Happy Make! Triptych Mandala by Esther Dijkstra

What better way to spend hot days inside, away from scorching temperatures and pesky mosquitoes? Esther Dijkstra from It’s all in A Nutshell has produced another fantastic mandala set crochet design to add to one’s collection! I had been looking forward to this one, so as soon as the pattern became available on Ravelry, I purchased it (a free version is available on Esther’s blog) and gathered all the things I would need.

As many crocheters know, we tend to have a sizeable stash of yarn and notions. Even though I thought I was well stocked, I needed the right size craft rings to mount these beautiful mandalas on. The problem was readily solved by facing the sweltering temperatures in a thankfully air-conditioned car and with the aid of a cranky shade-lending tree in the parking lot of the craft shop. I acquired the missing rings with a water bottle, mask, and patience.

The following decision-making point was to pick the color combinations I liked. Esther offers three ready-made color combination yarn kits, which you can either purchase from her online store or purchase the yarn separately in the colors making up each colorway. The colorways Esther created are Forest Fern, Rainbow Bright, and Blue Moon (the one I picked). You could make them all and even your colorway, choosing from the vast number of shades in Scheepjes Catona (the yarn used in the pattern) or similar you may prefer! They are compulsive! Esther provides a guideline in the pattern introduction for choosing colors and realizing a stunning combination that speaks to you.

Esther designed the Triptych Mandala set as a sequel to the Trinity Mandala set she released in 2019. That pattern design was hugely successful (I made several and have that set displayed on one of my walls). The photo illustrates how they can be hung and my completion of the Trinity Mandala set.

This year, I was delighted when the announcement came that she had been working on a slightly different size complementing set! An excellent project to start and finish over a weekend – heat, rain, snow, or whatever invites you to spend a mindful and joyful few days indoors.

So worth it!

Esther’s designs are a joy to make. They are well thought out and laid out in easy-to-understand patterns that are often accompanied by instructional videos on her YouTube channel. I recommend you check them out! Her videos provide a very calm, detailed approach if you have ever doubted your ability to crochet. Esther’s voice and close-ups of rounds guide you step by step through your crochet journey, whatever you may be making – her patterns or those of other designers she has lent her expertise.  I indeed refer often to her video guides – and not necessarily because I find myself stuck on some round or row I am working, but because it is good to cross-check (I caught a few mistakes I made or learned new techniques or just a different way to do things) and find oneself in a pleasant environment while doing so.

Back to the Triptych Mandala. You will need three craft rings: 6″, 10″, and 16″ in diameter. (Side note: if you want to use the largest one as a pillow cover, you could either crochet in a different colorway for the back or use fabric. There are numerous tutorials available on the web on how to achieve this). Esther recommends using a 3mm hook with the yarn she suggests. I struggled to stay on gauge (my gauge was consistently smaller) and stepped up to a 3.5mm, solving the problem. There are alternatives to deal with the gauge not matching, and she suggests how to make up for differences other than changing the hook size). Make sure to read what the diameter is supposed to be at set checkpoints and go from there. As said, check Esther’s tips for choosing colors if you wish to create your colorway. If you decide to make the mandalas in one color, you can do that with stunning results! The following result is from Niamh Holcroft’s monochrome rendition (images used with permission, thank you!). Fabulous!

So there you have it, enough inspiration for many weekends to come. I know that I will surely make these mandalas in many more color and monochrome variations. I am looking forward to making them! Again. And again.