How it all happened:

There was a 5 day stretch at the beginning of February that I was ‘snowed in’ a.k.a. refused to leave the warmth of my home to brave the polar vortex. Somewhere in the middle of that 5 day stretch the urge to do a yarn buster project popped in my head. I knew I wanted to make something with bright fun colors and then the idea grew into making a mandala design.

I started my search on Pinterest for mandala patterns but kept coming up short because the patterns I found were for doilies and not meant for worsted weight yarn, which is my entire stash. Then, I was talking to my maker friend, Jenna with A-Cute Design and she says, “write your own pattern!” I knew that’s exactly what I was going to do. Thanks for the awesome idea, Jenna!

Before writing the pattern, I wanted to decide on my colors. I have a love hate relationship with choosing colors. I turned to Pinterest once again to search for color inspiration. Check out my Color Inspiration Board for additional color combinations. I went with an underwater scene that reminded me of a more tropical place (anything to escape the -20 temperatures).

I dug through my yarn bins and shouldn’t have been surprised that I found every color on the swatch inspiration. I added one color to round out the selection.

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The process of writing the pattern taught me a lot but asking complete strangers to test my very first crochet pattern taught me so much more. I stepped outside my comfort zone and feel so lucky, rewarded and inspired. My testers gave me feedback with detail on suggestions as well as the meaning for the suggestions.


I was so surprised and fell in love with each of the mandala designs they sent me. Plus, their photos were beautiful too. To see my pattern come to life with someone else’s color choices made one happy pattern designer. I had no idea how rewarding the pattern writing experience would be. To spread just a small part of that joy to you I’m sharing The Mandala Yarn Stash Buster Pattern for free below.


If you’d like your own digital copy, with a little extra detail and ideas of how to use your finished mandalas, it’s $2 on my Etsy & Ravelry. I only ask you tag Maiden Hands and #maidenhandsmandalas when you share your finished design. 

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