Mandala Madness Part 1

Mandala Madness Part 1

Mandala Madness Part 1

Can I just say SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, I am so excited, and a little daunted, but I am sure you will all forgive any mistakes I make, and point them out to me, as this is my first ever CAL.

Welcome, to what is going to be an awesome journey together.

I would like to thank Kimberley Slifer and all the admin team from the OFFICIAL CCC SOCIAL GROUP on Facebook, for hosting this CAL.

There are two very special ladies I would like to say thank you to.... but thank you is not really enough. Without these two amazing, super stars, this project would never have happened. Terena Todd and Kay Crone are simply the most wonderful ladies, they shared my awe and my frustration, and they are still my friends after all the madness that was involved in testing this pattern...even if they wanted to strangle me on occasion!!

Each week I will post the next part of the pattern, right here on my blog.
I will also be sending out a newsletter, so if you have subscribed, and don’t receive a newsletter, please make sure you check your junk file. You can find the link to subscribe at the bottom of the page.

I will be adding all sorts of links to help you with special stitches, tips and tricks.
Some will be from my tutorials and some will be from other designers and bloggers.
Many pdf readers do not recognise links, so if you have problems, please come back to this post and you will find all the links to take you exactly where you need to go.

The first link I would like to share is to our very own Kimberly's blog, Just a Girl and a Hook, and it is all about the Trouble with Trebles! This will help you to keep your taller stitches even and avoid those baggy top loops. So off you go and check it out, if you haven't already, because there are a few trebles in this first part, and we want to start as we mean to go on....all neat and tidy.

And for the second link, back loop stitches, love them or hate them, working into the back loop adds definition to your work. If you are unsure, or have problems with over stretched loops, then check out this post by Tatsiana of lillabjorncrochet back loops with no holes

And there is a little trick I use, which you can find about half way down the page here.

We will also be making picots, some of which will be worked into in a later round. I have done a tutorial, Perfect Picots, which I hope you find helpful.

Just another quick hint before we start...
I always start a new round with a standing stitch, here is my way.

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 finished size of your blanket and all the resources available.

It is worth book marking the main Mandala Madness page as it will contain all the posts about the project and each weekly part.

You may also like to add this CAL to your Ravelry Queue

Please remember this is my design and is covered by copyright law. You may share a link to this page with anyone, you may print off the photo or written tutorials for your own use, but please do not alter or change in any way.
Please love and respect me, as I love and respect you.

I suggest taking a look through the photo tutorial here before downloading the pdf to work from, but if you just can’t wait to get started I have put all the pdf downloads together.

And for those of you who like to follow the Video Tutorial by Esther Dijkstra from, just click here and the link will take you straight to the video for this part.
I would like to add a HUGE thank you to Esther for the amazing job she has done with these videos.

PDF downloads

Written pattern with just a small picture.  mandala madness part 1 written pattern
Photo tutorial.  mandala madness part 1 photo tutorial

♥ Translations

For the translated versions of the CAL, please click on the links here and it will take you straight to your preferred language. With no need to scroll down further on this page.
And another HUGE thank you to the awesome team of translators, from the CAL - Crochet A Long Facebook group, for the fantastic job they have done with all the translations.
Afrikaans Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Afrikaans
Arabic      Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Arabic-مانديلا-مادنس-الجزء
Dutch       Mandala-Madness-week-1-Dutch
Danish     Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Danish
Finnish    Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Finnish
French     Mandala_Madness_Part_1_French
German   Mandala-Madness-Part-1-German
Greek       Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Greek
Hebrew    Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Hebrew
Korean     Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Korean
Persian    Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Persian
Polish       Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Polish
Russian    Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Russian
Spanish   Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Spanish
Swedish   Mandala-Madness-Part-1-Swedish

And many thanks to Natalie for her Russian video tutorial, just click the link.
With thanks to Carmen  for the Spanish Video Tutorial
With thanks to Fatmah Ahmad for the Arabic Video Tutorial

Mandala Madness Chart 1
With thanks to Sharon Gabriele for the English/Spanish charts.

