It thrills me to see so many crochet books about mandalas coming out. It makes me smile to see those colorful designs, of course. But it also makes me think that perhaps Wink’s legacy is continuing on in some way, since she was one of earliest designers to focus on creating crochet mandala patterns. Of course, there is her own book but there are also other books making their way to market and they have flavors of that same inspiration.
The book that I’m looking at now is called Mandalas and Doilies to Crochet: Delightful Designs to Brighten Your Life. This book doesn’t particularly differentiate between the two (mandalas and doilies), considering both to be round, typically colorful, crochet designs. The idea behind the title is to take inspiration from vintage dollies but to recreate them as absolutely contemporary decor, primarily through the smart use of bold colors.
Author Marie-Line Andre of PurPle Laines shares her thoughts about color in the book’s introduction. She is inspired by all different color schemes, with each one bringing her into a different mental space, inspired by a specific time or activity. She says, “The doilies and mandalas in this book are an expression of my desire to share these combinations and sensations with you, so you can in your turn crochet yourself a world full of color.” This insight at the beginning of the book lends an extra layer to the details of the design in each of the 19 patterns in the book.
This book is divided into two parts. The first is a selection of crochet doily / mandala patterns. These are simple round patterns that can be used as table doilies or wall art. The second section of the book is a set of mandala-inspired projects. These are crochet projects worked in the round, designed with the doily style in mind but intended as functional items for self (earrings, for example) or home (such as bunting).
Most crochet pattern books take the approach of including a full color photo with the pattern next to it. The design of this book is slightly different, in a way that is charming. All of the crochet patterns for each section are shown together, before the instructions. Each one is showcased in full color on its own page, so that you can flip through them and get inspired. Each photo has the name of the project and the page where you can find the instructions. This formatting reminds me a bit of looking through vintage crochet magazines. Once you’ve seen all the photos from that section, you come to the patterns, which are both written patterns and beautifully designed symbol charts. The symbol charts themselves, worked with different colors for each round to showcase the different colors used throughout a project, are beautiful little works of art.