Helios Mandala - new pattern release



It feels like I haven’t been blogging for ages now. And that’s for the exciting reason. Last week I spent in Sweden with my friend taking pictures for a new (still top secret) project, which I cannot tell you anything about. Yet. Still, lots of work is waiting for me, but hopefully it will be ready soon. But in a meanwhile I was working on something else. Actually several wips are in the making right now, and one of them has been finished recently and is ready to meet the world today. It’s a mandala worked in brioche crochet – my new favorite technique. 

Please, note that this picture is a photo collage of two border versions. The pattern is written for each border separately!

Technically, brioche crochet is not a separate technique really (I am not a fan of creating new techniques out of nowhere and “inventing” new stitches and abbreviations). It uses common stitches and I would say it is a “brioche look” crochet, reminding famous knitting method. 

It is done with two colors (each for one row or round) and consists of front post stitches and chains. In fact, it is a mesh fabric with increases and decreases which create intricate stitch patterns. Intricate in the look but not in the way you make them. 


If you never tried brioche crochet before, you might want to try your hand with my tiny and free Brioche Heart pattern. It will give you an idea of how my other brioche patterns are written and what to expect. No videos are available, but instructions contains row-by-row explanations together with tons of helpful pictures. They will guide you through literally every stitch placement. 

Coral Story Blanket is another example of my brioche work. And this is also a very nice pattern to learn the technique. Medium hexagon motifs are worked quickly, and by the time you finish two or three, you should be confident with brioche already. 

Coral Story Blanket

 My new brioche design - Helios Mandala – was meant to become a perfect match for a Coral Story blanket. (Credit for the pattern name goes to Sandra Veneman!)

Please, note that this picture is a photo collage of two border versions. The pattern is written for each border separately!

 The pattern is available for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry with 25% discount through Monday, September 28th, 2020. The price has been already discounted and you don’t need any codes. 

To be honest, it gave me many sleepless nights. First I could not choose the correct yarn and was swatching and swatching with different colors. Brioche looks the best with either two solid colors, or with a mix of one solid and one semi-solid or gradient shade. My attempt of using Scheepjes Stone Washed together with Spirit failed. But Spirit and Metropolis looked together like a success. 

Find yarn in your local Scheepjes shop, or purchase it online via international retailers:

Wool Warehouse* and Black Sheep Wools* (UK, please check shipping guidelines before placing your order, as there might be limitations due to COVID situation)
Taemombo (US and Canada)

 

 

The central “whirling” mandala was designed in a few days, and then I wanted to add the border with a similar stitch pattern as for a Coral Story. That also didn’t take much time, but after it was finished I kept thinking I could do something else. 

When I was packing for a trip to Sweden, I threw two Colour Crafter* skeins into my suitcase (black and white). Just to crochet on the trains and planes and maybe to double-check the pattern which was already in test at that moment. 


And ta-dah! After the central mandala was finished, I suddenly got another idea and before I came back home, another border with zigzags was finished. And the pattern was written down on the train (a miracle!). 

My brave and supportive testers were almost done with their mandalas, but they were not afraid of taking something new on board and tested the second border as well. Sending many thanks to Faye Pike, Laura Jackson, Esther Schippers, Sarah Fabbri, Loele van den Bergh, Macarena Marskell, Jenna Bowers, Sheela Bijea and Ruth Bracey! You are the best! 


 As a result, the pattern comes with two borders! You can choose from either version with petals or zigzags. Both mandalas come out in the same size and with the same stitch count. And if you are thinking about making a pillow, you can use both mandalas for a reverse look, as I did with mine. 

As you can see from the pictures, I made five mandalas myself. I simply could not stop. I was trying different colors and if the release was not planned for today I would probably have made a bunch of new ones. 


For two mandalas I used Scheepjes Spirit and Metropolis yarns (amounts are given in the pattern). And for other samples I chose Scheepjes Colour Crafter. You will need slightly more than one ball in Yarn A for one mandala. So for two mandalas it will make 3 skeins of Yarn A and 3 skeins in Yarn B (or maybe you might want to add third color). 

My Metropolis and Spirit mandalas were turned into a pillow. And I am still thinking what to do with the rest, haha. 


By the way with worsted or aran yarn it will make a nice area rug. Look at Esther’s Schippers work. She used Scheepjes Mighty yarn to make a small rug for her van. 


 Faye Pike added Brioche Mandalas to her collection of minis made with Scheepjes Sugar Rush yarn. 


And Laura Jackson decided to go creative (as she always does!) and is currently working on her blanket. The plan is to turn mandalas into octagons and add small squares in between. I can’t wait to see it finished! And you can also follow the progress on her Ravelry page, where she will also post all notes. 


 After many doubts and struggles I can finally say I am very happy with my new Helios Mandala. And I hope you will like it as well. 

And just to remind you, the Helios Mandala pattern is available for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry with 25% discount through Monday, September 28th, 2020. The price has been already discounted and you don’t need any codes. 

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