Ok are you ready? Then here we go......

Mandala Madness Part 1

ms part 1

The beginning of our journey together starts with a flower that gently unfolds like the petals of a lotus bloom. In Ancient Egypt the lotus flower symbolised the sun and creation.

And so let us start to create together

♥ Materials and Colours

For the purposes of this tutorial I am using Scheepjes Merino Soft and a 4 mm Clover Amour Crochet Hook .
The colours used in each round are listed below, they are included in all of the pdf files.
Just as a reminder, the hook sizes I used are:
Merino soft 4mm
Colour Crafter 4.5mm
Stonewashed XL 5.5mm

mm round 1 colours


US terms used throughout.

AbbreviationsAbbreviations[ ]Hints: Are typed in italics and coloured purple, they are to help and guide you and
hopefully make life a little easier, especially for beginners.
Reference to photos is [P] with the relevant photo number
* * Repeat instructions between asterisks the amount of times specified.
This is normally a repeat for a complete side and will consist of multiple instructions.
() Repeat instructions between parentheses the amount of times specified.
This is a lower level repeat.
Special Stitches

Folding Sc: Insert hook into back loop of next tr and into back loop of corresponding stitch in previous round, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through two loops. Learn more here.

Picot: Chain 3, sl-st through top of st to join. Learn more here.

Popcorn: Make 5 dc in same st, remove hook from loop and insert from front to back of 1st dc and then into dropped loop and pull through. Ch 1 to close. This closing chain is not counted in any chains you are asked to make after the popcorn.
To make a Starting Popcorn, simply start with a standing dc or ch 3 as your 1st st.
Learn more here.

Tr Cluster: Yarn over twice, place hook in stitch or space to be worked and pull up a loop, 4 loops on hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops twice, 2 loops on hook.
Yarn over twice, place hook in same st/sp, pull up a loop, 5 loops on hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops twice, 3 loops on hook.
Yarn over twice, place hook in same st/sp, pull up a loop, 6 loops on hook, yarn over and pull through 2 loops twice, 4 loops on hook.
Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.
To make a starting tr cluster, simply start with a standing tr or ch 4 as your 1st st.
Learn more here.



1. Starting with a magic ring, make 16 sc into ring.
Join to 1st sc with a sl-st, and pull up ring.
Stitch Count: 16 sc.


2. Ch 3 [counts as dc] dc in same st, (ch 2 skip next st, 2 dc in next st) 7 more times, ch 2.
Join to top of ch 3, fasten off, and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 16 dc, 8 ch-2 spaces.


3. Working in front of Round 2 and ONLY into skipped stitches in Round 1,
make a standing sc, ch 3 and sl-st through sc to form a picot [P1,2,3] *sc in next skipped st, ch 3, sl-st into sc to form a picot.*
Repeat from * to * 6 more times.
Join to standing sc, fasten off, pull ends through to back of work and secure.
Stitch Count: 8 sc with picot.


4. Make a starting popcorn in the 2nd dc of any pair from [R2],
*ch 3, skip ch 2 space, skip next st, make a popcorn in next st.*
Repeat from * to * 6 more times, ch 3.
Join to beginning popcorn, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 8 popcorn, 8 ch-3 spaces.


5. Join with a standing sc in any ch-2 space from [R2] also working over ch-3 from [R4],
*in next ch-2 space make 7 tr, [making sure the popcorn is in front of your stitches and that you are working over both chains], [P2,3] sc in next ch-2 space.*
Repeat from * to * 3 more times, omit last sc.
Join to standing sc, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 4 sc, 4 shells of 7 tr.


