Introducing Mandala Madness CAL

Introducing Mandala Madness CAL

 Mandala Madness CAL 2016

When Kimberly Slifer of the Official CCC Social Group on face book asked me to design a blanket/afghan for a CAL (crochet a-long) project for next year, I was, honoured, excited, chuffed to bits.... you get the idea!

The ideas that went spinning through my head were crazy.
But I knew it had to be something very special, and so the idea of a HUGE Mandala started to form in my mind. As I started to work on the design I kept saying to myself "this is madness"... and so the name... Mandala Madness 🙂

And after the sneaky peek we showed you all earlier in December I have just been getting more and more excited, like a four year old waiting to go see Santa.

 

♥ So what exactly is a Mandala?

The easiest way to understand a Mandala is to think of it as a symbolic representation of the universe, often sacred, based on a circle.
The word "Mandala" is from the ancient Sanskrit language. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a Mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

Creating a group Mandala is a unifying experience in which people can express themselves individually within a unified structure.

There are many uses for a Mandala.
The design of the Mandala is supposed to be visually appealing so as to absorb the mind in such a way that irritating thoughts are unable to get through, like a form of meditation allowing the busy mind to take a break while the creative mind is allowed to run free.

And so it seemed to me the perfect project for us all to join together and share our passion for our amazing craft.

 

♥ IMPORTANT: Please, be aware that all my patterns (free or paid) are protected by copyright. This pattern belongs to me, Helen Shrimpton, and I retain all rights to it.
You are not allowed to copy, reproduce, redistribute, sell or edit them in part or as a whole. You are welcome to sell your finished items made by my patterns, but you cannot use my pictures to promote them. Please, always credit me as the designer of these patterns. You are not allowed to share pdf-files created from my posts with anyone. If you would like more people to join my CAL – please, share a link to my blog with them. You can check my Terms of Use for more details. Alternatively contact me using the Contact tab at the top of this page.

This project will give you a circular blanket.
There are 18 parts.
The CAL ran from Thursday 17th March to Thursday 14th July 2016.
Though the cal is now finished, there are still many people enjoying the madness, so please ask for any help you need, and join the fun on the Facebook group.

 

There is loads of texture, some new stitches to learn, and this is definitely a project for colour!

 

You can either follow the colours I have used or take your Mandala Madness in what ever direction you could dream of.
You will have 4... yes 4 options to follow the pattern.

You can follow the pattern on my blog.
Download a full photo tutorial (pdf).
Download a written pattern (pdf) with just a small photo.
Follow the amazing videos by the wonderful Esther Dijkstra from itsallinanutshell.com

 

The pattern is being translated by an amazing group of ladies from the CAL - Crochet A Long group on facebook and will be translated in many different languages.

Afrikaans  Danish  Dutch  French  Finnish  German  Greek Hebrew  Korean   Persian  Polish  Russian Spanish Swedish

 

♥ What will you need?

Hold on and we will get there... first some information about what I used and what is available for you to follow along with.

The CAL is being sponsored by Scheepjes and there are 3 packs available to buy.
The main stores to order from are Deramores, Paradise Fibres and Wool Warehouse, more about that later........

 

♥ About the yarns.

 

Scheepjes Merino Soft

Merino Soft

Firstly the beautifully soft and smooth Scheepjes Merino Soft which is a double knit weight yarn and comes in 50gram balls with a centre pull and a length of approx 105 meters. This yarn is a joy to work with, it is a loose twist yarn that gives a beautiful drape when finished.

I found the best technique for joining a new ball of yarn is what I call the "Text Book Join".
Simply work over the new yarn for a few stitches, as you make a new stitch pick up the new yarn at the base of the stitch and continue to work over the old yarn for a few stitches, and either weave in the ends as you go or sew them in later.

Merino Soft is a washable 50% Superwash Extra Fine Merino Wool, 25% Micro, 25% Acryl yarn.
Scheepjes recommend washing on a cold wash with a colour catcher sheet as dye can sometimes run with natural fibres.

