The Lotus Mandala Duster free crochet pattern (and the offshoot the Lotus Mandala Vest) have remained some of my most popular patterns for years now – and as such, I’ve encountered a lot of questions about this design! I compiled a few of the most common ones here, but I’m happy to answer others that you may have about this or any of my designs, so feel welcome to comment or message me through my Facebook business page 🙂 These questions refer specifically to the Lotus Duster, the Lotus Mandala Vest (a more open and free size garment) has its own FAQ written already here.
How do I make a size larger than a Large?
I don’t have plans to write this pattern for any more sizes as of yet, sorry! So the best way that you could size up this pattern is to work the extra rows given for the size Large, but work them even MORE. So here’s a quick guide for how that might be done. For a larger bust but not necessarily a larger waist, tactics 1,2,3, and 6 would be the most helpful because you’re aiming for a bigger diameter in the circle, not necessarily larger sleeves or shoulders. 🙂
Tips for increasing up from a Large:
1. Extra Rounds 13.1 & 13.2 – Add extra rounds here in pattern, such that Rnds 13.3 & 13.4 have increases in the 26th st and 27th st repectively, adding as many rounds as you want as long as you stay in pattern with the increases
2. Extra Rounds 17. 1 & 20.1 – each of these rounds can be repeated as written, but only a limited amount of times before the circle stops laying flat because there are no increases in these rounds.
3.Extra Rnd 31.1 – can be repeated a few times
4. Sleeves Step 1 – can work 4 dc’s to each ch space in the sleeve instead of 3 (as for Large), keep number of dc’s in the chain stitches the same
5. Armhole Placement – You may want to adjust depending on your back measurement – measure between your shoulderblades for a tighter fit or from armpit to armpit for looser fit. This should match the measurement between the two sleeve yokes (armholes) on the piece – there are notes in the pattern for how to handle custom fit armholes.
If you want to size up the armholes themselves, you can add more chain stitches in multiples of three – so you could add 3, 6, or 9 extra chains to each armhole, etc. To keep the ratio correct, skip ONE extra chain space on the row below per every 3 extra chains added to the armhole chain.
6. It can also be helpful to add extra rounds to the part of the garment that is worked only on the top half (Rows 35 & 36) so that you are adding length to the top and sides only (to keep it from getting too long). This one is pretty crucial. If you are wider but shorter than the model (5’8″ or so for the large) You won’t be able to work as many extra rounds because eventually the piece will be dragging the floor.
How do I make this child’s size?
The general layout of the design isn’t really written for children when made with the given yarn and hook size – the central mandala is kind of big, so to size down successfully I recommend working in a smaller yarn weight and hook size. I’ve seen several examples of smaller dusters using #1-#2 weight yarn and smaller hooks, which turned out great. Unfortunately that’s as specific as I can be about that!
What yarns did you use for “this specific” Lotus Duster?
Every duster I have made except the all white one pictured for the Large size below has been made mainly from yarn reclaimed from old sweaters, mixed with some handspun yarns and some scraps of commercial yarns.
The white duster pictured here is made from Premier Cotton Fair as listed in the main pattern.
Unfortunately since I use recycled and handspun for every other duster, there aren’t any commercial yarns I can recommend to use to get the same color scheme. Universal Yarns Bamboo Pop is a good yarn in the same weight that has many color varieties, which I usually point people toward when asked this question 🙂 🙂
For me, I really liked to use recycled yarn because it gives the piece a look that can’t be achieved with just commercial yarns, so if you are interested in learning how to reclaim yarn from sweaters you can check out my tutorial on the blog, Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn.
Sweater yarns have the advantage of being fairly light and thin while sturdy enough to withstand the tension of the garment. Also, they are cheap and accessible if you have the patience to harvest them. Last but not least, the upcycled cotton threads I get from these secondhand sweaters give the piece a really authentically vintage/retro feel, even though it’s a newly made garment.
Can I use “X” yarn with this pattern / What hook should I use?
The answer to this question always begins with “check your gauge.” Technically you can make any pattern with any size hook and yarn if your gauge matches the gauge given in the pattern. Now, gauge can be tricky and there are other things that contribute to the general look, feel, and function of a handmade garment, but the simplest place to start when asking “can I make it with this yarn and hook?” is to test your gauge.
This pattern works best with #2-#3 weight yarn. I have seen it made with #4 weight, which honestly I don’t prefer but that’s a matter of opinion.
Is there a pattern to make a Hood for the Duster?
Yes! I got many requests after I released the Lotus Duster pattern to create a hood design for it as well, and I finally sat down and designed something this spring – the Lotus Hooded Duster is available for free on my blog, as well as included in a separate PDF in the paid digital version of the Lotus Duster pattern.
Is there a video tutorial?
Yes! A video tutorial for this pattern is officially underway at the time of this writing, with the tutorial for Rounds 1-8 of the Lotus Mandala going live on my blog and Youtube channel today!