6. Join in any sc with a standing tr, make 4 more tr in same st, ch 3 and sl-st into top of tr to form a picot, [P3] make 4 more tr in same st,
*ch 2, sl-st into base of [R5] shell at back of your work [P5], ch 2, in next sc, (5tr, ch 3 picot, 4tr).*
Repeat from * to * twice more, ch 2, sl-st into base of [R5] shell, ch 2.
Join to standing tr, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 4 point groups of 9 tr with picot [36 tr in total], 8 ch-2 spaces.


7. Join with a standing sc in the bl of 7th tr of any group,
*blhdc in next st [8th tr], bldc in next st [9th tr], 3 tr in ch-2 space, skip sl-st,
3 tr in next ch-2 space, bldc in next st [1st tr], blhdc in next st [2nd tr], blsc in next st [3rd tr], ch 3, skip next 3 sts, blsc in next st [7th tr].*
Repeat from * to * 3 more times, omit last blsc.
Join to standing sc with a sl-st.
Stitch Count: 8 blsc, 8 blhdc, 8 bldc, 24 tr, 4 ch-3 spaces.


8. Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st,
*(2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts) 3 times, sc in next st, ch 3, skip ch-3, sc in next 2 sts.*
Repeat from * to * 3 more times, omit last 2 sc.
Join to 1st sc, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 60 sc, 4 ch-3 spaces.


9. Join with a standing fltr in 1st sc of any group, fltr in next 14 sts,
*ch 1, sc over both chains [R7 and R8], ch 1, fltr in next 15 sts.*
Repeat from * to * twice more, ch 1, sc over both chains, ch 1, DO NOT JOIN.
Stitch Count: 4 sc, 60 fltr, 8 ch 1 spaces.


10. *Make a folding sc [see special stitches] in next 15 tr, skip ch-1 space, sc in sc, skip ch-1 space. *
Repeat from * to * 3 more times.
Join to 1st folding sc, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 60 folding sc, 4 sc.


11. Make a standing sc in any sc, sc in picot [R6], sc in same sc [R10], [P2] *sc in next 15 folding sc, sc in next sc, sc in picot, sc in same sc.*
Repeat from * to * 3 more times, omit last sc/picot group.
Join to standing sc with a sl-st.
Stitch Count: 72 sc.


Hint: ch-4 tr groups fall into the sc made into picot and stitch above 8th folding sc, giving 8 in total.
12. Starting in sc made into picot *In next st (sl-st, ch 4, tr, ch 4, sl-st into same st), sc in next 8 sts.*
Repeat from * to * 7 more times.
Join to 1st sl-st, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 64 sc, 8 tr, 16 ch-4.


13. Join with a standing sc in 5th sc after any tr/ch loop,
*skip next 3 sts, in ch 4 loop make 7 tr, tr in tr, make 7 tr in next ch 4 loop, skip next 3 sts, sc in next 2 sts*.
Repeat from * to * 7 more times, omit last sc.
Join to standing sc with a sl-st.
Stitch Count: 16 sc, 120 tr.


14. *Skip sc’s, dc in 1st tr of next group, 2 dc in next 13 sts, dc in last tr.*
Repeat from * to * 7 more times.
Join to 1st dc, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 224 dc.
Hint: your work will be very wobbly at this point, but will lay flat again after the next few rounds.


15. Join with a bpsc in any dc, bpsc in each dc around.
Join to 1st bpsc, fasten off and secure ends.
Stitch Count: 224 bpsc.

Hint: Work away all ends, I suggest working [R15] ends into [R12] to make it easier to work the sts of [R15] in the next part.

Congratulations part 1 of your Mandala Madness is now complete….
see you next week.

Size and gauge guide
Merino Soft Dk with 4mm hook = 8 inches, 20.5cm approx
Colour Crafter with 4.5mm hook = 9 inches, 23 cm approx
Stonewashed XL with 5.5mm hook = 11 ½ inches, 29cm approx

blog sig 2





Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with all our news.


