This is the African Flower soccer ball I made to celebrate the 2010 World Cup in South Africa:
The pattern for the African flower motif was published in Afrikaans the magazine Sarie, and can be found here. Additionally, there is a tutorial available here. As for me, I first became acquainted with the African Flower Hexagon in May of 2010, and I found the motif enchanting and sublime.
For this project I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn and a 4.00mm hook.
I wanted the fabric to be fairly firm so that the ball would have greater structural integrity. The combination of a worsted weight yarn and the 4.00 mm hook worked well for me, but if you tend to crochet tightly, you might find that a 4.5 mm hook works better for you.
Hexagons: This tutorial is very helpful, but for the soccer ball, you will only make a 5-round hexagon. You will need to make 20 of them. I used four colors for each 5-round hexagon.
Round 1: color A
Round 2: color B
Round 3: color B
Round 4: color C
Round 5: color D
By using the same color for rounds 2 and 3, the petals of the flower are a more prominent design feature than they are if you change colors every round, but both are attractive.
Pentagons: To make a soccer ball, you will need 12 of these. Each side of the pentagon should be approximately 2.5″ long. To make the pentagon, I worked in one color and did the following:
Using worsted weight yarn and a 4.0mm hook (I used a 5.0mm hook for demonstration purposes so the stitches would be easier to see), chain 5, join with a slip stitch to form a ring.
Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc), work 1 hdc into ring, *ch1, 2hdc into ring, repeat from * 3 times more, ch 1 and join with sl st to top of first hdc made (10 hdc and 5 ch-1 sp). Slip stitch over to next ch-1 space.
Round 2: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc), work 1 hdc into same ch-1 space, ch 1, work 2 hdc into same ch-1 space, *(2hdc, ch 1, 2hdc) into next ch-1 space, repeat from * 3 times more, join with sl st to first hdc made. Slip stitch over to next ch-1 space.
Round 3: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc), work 6 hdc into same ch-1 space, *work 7 hdc into next ch-1 space, repeat from * 3 times more, join with sl st to first hdc made. (35hdc)
Round 4: Chain 1 (counts as first sc), sc in each of next 6 stitches, work a lsc (long single crochet) by working around the gap in round 2) without skipping any stitches, *sc in the next seven stitches, work lsc around the gap in round 2, repeat from * 3 times more, work lsc in gap in round 2, join with sl st to first ch made. Slip stitch over the next three stitches (you should end up at the single crochet stitch four stitches to the right of a long single crochet stitch of round 4). (40 stitches)
Round 5: Chain 3 (counts as first hdc and chain 1), work 1hdc in same stitch, *work 1 hdc in each of the next 7 stitches, work (hdc, ch 1, hdc) in next stitch, repeat from *3 times more, hdc in each of next 7 stitches, join with sl st. to second chain of chain 3. Fasten off.
Below is a series of how-to photos for the pentagon: