When I found my first Mandala Cake, I was so excited about it that I shared pictures of it with everyone I could. I shared it on Instagram, Facebook, and I even sent a text message to my best friend, Elizabeth. Elizabeth, like me, is a yarn enthusiast, but she specifically uses her yarn for crochet. She had an admiration for my ambidextrous tendencies when it came with yarn, which was a big reason why she was immediately my very excited, number one fan from the first day that my blog launched. As a means to celebrate the launch of the website, she ordered a few things online to ship back to my house (because, unfortunately, hundreds of miles separate us right now). The first gift was a set of Double-Pointed knitting needles (of which, I shared my experience with on last week’s post). The next day, I received a few items. First, a case filled with numerous sized crochet hooks. Later on that day, to my surprise, another package arrived for me – this one, filled with yarn.
Not just yarn, either. Mandala Cakes.
This was where I was slightly stumped. She sent me two cakes that were completely different, and neither of which matched the one cake I had already bought. I didn’t think I had enough yarn in one cake to dare tackle a mandala. What would I do with them?
This was around the time that I became determined to knit a hat out of my Spirit cake. I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of the two new cakes that I had received, despite the fact that I was excited and enamored by the new gifts. They weren’t speaking to me, and I only find myself able to make something when the yarn speaks to me. So, I set them in my WIP basket, keeping them in sight so that I could look at them while I worked, and wait for inspiration to strike.
It didn’t take very long before my current Mandala Cake project inspired me. I was knitting a hat, followed by a scarf, and all with the same cake. What if I did the same thing with one of my gifted cakes, but as a crochet set instead of knitted? That way, I could share another simple project for beginners! I kept looking back and forth between the two cakes that I had left, uncertain of which one I would use. It took a while for me to settle on a cake, but I finally decided to go with Phoenix.
This pattern is so simple, but it looks so cool because of the color changes in the yarn. I would love to see what it does with a different cake, though, because I was not a huge fan of the red that I stumbled into during my work. Again, though, the point of this project was to present an option for someone who is new to crochet (or doesn’t feel like buying multiple skeins of yarn for one project) to create something with multiple colors, without needing to know how or fight with making color changes.
I also wanted to match the option of making, not just a beanie, but a slouchy beanie. If you just aren’t into slouchy beanies, you can always work your beanie a little shorter so that you don’t have that slouch in the back.
You may also notice that I worked the crochet beanie from the top down, while I worked the knitted beanie from bottom to top. If you already have experience in working a beanie from the bottom up in crochet, you are more than welcome to do so as you wish, but I have not tried that order yet, so until I do, I will remain a fan of increasing from a magic circle.
You can get a copy of the free hat and scarf combo in crochet here!