 

Scheepjes Colour Crafter

Colour Crafter

Next we have the new Scheepjes Colour Crafter yarn, again this is a double knitting weight yarn but is 100% Premium Acrylic.
Scheepjes recommend washing on a cool wash.
It is soft and so easy to work with.
Colour Crafter comes in 100gram balls with a length of approx 300 meters.
For joining a new ball of yarn you can use either the "Magic Knot", "Russian Join" or the standard "Text Book Join".

For my Purple Passion Mandala Madness I used a 4.5mm Clover Amour hook, as I wanted a lighter feel to this one, but you may well prefer a 4mm hook.

 

Scheepjes Stonewashed XL

Stonewash XL

And finally Big Earth Momma Mandala Madness, Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, and this is one big and heavy Momma!!!
Stonewashed XL comes in 50gram balls with a centre pull and a length of approx 75 meters. It is a 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic yarn.
Scheepjes recommend washing on a cool to warm wash and this can be tumble dried.
For joining a new ball of yarn you can use either the "Magic Knot", "Russian Join" or the standard "Text Book Join".

 

♥ Yarn Packs

Here is a chart giving all the details, please be aware when using multiple colours you will need extra yarn, this is why I have given the amount used and also the amount in the packs.

mm colour packs chart

All these yarns are available from Paradise Fibres, Wool Warehouse and Deramores.
You can find the direct links for the colour packs below.

Wool Warehouse
Merino Soft Pack
Colour Crafter Pack
Stonewashed XL Pack

Loremar
Colour Crafter Pack

Deramores
Merino Soft Pack
  Colour Crafter Pack
♥  Stonewashed XL Pack

 

For those of you in Holland  hakkdingen also has Cal Packs
haakdingen.nl

As soon as the packs are available I will let you all know, this is the reason for the delay in starting the CAL as Scheepjes have had to make lots of luscious yarn, to make sure no one is disappointed, and doesn't get their yarn in time to start with us all.

Please note:  If you get a generic page when clicking on one of the links, select the relevant country in the top left-hand corner of the Deramores website (US/UK), then come back to my site and click on the link again. I receive a small commission and it costs you nothing 🙂

For those of you going in your own direction, you will need approximately

Double Knitting weight 4800 meters / 5250 yards

Worsted/Aran weight 6300 meters / 6890 yards

Please allow for colour changes and get more rather than less.... it's always better to have a little left over than run out and not be able to get the same dye lot or even for the colour to have been discontinued...yes that makes ya so mad...right!

 

♥ Resources

Tutorials ~ The patterns of each part will be published here, on my blog, every Thursday evening at 7pm approx UK time (UTC), this is to allow everyone around the world some weekend crochet time.
Video Tutorials ~ There will also be links to the video's by the amazing Esther Dijkstra from itsallinanutshell.com, and the various translations.
Printing/PDF ~ You will find a choice of downloads at the bottom of each weekly part post on my blog. You will have the choice of a full photo tutorial or a simple written pattern.
Newsletter. If you haven’t done this yet, be sure to subscribe to my Newsletter so that you don't miss a single step of this CAL.
Ravelry. Please, add this CAL to your Ravelry queue.
Facebook. Be sure to check out and join Official CCC Social Group which will host the Mandala Madness Cal 2016, and where you will always find friendly, helpful advice to keep you going . Don’t forget to like my face book page for information about the CAL and other projects I am working on.
Translations. I am thrilled to announce that my CAL will be translated into ten different languages, by an amazing team of ladies from the CAL - Crochet A Long group on facebook

♥ Translations

Afrikaans  Afrikaans Intro
Dutch        Dutch-Intro
Danish      Danish Intro
Finnish     Finnish - intro
French      FRENCH-Intro
German    GERMAN-Intro
Greek        Greek intro
Korean     Korean Intro
Persian     Persian-intro
Polish       POLISH intro
Spanish    SPANISH-Intro
Swedish   SWEDISH-Intro




Translations of this post will be added as they become available.

♥ Stitch Abbreviations and Special Stitches

US standard abbreviations are used in this pattern.
An abbreviation chart is included on the front page of each part of the CAL.
Also there will be detailed instructions about how to make special stitches given in the pattern for each round.

