Graphite Mandala: new brioche pattern

You might have noticed that brioche crochet has been playing a huge role in my creative world recently. I can’t stop thinking of it, and can’t stop finding ways for bringing to life new stitch patterns and shapes. But did you know that modern airy version of brioche crochet (like you see it in Alma Sweater and Coral Story blanket patterns) has its roots in the overlay technique? 

Overlay crochet mandala with a brioche look

In the early months of my designing work, I already attempted a two-colored overlay mandala. I wanted it to resemble a black and white vector mandala graphics I saw on Pinterest. Surprisingly it was much easier to work in overlay crochet with just two colors, as there was no yarn cutting and no ends weaving. 

With a bit of magic, brioche look is also possible in crochet

I am not sure why I have never repeated anything like this again… Instead, I was developing brioche crochet further, and incorporating it into other shapes. 

Just before last Christmas my mood was down. Somehow, I lost my crojo, and could not even think of touching the hook. I tried a few times. But even a simple square looked ugly. While my social media feed brings happy and creative vibes, those months of being deeply down do happen occasionally. And then (I know) it’s better to stop and wait. And do something else. 

This overlay crochet pattern can be used for a pillow or small area rug

My last December was not creative at all. And I waited. And then tried again. With no idea in mind. Without a sketch. I just took two balls of contrast yarns and started to crochet. I needed to finish a square for another project that was going on at that time. 

So, I started to grow a circle, and through of squaring it up later. The circle was growing, and growing… and growing… It was already becoming way too big for a square. And suddenly I felt that “ta-dah!” bell in my head. I am growing a mandala! Which looks like a brioche one. 

The magic of brioche crochet stitches

The world had to stop for a while (no cooking, no cleaning, nothing was happening in my house). And after three days it was here! Beautiful, and big. And very brioche 😊 It took a while to write down the pattern for Graphite Mandala. And testers had to give it much love and efforts as they were testing written instructions without progress pictures. And finally – here it is! 

Graphite Mandala pattern is available on RAVELRY and ETSY with 25% discount through Monday, March 15th, 2021. 

Graphite Mandala uses overlay crochet and has a brioche look. You only need two colors which are changed on every round without cutting (the yarn is brought up on the wrong side to the next rounds, so you have floats of yarn visible at the mandala’s back). 

Lots of progress pictures were added to the pattern. And if you have never tried my patterns before, I hope the picture below will inspire you. This is a set of progress pictures for one round. And you will have the same visual support for almost all rounds in the patterns (except of the easiest ones, where you don’t have any overlaid stitches). I also add arrows to the progress pictures to show where every stitch goes. So really, no chance to be lost! 

Progress pictures for overlay crochet mandala

If you have never tried overlay crochet before, check my Circles of the Sun CAL pattern which is free here on my blog. And which always has detailed video tutorials. This project will give you perfect introduction into overlay crochet. And hopefully you will feel confident enough to try other, more complex projects, like the Graphite Mandala. 

If you are curious about the size, it is approx. 74 cm/29in across, measured from tip to tip. I used Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn in two colors (Black Onyx and Moon Stone) and 3.5 mm hook. Obviously, with finer yarn your mandala will become smaller (perfect for a pillow). And with thicker yarn you can make a nice area rug.  

bricohe crochet technique

Check all shades of Stone Washed yarn at your local Scheepejs shop, or make a purchase via online retailers: Wool Warehouse* (UK, international shipping), Caro’s Atelier* (NL), Taemombo* (US and Canada). 

And of course, I must show you the masterpieces by our super talented testers team: 

Ruth Bracey, Loele van den Bergh, Jenna Bowers, Evelien van der Drift, Laura Jackson, Macarena Marskell, Esther Schippers, Elizabeth Kalka and Sarah Fabbri. 

Graphite Mandala pattern is available on RAVELRY and ETSY with 25% discount through Monday, March 15th, 2021. The price has been discounted already, and you do not need to apply any codes. After this date, the pattern will be listed at a regular price. 
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  1. Glad to read you're feeling better again, and this mandala is absolutely wonderful 😍

    1. Thank you! I am fully back on track with crochet now. Lots of new ideas!

  2. Brautiful!!!!❤❤❤❤❤

  3. Lovely! Can you tell me the name on the yarn/colour you used on the grey gold version please
    Hug’s Inga

    1. Hello Inga, grey and gold are also Stone Washed colors by Scheepjes: Smokey Quartz and Yellow Jasper. But to my taste, I would choose a darker grey. Or maybe even black. As the mandala was growing, the stitch pattern was becoming less and less vivid.


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