UPDATE: The full tutorial is now finished and available in this YT playlist from my channel!
Is this pattern available in other languages?
Currently this pattern is available for free in English (My version, in US terminology) and Dutch – see Dutch translation here via Een Mooi Gebaar, who has translated a few of my other patterns as well!
Een Mooi Gebaar Morale Fiber Portal
Portable, printable, ad-free PDF crochet pattern translations are available in German, Dutch and Spanish through the Ravelry PDF listing.
I’ll be adding more questions if they tend to commonly crop up, or if I didn’t answer a question that you have here, please do contact me as I love to talk shop! 🙂
Happy Stitching <3
Can this be achieved with the aldi cakes which are very similar to the Caron cakes i hope so as i have 4 cake’s and have no idea what to work with the yarn
Hi there! I generally do not recommend this pattern for #4 weight yarns, which Caron Cakes is, but some people have done it and liked the result so my recommendation if you really want to try is to test your yarn and see what kind of gauge you can get – if you can match the gauge of the pattern, you can use the yarn. It will not look the same as if you used a thinner yarn though 🙂
I just completed this Lotus Duster as a test run before making it for someone else. I love it, you did a great job writing this pattern. I made a few rookie mistakes and am planning before the next one. Unfortunately, pre COVID lockdown, I bought the yarn and noticed it’s weight 4. My last was also weight 4, and I used a 5.25 hook. It’s a little clumped and not as etherial feeling. In your opinion, could this be accomplished by using a slightly larger hook?
Hi Kristen! Your piece will definitely be chunkier if worked with a #4 weight, but a larger hook should help with that. I would start with a 6.50, and check your gauge on it- you may need to adjust the sizing but it won’t be as stiff and clumped 🙂 there’s a few places, such as the chain mesh, where you can skip rounds since the piece will come out bigger.
I’m doing the lotus duster 2.0 and at row 12 I’m not sure where the 1st and 2nd treble are so they can me 1st trtog
Any help appreciated. Thank you Judy
Hi Judith! There is a video tutorial available for this section of the pattern now, so you can view exactly how to do it here:
Thanks and let me know if you have any more questions!
HI! I am making this for my daughter who LOVED it. I am a complete novice, but I have a firm grip on basic stitches. My question is about sizing. She is an extra small adult. She is also 100 lbs soaking wet and 5’2″. How wide is the center mandala portion, from the solid ring inward (measured across) using the recommended yarn and hook size? I am using Caron Cake weight 4, so I realize it is chunkier than you recommend. I will use a 5mm hook, as recommended on the label. I can (probably) figure out how it will relate to your recommended size…but any hints will help this novice taking on my first project that isn’t a sample square. Those samples will eventually be a blanket, but for now, they are my lessons.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do those videos, as I will be glued to them while I work this massive undertaking into magic.
Hi Christina! The central portion of the mandala for the Size Small will be around 21-22 inches in diameter after Rnd 16, if I remember right. I don’t have my sample with me so I can’t say for absolute certain but I am pretty sure as I’ve answered this question before 🙂 I hope the rest of your stitching goes well and please let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂
I’m almost finished with the lotus duster and it looks amazing but I’m confused about adding the slip stitches in the shell stitches to strengthen it. I couldn’t find a tutorial that goes past the making the sleeves. How many shells am I to slip stitch in? the picture you have on the directions look like about 6 but I’m not sure if that is the actual finish pic or was it just to show where to put them and you actually went further on each side from the middle shell. I also don’t quite understand where to add the ties from your directions. It sounds like you put them in the shell stitches that come around to the front of the duster. is that correct? thanks for great pattern.
Hi Laurie! The pictures shows 6 shells, but I actually slip stitch into the shells around the entire top half of the duster for mine typically – however, you can do as many as you need depending on how far apart and where you place your ties. Adding the ties are just a matter of creating a long loop of strands, then folding them in half and slipping the loop through one of your slip stitches on the shell – then you pull the loose ends of the ties through the loop almost as if making a tassel or fringe. Afterward, you’ll braid the loose ends of the tie just made 🙂 If you haven’t checked out the video tutorial or couldn’t find the right video, here’s the video tutorial that covers the slip stitching and ties 🙂
The instructions for slip stitching the shells and doing the ties starts at about 20:00 in that video! 🙂 🙂 Hope that helps!
I am on rounds 35 and 36 which are the half rows/rounds. do I end round 35 below second sleeve hole and go back to start row 36 at the same spot where I started roe 35? Or do I turn and go backwards like rows in a straight scarf. Please excuse my rookie question. This is the first complicated project I’ve crocheted. I love it so far!! Thanks. Hattie
Hi Hattie! The half rounds are concentrated in the top half of the garment, so the same half with the sleeve/armhole openings 🙂 Row 35 will end below the second armhole as you said, then you chain and turn the work around to start Row 36 just as you would a scarf. Row 36 will end up back at the beginning where you started Row 35. Hope that clears it up! 🙂 Please let me know if you have any more questions!