African flower is a different type of granny square that, in fact, it's not square but exagonal. It's not as simple as the traditional square, but it's not difficult. It's good for beginners who are tired of traditional granny squares ;)
I've made this blanket in december, given that I wanted to take a kitten with me as soon as possible. June 14th, Enya arrived >^.^<
For the ones who read my Star Trek Enterprise stories: this is the type of blanket I'll write about in "I Naviganti 30: Hunter", the ones Gracie Tucker made for Trip & T'Pol and for F'Ral.
Step 1: Gather Wool
First of all, look for wool, scrap yarn is really good for this kind of work. There's no problem if the yarns are different, once you work them the result will be wonderful! Choose the combinations of colour as you want, you can do groups of flower of the same colours or make all them different or all the same. The result will always be beautiful!
Just one note: do not use yarn of very different weight. There's no problem if the yarn are a bit different, but do not mix yarn you can work with a size 4 mm crochet with one you have to work with a size 10 mm crochet. If the yarn is really thin you can use two of it together.
Of course you can do this blanket with cotton too.
Step 2: African Flower Pattern
You need these stitches:
sl st=slip stitch
Start (colour #1): ch 6, sl st to make a circle.
1st round (colour #1): ch 3, 1 dc, ch 1, *2 dc, ch 1, * repeat until you have six spaces and six 2 dc. sl st into the 3rd chain of the beginning round. Fasten off.
2nd round (colour #2): start in a space. ch 3, 1 dc in same space, *ch 2, 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc in next space - repeat * 5 times. sl st into the 3rd ch of the beginning round.
3rd round (colour #2): sl st in the first 2 ch to reach the first 2 ch space of the prevoius round. ch 3, dc 6 in the 2 ch space, ch 1, * dc 7 in next 2 ch space, ch 1, repeat * 5 times. sl st into the 3rd ch of the beginning round. Fasten off.
4th round (colour #3): ch 1, sc around and make a long stitch down in round 2 between each flower petal. End with sl st. Fasten off.
5th round (colour #4): ch 3, dc around and place dc twice in the ch of the petal that sticks out most. End with sl st. Fasten off.
Note: The 5th round is the border of the african flower. You have to use this round to sew the flowers one to the others. You can sew them with a yarn needle, but I prefer to sew them while I do the 5th round: just do a slip stitch between the couple of dcs at the corner of the other flower. So you won't need the needle work and the blanket will result softer.
Step 3: Crochet All the Flowers
Do as much flowers as you need to do a blanket of the size you want. Because I did it for my cat, I did 7 x 12. You can to it as big or little as you want.
Sewing the flowers, keep in mind that they're exagonal, so you have to wedge them in, but it's not difficult.
Add a border of single crochets all around the blanket: I usally do a round in the same colour of the border of the flowers (in this case white), one (or two) in a colour of choice and one (or two) in white. You can add a round in reverse single crochet stitch (you can learn it here:http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-crochet-a-reverse-single-crochet-stitch.html - it's the punto gambero for Italian speaking crocheter!).
I have ironed the blanket with a wet cotton rug, so it's smooth.
Step 5: Enjoy Your Blanket
I put the blanket in Enya's cathouse on a soft pillow and here she is >^.^<
Enjoy your blanket!