Hi Chaps, welcome to my African flower tutorial! Now this is definitely not my own design, it is in fact a pattern that has been around for many years; however, after discovering a picture of one of these blankets and deciding I wanted to make one, I struggled to find a picture heavy tutorial, resorting to translating various American patterns and guessing my way along.
So having frogged and cursed my way through the first hexagon, discarding several botched attempts, I have finally figured it all out and want to share it with you.
(Apologies for the darkness of the photos, we have been having really bad light in snowy Sussex, you should be able to see what's going on though!)
Righto then, here we go!
For the centre colour, make a slip knot to begin and then chain 6, slip stitch into the first chain to create a magic circle.
Chain 3 and then work a treble stitch into the circle. * Chain 1, then 2 trebles into the circle*. Repeat until you have 6 lots of double trebles. Chain 1 and join with a slip stitch into the third chain from the beginning strand.
Change your colour! Put your hook through one of the chain spaces in your wheel shape (I like to do mine one chain space along from the last one to make sure everything is caught in and looks neat).
Chain 5 ( I find an easy way to change your colour is to pull the new colour through and use both ends in your first chain stitch, then just carry on with the working thread, when you finish go back and stitch in your ends to secure everything)
Work 2 treble stitches into the same chain space, chain 1.
In the next chain space along, work *2 trebles, 2 chains, 2 trebles. Chain 1*. Repeat this into all of your chain spaces.
When you have filled all of the chain spaces, work another treble stitch into the very first chain space and slip stitch into the third chain of the original 5 chain strand (this keeps two chain stitches free to match up with the rest of the round).
Keep the same colour, chain 3 then work 6 treble stitches into the 2 chain space. Chain 1.
Moving to the next 2 chain space along, work *7 treble stitches. Chain 1.* Repeat all the way around.
Slip stitch into the third chain stitch of the original strand.
Now, here you have two options. You can either fasten off and change colour again (as is the original pattern), or do as I have and create a thicker flower by continuing in the same colour.
If you do change colour, go back into the same stitch and chain 1, if you don't change colour, simply chain 1. Work along the first petal shape with double crochet stitches.
When you get to the end of the first petal, take your hook underneath the chain space of the second round, make a normal double crochet stitch and this pinches your stitches together to create a nicer petal shape (this also looks really nice if you have changed colour).
Continue working along the top of the next petal shape in double crochet stitches and repeat the lower double crochet when you get to the in-between bit.
When you have gone all the way around (your last stitch should be a low double crochet), slip stitch into the first chain stitch of the round. Fasten off- you have your finished flower bit!!
To make the border, change colour and begin at the right hand side of one of your petals, in the double crochet stitch just after a lower double crochet.
Work 3 treble stitches in the next 3 stitches. Chain 1 and work another treble stitch into the same stitch as the previous treble (this helps create a nice point on your hexagon).
Continue working treble stitches all the way back down your petal until you reach the double crochet stitch just before the lower double crochet. Chain 1 then work a treble stitch into the stitch after the lower double crochet.
Repeat this all the way around. (don't forget, a double treble at the top of the petals with a chain in-between and a chain between stitches at the base of the petals). You should finish just before a lower double crochet so chain 1 and then slip stitch into the third chain of the original strand.
Ok, now you could fasten off here and be done with it- however, I quite like thick borders and I am going to show you how to join these as you go so I am going to carry on with another round. (Of course, you could do the joining as you go with the round we just did if you wanted a smaller border. Totally up to you!)
If you would like a thicker border, chain 3 (ooh I forgot to mention, you could change colour here as well to have a double coloured border...just an idea!) then work treble stitches up to the corner. Work 1 treble into the chain gap.
Ok so here are some I have already joined (it's like Blue Peter!!), so starting in the right hand corner there...
... put your hook into the matching chain space and make a slip stitch, securing the two pieces together. Make another treble stitch into the chain space on your current shape and then continue working trebles until you reach the chain space created at the base of the petal shapes.
Again make a slip stitch and continue working treble stitches along the current shape until the next corner. Work 1 treble stitch into the chain space. If you are joining a corner to an existing joined corner, you will have to make slip stitches into both pieces.
So make a slip stitch into the first chain space, then straight away make a chain stitch into the other chain space.
Continue working this way all along the sides you are joining together, slip stitching into the chain spaces, don't forget to work two trebles into the corners to make the turn.
Pretty cool huh? And so easy!!