Thursday 22 May 2014

Knitted Mandalas For Yarndale

Yarndale, the knitting festival taking place in Skipton, North Yorkshire, on 28th and 29th September this year, is asking crafters to donate mandalas they've created. These will be on display as a colourful welcome to all visitors.

A mandala is a Tibetan Buddhist circular symbol of the universe. According to BBC Religion, "the mandala represents an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing an aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of a guiding principle. The mandala's purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones and to assist with healing."

Photo courtesy of
Crotcheters will be more familiar with mandalas as pretty circles crocheted in the round.

I've recently tried to learn crochet and picked up some basics hooking up Toft Alpaca's chick at Easter. The free pattern for this is here. Soon I'm going on a Berylune craft afternoon to learn how to crochet the granny square. As yet, sadly, mandalas are beyond my crochet abilities.

That's why I was thrilled to see The Knit blog (love its tagline: "for creatives with balls") explain how to knit mandalas. The blog includes a free pattern for basic short row knitted circles, plus has advice on leafy/scalloped edging.

I'll be using up some odds and ends of wool to make a couple of mandalas for Yarndale. See my earlier blog post on what to do in Skipton after filling your bags with goodies from the festival of creativity.

Over the last few days, however, I haven't felt like knitting at all. Sadly the pain and exhaustion that comes part and parcel with my physical disability overtook me and I didn't have the will to even pick up a basic knitting project. I find knitting to be very therapeutic for pain - the whole getting into the 'flow' of stitches means my mind is distracted, if only temporarily, from pain. Plus it's so satisfying to see what I've created, making beautiful things for myself or for gifts: something good coming out of a painful state.

Today I'm feeling on the up and am (thank goodness!) looking forward to getting back on the needles tomorrow. Perhaps the healing power of the mandala will work its magic on me. I've also a baby blanket to finish and then I may get started on a jumper for a Christmas gift. It's only May I know - but these things take time. The jumper is a recent pattern from Knitting magazine and I'll share more soon, safe in the knowledge that the intended recipient doesn't read this blog!

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