Welcome to my free tutorial on how to make the Easter granny mandala. This is the step-by-step guide: you can also download a printable free pattern.
You can also read by blog post about making the Easter granny mandala.
What you need
- Stylecraft Special DK or any other DK weight yarn in several colours (my colours were Saffron; Cream; Candyfloss; Meadow; Lemon; Citron; Lavender; Violet; Lime; Sunshine; Fondant; Bluebell (see below for the exact order). I used these colours from my stash and you could use any colours that you want or that you want to use up!
- A size 4mm crochet hook (or 3.5mm if you tend to crochet quite loosely, as I do)
- Blunt ended needle for sewing in those pesky tail ends
UK terms used throughout. To convert to USA terms: a treble is a double crochet, a half treble is a half double crochet 🙂
A note about crochet circles
You can see my free tutorial on crocheting a perfect circle. When you crochet any circle you need to increase as you go through the rounds so that your work stays flat. If you have too many stitches, the mandala will ruffle. If you have too few, it will start to curl up at the edges like a bowl.
When you make a granny circle I have found that you need to increase less often than if you were doing a solid treble circle. The triplets and the space between them take up more space than three trebles in the round.
The formula I have used therefore is based on the ideal number of increases you need in each round to maintain the correct number of stitches as if you were doing a treble circle, but the pattern has been modified according to trial and error.
Crochet tension, ruffles and bowls
This pattern works for me, crocheting with the tension that is uniquely mine. If you find your granny mandala is ruffling, you might try going down a hook size, or adding a round of plain treble triplets before you add an increase round. If you work is curling up like a bowl too much, try going up a hook size or adding an increase round a row earlier.
To make a flat mandala means moving more towards the bowl situation – blocking and pressing with heavy books will then make it flat once its finished. Avoid ruffling as that is much harder to press out later.
The Easter granny mandala free tutorial
My colours (in order) were Saffron; Cream; Candyfloss; Meadow; Lemon; Citron; Lavender; Violet; Cream; Lemon; Lime; Sunshine; Citron; Candyfloss; Fondant; Cream; Sunshine; Citron; Bluebell; Lavender; Lemon; Lime; Citron; Cream; Lemon; Sunshine and the final round of dc stitches in Violet.
Start off as you would any granny circle or square. You need a small hole in the centre, so you can use 4 chains joined with a slip stitch as I did, or you can use a magic circle. You need a total of 12 stitches in round 1; these include your three-chain start and then 11 trebles into the circle or ring. Cut your yarn, weave in the ends and change to your next colour.
Join your second colour by pulling a loop through the top of any of the treble stitches in round one. Work through both loops of the top of the trebles. Make two trebles into each stitch. You will have 24 stitches at the end of round 2. Join and then cut your yarn and weave in the ends.
This is your first granny round. You need to work between the pairs of stitches, not into the top loops this time. Go down between the posts. This will separate the doublets of the previous round and your circle will look like a flower. You should have 36 stitches at the end of this round. Close the round with a slip stitch, cut the yarn and weave in the ends.
The circle is growing quite fast and to avoid ruffling, you need to increase in this round by adding four trebles into the space between the treble triplets of the previous round. You will have 48 stitches in total. Join with a slip stitch, cut your yarn and weave in the endds.
On the next round, moving straight to the granny triplets would create too many stitches, so make two trebles into each space in this round. At the end of the round you should have 48 stitches, the same number as in the previous round. Join with a slip stitch, cut the yarn and weave in the ends.
In the next round, return to your granny treble pattern, making three trebles into each space between the pairs of trebles in the previous round. At the end of this round you will have 72 stitches. Join with a slip stitch, cut the yarn and weave in the ends.
Repeat round 6. You will still have 60 stitches at the end of this round. You will also have 72 stitches in this round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
In this round you need to increase once more and the circle is small enough to allow you to do this all the way around. Make four trebles into each space, giving you 96 stitches at the end of this round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
If you went straight to granny triplets at this point, you would have too many stitches and your mandala would not lie flat. You need to ease the mandala here by increasing more gradually. In round 9 make two trebles (NOT three) into each space, all the way around. You can see the effect this has in the photo below (see Round 10). The stitches in round 7 look like little hearts! Awwwwww.
At the end of the round you will still have 96 stitches. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
In this round, make two trebles into the first space, then three trebles into the next and continue this pattern all the way around. You will have 120 stitches at the end of this round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
This is a repeat of round 10. Alternate making three trebles then two trebles into the spaces in the previous round. You will still have 120 stitches. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
You increases are now done for a while and you can have a good run of ordinary granny triplet trebles. You will have 144 stitches in each round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends between each round.
In this round you need to increase, but you can no longer do that in every stitch in the round. The circle has got a lot bigger and this amount of increases would cause serious ruffling. At the end of round 17, your mandala should be wanting to curve up like a bowl:
In round 18, make four trebles into every fourth space. So, three trebles, three trebles, three trebles and then four trebles. Repeat this sequence all the way around. You will have 156 stitches by the end of this round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
When you add three trebles into every space and half way between every group of four trebles, you will see the heart shape appearing. The photo below shows this in round 18 and later too in round 23.
Back to the standard granny square triplets in these rounds. Make three trebles into each space all round. You will have 180 stitches at the end of each of these rounds. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
Make four trebles into the first space, then four lots of three trebles. Repeat all around. You will have 192 stitches.Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
Back to the standard granny square triplets in these rounds. Make three trebles into each space all round. You will have 216 stitches in each round. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
This was my final round and I made one dc stitch into the top of each stitch of the previous round (going through both loops rather than between the posts of the stitches). You will have 216 stitches. Join with a slip stitch, fasten off and weave in the ends.
Finishing off the Easter granny mandala
The mandala will probably not sit flat, but don’t worry. This is normal. Put it on the ironing board or a flat, padded and heat proof surface such as an old towel folded up, then hold your team iron about 2cm (1 inch) above the surface of your stitches, allowing the hot steam to warm up the mandala. Smooth it out immediately and then weight down with 4-5 solid books on a hard surface for several hours, preferably overnight.
The result should be a nice flat circle. You can repeat the above process and, if you have a surface big enough, you can pin out the mandala to a perfect circle shape then add your steam.
DO NOT LET THE IRON TOUCH THE YARN – IT WILL MELT THE ACRYLIC!!!
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