Lion Brand Yarn Review: Exploring the Mandala Yarn Family

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Lion Brand Yarn is a household name among crafters and knitters, known for its extensive range of high-quality yarns that cater to every project imaginable. One of their standout offerings is the Mandala Yarn family, which has garnered a dedicated following for its vibrant colorways, ease of use, and versatility. This review looks at the various aspects of the Mandala Yarn collection, exploring its features, benefits, and the creative possibilities it offers.

this is a picture of a knitted mandala yarn blanket
Source: Lion Brand Yarn

Overview of the Mandala Yarn Collection

The Mandala Yarn family by Lion Brand is known for its self-striping yarns that come in a wide array of colors, providing a unique and beautiful gradient effect in projects. Each cake contains 11 – 13 colors that transition smoothly from one to another, creating an effortless ombre effect. This collection is designed with versatility in mind, suitable for a variety of projects including blankets, shawls, scarves, and more.


Mandala Yarn is made from 100% acrylic, which makes it both soft and durable. Acrylic yarns are popular for their ease of care, as they are machine washable and dryable, making them ideal for everyday items that need frequent laundering.

Colorways and Aesthetic Appeal

One of the most striking features of the Mandala Yarn collection is its vibrant and diverse colorways. The collection includes a range of options, from subtle pastels to bold, vivid hues, ensuring that there is something for every taste and project.


  • Popular Colorways: Some of the most popular colorways include “Genie,” which features a mix of blues and purples, “Centaur,” with its earthy tones of browns and greens, and “Gnome,” a playful mix of bright primary colors.
  • Artistic Potential: The self-striping nature of the yarn creates a beautiful, automatic gradient effect as you work, which adds a level of sophistication and complexity to even the simplest patterns. This makes Mandala Yarn particularly appealing for beginners who want to create stunning projects without having to manually change colors.
mandala yarn cakes
Source: Lion Brand Yarn

Texture and Workability

The texture of Mandala Yarn is smooth and soft, making it a pleasure to work with. The yarn has a light worsted weight (also known as DK or number 3 weight), which is a versatile weight suitable for a wide range of projects.


  • Ease of Use: One of the standout qualities of Mandala Yarn is its ease of use. It slides smoothly over needles and hooks, reducing the strain on hands and wrists during extended knitting or crocheting sessions. This makes it a great choice for crafters of all skill levels.


  • Consistency: The yarn is consistently spun, meaning that it doesn’t have the thick and thin spots that can sometimes occur in other yarns. This consistency results in a more uniform and professional-looking finished product.

Durability and Care

As mentioned earlier, Mandala Yarn is made from 100% acrylic, which is known for its durability. Acrylic fibers are resistant to wear and tear, making this yarn suitable for items that will see heavy use, such as blankets and children’s clothing.


  • Machine Washable: The convenience of being machine washable and dryable cannot be overstated. This feature is especially beneficial for items like baby blankets or throws that need regular cleaning.


  • Fade Resistance: Another benefit of the acrylic composition is its resistance to fading. The vibrant colors of Mandala Yarn remain bright and true, even after multiple washes.

Versatility in Projects

Mandala Yarn’s versatility is one of its most praised attributes. It is suitable for a wide range of projects, from small accessories to larger garments and home décor items.


  • Blankets and Throws: The generous yardage in each skein (approximately 590 yards) means that fewer skeins are needed for larger projects like blankets and throws. The self-striping feature creates a beautiful gradient without the need to weave in multiple ends, simplifying the crafting process.
  • Garments: The soft texture and beautiful drape of Mandala Yarn make it an excellent choice for garments such as shawls, scarves, and sweaters. The lightweight nature of the yarn ensures that finished pieces are not too bulky, making them comfortable to wear.
  • Amigurumi and Toys: For those who enjoy making amigurumi or other stuffed toys, Mandala Yarn offers an array of colors that can bring characters to life. The smooth texture and durability of the yarn ensure that these items can withstand the rigors of play.
mandala yarn garmet
Source: Lion Brand Yarn

Community and Inspiration

Lion Brand has a strong presence in the crafting community, and this extends to the Mandala Yarn collection. There is a wealth of patterns and project ideas available, both from Lion Brand’s official website and from independent designers.


  • Community Sharing: Online platforms like Ravelry and Instagram are filled with projects made from Mandala Yarn, showcasing the creativity and talent within the crafting community. Seeing the diverse range of finished items can inspire new projects and demonstrate the versatility of this yarn.

Value for Money

Mandala Yarn is also known for its affordability, offering excellent value for the quality and yardage provided. The cost per skein is reasonable, especially considering the amount of yarn and the stunning colorways each contains.


  • Cost-Effective: Given the generous yardage, many projects can be completed with just one or two skeins, making Mandala Yarn a cost-effective option for both small and large projects.


  • Availability: Mandala Yarn is widely available at many major craft stores as well as online, making it easy to find and purchase.

Potential Drawbacks

While the Mandala Yarn collection has many positive attributes, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:


  • Color Matching: Due to the self-striping nature of the yarn, matching colors exactly between skeins can be challenging. This can be an issue if a project requires more yarn than anticipated, as dye lots can vary slightly.


  • Acrylic Sensitivity: While acrylic yarn is praised for its durability and ease of care, some crafters prefer natural fibers due to personal sensitivities or environmental concerns. Those with a preference for natural fibers may find acrylic less appealing.

Lion Brand’s Mandala Yarn collection is a standout choice for crafters looking for vibrant, self-striping yarn that offers excellent value for money. Its beautiful colorways, soft texture, and ease of care make it suitable for a wide range of projects, from everyday accessories to special gifts. The yarn’s durability and affordability further enhance its appeal, making it a favorite among both beginners and experienced crafters.


Whether you’re knitting a cozy blanket, crocheting a colorful shawl, or crafting a playful toy, Mandala Yarn provides the versatility and quality needed to bring your creative visions to life. Its strong community support and wealth of available patterns ensure that inspiration is always at hand. Despite minor drawbacks, the Mandala Yarn collection remains a beloved and reliable choice in the crafting world, continually inspiring and delighting those who use it.