Creative Strength Training--Yarn Mandala

Summer is officially here, which is bittersweet for me.  I love the weather, long days and flowers, but long for the fun and joy of attending and working at Summer Camp.  Lucky for me and anyone interested, Jane Dunnewold is hosting a Creative Strength Training Camp and there is plenty of time to join the camp fun via the public "Creative Strength Training Prompts" Facebook group.  This camp is designed for "creative types and those who want to be more creative."  It is structured in that each Monday, a new creative action prompt is issued as a challenge.  If you choose to participate and do a post by Saturday evening, you are eligible to win prizes!  Anyone who joins the group also receives a discount code for use in ordering Jane's desk of "Creative Strength Training" Prompt Cards.

Week 1 of CST Camp just kicked off on Monday and prompted participants to gather sticks from the street or backyard for use in a creative project.  Its been lots of fun seeing such creativity from participants interpretation of stick, as well as how they have embellished and used the sticks into a personal creative art project:  bridges, weaving, figurines, fences, totem poles and much more.

I enjoyed my walk about the backyard and front of the house in search of sticks to serve as my muse.  On the prompt card, there was the suggestion of wrapping the sticks, which immediately reminded making Ojo de Dios/God's Eyes with yarn.  A quick Pinterest search found an amazing array of God's Eyes, including some really advanced designs that reminded me of a mandala.  I found this great online tutorial by Jay Mohler to help me get started.  I grabbed my three skeins of ombre yarns and got to work weaving my own Mandala.
Ombre Yarn Mandala, Finished 6" x 6"
There was a bit of a learning curve, but once I figured out the pattern and designs, the weaving process was very meditative as I watched new designs and color combinations emerge from the center out.  Unfortunately, just as I was getting the knack of it, one of the sticks began to give and bend a little (evidenced by the section of looser weaving).  Then another branch broke along the edge of my current weaving.  I figured this was nature's way of telling me my piece was done...and so I proceeded to snap off the other long stick ends, tie off any loose threads and call it finished!

But I will be in search for longer/sturdier sticks to try making larger mandalas!!
A Rather Fitting Easel to Display my Nature Inspired Art!
And if you happen to be in the San Jose area in late July...Jane Dunnewold will be delivering a Fiber Talk for the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles on Sunday, July 24th from 3-4 PM!  Tickets are available for purchase online.  I am looking forward to meeting Jane, hearing her speak and hopefully getting her to sign a copy of her newly released Creative Strength Training book!!


  1. Mel, I did these when I was a kid....I loved doing them! All my extra yard from crochet was made into these beauties. I gave them to friends and adorned my walls with them. Thanks for the memory. I love your color combo.

    1. Thanks Barbara...yes it's always fun to relive our childhood crafting fun. I was amazed at how some artists have really elevated this childhood craft into some stunning mandalas...when you have some free time, be sure to do a quick Pinterest will be delighted!


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