1.9mm hook and you’re new to deciphering lace pattern diagrams and instructions. Seriously, here is what one sentence says:
RND 3: Replacing first tr with 4 ch throughout, work 4-tr cls all around thus: leaving last lp of each st on hook, work 2tr in each of 2 corresp ch lps, yo and draw thru all 5 lps on hook; replace last 3 ch sts of last ch-5 with 1 dc worked in top of first 4-tr cl.
From: Decorative Crochet magazine Number 98, March 2004 “Voices of Spring”
And the instructions aren’t written in order or round by round. I had to rely on the diagram or I wouldn’t get anywhere. The start was brutal but after 10 hours of sitting in Terminal 7 at JFK airport I felt I made the right choice in bringing this project. Not only did it keep me entertained and challenged, I also didn’t run out of yarn. After nearly 4 months the mandala is finally finished!
It was such a struggle working with crochet thread and learning how to keep an even tension with such a small hook. Some of the stitches were new to me and somewhere along the line I must have taken a wrong turn because there is a slight blemish. It was also disheartening every time I’d spend hours on the mandala only to realize I had only completed a single round!
But then I finished and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it turned out! After weaving in the ends I pinned the mandala down and heavily misted it with water and left it to dry overnight.
This lovely mandala is certainly going to add a touch of spring to our decor 🙂