Thursday, 25 February 2016

Colouring Mandalas

Are you an avid colourer? Do you love the colouring books that have evolved in the last couple of years for adults and the more intricate colouring that has appeared for older children?

How about some mandala colouring then?

I have created, alongside my daily mandala practice, some black and white mandalas for colouring. Each is hand drawn to fit when printed onto A4 paper and are unlike those  seen in colouring books which are mastered and perfected by computer technology. I am offering them here as pdfs for you to print and colour as many times as you like.

Each set of three will be £1.49 and will keep you entertained for hours. I will continue to upload the small photos, so you can choose and buy the larger sizes to print over the next few months.

These are now available to buy on Etsy in my Hannah Designs Shop.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Child's Tassel Hat

This pattern is suggested for any child in your life, from 3-6 years. A larger size, 7-10 years is available- see link below- and this will also be the place to go if  you would like a pdf copy for printing of the smaller size too. 
As with all of my patterns, this is perfect for knitting in the round, just remove one stitch from each end of the starter row and every consequent row. I will always provide patterns and knit for the photos without the need to knit in the round.


Wendy Merino Chunky 100g
Contrast Wendy Merino DK for tassel 
5.5mm and 6.5mm Needles


Cast on 55  sts with 5.5mm needles
St-st 4 rows
Change to 6.5mm needles and st-st to 12 cm 
Shape Crown:
The first row will place marker at decrease points, transfer this marker with the stitches on every row.
Row 1 (k16 place marker, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (52 sts)
Row 2 (and ev. other alt row.)purl 
Row 3 (k15, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (49 sts)
Row 5 (k14, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (46 sts)
Row 7 (k13, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (43 sts)
Row 9 (k12, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (40 sts) 
Continue decreasing three times at the marker points, with fewer stitches between k2tog on each RS row.
Last Row. (k2tog) 3times, k1 (4 sts)

Make up:

Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull tight. Sew up seam with mattress stitch and sew in ends.
To make tassel wind contrast yarn around a CD case 20 times, fasten long thread around yarn at one end, ease yarn from CD case. Sew head together and tie tightly, cut opposite end of tassel to neat ends and attach to top point of hat for a final flourish.

To purchase the pdf of Child's Tassel hat for £2.39 please click below. The pdf also contains the pattern to fit 7-10 year.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

What is a Mandala?

A Mandala is a representation of a circle. The translation for mandala, from Sanskrit, is circle or cycle.

It can be seen as the organisation and cycle of life itself around a unified centre. The universe is created in the mandala, sometimes it has seven layers, representing the seven chakras from yoga, or the seven days it took God to create life. As a circle has no end and no beginning it can show as a journey with infinite possibilities and no end or beginning. 
Not only is the process of creating mandalas seen as meditative, but the viewing too. A decorated circle with journeys for the mind’s eye and so many choices on what to view next, offer an alternative to a seated silent meditation. The perspective of seeing different paths and understanding our life’s journey through the infinite visual stimuli in a mandala can become a daily practice. 

History of Mandalas 
Tibetan Monks, to this day, are taught to create mandalas from coloured sand. Four years of training is considered necessary before being allowed into the team which creates the mandalas. Mantras are chanted and meditations are practiced while construction of the mandalas takes place over sites which have been blessed and cleansed beforehand. These mandalas are believed to have healing properties for all who create and view them. Essentially they are made in an open place for the wind and rain to wash away the final creation. Life has infinite possibilities, but a new door will open, with a new mandala once the old door and old mandala has been closed. 
Mandalas are created with various materials throughout many religions and cultures and are documented at many points in history.
In the modern world we see most mandalas as artwork, on paper or in paintings, but they are also seen in fabrics, architecture, furniture and hi-tech product design. A mandala created by us in any of these forms can be seen as a connection between our inner consciousness and life around us. Such creations become a way of looking at how we feel every day. The colours we choose can become significant, connected to the chakras or our surroundings. The shapes, lines, curves and dots that we use can represent the world around us or the thoughts and emotions we are experiencing.

Why Create a Mandala?
There is no necessity to delve as deep and search for meaning in any piece of art that you may create. The practice can be as simple as giving yourself a five minute break in your lunch time or a quick doodle on an envelope before you post a letter or card to a friend. (not really possible in emails!) 

Having that short break and finding a focus will make a difference to how you continue your day. The repetition of thought and motion of colouring or drawing has been shown in studies to be soothing and calming for the brain. There is no coincidence that adult colouring books are sold as ‘mindfulness’ books. Mindfulness is a long established type of yoga practice, basically meaning to focus on one thing without distraction, which for even three or five minutes a day will make a beneficial difference to your emotions, energy, mind, body and spirit.