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Mandala: What’s in a name? + 4 Free Patterns!

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Mandala: What’s in a name? + 4 Free Patterns!

Mandala comes in delicious cakes that has bewitched the hearts of crafters. A single ball works up into a scarf, a shawl, or a toque. The colors wind from one color to the next, and back again. Because of this, each piece has a totally unique coloration depending on which color and pattern you’re combining! But where did we get the name for this fantastical yarn? To find out more about the name, and the circles that inspired us, read on!

Mandala: What’s in a name?

According to the University of New Hampshire’s Health & Wellness site, a mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is an ancient language of India. If you’re a yoga fan, you’ve probably heard a few Sanskrit words in class! The ‘sacredness’ of the circle comes from its prevalence in nature. Circles are everywhere, once we start looking! As a result of this natural symbolism, the idea of the circle has spilled over into our speech. Sayings like ‘coming full circle’, and ‘the circle of life.’ We use circles to build community: ‘circle the wagons’, ‘inner circle’, ‘circle up’. Most importantly, the express the whole.


From Mandalas for the Soul

Furthermore, Merriam-Webster Dictionary suggests that mandalas feature “multiple projections of an image.” This repetition within the image is an important aspect of their meditative quality.

How are they used?

In the World

Mandalas are used in many spiritual traditions. The Mandala Project describes a Christian nun from the 12th century, who drew mandalas to explain her visions. Another example would be the patterns in the stained glass windows of churches and cathedrals. The drawings of the ancient Aztec calendar are circular, and were vital to their religion. And in Buddhism, mandalas are used for meditation. Many cultures use circles to express our inter-connectedness, making drawings, paintings, and sand art.


Artist: Asmahan Rose Mosleh

For Self-Growth

The influential psychiatrist Carl Jung used mandalas with his patients, and developed many theories based on this work. He came to believe that “a mandala is the psychological expression of the totality of the self.” By drawing in this format, people could reveal their values, important moments in their lives, and their struggles. Drawing and coloring them is popular today as a form of art therapy. In addition, observing mandalas can have similar effects when used during meditation. While perceiving the details of a particular drawing, you can reach a meditative state more easily and more deeply.

Our Yarn

We’ve all felt the calm of crafting wash over us, once we’re in the groove of a pattern and we’re stitching away. To enhance this meditative quality, we’ve created a yarn that changes color in your hands. It surprises the crafter with a fresh perspective, and comes to life in different patterns in ways that keep us on our toes! One crafter shared with us: “the color patterns make sense so the changes don’t seem so abrupt and the colors, even the brights, are still soft and gentle.”

Get creative with your own!

Make your own mandala.

Try coloring a mandala today! Whether you want to draw your own, or color a pattern, you’ll reap the benefits of creative time. For example, the act of focusing on a circle can be centering. A quiet activity like coloring can be calming, and provide a gentle opportunity for introspection. Also, your choice of shapes and colors can increase self-awareness about how you’re feeling and what’s on your mind.



Art therapist & psychotherapist Carolyn Mehlomakulu offers suggestions for mandala-making and patterns to use.

Knit with ours!

If you’ve got a cake or two of Mandala waiting for inspiration, wait no longer!

Here are a couple of cozy knits: The Helix Leg Warmers & the Deep V-Neck Pullover.

And a couple of crochets: The Bobble Cowl & the Shaded Diagonal Scarf.

Stay in the present moment with mandala!

If you’re a long-time Mandala fan, we’d love to hear your favorite colors, or see photos of a favorite Mandala project? And if you’re new to Mandala, let us know what you’re thinking of casting on first.

We’ll be spending a little quality time coloring this week, let us know if you will, too!

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  • Please tell me how many yards in this cake.
    Thank you,

    • Hi, Ruthe – 590yd!

  • I don’t know why anyone would buy any of the other “cakes”. I thought Ice Cream was the best yarn buy I’d ever made but Mandala tops that. Good job Lion Brand!!

    • Aw, thanks, Lois! We’re so happy to hear that!

  • purchased your mandala yarn,very disappointed yarn was awful,thick then thin ,not nice at all will never buy it again

    • Hi, Valerie – I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t have a good experience! Did you contact customer service where you purchased the yarn?

  • You say Mandala is a “CYC” yarn. Please explain. Also Have they solved the problems of the knit project stretching out of shape, and pilling, that is common with acrylic yarns? If so, it looks like it would be a lot of fun to design a project using 2 different color ways concurrently.

    • Hi, Sunny – Can you let me know where you’re seeing CYC? That usually refers to Craft Yarn Council, but I can’t seem to find it in this post. We haven’t received much feedback about those issues at all, but you can definitely check out the reviews on our website: That’s a fabulous idea, & we’d love to see any project like that – totally original!

  • I love this yarn! The colors,are beautiful,, almost 600 yards in one cake is unbelievable! I have used every color and never get tired or bored! Thank you so much it’s by far my favorite yarn to work with!

