Sunday, 21 May 2017

Glitterball Mandala

crochet mandala

I've been playing around with this mandala for a little while, getting the hang of creating a round, flat doily thing that doesn't get warped and wobbley.

Then I found some delicious gold and silver thread while away at Phillip Island a month ago.
I avoided metallic threads for many years as I thought them a bit tacky. I was so very, very wrong! I used some in my Unicorn Poop Arm Mitts, then decided to chuck a bit of glitter in this very glittery mandala.  And I love it!

I have also been having massive Eargasms listening to the glam rock stylings of Suzi Quatro, The Sweet, Thin Lizzy and David Bowie lately. The music I listen to when I crochet has a huge impact on my colour choices.

As I crochet and sing along to the tunes crackling out of my record player (for you Gen Y/Zers, record players were what we oldies used a long, long, long time ago before CDs were invented. Think of them as being like black CD discs but way bigger. And no lasers!!), I found myself wanting more colour, more crazy!

Even now I have a strong yearning to throw neon in with the silver, aqua and hot pink. That's the power of vinyl Crochet Brothers and Sisters!

I called this mandala 'Glitterball' because it reminds me of all my favourite tunes such as Ballroom Blitz and the glam/ glittery iconic symbols of the 70s rock scene: Aladdin Sanes' lightning bolt, glitter coated platform shoes, crunchy guitars, and fantastic androgynous makeup.

So are you ready Steve, Andy? Mick? Alright fellas!

Let's gooooooo!!!!!*

*Ballroom Blitz opening lyrics, not mine. Go listen to the song if you've never heard it. It's the coolest thing next to your eardrums.

What will you need?

A combination of cotton yarns in the colours below (or your own choices). The gold and silver will probably be acrylic or polyester.

A 3.5mm crochet hook

Scissors and darning needle

Stitch Abbreviations

(U.S. Crochet terms are used)   




Double crochet


Finish off


Half double crochet


Single crochet






Slip stitch





Colour A

canary yellow

Colour H

disco ball silver

Colour B

hot pink

Colour I

grass green

Colour C

light pink

Colour J


Colour D

flamingo pink

Colour K


Colour E

blush pink

Colour L


Colour F


Colour M


Colour G

storm blue

Grab your hook and let's get started!

Round 1: Starting with Colour A, crochet 6sc in a magic ring. Ss to beginning sc, then FO. [6]
Round 1

R2:          Join Colour B to any sc from R1. *(Ch2, dc in same stitch, ch2, ss in next st). Repeat from * 5 more times. You will now have 6 sweet little petals. FO. [6 petals]
Round 2

R3:          Join Colour C in the top of the middle dc of any petal from R2.  Sc in that same st, ch4, *(sc in top of the middle dc in next petal, ch4). Repeat from * 5 more times and finish with a ss to beginning sc. FO. [6sc, 24ch]
Round 3

R4:          Join Colour D in any ch4 space and ch1 (does not count as sc). 6sc in this same ch4 sp. Then *(sk sc, 6sc in next ch4 sp). Repeat from * 5 more times and finish with ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [36sc]
Round 4

R5:          Join Colour E in any sc of R4. Ch1 (counts as sc), then sc in each st around. Ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1) and FO. [36sc]
Round 5
R6:          Join Colour F in the sc that is at the point of each side of this little ‘hexagon’. Ch1 (counts as sc), ch7, sk 5 st. *(sc in next st, ch7, sk 5 st). Repeat from * 5 more times, then join with ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [6sc, 42ch]
Round 6

R7:          Join Colour G to the beginning of any ch7 sp. Ch1 (does not count as sc). Crochet 10sc in same ch7 sp. Then skipping every sc, crochet 10sc in each of the remaining ch7 sp. Ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [60sc]
Round 7

R8:          Join Colour B to any st from R7. Ch1 (counts as sc), then sc in each st around. [60sc]
Round 8

R9:          Join Colour H to any point of the ‘hexagon’ as indicated by the photo below.  Ch1 (counts as sc). Sc in next 2 st, hdc in next 2st, 3hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in next 2 st. *(sc in next 3 st, hdc in next 2st, 3hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in next 2 st.) Repeat from * 5 more times. Join with ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [72st]
Round 9
R10:       Join Colour I to any st of R9. Ch2 (counts as sc and ch1), then sk next st. *(sc, ch1, sk st). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [36sc, 36ch]
Round 10

R11:       Join Colour E in any ch1 space. Ch2 (counts as sc and ch1), sc in same st, then ch1 *(sk next st, sc in next ch1 sp, ch1). Repeat from * 5 times. Skip the next st. Now to complete to round: #(in same st {sc, ch1, sc}, then ch1, {sk next st, sc in ch1 sp, ch1} 5 times). Phew! Repeat from # 4 more times. Join with a ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [42sc, 42ch]
Round 11

