Mandala Madness CAL 2016 sneaky peek…….

Mandala Madness CAL 2016 sneaky peek…….








Well if you have been wondering why I have been so quite......
I have been very busy in my crochet cave coming up with an amazing project for next year.
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 πŸ™‚

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.

This is just a sneaky peek.



I will, in the next few weeks be putting the finishing touches to the pattern.

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

You will have 4... yes 4 options to follow the pattern.

You can follow the pattern on my blog.

Download a full photo tutorial

Download a written pattern with just a small photo or.....

Follow the amazing videos by the wonderful Esther Dijkstra from

The CAL is being sponsored by Scheepjes and there will be 3 packs available to buy.
I know this is not much information yet....but you will get the full run down just as soon as I have all the information together.

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

You can keep up to date with all information through my facebook page CrystalsandCrochet

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65 Responses

  1. I would like to make this. Is the pattern still available? I have it in my Ravelry library, but there is no pattern. I would like the full written one. Thank you

    • Helen Helen

      Yes, it was run as a cal last year, all 18 parts are still available, you will find the downloads on the posts for each part.
      To make one single file would be too big, so you will need to download and then print off or save as a pdf as you need to πŸ™‚

  2. I love your idea it is simply beautiful.I love to crochet and making beautiful tablecloths and doilies,and crochet collars and many other things at the present i am crochetinga crocodile stitch bedspread for a 2 yr old girl that I love. I have already made her 3 little purses and a dress and and cuddle blanket.I wasn’t fortunate to hasve anny children to live .But i love children and this little girl has had a ruff life and now with a couple who truly love her and she loves them in return and she will never want for anything. and I been praying that they get to adot this beautiful child

  3. I have cotton 8. And soft fun denim. Wich one will do?

    • Helen Helen

      you could use either πŸ™‚

  4. I started two cals in January but I kept looking back at yours and finally gave in and ordered the yarn! I’m so excited to start!

    • Helen Helen

      yeah πŸ™‚ welcome on board…. only 2 weeks to go πŸ™‚

  5. So naughty to tempt me. I was going to do this a bit later but now………well, I will have to get very busy and finish the projects on the go in the next couple of weeks. It is gorgeous going by the teaser glimpse you have given us. Thank you

    • Helen Helen

      πŸ™‚ with the reaction from the testers, I know you will love it πŸ™‚

  6. Looking forward to it!

  7. Hi Helen, I love what I see. I ordered Caron Simply soft for the cal. Is that ok? A 5 mm hook. Just got the yarn delivered and getting all excited.

    • Helen

      Yes Caron Simply Soft will work well πŸ™‚

      • I usually use H for Caron yarn, but based on the gauge above would you still recommend I?

        • Helen Helen

          use what ever hook size you feel comfortable with, just remember if you crochet tighter or looser then your finished mandala will be either slightly smaller or larger…at the end of week 1 there is an approx. size guide for everyone πŸ™‚
          With the stonewashed XL it is thicker than CSS…personally I use a 5mm H with CSS, so you will still be way over 6 feet across when finished πŸ™‚

  8. Dear Helen, do you think that I could make this mandala with thin coton so it will be a tablecloth? I made too many afghans by now.

    • Helen

      You can make it with what ever yarn you like, there is a lot of texture in it, but I think it would work πŸ™‚

  9. SO excited about this!!! Thank you for taking on this design challenge, Helen. I am really looking forward to this! Hooks are ready, yarn is next…. thinking some Stonewashed……..

    • Helen

      The Stonewashed is awesome, but HUGE πŸ™‚ I know you will enjoy the challenge too .

  10. Oh no … I’m excited about this one, but I’m still yet to finish my 2015 CALS!

  11. Hello Helen, looks very promising… When can we expect a photo of the whole project, it’s only then that I can make a decision on the colours!

    • Helen

      Hi Noortje
      At the moment this is a mystery CAL so no full picture yet, sorry πŸ™‚

  12. I’d love to see how this CAL progresses! Thank you so much for creating it!

    • Helen

      you’re welcome πŸ™‚

  13. Hola Helen, gracias por la propueste de este hermoso CAL!
    Es la primera ves que participo en uno y tengo muchas espectativas…espero estar a la altura!!! Me apunto y este serΓ‘ mi proyecto anual para 2016!!!
    Besos desde Argentina!