    • Hi, Maggie – thank you so much for your feedback! So glad you’re liking Mandala. 🙂

  • I love Warlock I did 2 scarfs, I have Chimera but haven’t done a project with that yet. I’ve look at the Mandala yarn and I would like to get Spirit, Sphinx, Thunderbird, and Centaur.

    • Hi, Sherryl – you’ve got great taste, what fun colorways! Your projects must be inspired. 🙂

  • I have done several infinity scarves in a variety of your colors. I love you product and will definitely continue to use your product.

    • Hi, Jonnie – thank you so much for your positive feedback! You might see that another user has replied to you asking for any pattern suggestions you might have. We shared a link, but if you had one or two in particular that looked great in Mandala, Larry would love to know! 🙂

  • I have tried every *cake” out there except for the *Mandela* and from what I have seen and heard about this one, I have saved the, Best for Last.
    Looks like I’m going to my local Walmart. I hope I can find a Mandela

    • Hi, Paula – we’re honored you’ve saved us for last! Please let us know how you like it!

  • Baught a cake to make a baby blanket can’t wait to see how it looks

    • Hi, Loleta – that sounds so sweet! We’d love to see a photo too, when you’re finished!

  • In response to Jonnie L Egleston, “Where can Ii find patterns or directions do making an infinity scarf using this Mandala yarn? These colors are so vibrant, but I need some help

  • I would love to knit a baby blanket for a boy with you have a baby blanket pattern and what colors would you recommend. The baby is due in April so I better get ‘cracking’. Thank you
    Jeanette A. Shaw

  • I’m making my husband an afghan that is larger that standard-he’s tall. I found a ocean wave pattern on line. It takes me an hour to crochet one row. It looks great (Sphinx),

    • Carol, sounds gorgeous! An hour a row… that’s true love!

  • The email i received on 1/9/18 shows a cat sleeping on an afghan. Can you point me to that pattern, please? It looks like one I did decades ago using Jamie Pompadour (which is no longer available).A friend is expecting and I’d love to make it with Mandala. (I love that I can get non-gender-specific colorways with Mandala, since they’re not going to find out ahead of time if they’re having a daughter or son.) Thanks!

  • How many yards/meters long is one of these balls of Mandela. Thank you…

    • Hi, Pam! 590yd / 540m. You’re welcome!

  • I have purchased 2 cakes of Pegasus and am searching for a crescent shawl pattern that would do it justice. Nothing too lacey would be nice. Any suggestions out there?

  • I received. 3 Mandela cakes for Christmas, can’t wait to use it. What is the name of the crocheted afghan featured in the email I recently received from you. I would like to use my yarn to make it.

  • Please unsubscribe me.

    • Hi, Connie – Would you like to be unsubscribed from our newsletter, or from updates? If you’re receiving emails, there should be an option at the very bottom to click ‘unsubscribe’ and remove yourself from the mailing list.

  • Loved this wool too but can’t buy it in Canada 🙁 I hope it is coming to a Walmart near me soon. My brother lives in Texas and brought me what I needed to complete my project (found a lovely cocoon jacket on Pinterest). Love the colours and it is much nicer than the Caron cake I am using now because I can’t get the Mandala. SIgh!!

    • So nice of your brother to look out for you! I hope it will be in a Walmart soon, too – I’ll see if I can find any more information about that. The cocoon jacket sounds beautiful, so glad you’re using Mandala for it!

  • Thank you for this Opportunity and another use to and for 2 Project’s!! I was asked to knit a sweater for a Lady who doesn’t believe – yet that she is so very much Worth the time it will take nor the $ to make her a Sweater. The Perfect Yarn Cake for this privilege and opportunity to not only say to her that she is but to make, do to show her that I mean what I say and I Know she is worth all the joy of creating a sweater for her to let her know that she is very much appreciated and I am thankful for this Yarn Cake! I have been trying to find the “Perfect” yarn and thanks to you all for sharing, showing and explaining the history of Mandela’s to me and everyone else whom has taken the time has been inspired by and are just as thankful and grateful and thankful for this privilege!! The second project is a project that I have been Praying about as well and that Yarn Cake is also perfect for that project!! I consider both projects a privilege, to be able to use my own experiences with This Art, Meditation, Self expression, self reflection with by Mandela’s to now be able to share not only the Gifts but also the Opportunity to pass on the Peace and Joy I Receive From God, the Gifts and Talents that Have Been Given to me From God to help and Bless at least 3 people 2 are those I am knitting for from my Heart with Love and the 3rd person, me to be comforted by Knowing I am doing what I have been Blessed by God, to use to back up my words with a “visable” , ” handmade” with, of, from Love the Love in my Heart!! I am so thankful to you for making this yarn and being now able to not Search for the Perfect yarn – I have been given the Perfect Yarn Cake for both people who are so very much loved and cared for.
    My gratitude, thankfulness and Prayers are to you all and for each of you!! Thank you for your willingness to go above and beyond to help me find the Yarn that Resonates with and in my heat for both these beautiful Woman, people, human beings to now be at ease and ready to find this Yarn Cake!!