 

♥ Difficulty

I encourage anyone of any level of experience to try this project.
Yes there are some tricky bits, but there are also lots of simple bits too.... in fact really it is all just a matter of perspective. If you have done something before or understand how it is done then it seems easy. If you have never tried something it may seem hard...... but there is so much help and support, I know that no matter what your experience level this is something you can do because you have an amazing circle of people to help you.

I am looking forward to this international project and the amazing energy the crochet community has to share.

 

♥ Links to each weekly part.

♥  Part 1      17th March    Part 1
♥  Part 2     24th March    Part 2
♥  Part 3     31st March     Part 3
♥  Part 4       7th April       Part 4
♥  Part 5     14th April       Part 5
♥  Part 6     21st April        Part 6
♥  Part 7     28th April       Part 7
♥  Part 8       5th May        Part 8
♥  Part 9     12th May        Part 9
♥  Part 10   19th May        Part 10
♥  Part 11    26th May       Part 11
♥  Part 12     2nd June      Part 12
♥  Part 13     9th June       Part 13
♥  Part 14   16th June       Part 14
♥  Part 15   23rd June      Part 15
♥  Part 16   30th June      Part 16
♥  Part 17     7th July        Part 17
♥  Part 18   14th July        Part 18

This main introduction post will be updated as we go with all the links as they become available.

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150 Responses

  1. Is it possible that the German introduction leads to the Russian one? 😉

    • Helen Helen

      Sorry there is not a Russian intro

  2. Sue

    Hi Helen, suffering a bit of brain fog! In round 39 you say join in the 6th sc, then in the chain space, do you mean the 6th sc ignoring the spaces? Or just the 6th chain? As I say just can’t get my head around it! Loving the piece you’re very talented!

    • Helen Helen

      we all get brain fog at times 🙂
      You may find it easier to count backwards from where you need to make the 1st shell, or watch the video by Esther, the link is in the blog post for part 5,just skip along towards the end until you get to round 39, Esther explainsexactly where you need to start.
      have fun 🙂

  3. Can you pleaseAtell me how many colors are used For the mandala? I’m going to start buying the yarn for this project . Thank you

    • Helen Helen

      If you scroll down the intro post you will see a table of all the yarn packs, with the colours and amounts used, so that will show you the different options of how many colours to use, or go on to Ravelry and look at the projects, and you can see lots of different colour ways 🙂

  4. Kim

    I would like to do this beautiful beautiful blanket in my own choice of colors. I’m not sure the best way to do that, but I was thinking I could color map it and plan it out. Do you happen to have a line drawing of the pattern or something I could use to do that? Not even sure how to proceed. Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

    • Helen Helen

      I don’t have a line draing, but there are hundreds of examples on ravelry and facebook that will help you to plan it out 🙂 have fun.

  5. Is it possible to print off each part so that I’m not constantly attached to my computer?

    • Helen Helen

      Of course…. on each part you will find DOWNLOADS, there is a photo tutorial and also a written pattern (without all the photos), simply click the one you want and it will download, then open the pdf and you can select print 🙂

  6. Amy

    Thanks for such a fantastic pattern. I can’t wait to start. Is year I am attempting 2 Mandela Madness!!! One in 8ply multi colour and one for for Gran in some repurposed wool that was a originally a floor length coat. Would Patons Jet 12ply wool be suitable for this project? Thanks again.

    • Helen Helen

      12 ply is an Aran/worsted weight, so it will be HUGE but yes any yarn will owrk 🙂

      • Amy

        Wow! Thanks for the super quick reply. I only have limited yarn as I’m using what was formally a knitted floor length coat( from 30 years ago,) and the wool is now discontinued. I’ll finish up when eve the wool runs out. Thanks again

  7. I’m planning on making this in fingering weight yarn and a 3.25 mm hook, any idea roughly what size I’ll end up with and how much yarn I might need?

    • Helen Helen

      So difficult to say, depends on how many colours you will be using and your tension, but assume you will need less than the Double knit one and it will be smaller, maybe 4feet or less across, and anything from 3000 to 4000 metres of yarn 🙂

      • Thanks so much, I plan on doing it in just a soft white as a special baby blanket, to highlight the different stitches. I did that with Sophie’s Universe and it was amazing.

