African Violet tutorial

0265-morningwindowsill

Patterns now available as a pdf – African Violets

If you use this tutorial any feedback would be gratefully received. If you had a photograph I would include it in a future post.

Here is how I made my African Violets. The great thing about this is that we don’t need to be perfect. We are trying to copy nature and nature is never perfect.

When I follow someone else’s pattern I often adapt it to my preferred way of working, so feel free to adapt this to suit yourself and the sort of African violet display you wish to create.

The first thing to do is to find a suitable thing to use as a plant pot.

For this tutorial I am using a 3.5″ – 9cm plastic plant pot but you could also cut down a 500g yogurt pot and decorate it, as it is a similar size. Otherwise you could use a pot or similar container of any suitable size.

You will need to fill the pot with scrunched up kitchen paper or similar with a flatish top as I did in my other pots.

0265-threepots

I am going to start by describing making the brown circle that the leaves and flowers are attached to. Very little of this will be visible so no special care needs to be taken in its making.

I start with a magic loop and not to overload the tutorial, I have written a Magic Loop tutorial that takes you through the process of working the first dc (US – sc) for those who might be interested. – You can find the LINK HERE.

I am using UK terms throughout.

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE SUCH THINGS – There are charts for the leaves and flower and short patterns right at the end. AND there is a US version of the short patterns at the very end.

I think that once you get into it you should be able to make the whole project in no more than four to six hours.

Making the brown circle

I now have an improved pattern for working a ‘perfect circle’ – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/how-to-crochet-a-perfect-circle/

In this post I worked the circle with a 4.5mm hook, a 3.5mm hook at my sort of tension was a bit small though a 4mm hook was okay. Working an extra row was too much even with the 3.5 hook so I would suggest eight rows with a 4mm hook for most people or a 4.5mm if you crochet a bit tight like me.

Use the above for the increases in each round and you will get a circle not an octagon!

Tutorial valid from HERE

This is worked with dark brown DK yarn and a 4mm hook.

Work 8 dcs into a magic loop.

8browndc

Then pull the loop tight and working in a spiral and starting in the first dc.

0267-dcintodc

Work 2dcs into each of the first eight dcs.

0267-8holes

Note the eight holes. This will be important later.

To HERE – I may redo the rest at some point!

Continuing in a spiral and working into every dc, increase eight times in every round .

Next round: Working into each dc – work  2dc into first dc then 1dc – repeat eight times

Following round: Work 2dc into first dc then 1dc, 1dc, – repeat eight times

Can you see a pattern here?

You can either count or if you prefer to look you will see that the increases are always into the first of the two increase dcs on the previous round.

0267-increases

 

What you create is more of an octagon than a circle and the increases are at the points.

0267-octogon

Continue until the circle fits neatly into the pot. It doesn’t matter if it is not quite flat but it needs to fit on top of the paper (or other filler) near the top of the pot.

[My last round was (2dc, 1dc,1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc) x 8.]

Finish off the loose ends.

0267-circleinpot

Next: let’s make the leaves. We make four each in three sizes.

0267-threeleaves

Use dark green DK yarn and different size hooks as indicated. Leave good long tails for sewing in.

Small Leaf

This is worked with a 3.5mm hook and mine came out about 1.5″ without the stem.

You want to make the sort of slip knot that will close easily if you pull the tail. [Tail here extra short so you can recognise it.]

0267-slipknot

Start by making 7ch and work 1tr into the back loop only of 3rd ch from the hook and another similarly in the next chain

0267-2trsworked

Then a dtr into the following two chs.

0267-2trs&2dtrs

You will now be back to the first loop.

We will work three stitches into this. Two before the knot – a dtr and trtr.

0267-dtr&trtrinloop

and one after – a dtr.

0267-dtrotherside

 

Then work back along the chain working into the other side of the loops in reverse. (dtr, dtr, tr, tr). Finish with 2ch then insert hook behind 2ch opposite

0267-ssunder2ch

and make a slp stitch into the loop.

0267-ssdone

Complete by working 4ch to make a stem.

0267-smallleaf

Leave a long tail

0267-longtail

Pull the slip knot tight and sew in the yarn up the back of the leaf so it does not show at the front.

0267-needle1

and then down again.

0267-needle2

This gives a good spine to the leaf.

The leaf may need to be pulled into shape but it is meant to be curved.

0267-smallleaf

Make three more.

Medium leaf

This is worked with a 4mm hook. (Mine was about 1.7″ without the stem.)

It is worked in the same way as above, except that five stitches are worked into the loop at the start of the yarn instead of three.

These are dtr, dtr, trtr before the knot and dtr, dtr after.

0267-mediumleafchange

At the end there are five chain for a stem.

Make four of these

Large leaf

This is exactly the same as the medium leaf but worked with a 4.5mm hook. (About 1.9″)

Make four.

Now the flowers. We will join them all together at the end.

I made six flowers.

Flowers

For the tutorial I made these with a 4mm hook because I couldn’t remember what I had used originally.

I think that I probably made the first, dark purple ones, with a 3.5mm hook and this makes them easier to space out. However African Violet flowers come in a variety of colours and sizes so choose what you prefer – experiment!

I made the original flowers in three different colours.

0265-threeflowers

For the tutorial I chose to use the lighter violet as I thought it would be easier to see the stitches.

So choose your preferred colour in a DK yarn and preferred hook size and get started.

There are only two rounds.

They also use the Magic Loop but you work 10dcs for the first round.

