Lotus Mandala Duster FAQ

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 πŸ™‚ 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 :/ 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. πŸ™‚

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.

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.Β 

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.

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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 πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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.Β 

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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.

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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.

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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!

Is this pattern available in other languages?

Currently this pattern is available 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

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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! πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching ❀

-MF

Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial Part 1

Well, I’m excited to announce that my first full-length video tutorial is underway! Not that I haven’t made videos before, but this is the first time I’ve filmed with the intent of capturing a whole pattern on video. After many moons of wanting to do it, I’ve started the tutorial for the Lotus Mandala Duster design and I have finished Part 1 to share with you today!

I avoided video tutorials for a long time simply because they were a whole new thing that I had to learn. Also, I hate the sound of my own voice πŸ˜› But because I really wanted to bring the Lotus Duster into the reach of people who can only crochet from videos, I bootstrapped up and began this new venture!

The goal of this tutorial is to cover the first 16 rounds of the Lotus Mandala. These first 16 rounds are the exact same instructions, whether you are doing the Lotus Duster or the Lotus Vest (two separate but sister patterns) and are perhaps the most challenging rounds, technically speaking, within the design. So even though the yarn used in the tutorial is for the Duster, you can follow the same instructions through Round 16 if you are working the vest πŸ™‚

Part 1, which I am sharing today, consists of Rounds 1 – 8 of the Lotus Mandala. I do intend on finishing out the Duster in video tutorials in later parts, but we’ll cross that bridge eventually, probably.

UPDATE: Part 2 with Rounds 9-16 is now available!

So without further ado, here is the Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial Part 1! ❀ Directly below this paragraph you can find links to the patterns mentioned above as well as their related add-ons, frequently asked questions, and tutorial links from the video:

Lotus Mandala Duster
Lotus Mandala Vest
Lotus Duster Hood
Lotus Mandala Vest Cardigan Sleeves
Lotus Mandala Vest FAQ
Lotus Duster FAQ

Chain and Stitch Join Tutorial

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn

I hope you enjoyed this video and if you have feedback or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments! ❀

Happy Stitching,

MF

Lotus Hooded Duster

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It’s finally time! I’ve received many requests over the last few years to design a hood for my Lotus Duster free crochet pattern, and it’s been on my to-do list for long enough – today we debut the hood addition to this design! πŸ˜€

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The hood is partially made, then inserted into the main pattern rather than added after the entire thing is finished, so if you are working the Lotus Duster you will be adding the hood after Round 22, then continuing with the main pattern from there and working over the hood brim in addition to the rest of the garment. Also, I made the version pictured here sleeveless (because I wanted to wear it this summer) and I made a few adjustments to the sizing as well, which are explained in the instructions πŸ™‚

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If you like these patterns and want the portable, printable, ad-free version, good news! The Hood Tutorial is now included as a bonus PDF along with the PDF version of the Lotus Mandala Duster pattern, available in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Pattern Store! And don’t forget my offer for bundled patterns with my new pattern discount codes:
15% off of 2: MF15OFF
20% off of 3-4: MF20OFF
25% off of 5-6: MF25OFF
30% off of 7+: MF30OFF

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The pattern given for the Hood is more of a tutorial and doesn’t include specific stitch counts like the main Lotus Duster pattern does. I also used a random mishmash of yarns, some slightly bigger than I would normally use for this design, which makes a difference in sizing and gauge, etc – so I left the hood instructions open with modifications for individual gauge and preference. I considered using the standard yarn that I use for the main pattern, but I just really wanted to make this crazy thing using all these crazy yarns!

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The majority of the yarns used in this example are either upcycled by me from old sweaters (see my detailed tutorial on how to recycle sweater yarn) or rescued from the thrift store. If you liked this project, give a girl a fave over on the Ravelry project page for this design!

Oh, and those leafy wrap bracelets I am wearing are from another FREE crochet pattern of mine, the Ivy Crown garland.

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Lotus Hooded Duster

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Materials: 5.50 mm hook
Extra yarn – I would estimate the hood addition requires 300-500 yards of yarn more than the standard pattern. Please refer to the main pattern for more info on materials needed, gauge, etc.

Notes: As mentioned, I made a few tweaks to the sizing of this sleeveless duster to get the look I wanted. I started working the main pattern in size Small, then added length and width by working some of the extra rows suggested in the Large size – but not all of them, so the size came out more like a Medium.

Instructions

Work the Lotus Duster 2.0 pattern through to Round 21.

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On Rnd 22 I made an adjustment to the amount of double crochet that I worked across the chain loop that creates the armhole opening.

22. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-1 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9, 13 times**. 1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63, 65 times. 3 dc in the next ch-1 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 460, 488 sts”

Instead of working 1 dc in each of the chain stitches made for the armhole loops (making 30 total dc over each armhole) I worked 20 total dc into the armhole loop itself, not the stitches. This means that the stitches can stretch across the loop made by the chains and are not anchored to the stitches themselves – to do this, just insert the hook underneath the chain loop to work your stitches across (do not insert your hook into the actual stitches, just the space underneath the chain).

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I forgot to get an actual picture at this stage, so this one is from a little later in the pattern. Still, check out how the stitches are arranged across the armhole loop space – this accomplishes a slight tightening at the bust and shoulder area and makes room for the extra draping material that will be added by the presence of the hood. If these step seems confusing or you are having trouble with sizing, it’s 100% okay to skip this step – it’s not a crucial adjustment. I just made this change because it helps keep all that pretty lacey material tucked around the shoulders for a better fit.

So with that in mind, finish Round 22 as written with or without the armhole adjustments. Once Rnd 22 is complete, set the main body of the duster aside to begin the hood.

