Variation on a theme

One of the perks of crocheting in the twenty-first century is the advent of the internet and online communities like Ravelry and Flickr. Resources such as these are a crafter’s paradise and make it much easier to disseminate and share information.

As such, many crocheters are familiar with the African Flower hexagon motif published in June 2009 in the South African magazine Sarie:

African Flower crochet hexagon
African Flower crochet hexagon

Written in Afrikaans, worldwide sharing of such a publication would have been logistically much trickier just ten years earlier, and pretty much logistically impossible in the late summer of 1986 when the September 9th issue of Woman’s Day hit the stand.

In addition to an article on “How Not to Be Fat After 35,” information on “FREE Mail Order Samples: 27 Products to Try,” and tips on “How to Ace a Job Interview” along with “Chocolate Recipes,” the cover also promised “Granny-Square Afghans — page 98: Instructions Inside.”

On the outside, however, the afghan that graced the cover was not a granny-square, but a six-petaled flower contained within a hexagon. According to one source I have come across, the pattern was then known as the Paperweight hexagon. As I have yet to get my hands on an actual copy of this magazine (either in real life or a digital format), I can neither attest to the name of the design, nor the name of the designer.

Be that as it may, it is clear from the cover of the magazine that the hexagon now best known as the African Flower motif has a much longer lineage than is generally known.

So today, in honor of the African Flower/Paperweight hexagon, I attempted yet another variation.

With the features of Square 81 from Jean Leinhauser’s 101 Crochet Squares still fresh in my thoughts, I made the modification pictured here to round 5:

African flower crochet hexagon variation
Variation on an African flower crochet hexagon: rounds 1-5

I then increased each side by 2 double crochet stitches and made slightly longer loops for rounds 6:

African flower crochet hexagon variation
Variation on an African flower crochet hexagon: 6 rounds

and round 7:

African flower crochet hexagon variation
Variation on an African flower crochet hexagon: 7 rounds

After looping the loops through each other as I had for square 81:

African flower crochet hexagon variation
Variation on an African flower crochet hexagon: rounds 1-7 with loops pulled through

I then worked 3hdc into the loop from round 7 and increased the number of stitches in each side by working 2dc into the first and last stitch of each side:

African flower crochet hexagon variation
Variation on an African flower crochet hexagon: 8 rounds

I am grateful to whomever the original designer was, and I am equally grateful to all of the crocheters around the world who continued to make and remake this motif until it reached me.

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7 thoughts on “Variation on a theme

  1. Yet another great look for the African Flower! I love this – how clever, you always think outside the box and I love that about you and your designs!

  2. I have the magazine with the Paperweight afghan on the cover! The designer of the Paperweight pattern is Dorothy Neldhart. I like what you have done, very pretty.

  3. Love what you have done with this pattern! BTW The Paperweight Afghan is also in the book Woman’s Day Prize-Winning Afghans pub’d 1988…

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