I taught myself to crochet about six years ago, just after I started blogging. My mother would tell you I've always been a pretty determined little soul, if I wanted to learn to do something, I'd just keep trying until I got it right. So armed the enthusiasm and determination of my five year old self, learning to do a cartwheel, I watched a few you tube clips and with hook and yarn in hand, I taught myself to crochet over a long weekend in 2008.
Over the years, I've made beanies, berets and baby blankets, I even managed a vest without a pattern, but I've started many more projects than I've actually finished. It's always the same story, I can never find quite the right yarn, I settle for something I don't love and then I give up after a few squares or rows, getting bored or just not 'feeling it'. And I'm always left totally frustrated and defeated that I can't make what I can see so clearly in my head. Lately I've been feeling like I just want to finish something, to prove to myself I really can do it.
So when I read about Kate's lovely idea to do a motif a day in May, my heart rejoiced. Here was a goal, a deadline, something to work towards, something I could make myself accountable for. And the crochet fairies must have been listening, because in the very same week, after years of searching, I found the perfect rainbow of cotton yarn, colours that would finally bring my ideas to life. When I first signed up for the motif challenge, it was really just to give myself a creative kick up the rear, but in the process, one colourful mandala at a time, I was able to give myself so much more.
Without any patterns, any plans, every few days I would sit down and let my hands find their way. Each mandala had a story to tell, inspired by a song I was listening to, a film I was watching, a pairing of colours I noticed in a magazine. More than that though, each mandala was stitched mindfully, during nap time and late in the evenings, when our home was quiet and still and so was I. And in that stillness I found the space I needed to exhale, to stretch my creative muscles and dream up some really exciting ideas.
This is what I love about 'craft', it can totally transform you, body, mind and soul. At the end of it all, I found myself with something that money could never buy, thirty-one mindful mandalas, which will come together to adorn Tallow's bedroom and a month of memories, happiness and endless possibilities.