  8. In the picture for the Merino Soft yarn, you show 15 balls, yet only list 14 colors. I want to double check before I order everything if the pattern does use only 14 colors, or if it uses 15. If 15, what is the fifteenth color? It looks like the second row from the top, the two on the left, are similar, just not sure which is the Gauguin and what the other color is. Thanks!

    • Helen Helen

      The list and pack you can get form the links is correct. The photo did have an extra colour in which is not used 🙂

  9. Kay

    I have searched for quite awhile for that”perfect” mandala pattern that speaks to me. I chose you! I will start your pattern today. The finished product will be a Christmas gift. Thank you for making this possible!

  10. […] (CAL) Facebook groups along with my mother in law, Nancy. One of the latest projects was the Mandala Madness by Helen at Crystals and Crochet. My MIL asked if I wanted to do the CAL with her and I thought […]

  11. Thank you for such a wonderful pattern and so much inspiration on your Ralvery page. I am very new to crocheting having just started in July of this year. I’ve just ordered my colors for your pattern and am expecting them in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to start!

  12. What does “omit the last sc” mean?

    • Helen Helen

      you will begin each round with a few stitches, and then the repeat starts between the * * the bit that says omit??? is the sts you made before the repeat started 🙂

  13. Hi Helen I love your mandala blanket patter I would like to square mine is there any link with instructions on how to do it. Thanks in advanced for the help

  14. Making doilies is my passion at the moment!1 I just found your site and i am excited!! Could this Mandala be made with size 10 thread? I love this pattern and would like to use it for a wall hanging!! Would you recommend this or not? Are you planning another Mandala CAL Oh I sure hope so!! Thank you!!

    • Helen Helen

      Yes you can make it in any yarn or thread, just keep going until you have the size you want to mount 🙂

      • Is it possible to have the yarn colors “described”, for those of us that can’t get the same brands? I love the rainbow Mandala, but have no idea what color each name represents. Thanks!

        • Helen Helen

          In the intro post there is a photo showing the colours, and the photo tutorial is done using the rainbow colour pack, so it is quite easy to see 🙂

  15. probeer het patroon uit te printen van de “madala madness 2016” maar het lukt niet.
    Vind deze zo mooi! gr.Lubbie

    • Helen Helen

      Each part has a section Translations, click on your language and it will download a pdf file that you can save and print 🙂

  16. What size hook do i use to make it big? The yarn is caron simply soft.

    • Helen Helen

      with caron simply soft I would use a 5mm hook, that will be over 6 feet across 🙂

  17. Hi thank you for such a beautiful project. I am really enjoying this except for one thing i cannot get my 1st (us) tr stitche neat i always end up with a baggy joining.stitch. can you give me any idea what i am doing wrong please. Thank you

    • Helen Helen

      so pleased you are having fun 🙂
      If you check out part 1 there is a link called the trouble with trebles, it explains all about how to avoid those baggy top loops 🙂

  18. oooo thanks you soooooo much for a lot of pattern i try today it’s simple i finish the party one 🙂 but same the cal it’s finish i can publish on my blog ? i love mandala sorry my english is too bad i hope to understand ^^

    • Helen Helen

      thank you 🙂 enjoy x

  19. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  20. Hi 🙂 This project is such an amazing idea and what a wonderful way to bring crocheters all over the world together! I was considering making my mandala as a rug (with floor grippers, so not to slip!) – I wondered what your opinion of this would be? If you think it is suitable or not?

    Many thanks for all your hard work on the pattern and for being such an inspiration x

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you, and yes that would be a great way to use your MM 🙂

  21. I just wanted to thank you for this fantastic project. I am currently on week 11 and I have learned so very much. You have a real gift for patterns and each and every line of instruction has been flawless. Thanks for allowing this beginner to grow.

    • Helen Helen

      Wonderful…you are most welcome 🙂

  22. Hi,
    Hi,

    I just stumbled onto your site and really want to take on the Mandala Madness project! It looks amazing and just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for.
    I wanted to do it in Colour Crafter, but using the brighter Merino Soft colour scheme. I have noticed that there are more colours in the Merino Soft pack than the CC one. So I was wondering if I would get similar results if I just matched my colours to the Merino ones or if there is anything else I need to take into consideration (apart from the ball sizes).

