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.
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……..
With the cal now finished the main place that will continue to hold stock for all of the yarn packs is my store with Deramores.
♥ About the yarns.
Scheepjes 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
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
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.
All these yarns are available from Paradise Fibres, Wool Warehouse and Deramores.
You can find the direct links for the colour packs below.
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!
♥ 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
♥ 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.
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.