50 Responses

  1. WOW! THANK you so much for all the great tips! Especially the video about crocheting in back loops! I always hated looking for that third loop…your way is great!!,,,,, thanks again!

  2. Helen, thank you so much for doing these videos. I have wanted to learn to make a mandala for a project idea I had years ago and was just so confused. I’ve been working a little each day and it looks great and correct! Thank you, thank you!

  3. Can you use size #10 thread for this. I know it will come out smaller. And if so, what size hook should I use. Guess the bigger the better and it will come out lacey.

    • Helen Helen

      yes absolutely, use any yarn and hook size that you prefer to work with 🙂

  4. Ok. I’m going to do it. Getting to use yarn out of my stash for over half of the project and just bought the rest today. Again, I must sing your praises, Helen, for your devotion and commitment to this beautiful ( to look at, and the love and energy in the whole thing) project. I’m bowled over at the lengths you’ve gone to to make this easier for everyone. Bless you and thank you!

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you 🙂

  5. […] die Häkelei wieder anzufangen und dann das. Durch Zufall bin ich in einer Häkelgruppe bei FB auf Mandala Madness gestoßen. An dieser Stelle ein herzliches Dankeschön an die Autorin für die super gute […]

  6. […] and crochet for freely sharing this beautiful pattern with all of us.  You can find it here if you are interested in making one of your […]

  7. Wow am I learning lots, it has been some time since I did any crochet and I am having to translate as I go into English terms. Brain strain for sure but what a great design. love it thanks Nanette

    • Helen Helen

      you’ll soon get to be bi-lingual 🙂

  8. How many balls of wool/yarn does it take roughly to finish the whole Mandala pattern 100g balls?

  9. This is a fabulous tutorial. I have now finished this part one and feel a great success.:)) It is so gorgeous yet complicated. But your written tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. The folding stich did give me a lot of troubles but i figured out finally. Besides, as a chinese living in Turkey, i am not very familiar with western crothet charting. And now i can read your words comfortably. That means my english is a bit improved too.:))Thank you so much Hellen and many greetings to you! I will continue this and hopefully i can soon have my own mandala blanket.:))

    • Helen Helen

      wonderful…well done 🙂

  10. I would like to start the Mandala Madness 2016 but I can’t find part1 +part 2 + part 3 in Danish?

    • Helen Helen

      They are there…just scroll down a little way until you see “Translations”, then click on Danish and it will download for you 🙂

  11. could you use stylecraft dk for the yarn? if so what would be the colors in that yarn?

    • Helen Helen

      you can use any yarn you like, if you go to the wool warehouse site you will be able to match up the colours 🙂

  12. I just purchased my yarn and started week 1 last night! It is so fun already and I CANNOT wait to finish this project. Thank you so much for this awesome pattern. Your hard work is so worth it.

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you 🙂 enjoy

  13. HI There Helen.
    First of all thank you for the lovely pattern – But I have 2 things on my mind.
    Why is not even one of the photo tutorials made to view with the yarn from scheepjes colour crafter – It is only the 2 other types if yarn used that are shown in tutorials.
    And in all of the photo tuts the text that we are following to each round are mussing almost every link to which foto to look at when reading the info to every step in the pattern. Hmmm… Did you understand that? I mean that there is not shown by numbers after each info crochet text line on what photo belongs to what text in each round. That is missing in a lot if the rounds to make. And some like me find it hard not knowing exactly what photo belongs to which text part of the pattern when I’m not told so in the text… could that be corrected in all the parts where it is missing
    Thank you

    • Helen Helen

      All of the photos for the tutorials are done with the Merino Soft colour pack. But in each section there is a chart with the colours per round, and a photo of the other 2 packs.I understand what you mean about the photo numbers, some are linked in text with [P1] etc. but not all. If you are finding it difficult, have you watched the video tutorials that are done by Esther, the link is in each weekly post, that will help a lot. 🙂

  14. so amazing…will be starting mine next week…so excited ty for the design instructions….I’m late to the party but would love newsletters

    • Helen Helen

      Have fun 🙂
      as long as you have me in your safe senders and the newsletters don’t go to you junk mail…you will get them 🙂

  15. Can I still start this mandala even though you’re about to finish it? Are you going to keep the pattern on your web page?