    Thanks!
    bA

    • Helen Helen

      Yes you will get the same colour result if you swap the merino soft for colour crafter…just lok at the total amount of each colour and it should work fine 🙂

      • Sorry – one more question! Should I be considering the weight of the ball (50gms vs 100 gms) or the yardage? (105 vs 300)

        Never done this before so I’m not sure!

        • Helen Helen

          go with yardage as yards/meters per once or gram do vary 🙂

  23. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  24. Just found your cal mid June I’ve been downloading the pattern to save for later. Must finish some wips before starting anything more, but I’m hoping to be able to use some of my yarn stash on this and have it done for the county fair in late March. When will segment for July 7th be available?

    • Helen Helen

      sorry forgot to add the link to the intro post 🙂

  25. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  26. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  27. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  28. […] can find out more about the Mandala Madness over at Crystals & Crochet . You can also find the yarn packs and lots more over at Wool […]

  29. Was wondering where I could post a picture of my mandala…
    I am not on Facebook!

    • Helen Helen

      Glad you are having fun 🙂 If you are on Ravelry then I have a group you can post in or you could make your own project page 🙂

  30. I am on Part 9 and enjoying it thoroughly
    Thank you for an exquisite pattern

  31. Amy

    Can you please tell me the approximate size of the finished afghan?

    • Helen Helen

      If you look at the chart, about half way down the post, you will see the finished sizes for the different yarn weights 🙂

  32. My question is about the possibility of an addendum at the end to allow for squaring off (such as has been done for ‘Sophie’)? I am loving this so far! I’m using a US K/6.5mm hook with all of my versions because I like a looser lacier style. I’m using Bernat Baby Sport for one, YarnBee Soft Secret (similar to Caron Simply Soft) for the other. It will be quite interesting to see just how large these will turn out to be in the end. 🙂

    • Helen Helen

      I will not be changing the shape of the Mandala…. mandalas are round/circular and the whole idea of this design is about the circle and what it represents…BUT if you want to square it off then you are welcome to add to it…however with the yarn and hook size you are using your mandala will be well over 7 feet across, so squared up it would be HUGE 🙂

  33. HI,
    Hi, thanks for your beautyful pattern. If the blanket at the end of round or Square?

    • Helen Helen

      It will be round, as it says in the introduction 🙂

  34. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  35. I have 4 projects going but I just found this and I have to do this too! Thank you for making this available to so many people.

    • Helen Helen

      you’re welcome 🙂

  36. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  37. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  38. I was wondering if there is going to be another cal with video after the mandala madness one is complete…. I love the mandala madness they are all very beautiful.

    • Helen Helen

      There may be another cal in the future but not that I can share any details of at the moment 🙂

  39. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  40. Please tell me …… What is a “doddle”? I am absolutely LOVING working on your Mandala!

    • Helen Helen

      A “doddle” means easy or simple 🙂

  41. Sue

    Just found your CAL and really looking forward to starting it,just got to decide what to use!!

    • Helen Helen

      Have fun 🙂

  42. Hola soy de Costa Rica y quiero hacer la mándala. Como hago para pedir los hilos que se ocupan. La quiero para colocar en un sillón. Gracias

    • Helen Helen

      Esto está diseñado para ser una manta , pero si se utiliza un hilo muy delgado y un muy pequeño gancho que sería mucho más pequeña .

  43. Hi Helen! I’m enjoying the pattern so much. I was looking for the finished size but I couldn’t find it. Can you tell us how big this will be?

    • Helen Helen

      Tess, you will find all the info in the intro post, there is a chart, which gives you all the info…about half way down 🙂
      Because it depends on the yarn you use, the hook size, and your tension 🙂

  44. […] is the Elemental Mandala version of Mandala Madness with about half of the last round to finish. Part 4 introduced a lot of front post and back post […]

  45. Hi Helen, I want to participate this CAL, but I am from Turkey and I can not buy yarns from your supplier, will it be a problem?? I want to use one of local brands from Turkey if it is not a problem…

    • Helen Helen

      Hi…yes you can use any yarn you like, I hope you enjoy the cal 🙂

  46. Thank you for this wonderful crochet along , from Ontario Canada.

    • Helen Helen

      so pleased you are enjoying it 🙂

  47. […] Source: Introducing Mandala Madness CAL – Crystals & Crochet […]

