andrea crochet mandala for marinke

This smashing crochet mandala is worked in more than half a dozen colors and reminds me of the most glorious flowers in the world. It comes from Andrea, who you’ll find on both Ravelry and Instagram under the name @anfloclay.

andrea anfloclay crochet mandala

She writes:

“I am a busy, working single mom. I am proof you can live after domestic abuse and make a life living with mental health problems. I work every single day to maintain peace and equilibrium in my life. It doesn’t come naturally, and if I don’t keep it in check then it hits me like a freight train.”

anfloclay crochet mandala

“Crochet has saved my life. I’ve found a way to be still and peaceful whilst being busy!

I wanted to contribute here because Wink was a beacon that we could hope to emulate. It could happen to any one of us. She was a bright star and sadly she couldn’t find her peace. I want there to be a time when there is no shame attached to mental health and depression.

Sending love and peace.”

crochet mandala by anfloclay uk

Andrea learned both knitting and crochet as a child but really started going both crafts just a couple of years ago. She shares on Ravelry:

“I found that crochet and knitting helped me cope with a stressful job, being a mum to a hormonal teenager and the difficulties of a long distant relationship. I have an unashamedly brazen yarn addiction; I have just discovered the joy of knitting socks and it’s taken me away from the love of crocheting blankets.

My Nanna taught me to knit and crochet more than 30 years ago. I could only ever crochet circles and I would knit the odd things for my girl when she was little. After a chance conversation 3 years ago with my buddy Carmen, we found a crochet expert who showed us how to do squares; I spent the next year making the biggest ever granny square blanket. Then I took another year to do another for my mum. I was so uninspired with the yarn I was buying – very cheap DK. I think this is why I took so long to make the blankets.

Then a year ago, whilst at Carmen’s, she showed me Wool Warehouse and the rest is history. I don’t know why I didn’t think to buy yarn online. So now any spare time and money is spent on wool and all crochet/knitting implements! I spent many years struggling with stress and anxiety – not any more. Give me a hook and yarn and the teenager who lives in my house can scream and rant all she wants – I’m oblivious!”

andrea crochet mandala

For the depression awareness portion of today’s post, I really wanted to share the recent Buzzfeed video featuring the stories of different people who survived suicide attempts and talk about depression:

crochet mandala by andrea uk

detail of crochet mandala by anfloclay

Some of the advice that these people give in these videos in terms of getting help include:

  • Going to therapy and finding the right fit in a therapist; going to a support group
  • A creative outlet, such as writing or crochet
  • Get help from others, let the people in that want to help even though it’s hard, ask for what you need
  • Figure out one minute at a time
  • Maintain health over time, learn the tools and use them

These things sound easy on the one hand and impossible on the other. They sound basic and obvious but when you’re in the grips of depression they can seem pointless or too difficult. And yet, coming from people who have lived through it, the advice seems poignant.

anfloclay crochet mandalasformarinke

See all crochet Mandalas for Marinke here


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

1 Comment

  1. Kathryn – thank you for sharing my story. I am a bit overwhelmed to be honest. It was a real joy and privilege to take part. Lots of love xx

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