    Have a Blessed Day Everyone! I love you all equally and thank you for all your help! God Bless Us All Amen

    • We are so glad the Mandala is speaking to you for your projects, and it’s wonderful to hear that you craft so truly from the heart! Wishing you the best, & hoping those who receive your gifts feel your love. 🙂

  • I received notice of this beautiful yarn, Mandala and went to Michael’s to buy and they do not have it. Do you know if Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mary carries it? Or where can I purchase beside internet? Thank you.

  • Hi Ally, The first paragraph of the email dated 1-9-18 said, “This CYC (DK weight) yarn…”. I think you answered it with Craft Yarn Council.Thanks. People are always using texting abbreviations in blog replies, and I thought that’s what that was. I’m not the only one that is texting shorthand clueless. My brother-in-law used to end his texts with LOL. He thought he was saying Lots Of Love, until his wife set him straight.

  • I just recently got interested in crocheting mandalas. Is there a pattern using mandala yarn for mandalas?

  • What fibers is Mandala made of?I prefer natural fibers, am a spinner myself. It looks gorgeous !

  • Ally..The CYC reference is in the very first paragraph of the home page of this email. In describing this yarn, it starts off the sentence with “This CYC yarn is…” I haven’t tried this yarn yet but after seeing the resulting projects, it will be in my hands tonight!

  • I like the idea of the multicolor yard but I am confused. Some of the patterns like the dragon tear fingerless gloves tell you to separate the colors. Is that normal or should I just crocket and let the colors fall as they may??? THanks for your help.

  • why would anyone want these hideous color combinations let a lone paying 7.99 for cheap acrylic fiber

  • Are you planning to release (free) any more patterns for blankets, using the mandala yarn, in the near future, that are more challenging?


  • I love this yarn and really want to try it out, but I’m a bit confused on how the colors change. I’m a senior citizen on a very limited income and do not want to waste what little I have left each month on something that will not work for me. I am doing a V neck scarf, 282 stitched, 11 rows, and I’m not sure how the color changes will work or if they will work. Can you help me on this? Thanks.

  • Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later on. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

  • I’m looking for Lion Brand Mandala yarn – Neverland. Do you know if there is any more available?

  • Chrystal,
    I love where your heart is. God has given you the gift to create with yarn and to bless others with it is a blessing for you as well. I know because that’s my reason for crocheting. I make Christmas gifts all during the year so I’m ready when it comes. Now, that being said, aren’t you so grateful to Him for the people who have created this beautiful Mandala yarn for us to use in our gifts? I have about 30 skeins in my yarn room and several projects already finished and I keep going in and just staring at and feeling the Mandala yarn! I love it so much. The size, softness, the generous amount in each beautiful cake! I thank God for that yarn everytime I look at it (everyday) and for the talented people He has given the gift of creating it for us. He has blesses us all with it. I’m sure I’m sounding overly sappy about it but, this is the best yarn. Even my husband has noticed how much I love it so he has come home from Walmart three times with five skeins, each time a different color. My favorite is Gnome, those were the first ones that be bought for me.
    Anyway, thanks Lion Brand for the Mandala yarn and thank you Crystal for acknowledging Him in why we do what we do with this beautiful yarn!
    God bless you all and the projects you bring from your heart to your hooks and needles. It all is because of Him, Our Heavenly Father.
    With love,

  • I have made a ” Fire and Ice” poncho with the Rainbow Falls color. The pattern was made for RedHearth It’s a Wrap yarn, but I used a 4.5mm hook and made it about 3 repeats longer than the pattern called for, and it came out very nice. I also made a kimono with pattern number L60366 (minus the fringe ) with the Rainbow Falls. I am working on a very open lacy capelet using the Spirit color now. I really love crocheting with this yarn, and my Walmart has it on sale this week! YAY! Thanks.

  • I LOVE Mandala; I can’t get my hands on enough! I buy it every single time it goes on sale (and it’s starting to take over my crafting area). My favorite projects to make with it are shawls and cowls, but right now I’m making a C2C blanket with Genie and Spirit. I hope this trend lasts a long time. 🙂

  • Ok I have been crocheting for a long time and this is a new yarn style for me. I am not sure how to use it. I can’t et it to come out like the pics. Were the colors are nice and clean. My color change always happens in the middle of the row. regardless of the pattern I try. Please tell me the trick to using this yarn.Thank you.

  • Love Mandela! It is just the thing for prayer shawls and Afghans. It washes up beautifully and has nice drape, lightweight too. As a person allergic to wool, it meets my needs and blesses others without being too costly. Just purchased some of the Baby Mandela and am looking forward to working it up. I haven’t found a knot it yet, unlike other brands that are worsted.

  • Great grandma who still crochets . I recently tried your sparkle mandela yarn and think it is the very best sparkle yarn ever made. I am a member of an online crochet group. I posted to the group how much I loved your sparkle yarn. Had several crocheter’s say that they are now going to try it.

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