Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mandalas for Marinke

At the end of June in 2015, a young lady named Marinke Slump (nicknamed Wink) lost her fight with depression and passed away. Her death led to an outpouring of grief and sadness, dare I say throughout the world. She was well known through her crochet blog and patterns. Her death was a shock but brought about an awareness of mental illness that had not perhaps been felt before.

Marinke's blog is still active. I think her sister periodically posts.

One person chose a very special way to honor Marinke and bring awareness to the plight of those suffering from depression. Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence put out a call for crocheted mandalas in Wink's honor. The effort is called Mandalas for Marinke. Little did she know the response would be so great.

Who is Kathryn Vercillo? You can read about her here.

You can also support Kathryn's work financially if you are so inclined. Refer to her Patreon page and this update for more information.

Here is Wink's story for Kathryn's book Crochet Saved My Life.

If you'd like to see all the articles written about the different mandala submissions, you can find them here.

I recently contacted Kathryn to get an update on the project, which entailed putting out a book of pictures of all the mandalas and an art display of the mandalas themselves.

Here is the update, directly from Kathryn.
Both the book and the art show are slated for 2017 after some unexpected delays that were caused by receiving a surprisingly large number of submissions. This is a wonderful thing, of course, and it just led to some changes in the format of both the show and the book. In short ...
- The book is completely written and almost all layout is complete. I have been waiting to publish until I get photos of all of the mandalas in one space together as I believe that has the most powerful visual impact. I have found it difficult to secure a large enough space to layout all of the mandalas in one place for photographing. I am still working on this although I've found some workarounds that I can implement if the full photo does not come through. The book is to be published in advance of the early summer anniversary of Marinke's death. A notice will be sent as soon as I have a specific publication date. 
- I really wanted to keep all of the mandalas together for one cohesive art show. I completely underestimated how difficult it is to find a space to host a full exhibition. The few spaces available in San Francisco are prohibitively expensive, so I've been looking into varied options (hosting it elsewhere, with a few options available in Tucson, AZ to start, and separating the work into smaller pieces for exhibition in different spaces). I have two meetings in the next month for possibilities - one with a hospital to hang pieces locally and another with an amazing performance art troupe that may be interested in incorporating them into a mental health themed performance. So it's all still being worked out; the art world moves much more slowly than I knew but it's happening step by step.
There are a couple of other things of note regarding Marinke. Her sister-in-law Christina created an afghan pattern with Marinke's standard mandala patterns. You can find the afghan pattern here and here. The second article contains a few interesting little tidbits to go along with the mandala posts. It's a gorgeous afghan. A great way to honor Wink's memory.

This CAL is the last thing Marinke was working on in the crochet world. The CAL is long over but the patterns are still up and I imagine you can still buy the yarn. The complete CAL is available as a pdf. The only U.S. outlet I saw listed was Paradise Fibers, but I also saw Deramores listed (U.K.) and I've ordered from them several times. They are quick and efficient. Sometimes there is even free shipping if you purchase a certain amount. Of course, you can download the patterns and use whatever yarn you wish.

IMPORTANT: Note that the instructions for the CAL use UK terms, not US terms.

And listed in reverse in case you're trying to translate the patterns from Scheepjes.
UK      =       US
sl st (slip stitch) = sl
ch (chain) = ch
dc (double crochet) = sc
htr (half treble) = hdc
tr (treble) = dc
dtr (double treble) = tr
ttr (triple treble) = dtr
quad tr (quadruple treble) = ttr

There is a  Facebook group for the CAL. I don't know if people are still working on it as I'm not a member but the group still exists.

This is the CAL afghan as pictured on Scheepjes web site. They offer three different color palettes.

Happy crocheting!

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