Hello Lovely People!
I hope you’re all having a wonderfully relaxing or exciting weekend! *YAWN* I’m completely knackered today after a couple of days of work and lots of hours essay writing! It’s mid-afternoon and I’m craving a strong coffee and carrot cake… but I’m being completely restrained and drinking a hot lemon and ginger and eating an apple (boring). I know if I have a coffee I’ll be awake all night and need 4 to get me started in the morning, then the sleep will get out of whack and all of a sudden I’ll be a jittery mess! Raymond and I are trying to relax, him in front of the heater and me in front of my laptop. It’s a crazy windy day here, my house is shaking like it’s about to blow off the side of the hill I live.
Thank you so much, you lovely ones who sent messages of love and concern regarding the earthquake on Saturday morning! You are truly so sweet and I felt very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. The earthquake was in Christchurch which is in the South Island, down the right there…
KB and I live in Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island which was unaffected by the quake… I felt it though, the jolt woke me up at 4.35am and my mirror went click-click-click-click-click… for those of you who have been in earthquakes, you know what thats like! You lie there in fearful anticipation… was that just the warmup? Wow, is Mother Nature an amazing force. So Christchurch and Canterbury have suffered extensive damage… I felt sad looking through the pictures on this site, the ones that shocked me most were the railway tracks and the petrol tanks lifting up out of the ground. Luckily *luckily* as far as I know, no-one was killed as the quake happened when everyone was in bed, what a relief… I shudder to think of it happening at 3pm when schools had finished or anything… So I’m sending much love and kind thoughts to Chrishchurch residents and all of the people rallying around to get the city back into order, and being reminded to send much much love to the people of Haiti, or New Orleans, or anywhere else that has been affected by forces of nature beyond their control.
So these things said and done, shall we begin with the exciting process of the Grandala square tutorial! I just love making these squares and have in fact been making many! For those of you who have just found my blog, click here to see the process and how many attempts I took before I was happy with this pattern! I’m thrilled to share the pattern and can’t wait to see what beautiful things you all create with this! I used 8ply wool and a 4mm hook as per usual!
My very patient sister helped me with a photo tutorial for a *magic ring!!!!*… what a process, the first photos were blurry, so we re-did them, I think this time she decided it was a challenge to get those photos just right for my blog! Little sisters are the best, they’re usually up for anything! So for those of you who have not yet tried a magic ring, here we go! We are going to begin with the first round of the square!
Ooh, remember now, I’m a lefty, so for you right handers out there, just mirror me!
To begin, wrap your wool around your index finger, with the tail end to the front, closest to your thumb.
Does that make sense? The tail isn’t showing in that pic, but it’s the right thread. Insert your hook through the loop and bring a loop through the ring. (I’m hoping this picture will paint 1000 words here!)
Chain 2, 1 dc into ring. (Counts as 1 dc2tog).
To do dc2tog: yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull loop through, yarn over, pull loop through two loops on hook, yarn over, insert hook into same stitch, pull loop through stitch, yarn over, pull loop through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull loop through all remaining loops on hook.
That one was blurry! Bad sister! *ch1, dc2tog* repeat four more times, until you have 6 dc2tog in total.
Here’s where the magic ring gets magic! Soo how it has a gap between the first dc2tog and the last? Well, take that tail end and gently pull…
And voila! It’s closed! Now ch1 and join with a slst to 2nd ch of original 2ch.
There we go! Easy peasy! We had to hurry at the end there, my hands were turning an unattractive shade of purple because of the cold!
So there’s the centre of your mandala. Now, I finished this tutorial at home, so we’re having a location change here! Here’s the centre again!
Ch1, into next space, dc2tog, ch1, dc2tog, ch1. Repeat around the circle until each of the spaces from round 1 are filled with *dc2tog, ch1, dc2tog* and you have 12 1ch spaces between dc2tog. ooh, I hope that makes sense! I want to try a video next time! It’s so much easier to show you what I’m talkng about!
I love those little dc2togs, they’re so compact and sweet! I’m very excited by their presence in my square.
Next round, change colour and bring new colour up in one of the 1ch spaces. Ch3, (counts as 1dc) 2dc into same space. Ch1, 3dc into next 1ch space. Continue around the circle until each of the 12 spaces are filled, ch1 and join with a slt into 3rd ch of original 3ch.
And there you have your mandala! Now it’s time to make it into a square. I’ve chosen natural fibre here in order to show the lovely circular effect… black or white would look amazing too. We’re going to need trebles (tr) and half trebles (htr) here, so if you’ve never done these before, here’s a quick how-to.
Half trebles: Yarn around hook twice, insert hook into stitch, pull a loop through, yarn over, pull loop through 2 loops on hook (3 left on hook) yarn over, pull loop through all three stitches on hook.
Trebles: Yarn over hook twice, insert hook into stitch, pull loop through, yarn over, pull loop through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull loop through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull loop through all remaining loops on hook.
So bring the new colour up in one of the 1ch spaces and ch3 (counts as 1dc), 2dc into same space. Ch 1, now we’re creating a corner, so into next 1ch space, 2htr, 1tr, ch3, 1tr, 2htr, ch1. The circle needed that extra space in the corner so we use the trebles. 3dc into next 1ch space, ch1, 3dc into next 1ch space, ch1 then repeat corner sequence. Now, continue around the circle in the same fashion as you would a granny square, just using the tr and htr in the corners!
And there we have it, a Grandala square fit for a blanket or cushion or whatever you want!
I do believe that granny squares are one of the most difficult things to photograph! Here’s a close up of that mandala goodness!
And a glimpse into the colourful wonderment that is my latest WIP! It’s so bright, as usual, my camera didn’t want to photograph it very well!
As you can see, I’ve used my favourite natural fibre to egde the squares to really make those mandalas pop out of the square. I’m loving them, I hope you do too.
OK, that’s all from me for now, I must, must, must go and finish my essay! Oh, but before I do, have you ever seen a cat with six toes? I have, my sister has one named Squid who is the loveliest little sweetie ever, she’s tiny and her fur is so silky soft! I got a picture today showcasing her full range of digits!
They’re like the cutest little pair of mittens! I love her so much!
OK then, I’m going, I’m going!!!
Lots of love to you all, from Alice and Raymond XXX