  48. […] Foto van de week 2 van de CAL. Copyright Crystals and Crochet  […]

  49. […] If you haven't read the introduction post, then please find it here. You will find all the information on Yarn Packs, how much yarn you will need, hook sizes, the […]

  50. Eeek! Ive been bitten by the Mandala bug! Ive started your Radiance blanket and tripped across this CAL. I’ve ordered my yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) and now I am anxiously awaiting its delivery. Looks like I’ll be bringing up the rear on this CAL, but Im sure I will have fun! 🙂

    • Helen Helen

      you’ll soon catch up…the first few weeks are not too much work 🙂

  51. Hi! Love your CAL. We have linked to it in our blog. Hope this is ok. Please tell us if not. x

    • Helen Helen

      absolutely ok…thank you xx

  52. Waiting for part 3 – what time today will it be up?

    • Helen Helen

      each part is released at 7pm uk time on a Thursday 🙂

  53. […] 2 of Mandala Madness was released this last Thursday. In my last post I said I would be starting a second one as my […]

  54. Hi dear Helen. I am very excited for your new project Mandala madness, but I thin I might need your advise for colour combination. You see, I wold like to use Icelandic light wool, Léttlopi from Istex.is. http://www.istex.is/islenska/vorur/prjonaband/lettlopi/ And here I am a bit stuck. I love those natural colours, basic earth tones, wit brighter colours to for all the details. I am very precise are both matching and have contrast. where the pttern is a mystery from time to time. I would so like if you could give me some advise on the colour combination. I you can spare some time, it would be so much appreciated. I you dont, I fully understand. Best regard an thank you for your good work. Best regards, HelgaJD

    • Helen Helen

      Hi Helga

      If you are on facebook I have added a chart for the yarn quantities used, so you can see how many meters (rounded up to full balls) I used of each colour…then you can work out how many colours you want to use, and how much you will need.
      here is a link https://www.facebook.com/crystalsandcrochet/

  55. I like the mandala concept – where is there a picture of the finished blanket?

    • Helen Helen

      It is a mystery cal, so no one will see the finished blanket until the final week 🙂

  56. Will you let us know when the merino soft packs are available? I’m in the US, I’m sure shipping will take a few weeks. Excited for my first CAL

    • Helen Helen

      Woolwarehouse have some in stock…. Deramores are waiting on a huge delivery, should be this week, and Paradise fibres have the yarn in stock, and are meant to be doing packs, but I can’t find them listed!

  57. Hello Helen, cannot wait to start ! Could you let me know the colours needed in part 1 and 2 ? In Scheepjeswol stone washed? As I cannot afford the kit and would prefer buying as going along.

    • Helen Helen

      If you get 1 ball of each colour, that will see you through parts 1 and 2 🙂

  58. Helen,
    This is the first CAL I have ever participated in, and I am VERY excited. I have two questions:
    (1) Should I be working out my gauge ahead of time? If so, what pattern should I use, and how many stitches per inch am I looking for?
    (2) Your middle size yarn and hook listing, above, shows the mm size to be 4.5 mm. However, the UK and US sizes are unchanged from the finer size yarn, to the left. I always work with mm, not the other numbers, but just am pointing this out, in case you had meant to change the other hook sizes also.
    Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for sharing your artistic talent with all of us, so that we can make beautiful Mandalas too!!! Stephanie

    • Helen Helen

      Hi 🙂
      At the end of part 1 I give the sizes, so you will be able to check your gauge then.
      I work in mm for hook size too, the merino soft was done with 4mm, colour crafter with 4.5mm, they are both double knitting, but I wanted the colour crafter one slightly looser, you could use a 4mm or 4.5mm with either, the finished size shows the slight size difference with using the slightly bigger hook.
      and you are very welcome 🙂

  59. Since we will be purchasing a lot of yarn at one time, are any of the stores going to give us a lower price than it would be if we bought them all separately? I ask because I am on a fixed income. I was looking at the yarn at Paradise Fibers and it will get pretty expensive to buy all that yarn in one pack if the prices are kept the same. I would love to do this mandala in one of the yarns shown here.

