Sunday, February 28, 2016

Academy Awards Tonight and Crochet/Hekel Mandala

Academy Awards is Tonight!

The Oscars is the only award show I make a point to watch each year.  I used to watch multiple shows, but grew tired of the long shows.  I prefer to see the summaries and highlights following the shows.

I make an exception for the Oscars because I really enjoy seeing different films and the best of the best seem to appear on this night.

Each year, my goal is to see all of the Best Picture Nominees before the Oscars, but that's proven to be difficult now that they allow up to 10 films to be nominated.  I'm going into tonight not seeing two of the Best Picture noms and I'm okay with it.  One I will never see (no interest in Mad Max) and the other I'll try to catch this week.

The Red Carpet has begun, so the countdown to the show begins . . . 

(and I'll be watching Downton Abbey over breakfast tomorrow, thanks to xfinity on demand)

Crochet/Hekel Mandala CAL

I need to stop finding fun projects and groups on Facebook.  I couldn't resist joining in on the Crochet/Hekel Queen Mandala fun when I found the group of crocheters.  This is a mandala designed by a crocheter in South Africa and the group of people who are working on this mandala are from all offer the world.  Many of the posts are from Europe.  It's especially interesting to see the yarn choices made by everyone because there is so much represented from the various countries.

I started when the group was working on week 7, so I'll be behind for a few weeks.  This week, I finished weeks 1-5 and the mandala is looking great.  I decided to use stash yarn because I shouldn't buy any yarn for personal projects for the next several months.  I'm working with one of my favorite yarns -- Palette by KnitPicks.  It's a fingering weight wool yarn that I use for many of the items I sell in my shop.  Thanks to a big sale a couple years ago, I have a large selection in a wide variety of colors.  

Week 1

Quick and easy with no new stitches.  A good start to the mandala.  

Week 2

The next few rounds also went quickly.  I especially like the off-white V stitches at the end of this section.  

Week 3

The flowers for this section are joined as you go, so there is a ring when it's finished.  This flower ring is going to be joined to the original mandala in week 4.

Since I have experience knitting and crocheting multiples, I knew that an assembly-line method would be best utilized this week.  I crocheted the flowers in sections, working all of the centers first, then adding the flower petals.  When I started the leaves, the flowers were ready for quick attachment to the ring.

Using this method, it's easy to memorize the pattern for each row.  It is also much less cumbersome crocheting because you are only working with the string of flowers during the final row of leaves.

Week 4

 The flowers get attached to the mandala, then it's a few rows of granny stripes to end the section.  I'm not following the color palette described in the original pattern, so before I start on a section, I review my colors and decide what will come next.

Week 5

This is the last week's worth of mandala I'll be able to complete this week.  This section was full of interesting pattern, including bobbles and shells.  In person, the colors pop much better.  I'll have to capture the next section in better light and on a white background.  

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