  14. Helen, I am super excited! Cannot think of anyone better to design and lead this. Thank you for all you have already done in preparation.

  15. This sounds so exciting, would love to join in xx

  16. Can’t wait!

  17. Hi πŸ™‚ ….. looking forward to 2016 and all the colour πŸ™‚ ….. one question? Will all the info be available here? Just that I don’t do Facebook.

    • Helen

      Yes all the information will be available here, there is a special page just for the Mandala Madness CAL, you can find it under the crochet tab at the top πŸ™‚

  18. Greetings from Norway – I think I’ll enjoy this one ;D

  19. how many weeks this CAL will take?

    • Helen

      all info coming soon πŸ™‚

      • can’t wait πŸ™‚

  20. So Excited! Hope there is plenty of notice for the yarn packs. Ordering from the US.

  21. I am so excited for this to start. I LOVE you designs.

    • Helen

      Bless you πŸ™‚

  22. I can’t wait! I love all the work I’ve seen of yours so I’m definitely going to be joining in. Scheepjes is too expensive for my budget so I will be staying with Stylecraft – would it be too much to ask you for a colour conversion as I’m useless at colour matching? Have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    • Helen

      The new Colour Crafter is very similar to stylecraft..100% acrylic dk and similar price…but more will be revealed soon πŸ˜‰

  23. I LOVE it!! Can’t wait to get started.

  24. Oh my goodness! I would be crazy to pass this up, & crazier still to add to my growing list of “to do” wishes for 2016! I’m definitely going to try! The “sneak peek” is beautiful!

  25. […] Helen has a thing for mandalas and hence it won’t surprise you that the CAL is named Mandala MadnessΒ after the giantΒ mandala we are going to be making. The actual CAL is a secret, but Helen has […]

  26. I love your designs, the sneak peak looks lovely can’t wait to start .Thank you

    I love your designs, the sneak peek looks lovely can’t wait to start thank you

  27. Lyn

    Oh Helen Ive long admired your extremely beautiful projects ~ thrilled to be joining in on your Mandala Madness CAL for 2016!

    • Helen

      thank you Lyn πŸ™‚

  28. You always have such a beautiful way of explaining the meaning behind things. I adore your blog and your patterns. If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know. Can’t wait to get started. Hope February comes as fast as Christmas did.

    • Helen

      Thank you Susan πŸ™‚

  29. Thank you very much for the new CAL, it looks very nice and I’m already unpatient to start.

    • Helen

      Thank you, February will be here before you know it πŸ™‚

  30. I am so excited! Your work is absolutely beautiful.

    • Helen

      Bless you πŸ™‚

  31. Looking forward to this, and glad to know that Esther D. will be doing the videos, she is a great help. Already in love with the sneak peak

    • Helen

      Thank you Maria πŸ™‚

  32. Ok Helen think I might be in lol

    • Helen

      hehehe I think you already are Terena πŸ˜‰ lol

  33. GΓ©nial, j’attends avec impatience de commencer.

  34. I really like the sneak peek. I am so glad to see that Esther will have videos for this CAL. They are really helpful for newbies like me. Can’t wait!

  35. I’m in, but i’ll be using my own color choices, I hope that is ok?

    • Helen

      of course that is ok…. the intro post which will come out in a couple of weeks will give you all the details of how much yarn etc you will need πŸ™‚

  36. Your pattern is beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing, and I am sooo glad Esther is doing the videos!!
    Looking forward to starting this project!!

    • Helen

      Esthers video tutorials are awesome πŸ™‚

  37. Just that sneekpeak is promising something ….FABULOUSLY GORGEOUSLY YUMMY !!!! thank you already for it!!!!

    • Helen

      you’re welcome πŸ™‚

  38. Looking forward to it already!

  39. Looking forward to this Helen xx

  40. thats great !!! can,t wait to start. thank you so much πŸ™‚

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