Hood Instructions

Using the 5.50 mm hook and your yarn of choice, Chain 35.

The length you chain depends on your gauge – if you hold the chain starting at the nape of the neck, it should be long enough to reach the back of your head. If 35 is too short, chain more.

Row 1: Dc in the 4th ch from hook, ch 1, sk next st. (Dc, ch 1, sk next st) 14 times, or however many times you need to reach the second to last stitch of the chain. Dc, ch 1 in next st. In the last st of the chain, work (Dc, ch 1) 3 times. Rotate the piece so that you are working into the bottom of the chain stitches, creating a chain with stitches on both sides. Dc, ch 1 in the next st, sk next st. (Dc, ch 1, sk next st) 14 times. Dc in next st. Dc in the final st.

Row 2:  Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1), turn. (Dc in next ch -1 space, ch 1) 16 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in ea of the next 2 ch-1 spaces. (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 16 times. Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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The central chain at the back of the hood
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The instructions in bold create two increase spaces at the tip of one end of the piece. Through the next part, you will work the same kind of increase in each of these two increase spaces on every row – so it’s helpful to mark them!

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Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn. (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 17 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. Dc, ch 1 in the next space. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. (Dc in the next space, ch 1) 16 times. 1 dc in the final ch-1 space, 1 dc in the final dc of the previous row.

Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 18 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. Dc, ch 1 in each of the next 2 spaces. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. (Dc in the next space, ch 1) 18 times.  Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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Side profile of the hood addition, folded in half – at 9 rows

Keep working in this same manner, placing increases at the two increase points on every row, until your hood has 11 total rows (or until the hood is tall enough to reach the top of your head).

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The next few rows skip the increases to add depth to the hood without adding more height. You can repeat the next two rows as many times as you like to get the depth of hood that you want/need, but remember that since there are still 15 rounds left in the main pattern that will add height and depth to the hood, so you really don’t need this part to be a fully functioning hood yet.

Row 12: Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) in each space across. Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

Row 13: Ch 3 (counts as first dc). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) across. 1 dc in the final ch space, 1 dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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Once your hood addition is completed, cut your yarn and tie off. Now we are going to  attach the hood to the work-in-progress main body of the duster.

My hood addition when finished by itself is about 20″ across the bottom, and 12″ at the highest point. 

Attaching the Hood

On the main duster, use a stitch marker to mark the central dc between the armholes. I do this by counting how many v-stitches are in the row below, then finding the central v-stitch or space between v-stitches – the double crochet above will be the central point. Align the hood’s flat edge with this point, matching the end of the foundation chain to the middle point marked on the duster.

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Attach yarn, insert hook through both the vest and the hood at the central point. Work a sc in ea dc through the hood, working 2 attaching stitches for the side of every DC at the end of a row. This was 25 stitches for me to get to the end of the hood.

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Half the hood is now attached – now we start on the other side and attach the opposite half.

Count out the amount of sts needed for the other side. Cut yarn and reattach at this point, then work toward the central point using the same strategy to attach.

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Of course, you can always just whip stitch the hood onto the main duster if using a crocheted method of attaching seems like too much bother. I prefer a stitched seam here because the hood is going to be resisting against the weight of the rest of the duster (which is not light) and I want the seam to be strong and not stretch too much.

Once your hood is attached in whichever fashion you prefer, cut your yarn and tie off. It’s time to pick back up where we left off on the main body of the duster at Round 23. Only now, we will be working all the rest of the rounds across the brim of the hood as well as around the main body.

“23. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. (Sk next three sts, 1 dc in the next st. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st) 114, 121 times. Sk next three sts, dc in the next st, ch 1. Hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3 to join.”

Round 23 creates V-stitches all around the garment – to work the first round that includes the hood, work a V-stitch over the arm opening stitches as  instructed…

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Then work a V-stitch in every other ch-1 space around the brim of the hood addition.

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Continue the round across the entire brim of the hood, and then around the main body as well, using the instructions given. Remember that because of the hood addition, your stitch counts will not be the same as given in the main pattern.

Once Round 23 is complete, all remaining rounds can be worked as written in the main Lotus Duster pattern, just working around the entire body including the hood! One more consideration is the half-rounds at Rnd 35 and 36 – because you have added a hood, you’ll have to recalculate what amount of stitches constitutes the top half of the garment and then work the half-rounds across that amount of stitches, not the amount given in the main pattern.

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To calculate this number, count the total number of stitches in Rnd 34, then divide that number by half. Beginning with the Rnd 34 join at the side of the duster, count out your V-stitches that equal half of the total. Mark the final stitch of this set, then work Row 35 and 36 only on that portion following the instructions given. For my duster vest, half of the total equalled 224 V-stitches.

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Once the garment in completed, I cut the yarn and wove in the ends. I added the slip stitching necessary to anchor the ties as shown in the main pattern, then added two braided ties on each side.

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Since I left this version sleeveless, I finished the armholes with a row of dc around the inside.

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I really love this particular version of the Lotus Duster – the lack of sleeves makes it a good garment for warmer weather, but the hood and the length make it mysterious and costume-y enough to be a stunning festival piece! In my tradition of naming these after female singer songwriters, I’m calling this baby “Florence.” ❀

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The polymer clay horns and woodland tree spirit pendant I am wearing in this shoot came from my amazing friend Wendy Davies from Dark Pony Art – please check out her art and give her a like on her Facebook Page!

If you like my designs, you can head over to my Facebook Page too and hit that follow button!

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As always, I’m filled with gratitude for everyone who likes, comments, shares, and creates my designs! I can’t help but remember a time when where I am at now seemed beyond my wildest imaginings ❀ And it’s all possible because of you magical beings out there who support me, thank you so much ❀ I am honored to create with you!

-MF

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