Sandra's Designing Blog

This is an exclusive area of my web site where you can find out more about my knitted designs, what inspires me, how I work and what I like (and don't like) to design. 
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  1. Sandra, I really like your mandala's but wouldn't know where to hang one!
    This is the exclamation I received last night at the local weekly knit and natter I go to. And you know what, I've had the same issue myself. I always do with art work, I fall in love with a piece but I can't visualise how it will look in situ so I don't buy.
    Firstly, with the mandala's, they are small!  ranging from 7 inch to 12 inch across, so they aren't major art pieces. But they are very versatile, most of them look equally pleasing on the reverse side and most look amazing in windows. You don't need to hang them either, they will stand propped up on a mantlepiece for example or blue tacked on to cupboards. So use these properties to your advantage, even to the point of being able to move them around your house and even move them outside in the summer months. 

    Below you can see how I have hung my mandala in the feature window, which brings even more attention to it's beauty.  The other mandala has been placed in a small patterned glass window..

    Above I've hung a 12" mandala on the staircase wall, it's not a big space and does warrant something to brighten the space up.

    Another 12 " mandala I've hung above a small fireplace in one of the bedrooms. A fireplace is usually the focal point of the room so displaying a mandala above it will really show it off. Remember the mandala's currently only go up to 12" across so it needs to be small stylish fireplace.

    You need to be choosing narrow wall areas, such as a stair landing, an alcove, next to a window or cupboard. or even hanging from a cupboard door for your mandala. 

    2 different places for the peacock feathers mandala, one in the window and then on a teal coloured wall.
    Photo shows the 2 different sides to 2 mandala's
    On a personal note......

    When it got to the end of January I decided that one month to start on a new idea was enough. January was 'mandala month'. I had created enough mandala's to determine the response, decide whether to write up a pattern later on in the year & decide whether to offer a personalisation service where potential customers could choose the sort of design and colours they wanted in their artwork.

    I imagine more mandala's WILL get created soon  xx

    I'm still not in a designing mood though so this morning I got out of my stash 400 grams of Rowan Creative Linen and spent a good few hours searching on line for a pattern. To ensure a successful outcome I chose a pattern that had been created specifically for the yarn, a simple sleeveless top, one that I knew I would wear. It's nothing outstanding, won't tax my creative juices but will keep my fingers busy.
    Shop for mandala's here
  2. Mindfulness knitting  

    I've always known that knitting was particular good for my well being. It was something I could do that somehow took my mind away from issues / stresses going on in my life. In fact sometimes I used this form of meditation as a means of putting off things that had deadlines and really I should have been doing before the knitting. 

    Being a designer I love that I have ideas brewing in my brain, creating knitting stitch patterns that I want to try out. But turning these stitch patterns into a garment etc involves a lot of cognitive thinking; something I'm very capable of doing but when life gets in the way, it can totally stress me out as much as life itself can.

    So I'm taking a bit of time out from the designing process, the pattern writing & testing (although I do have some simple design ideas in with 'The Knitter magazine which I may do).

    I would like to turn my knitting skills into creating something for myself, but even the process of selecting and deciding on pattern and yarn to buy seems beyond me at the moment. If I get this process wrong, which I often do then I've wasted yarn and time!  Maybe I'll get the help of the 'The Fibre Tribe' , the weekly knitting group I go to, for this.

    So, the Mandala's, why? These are something I am really enjoying doing. I had to do a little research and practise to work out how to do the centre circle and how to attach the finished mandala to the embroidery hoop, but once that was done I was on my way. I work out a little plan, starting out with knowing how many stitches to start with and when to start the brioche increases to create the pictures in my head. I'm finding the process allows me to concentrate on the knitting, get enjoyment from it, and I'm enjoy the ongoing result. Because I do know how to successfully frog my brioche knitting, I even feel OK when the work doesn't quite turn out like I want, I simply take it back. 

    Knitters will understand how knitting can take away some of the stresses and strains of life in general (I'm sure you all have them!, it's not just me!).

    For non knitters - have you considered taking it up?

    Maybe one day, you'll see me write up the pattern for one of my favourite mandala's. I'm not sure I've created my favourite yet. Watch this space.

    Shop Here

    mandala (Sanskrit for “circle”) is an artistic representation of higher thought and deeper meaning given as a geometric symbol used in spiritual, emotional, or psychological work to focus one's attention. The image first appears in India via the Hindu text known as the Rig Veda c. 1500 - c. 500 BCE but has been used by cultures around the world in many different periods up to the present.

    The details of the meaning of a given mandala depend on the individual creating or observing the image, but mandalas in every culture serve, more or less, the same purpose of centering an individual or community on a given narrative in order to encourage introspection and, ultimately, an awareness of one's place and purpose in the world; this awareness then allows for peace of mind.