Sunday, 28 August 2016

Crochet Mandala Top

Gosh, am I excited to share this project! It has a wee bit of a story behind it, and I currently cannot stop wearing it!

Around this time last year, my husband and I visited a supermarket. Whilst there, I saw a lady wearing a crocheted cardigan, and my husband approached her to ask her if she had made it herself. This lady was kind enough to send me the pattern and type of yarn she had used. I'll be honest, I ordered the yarn almost immediately, and have been working on this on and off ever since!

The best quality information I can provide for the pattern is on Mi Rincon de Crochet, but you may notice a distinct lack of English translation! (Reverse Google Image Searching some of the pictures may bring you to higher quality versions.) I spent a lot of time on Google in the early stages of this project, but I will try to include some of the most important information further down. If you intend to try it yourself I would recommend printing the pages off, translating the things you need, and just work through it methodically. I had to unravel some sections a few times before it worked right for me!

The yarn is made by Alize, and it is such beautiful yarn that I would recommend for this or a similar shawl. It had a nice sheen to it, stitch definiton, it's soft and easy to work with, and the colours are stunning! This particular yarn is called Miss Batik, which I purchased from YarnStreet. The yarn is variegated - I didn't create all those colour changes manually!

You may notice my cardigan looks a bit different to the one shown in the photographs and pattern... I tried my top on when I had completed the pattern, and I had the intention of making sleeves for it, as it is always the top of my arms that get cold in summer. But I saw how the shape was starting to fall over my shoulders and create a natural sleeve, so I decided to extend this to create a larger finished garment. Added bonus - it meant it could be fastened across my chest if I wished!

Alright, so information. 

  • I'm approximately a UK 12. I used a 4.5mm hook, and I think I used 7 balls of yarn (so 350g). I did however buy 10 balls, because it was very difficult to estimate how much I would need if I wanted sleeves, and I wanted room for error! 
  • If you are able to read crochet symbols, following the pattern shouldn't be too difficult - you start at point A on "Hakelshcrift I" and work outwards. When you have completed "Hakelshcrift I", you progress to "Hakelschrift II" (naturally!) The last round of "Hakelshcrift I", Row 27, is shown as the first round of "Hakelschrift II", to make it easier to follow.
  • I have included a translation of the symbols in my extra diagram below (using American terms).
  • I joined rounds, i.e. did not work in a spiral.
  • Where it says "in gleicher Weisse noch (X)x arb", it is instructing you to repeat that row (X) amount of times.
  • "Armloch nach Angaben im Text" is instructing you to create the armhole according to the instructions. To make the armholes you skip so many groups of (dc, ch, dc), and chain across them. The pattern recommends to skip 9 groups and chain 36, but I wanted slightly looser armholes, so skipped 11 groups and chained 44. I think this means there is 16 groups between the two armholes, but you may need to adjust this!
  • Because I increased the size of the armhole, on R29 I completed 6 clusters (sc, 3ch, 5tr, 3ch) within the armhole chain. 
  • Row 37, "8x irgendwo 1 Stb zun", I translated to mean create 8 dc increases randomly throughout the row. I counted my stitches and it wasn't quite adding up... At the end of row 37 you want 437 stitches, so alter your increases as necessary!  
  • If you reach the end and wish to extend the pattern, I have included a (rather rough) diagram of what I did below. Please ignore the gap in the middle, this was my first attempt at drawing this out! 
  • And please, if you are crazy enough to make this top, block it. It makes such a difference to the way it hangs, it shows the stitches clearer, it just looks better.


  1. Hi, Helen! That is beyond gorgeous! I love the colors and the way that little cape (well, it sort of looks that way) hangs ruffled in back. What an effort you put in, I am dazzled by the result!

  2. WoW wOw WOW Helen - your crochet mandala top is absolutely beautiful - such gorgeous colours, and fabulous drape and design, especially as you adapted it for your style!
    Wonderful - enjoy wearing your top with pride!
    Ali x


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