    • Helen

      Deramores and Wool Warehouse have special offers, I am still waiting on Paradise Fibres

  60. I have never ordered the yarn packs that everyone is mentioning…will worsted weight Red Heart or I Love This Yarn work? Or would Caron Simply Soft? I’m currently doing Sophie’s Universe and am veeeery excited about starting this CAL in March. 🙂

    • Helen

      Yes Carly, you can use what ever brand of yarn you like, just look at the weight and amounts needed and you will be fine 🙂

      • Thank you! 🙂

  61. Hi, I have noticed that for the Colour Crafter pack you put the hook as 4.5mm but on the site where you go to buy the pack it says 4mm. What are we to use?

    • Helen

      I used a 4.5 as I wanted a slightly looser/lighter feel to the colour crafter one. You can use either a 4mm or 4.5 to get the tension how you like it 🙂

  62. I have a question in the picture of the Merino Soft yarns there are 15 different colors but the color list is only for 14. The one I can’t figure out is between the Rothiko and Gaugin . Did you just not use that one after all?

    • Helen

      Hi Cherie
      Yes there is 1 extra colour in the photo that I didn’t use, I must change the photo 🙂

  63. Hi Helen,
    I’ve got my yarn, stonewashed XL pack, I’m ready to go!
    I have Motor Neuron Disease and I find CAL’s really therapeutic. Yours sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to ‘loose myself’ in it and get a bit of healing! I love your ethos
    Thank you for giving so many people the chance to create something to treasure.
    Karen xxx

    • Helen

      Bless you Karen 🙂 crochet is great therapy and I know the love that went into the design will be felt by many 🙂

  64. Just ordered my yarn pack from Wool Warehouse. Chose Color Crafter. Excited to get started.

    • Helen

      still a while to wait… but the time will fly 🙂

  65. Ravelry give a different start date -Feb 4th – to you blog.
    . Which is correct ?

    • Helen

      The original start date was 4th Feb… we now start on 17th March and I have changed Ravelry to the same date 🙂

  66. Another question… working on assembling my colors and want to use a variegated yarn as one of them. How will your written pattern be written to indicate color changes? With the 14 colors or the 9 colors? Will it be clear when to change colors? Is there one of the colors that goes throughout that I can match up with my variegated? (i.e. which one of your colors carries throughout and ties it all together). I did the Sophie afghan last year but I have not done one of your patterns, so just trying to be clear as I figure out which colors will be in my afghan this year. Thanks! I am looking forward to it.

    • Helen

      Each part will have a chart with it for the colours used per round, so you will know where I changed colour, there is not really 1 colour that ties it together, so difficult to explain, but if you want to have a fair bit of the variegated then, you will need to pop it in where you feel is right. Sorry I know that sounds vague but it really is hard to say…you will understand once you see the pattern grow 🙂

  67. How big in diameter will the finished blanket be? I kind of wanted to make a mandala wall hanging instead of a blanket.

    • Helen

      the sizes are all listed in the intro post, if you want a wall hanging, maybe think about doing it in a very fine thread 🙂

  68. Kim

    Hi Helen
    Why not a translation to danish?
    Would be so nice.

    • Helen

      If you would like to translate to Danish, please contact Massiel Lago on the CAL – Crochet-a-long group on face book, she is one of the ladies organising the translations for me 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/668646249929007/

  69. Hi, I live in Malta. I will be doing CAL with you, hopefully!! Wanted to ask is it possible to use other yarn, because in order for me to get the kit in Malta from abroad it will cost me quite a lot in Transportation only. Thanks

    • Helen

      Hi Jacqueline
      So please you will be joining us… yes you can use any yarn you like, just remember to look at double knit or aran/wprsted weight as a guide for how much you will need 🙂

  70. Looking at the photo with the merino soft yarn, you have 15 colors in the basket but only 14 listed… is this just a photo error, or should there be 15 colors. Like someone else, I did the Sophie in all kinds of fun colors, so I am debating this one… I loved the fun colors but maybe doing something different would be good too.

