Welcome to Lion Brand Yarns week, or, as I’m calling it, 5 hats in 5 days. In this series of posts, I’ll give you a thumbnail description of 5 different yarns by Lion Brand along with a free hat pattern for the featured yarn. In the months to come, each of these yarns will be featured in-depth – from August to December.
The first yarn I’m highlighting this week is Mandala Baby, a fun yarn with loooong color stretches. Mandala Baby is a double knitting (DK) weight yarn with a recommended tension of 22 stitches to 4″ [10cm].
I sampled three colors: Arendelle, Unicorn Cloud, and Rainbow Falls. As you can see, the colors are very child-like and playful, so it’s a good thing that Mandala Baby is a 100% acrylic yarn, as it’s perfect for cheerful knits for children that moms will appreciate because of the wash-and-wear ease of care. Mandala Baby has a very soft feel, which is also good for little ones.
The “serving size” of 5.3oz [150g] of yarn per ball means it will only take one or two balls of Mandala Baby to create a whole garment for a child. 590yds [540m] goes a long way in a child’s sweater!
There are some factors to consider when using a yarn that has such long spans of color.
- small projects may not have many (or any) color changes appear in the project
- the balls of yarn might end in different places, requiring a bit of care to make sure there isn’t a rapid color jump where the new ball is introduced
- a little imagination and an on-line pattern search will reveal many options for Mandala Baby. Imagine a sweater made from sleeve to sleeve, or a baby blanket done in faux Fair Isle, mitered squares or mirrored stripes! Or even Roman stripes!
I used the Arendelle colorway for my hat, and experienced – fully – the first bullet above: even though I reeled off a large section of the center, I still only ended up incorporating one color (the light blue) in my hat! If you want to try an experiment, you could knit this pattern using Mandala Baby as color A and the solid as color B.
For this project, I chose an adult hat pattern called Caramoor. It is written for an Aran weight yarn and 5mm needles, but by changing the yarn and the needle size, I only needed to make a couple of adaptions, which I’ve outlined below. If you download and print the Caramoor pattern, you can jot my adaptations right onto your copy.
- 1 ball of solid acrylic double knitting weight yarn (A)
- 1 ball of Mandala Baby (B)
- size 6 [4mm] double pointed needles
22 sts to 4″ [10cm]
With A, cast on 88 sts. Follow pattern instructions for ribbing until piece measures about 3½” [9cm].
Next Rnd: *K10, kfb in next st; rep from * to end of rnd. (96 sts)
Work in the Color Dot pattern (given in the pattern download) until piece measures about 7″ [18cm].
Continue the rest of the pattern as per the download. Make a pompom if desired and sew on securely.
This is part 1 of 5 in this series