    • Helen Helen

      Yes the pattern will stay here, so just take your time 🙂

  16. Can I use any cotton type yarn?

    • Helen Helen

      yes you can use any yarn 🙂

  17. […] Please only copy or print this pattern for personal use. Please contact me if you find any errors. Bernat Baby Coordinates ( less than 1 oz) Hook Size G. 68377202. Mandala Madness Part 1 – Crystals & Crochet. […]

  18. hi dear helen thank you very much this is beautiful work

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you 🙂

  19. Hello Helen! I’m a new member and just finished Part 1. I chose a medium (4) yarn and used 5.5 for R1-R13 and really felt like it was getting too big so I switched to 5.0, will this cause me problems later? TIA

  20. I just love your Afrikaans translation – compliments to the translator

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you I will pass the message on to them 🙂

  21. Hi Helen, I just finished part 1 of MM. Hats-off to your creativity. The design is seriously awesome and very creative. I have learnt a whole lot of new stitches and its only part 1. I am looking forward to doing the rest of the mandala. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

    • Helen Helen

      Wonderful, thank you, and you are most welcome 🙂

  22. I only ran across this incredible Mandala Madness challenge four days ago, joined the Official CCC Social Group the same day and started the week 1 portion Monday. I’m pleased to say that I have just completed that and am ready to move forward to week 2. Thank you, Helen, for this amazing pattern challenge! I cannot imagine making up this pattern!

    • Helen Helen

      welcome to the madness 🙂

  23. Wanted to thank you for this gorgeous pattern, I haven’t started it yet, I have been in a funk and have so much to finish first, my husband passed away March 26, 2015 and things are just too much for me right now, I have downloaded the first 7 parts and will do so with the next to fallow, again thank you Pam Caim

    • Helen Helen

      Bless you Pam, much love to you, and your cro-jo will return when the time is right… I find nothing works when we force it 🙂

  24. Hi, Helen, I just started my Mandala so I’m pretty far behind but I wanted to say how beautiful mine is turning out. I’m also really glad for the video tutorial because I had trouble in a couple of places since I’m not a really experienced crocheter. On Round 11, I think it would be helpful to say in the instructions where to place your hook in the folding single crochets. I wasn’t sure where to do a sc in the fsc as I had never done a folding single crochet before. I’m looking forward to the next part when I complete this one! Thank you.

    • Helen Helen

      Hi Darlene…did you check out the tutorial…here is the link, shows exactly what to do 🙂

      • Thanks Helen, I didn’t see your tutorial but I did watch the video. It was the next round after that that I wasn’t sure where to place my hook to work into the folding single crochets. But all is well now and I’m almost done the first part!

  25. You are amazi g for doing this!! I just found this and hope i can catch up. 🙂

    • Helen Helen

      Hi Lisa, you will catch up…but no rush, take your time, enjoy and count, count, count 🙂

  26. Beautiful work

    • Helen Helen

      Thank you 🙂

  27. I just started the mandala madness. Your instructions are great to follow. I have only been crocheting for about a year and I can follow along. Your site also has so much information for stitches I Haven’t even done before. Thanks a lot.

    • Helen Helen

      You are most welcome, and thank you 🙂

  28. […] thought I didn’t have enough to do with the LOTR CAL so I decided to join the Mandala Madness, designed by the very talented […]

  29. […] some overlay crochet practice, I just started the Mandala madness CAL from the very talented Helen and you can find detailed videos made by Esther here […]

  30. […] мира, в том числе и на русском, размещены на ее сайте  Helen любезно разрешила снять видео по ее дизайну, и я […]

Leave a comment