how I plan the weekly mandala

Hey everyone! :)

I promised to do a blog post about my mandala planning, so here it is!

You should know that I never really plan that far ahead. The inspiration usually comes to me within a few days after making the last mandala. Sometimes I find a lot of pretty pictures or photos and I intend on making them all into mandalas, but then life happens and I stumble across something that makes my heart stop/sing/jump, and I decide to go with that :) So sometimes I have ‘topics’ already written down on my blog calendar, but more often than not I go with a spur of the moment decision!

When I have found the inspirational piece, I set out to pick a color scheme. I’ll use last week’s inspiration as an example:

I use this website to help me pick the colors. By just looking at a picture, it can be hard to define which colors are dominant and which aren’t. To help me pick the colors, I load the image and presto; PhotoCopa gives me a color palette to use!

By looking at this palette, I can tell that there are a lot of purple hues in this picture. The color palette isn’t written in stone; I often change around some specific colors because I like them better, or because I don’t have the other color in my stash! :) I have the entire range of Paris Drops to work with (I have at least a few yards of all the colors they offer) but sometimes I can’t find a suitable match, so I substitute with a color that is available.

After making the palette, I open Photoshop where I created a template to help me make the mandala:

I put the palette in the template together with the original image, and then the fun part begins: picking the actual colors! :)

I usually take a look at the palette to see which colors dominate, and I set those colors as the outer rounds. You know how when you’re making a mandala/circle/blanket, and the last row you added gives it a completely different look? That applies here too. For this mandala I wanted the purple to dominate, so I used that for the border. There is almost no purple anywhere else in the mandala, yet it still has a definite purple hue to it!
When the border is set, I work from the inside out, so I start in the middle. The first three rounds get the colors that I really love in the piece but shouldn’t dominate too much. And then I just work my way up, changing colors as I go. It’s not an exact science; I just play with it until I’m happy :) As I said before, sometimes after I finish the design I look through my stash and find some other colors in my yarn, and then I go back in and change those colors to see if the mandala as a whole still works for me.

And after all that is done, I lay the yarn out all next to each other, from left to right (representing rounds 1 till 13) and crochet the mandala! :) It usually takes me about two hours to make one, depending on if I’m watching a show while I do it ;) I often crochet my mandalas on a Monday, so that means time for Dexter, Homeland and all those other fab US shows!

After the mandala is finished it waits patiently till I have time to photograph it, which is usually on Wednesday morning :)
weekly crochet mandala

I hope you liked this sneak peek into my ‘kitchen’!

How do you pick the colors for a project? Do you plan them like me or do you often just ‘wing it’?


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  1. This is a really insightful post, I have also bookmarked that sight as I like how it chooses out the colours. You are so creative!

  2. Thank you so much for this link!!!! This is such an incredible tool. Already creating some palettes.

  3. It was very interesting to read how you do it! Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Crochet Link Love: Best Posts of the Week — Crochet Concupiscence