R12:       Join Colour J in any ch1 sp. Repeat R10. [42sc, 42ch]
Round 12

R13:       Join Colour K in any ch1 sp. Repeat R10. [42sc, 42ch]
Round 13

R14:       Join Colour A in any ch1 sp. Ch 3, dc in same sp then ch1. *(in next ch1 sp crochet 2dc, ch1, sk next sc of R13). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with a ss to top of beg ch3. FO. [84dc, 42ch]
Round 14

R15:       Join Colour D in any ch1 sp. Ch3 (counts as 1sc plus 2ch). *(sk the 2dc of R14, sc in ch1 sp, ch2). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with a ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO. [42sc, 84ch]

R16:       Join Colour L in any ch2 sp. Ch1 (does not count as sc). *(in same ch2 sp: sc, hdc, dc, ch3, sl st to 3rd ch from the hook. Skip the next sc. In next ch2 sp: dc, hdc, sc). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with a ss to beginning sc. FO. [You will finish up with 21 ‘rays’]
Round 16

Round 16

R17:       Join Colour J to the point of any ray in the ch3 loop. Ch1 (counts as sc), Ch6. Then *(sc in the top of the next ray point, ch6). Repeat from * 20 times. Join with ss to beginning sc (which was a ch1). FO.
Round 17

R18:       Join Colour B in any Ch6 sp. Ch3 (counts as first dc), 7dc in same ch6 sp. Then *(8dc in each ch6 sp skipping each sc). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with a ss to top of beg ch3. FO. [168dc]
Round 18
R19:       Join Colour M in between the 2dc above the sc of R17. Ch10 (counts as 1sc plus 9ch), sk 8dc of R18. *(sc between the 8th and 9th dc of R18. This should be above the sc of R17. Ch9). Repeat from * around to the end, only crocheting the sc between the 8th and 9th dc of the previous round. See photo for clarification. [21sc, 189ch]

Round 19
R20:       Join Colour D in any ch9 sp. Ch2 (counts as fist hdc), 8hdc in same ch9 sp. Then *(9hdc in each ch9 sp skipping each sc). Repeat from * around to the end. Join with a ss to top of beg ch2. FO. [189hdc]

Round 20
R21:       Join Colour L to the first hdc of any 9hdc section. Ch1 (counts as 1st sc), then in the next 8 stitches: sc, hdc, dc, 2tr in same st, dc, hdc, sc, sc. *(sc, sc, hdc, dc, 2tr in same st, dc, hdc, sc, sc). Repeat from * in each of the remaining 20 ‘9hdc’ sections around to the end. Join with a ss to beg sc (which was a ch). FO. [198st]

Round 21
R22:       Join Colour H to the first sc of the previous round. Ch1 (counts as sc), then sc in each of the next 4st, ch3, sc in next 5st. *(sc in each of the next 5 st ending with the 1st tr of the previous row. Ch3, starting with next tr: sc in each or the next 5 st of the previous row). Repeat from * around to the end. Basically in this round you sc in each stitch but with a little ch3 between the 2 high trebles in the middle so you make it a little bit more pointy. Join with a ss to beg sc (which was a ch). FO. [198st, 63ch]

Round 22. Doesn't the silver make it looks super cool and glam?!

And you're finished!  Block your mandala just so those points sit out nice and pointy.

crochet mandala

I would love to see your mandala. Pop on over to my Facie page and post a photo of your finished Glitterball. Or tag me on Instagram @red.haired.amazona.crochets
I love love love seeing everyone's finished projects!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Rangas, Records and other things that don't begin with R.

There have been lots of things happening in the Amazona household over the past month.
So much in fact that poor Blog has been feeling quite neglected.
Firstly this has been happening...

No, I did not buy a new generator.

This is the first box I packed as we begin to pack up our little house and move only a short distance away to set up a fresh new home with the Bear. After several years of living between 2 houses (although mostly in mine), my gorgeous Bear and I are shacking up. Blending fams so to speak. It's a little bit exciting!

And a little bit sad because whilst my little house is getting old and a bit worn, I'll miss my big backyard with the eternally fruiting lemon tree. And the rainbow lorikeets that flock to the nashi pear trees in February. The fig tree that has only just started growing figs. And I will really miss our suburb. So close to the beach and with a lovely community spirit.

In an effort to get the Bears house ready for Spring, a few weeks ago we dug up a patch in the garden, set up a massive trellis and sowed a line of Sweet Pea seeds.
After they popped up their little seedling heads, the snails ate all but one. 🐌🌱

A couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Saturday morning sleep in and trudged into the Melbourne CBD to display a bit of redheaded ranting at the 2nd Annual Ginger Pride Rally!

