Japan is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to. Mountains, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, seasides, its got it all – including the incredibly beautiful Cherry Blossom trees (Sakura) which take over parts of the Japanese landscape during spring.
A little-known fact, is that one Japanese branch of Mahayana Buddhism—Shingon Buddhism—makes frequent use of mandalas in its rituals. When Shingon’s founder, Kukai, returned from his training in China, he brought back two mandalas that became central to Shingon ritual.
This is an initiation rituals for new Shingon students, where they are blindfolded and told to throw a flower upon either mandala. Where the flower lands assists in the determination of which deity the initiate should follow.
So mandalas aren’t just reserved for Hinduism, and instead are seen to be cosmic diagrams that shows us our relation to the infinite: the world that extends beyond and within our minds and bodies. They are a tool to meditate upon. And where better to meditate than a field of cherry blossoms?
This Pastel pink Hobbii yarn is so similar to the colour of the cherry blossoms that I couldn’t not name this mandala after them.
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This is a beginner-friendly pattern that can be worked up in an evening as a homage to the Japanese Sakura. It’s perfect for beginners wanting to transition into more difficult circular Mandala-style patterns who want to challenge themselves with a new yarn weight and smaller hook.
You will need:
- 20g of Hobbii Rainbow Lace in Pastel Pinn (42) or any 2ply yarn
- Size 3 Steel Hook
- 5 inch diameter hoop
- Assortment of Feathers and beads.
- Yarn needle
Ch = chain
Dc = double crochet (UK) (US= single crochet)
TC = treble crochet (UK) (US = double crochet)
BS = bobble stitch.
DTC = double treble crochet (UK) (US = double double crochet) yarn over twice before inserting hook into stitch.
SlSt = slip stitch
sts = stitches
Sk = skip
Ch-sp = Chain space
You will attach the hoop to the work by sewing through the “points” of which there are 8 in total. This is the 5th DTC of the 9DTC clusters around.
Round 1: Make a magic circle (or alternatively ch 8 and SlSt to first st to join into a circle). Ch5 (counts as TC+2ch). *TC into centre, 2ch* repeat from * to * 6 more times. Slst into 3rd ch of starting Ch5 to close.
Round 2: *Ch7, BS in 1st ch, DC in top of next TC from the row below.* Repeat from * to *. Slst in first ch of round. (8 petals)
Round 3: Slst to 4th Ch of first Ch7 of previous round. *Ch8 and join with DC to next 4th ch of Ch7 of previous round (on the next petal over)* repeat from * to * until end (8 ch-sp)
Round 4: Ch1. DC in same st. *DC, 9DTC, DC in ch-sp. DC in DC from previous round* repeat from * to * omitting last DC. Slst into starting DC of the round.
Round 5: Slst up to the 4th DTC in the first ch-sp. *Ch11, DC into the 4th DTC of the 9DTC cluster in the ch-sp below* repeat around. Ch11 and join with Slst to first Slst of round. Fasten off.
Attach to hoop. Decorate with beads, feathers and ribbons as desired.
Et voila! A completed mandala to hang in your home and be transported to a calmer place.