Mandala Madness 4, Book reviews

 

Lily mandala_1690

It’s time to review two books of Crochet Mandala patterns. What I love about these books is the beautiful color photos with lots of different ideas for color combinations. I find it easier to gauge color from printed photos than from the internet. Leafing through these pattern collections is an enjoyable way to look for inspiration.

First up is Mandalas to Crochet : 30 Great Patterns by Haafner Linssen, published by St. Martin’s Griffin,  2016. The photo above is the Oriental Lily pattern.

The book has nice photos and the patterns range from beginner friendly to intermediate. Many of the patterns are very simple designs but there are some fancier mandalas too. I find the color choices inspiring. For the Oriental Lily I stuck with mostly the colors used in the book, but added variegated yarn to the mix. You can see my pattern notes on my Ravelry project page.

Mandalas to Crochet has a very nice section in the beginning with illustrations of the crochet stitches, information about standing stitches, and how to make needle joins. There are helpful tips to trouble shoot and fix mandalas that don’t want to lay flat as well as information on blocking.

Each pattern has written instructions in U.S. terminology as well as a chart and full page photo of the finished mandala. There are no stitch counts for the rounds. Projects incorporating mandalas such as a bag, hot pad, and t-shirt yarn rug are also included.

I only worked one pattern from this book and did not find any errors in it. However one omission is that the yarn used is not specified for any of the mandalas. In the beginning of the book on page 7 it states “Mandalas made with a D-3 (3.25 mm) hook are made with light worsted yarn and those made with an E-4 (3.5 mm) hook are made with sport weight yarn.” I think this is a typo and that the smaller D hook should be used with the lighter sport weight yarn.

Overall this is a nice book that would be especially good for advanced beginners and those who appreciate useful technical information.

Next up is Modern Crochet Mandalas: 50+ Colorful Motifs to Crochet published by Interweave, 2016. The patterns are by several designers, Stephanie White, Kerry Bogert, Melinda Miller, and Sandra Eng.

The beautiful pictures really made me want this book. The color choices are wonderful and the mandalas are varied in style. There are some simpler patterns but this collection steers more towards intermediate level patterns. I am especially drawn to the texture of the patterns by Sandra Eng. Below are mandalas I made from the patterns in the Modern Crochet Mandalas book.

mandalas 5_1688

 

Instructions are written in U.S. terminology with charts and full page photos.

The first three patterns I worked from this book all had errors in the written pattern, chart, or both. I wish that the publisher would have taken more time to carefully edit these patterns for errors. I needed to use both the written instructions and the charts on each of the patterns. One of the simpler patterns had no errors.

The designs in this book are interesting, colorful and beautiful. They can also be challenging and offer a chance to use more advanced stitches and techniques. I think this would be of interest to intermediate and advanced crocheters who have enough background to be able to trouble shoot when the instructions get a little rocky.

Both of these books offer lots of inspiration for anyone who wants to explore color by making crochet mandalas. You might find both books useful, they are currently available on Amazon.com. The Chicago Public Library carries them both so you might want to check your local library.

goin green mandala_1684

Mint Chips Mandala pattern by Kerry Bogert from Modern Crochet Mandalas. It’s a quick one to make, more of a motif than mandala but cute anyway. Technical details can be found on my Ravelry project page.

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