    • Helen

      ooops there is an extra one in there!! well spotted 🙂 I was going to use 2 shades of orange, but only used 1 in the end, so that is the extra ball in the bowl 🙂

  71. Is this going to stay a round Mandala or will it square out in the end?

    • Helen

      It will stay round Toni, like a traditional Mandala 🙂

  72. It won’t let me subscribe

    • Helen

      Sorry you are having problems Tim Tam, I was also having problems getting o here justnow, so maybe try again and it will all be ok 🙂

  73. Is there a picture of the CAL?

  74. Hi, I’m from France anf I will be happy to participate to this CAL which will be my first one.

    • Helen

      it will be great to have you join in 🙂

  75. I just spent 3 days picking the perfect colors in hayfield chunky and just noticed the large blanket is done in worsted! Would chunky work with a bigger hook? Or should I start looking at worsted colors? Thank you

    • Helen

      chunky would work, I’m not sure how much more yarn you would need…but it will be HUGE!! the worsted one is over 7 feet across 🙂

  76. Do you think Caron Simply Soft yarn would work? I am in the US and not sure of what yarn to use

    • Helen

      Yes CSS will work, go with the worsted/Aran weight amounts 🙂

  77. Sorry if this is a silly question but to complete the cal, do we buy all three packs, or just pick one?

    • Helen

      Just one pack per blanket 🙂

  78. I picked different colors from paradise fibers is there a copoun code

    • Helen

      Sorry I don’t have any codes, and am still waiting to hear from Paradise Fibres 🙂

      • Still no info from Paradise Fibres?

        • Helen

          I am still waiting, and have emailed Scheepjes…again!

  79. How come the purple passion pack is so much smaller than the others. Can you let us know when Paradise Fiber gets the packs in?

    • Helen

      I will let you know when all the stores have all the packs in 🙂 and the colour crafter pack is not smaller…. the balls are bigger 😀

  80. I have ordered my yarn ready for the CAL!!!! So excited. I went for the Merino Soft option and used my gift vouchers that I received for my birthday today. What a wonderful present, I can’t wait to get started now!

    • Helen

      Happy Birthday Amanda, what a great present 🙂

  81. I’m really looking forward to this new CAL! It looks like it is going to be fun! I have a question about color. I did Sophie’s Universe and used lots of colors, but also appreciated the single color ones and thought I might try that for yours. Do you think that will work, or is there a lot of overlay that would get lost if there isn’t any contrast?

    • Helen

      Hi Amber,
      It will be lots of fun, there is ooooodles of texture and some overlay.
      I love lots of colour but feel the texture will still show in just one colour, or maybe 1 main colour and a 2nd colour for highlight 🙂
      Hope that helps

      • Hi, I also wanted to use a more simple color palette. What would you suggest for quantities for a main color with 1 or 2 accent colors. Should the accent colors have a high contrast to the main color or could they be a few shades different from the main color? Thanks for your help.

        • Helen

          You could easily use 1 main colour and have 1 or 2 accent colours of a lighter or darker tone or even have 2 or 3 colours of the same depth.
          There really are no limits to how you can work this. As for amounts, it really depends on how much of the accent colours you are going to use… but take the colour crafter one.. I used 4 shades of purple/violet and 4 accent colours… so you could go with 3600 meters of your main colour and then just 1200 for your accent, or 600 of each if you are going to use 2 colours. But if you are going to use a yarn you use often, then having extra won’t hurt and you can always add it to your stash 🙂

      • That’s just what I was hoping to hear! Thanks, I think I will brave it this time. 🙂

      • That’s what I was wondering about the same thing. You answer was a big help. I am excited to do this CAL. Thanks

  82. I can’t afford the package, I have a stack of Redheart 4ply. What colors would you use and how much would I need?

  83. So looking forward to this. Wool Warehouse have a few of the Colour crafter packs – Im happy with that as I adore purple 🙂 and Ive been wanting to try this yarn.

    • Helen

      I’m a purple girl too 🙂

  84. It looks like Deramores is out of the stonewash xl. Is that true or am I not looking correctly?

    • Helen

      Deramores have stock, woolwarehouse are out of stock at the moment, I will let everyone know when they packs are available there. But if deramores are out of stock when you add to cart, they will have more in a few days so just try again then 🙂

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