I think I love the Grannies Paperweight ( also known as African Flower) crochet pattern more than any other, it reminds me of sweeties that I used to buy when I was little, mixed in with patchwork quilts and those cardboard kaleidoscopes that seemed very popular in the seventies……however I really struggled initially with the half hexagons, they just seemed more fiddlesome to make than the whole hexagons (and as a rule I’m a girl who generally likes fiddly) however I wasn’t happy with leaving those up and down tops and bottoms, and knew for some other projects I’ve been working on that I really needed to sort out how to make the straight edges.
After much pfaffing, un-ravelling, tutting and endless cups of tea……I finally came up with a method I was pleased with…..so this is how I make a half hexagon to fit in with a Grannies Paperweight hexagon. (apologies in advance as this is a bit of a photo heavy post)
The Grannies Paperweight blanket (which is being “inspected” in the top picture by my fat and furry assistant) was made using mostly vintage (but some was new) tapestry wool. I prefer to use tapestry wool as that has such an amazing array of colour, all those subtle variations in hue and tone is mind blowing which I think just looks beautiful for this particular pattern……also for the first three rounds I use a 4mm Clover soft touch crochet hook, then for the fourth and fifth round I use a Brittany 3.25mm hook. I just find those final rounds work better using a smaller hook size (and the Brittany hook is nice and pointy so slips into the stitches without snagging).
This is written with UK terminology. (if you are used to using American terminology, then a UK single crochet is an American double crochet, and a UK double is an American treble.)
First make a slip knot, make 4 chains and join them together with a slip stitch. Make another 3 chains and then make 2 double (d/c) through the centre of the ring. Then make 1 chain, and make another 2 d/c. Make another 1 chain and yet another 2 d/c and finally chain 3. Put the hook through the centre of the ring and make a slip stitch before cutting the yarn and pulling the yarn through the stitch on the hook.
This gives you 3 sets of 2 d/c with a row of 3 chains at either end. I like to leave tails of about 4 inches so I can sew the tails in nice and securely.
Next it’s time for your second colour, start off with a slip knot and insert the hook in the space between the first row of 3 chains and the first group of 2 d/c. Slip stitch the yarn through the stitch on the hook so the yarn is held in position, chain 4, and then make 2 d/c all in the same gap.
Now make 2 d/c, 1 chain and 2 more 2 d/c in the next gap. Repeat in the third gap so you are working your way round the half circle shape.
In the fourth gap, make 2 d/c and chain 3, insert the hook back into the gap, pull the yarn through, make a slip stitch, cut the yarn and then pull through the stitch which is left on the hook.
You now have a little trapezoid shape.
Now you need to join your third colour. Make a slip knot and insert the hook and make a slip stitch, and then chain 3. Now make 3 d/c stitches all in the gap between the 4 chains and the 2 d/c stitches of the previous row.
In the second gap you need to make 7 d/c stitches. Make another 7 stitches in the third gap.
In the fourth gap you need to make 3 d/c stitches and then chain 3, bring the hook through the same gap and make a slip stitch, cut the yarn and then pull the yarn through the remaining stitch on the hook.
For the fourth round I prefer to use a smaller hook so am now using a 3.25 mm hook.
Make a slip knot and insert the hook into the top of the stitch of the previous round. (you are putting the hook into the 3rd chain) and you are not working under the stitch but into the actual stitch itself.
Pull the yarn through for a slip stitch and then make 1 chain.
Continue working in the top of the stitches and make a d/c in the top of the next 3 stitches. (with the chain you’ll have made 4 stitches). Now you make a d/c stitch right down through the pair of s/c in the second row. (yarn over, put the hook through, scoop the yarn and pull it through and up to the row you are working on. Scoop the yarn through the hook and pull it through the first two stitches on your hook, scoop the yarn again and pull it through the remaining two stitches). Make another 7 s/c stitches (squish back the d/c stitch a little as I find that often wants to hide the first stitch), make another d/c. Repeat to make another 7 s/c stitches and another d/c.
Finish by making 3 s/c, then insert hook into the final stitch, scoop yarn through that stitch, and then through the stitch on your hook. (slip stitch) Cut the yarn and pull it through the stitch to cast off.
This is your finished half hexagon. I prefer to work my whole hexagon with 4 rounds and join them on the fifth round, and find sewing in the tails easier once the half hexagon has been joined into position.
I’ll explain how to join them in tomorrow.
Regarding tapestry wool, my favourite brand is an American one called Elsa Williams (I bought some on ebay and it is lovely) I find DMC the best for the first two or three rounds then tend to use Anchor, Penelope , Playtime, Coats and other vintage brands for the fourth or fifth round.
It’s much easier to follow this if you are already familiar with making the Grannies Paperweight whole hexagon. If you aren’t then I think the best tutorial is this one here at Heidi Bears.