Melbourne City council obviously thought so many gingernuts, rangas, coppertops and flaming tomatoes with their famous firey tempers were bound to cause trouble so there were crowd control wardens...

"Hey Jim, watch out for the one in boots. She looks like she's about to riot!"
"No worries Fred. I've got enough pepper spray to light up the whole bag of carrots..."

Gingers, duracells, matchsticks and freckle faced carrot tops of all shades were represented. Non-gingers were also welcome but had to be accompanied by a BloodNut friend or family member.

Because Star Wars inspired slogans make everything cool...

A non- ginger hides his shameful brown fuzz with an appropriately coloured scarf.

There were games of ginger beer pong, and even a ginger speed dating booth for those of you wanting to help spread the MC1R gene by doing the wild thang with a genu-wine Fanta pants!

The SPF50+ sunscreen and ginger beer flowed freely as pale skinned Titian creatures frolicked under the partly cloudy skies. 

There were flamed haired rock bands starting with local Melbourne band The Vanns.

Many of us frequently scampered to the shade of the small trees in Federation Square when the sun peeked from behind the clouds lest we sizzle like sliced tomatoes on the bbq.
The Rally also raised money for the Alannah & Madeline Foundation which raises awareness & funds to help stop bullying against children (including little rangas!)

There was loads of camera-people running around taking photos and videos. Finding myself in some of the photos of this Daily Mail article was a little bit like looking at those Where's Wally books. Can you find me?

We all like, totally felt like celebrities, like totally....

1500 of us marched and chanted from Federation Square and around Alexandria Gardens. The march organisers led rousing chants with megaphones such as:

"R.A.N.G.A! We will never go away!"

"We're proud! We're red! We're really good in bed!"

I am hoping the parents of our little baby rangas didn't let the kiddies chant that last one...

There were even some orange & red flowers along the way showing solidarity...

In crochet news, I have also been crocheting a lovely light blue cardigan from a pattern I found in an old copy of Simply Crochet magazine. Issue 34 to be precise.

It's called the Cream Soda Lacy Cardigan by Annalies Baes. I love how this already fits so well.
The pattern calls for Malabrigo Arroyo Merino and 4 and 4.5mm hooks. 

However I have 3 balls of light blue 5ply acrylic. I had bought them by accident thinking they were DK, and because I never use 5ply, thought they'd sit there unused. However after creating a swatch for this pattern decided to use them but crocheting with 3 and 3.5mm hooks.

I love love love this old Rod Stewart compilation. The cover is in the shape of a scotch glass.

Since Bear gave me a record player for Christmas, I have been finding gorgeous 2nd hand vinyls in op shops, and by raiding Bears record collection. I did still have some of my own left over from when I ditched my last record player after it died nearly 10 years ago.

It's been so lovely to make a cuppa, pop on one of these classic LPs and crochet this lovely cardigan.

Me and Ian Anderson go waaaaay back. I used to listen to my dads original copy of Thick As A Brick over and over again.

The busy-ness of life has seriously interfered with pattern writing time.
I have been trying to finish editing and photographing my latest mandala for nearly, or morely a month.  (yes I know 'morely' isn't a proper word but it sounds like it should be!)
I did finish one, then realised my stitch count was all wrong. So instead of frogging it, I finished it off, then started another.

I really love the colours in this mandala. I used the same cottons as my arm mitts but also added some gold thread.

Would you believe good old Susi Q has been amazing for inspiring wild, colourful mandalas?

I finally finished my mandala that has been remade and perfected over the past couple of months.  I guess it has been inspired by the 70s glam rock that I've been listening to lately such as Suzi Quatro and The Sweet (I love love love Ballroom Blitz!).
Check it out!

Stay tuned as I publish the pattern in the next day or two!

So in between cardigans, mandalas, Ranga Rallies, and moving house I am also planning a rather amazing little excursion to a place FAR FAR away.

A place where I never imagined visiting.

A place which feels a teensy bit intimidating but exciting!

It has been very 'spur of the moment' as I have a family member getting married and I was thrilled they thought to invite me but they don't exactly live 5 minutes down the road...

I'm going to keep it under my belt for a little longer yet. I'll let you know where I'm going when it gets closer to the time!

Like seriously people. Do you ever have those times when nothing happens for ages, then everything, like all of the really big things happen at once?

It's like life is nice a sleepy. A little dull, but in a nice sleepy way, then someone sticks a firecracker under your bum! Startling, makes you jump, maybe swear, but with lots of pretty colours.

Thanks for visiting!

The Red Haired Amazona