For the second round you work 1dc into the first dc at the start0267-startpetals

and then 3ch

0267-3chain

a 2tr cluster into the next dc.

Here is how to work the 2tr cluster for those who would like some pictures.

0267-2trcluster

1) Yarn round hook insert in stitch. 2) Loop pulled through. 3) Yarn pulled through two loops – two loops on hook, yarn round hook ready for next part.

4) Insert hook in same stitch and pull through loop (4 loops on hook). 5) Pull yarn through two loops. 6) Pull yarn through remaining three loops.

After another 3ch and 1dc into next stitch this gives the first petal.

0267-petalmade

You alternate between 1dc and (3ch, 2tr cluster into next dc, 3ch) all round the circle, ending with a slip stitch into the start.

0267-endpetals

Leave a good long tail. You have a flower with five petals. Turn it over.

Sew the tail into the back of the flower0267-movetail

so it comes out opposite the starting tail.

0267-backoflower

Pull the starting tail to close the circle up as much as you can.

0267-frontoflower

Make five more flowers or as many as you want.

Now we make the yellow centre for the flowers. The picture below will enlarge in case you need a closer look.

I used yellow #10 crochet cotton for these but you could use DK yarn if you split it and use just one strand or maybe split a DK strand of cotton yarn rather than buy a whole ball you don’t need for anything else.

I start with 5ch. Two to hold onto and three for a picot.

Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook (as in first picture below) and make a slip stitch – One picot. Another three chain and slip stich into third chain from hook as before;  repeat twice more. Four picots. (Second picture.)0267-makingcentre

Finish off the yarn leaving a long tail and thread the tail through the chain just before the first picot. (Third picture.)

Then thread the same end through the midle of the four picots from below. (Fourth picture.)

Finish off by threading back through the chain next to the picots (no picture) and pull tight. One centre made.

0267-flowercentre

Now pull the ends through the centre of the flower

0267-pullcentrethrough

and sew firmly in place with three little stitches at the back and trim ends of yellow cotton or yarn. They won’t be seen.

0267-centreendssewn

Here is how the flower looks with crochet cotton centre and one strand acrylic yarn centre.

0267-comparecentres

Make the same number of centres as flowers and sew in place.

Now we are ready to put it all together

Remember those eight hole I showed you at the beginning? Well you want to thread the stems of the four large and four medium leaves through these.

I used this picture to decide how to choose which size leaf to put in each hole.

0265-picture

Although the leaves are all the same colour, I have used dark green to represent the large leaves, medium green for the medium leaves and pale green for the small ones.

Pin the leaves in place allowing them to extend beyond the edge of the brown circle. (Make sure they are all right side up.) It is probably best not to let them extend by more than half their length. Make them all a bit different. Sew them in place from below with a small stitch at the base of the leaf (as shown by the light purple yarn in the picture) using the long tails and secure the ends with a couple of small stitches and trim.

0267-landmleaves

(I have used red pins for the large leaves and yellow ones for the medium.)

The stiches below won’t be seen so we don’t have to aim for invisibility.

0267-backofcircle

Now we thread the four small leaves through the central hole.

Pin in place, not extending further than the other leaves (refer to the chart) and sew in place using the long tails as with the other leaves. I think one of them on the photograph may be the wrong way up. I had to adjust later 🙂  ) So do check carefully.

0267-sleavespinned

Now we are ready for the flowers.

0267-leavesdone

Start with one in the middle and thread the two tails through as in this picture.

0267-centreflower

It is best to avoid sewing through the leaves.

Tie the two ends together with a double knot on the other side.

0267-fendssewn

If you aren’t sure of placement don’t trim the ends till later.

Then add the other flowers in an irregular manner so it looks natural.

Tweak the leaves so they are convex (although real plants have concave ones as well) and ruffle the petals – especially if you have made larger flowers.

Which gives you –

 

0267-potofviolets

“Here’s one I made earlier!” – or three!

0265-squarefromabove

Chart and patterns

0267-diagram

Brown circle

DK yarn and 3.5mm hook

Start with a magic loop

Working in spiral and working into each stitch

Rounds

  1. 8dc
  2. 2dc in each dc – (16 dcs)
  3. (2dc, dc) x 8 – (24 dcs)
  4. (2dc dc, dc,) x 8 – (32 dcs)
  5. (2dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (40 dcs)
  6. (2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (48 dcs)
  7. (2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (56 dcs)

Continue in this pattern or finish earlier till circle fills top of pot.

Leaves

Small Leaf – make 4

Dark green DK yarn and 3.5mm hook

start with slip knot that can be closed by pulling starting tail.

Ch 7

working into back loops only

Tr into 3rd ch from hook, tr into next, dtr into next, dtr into next.

Dtr and trtr into centre of chain at start then dtr in same chain after knot.

Work into other side of loops in reverse to start, dtr, dtr, tr, tr, 2ch.

Slip stitch into loop made by 2ch at start, pull tight.

4ch for stem. Leave long tail for sewing leaf in place later.

Pull slip knot tight. Sew starting tail at back of leaf up one side of the centre and back down the other side to strengthen spine.

Medium Leaf – make 4

As small leaf but use 4mm hook and work 2dtr, trtr, 2dtr, into chain at start instead of dtr, trtr, dtr. Make 5ch instead of 4ch for stem.

Large Leaf – make 4

As medium leaf but use 4.5mm hook

Flower – make 6

Start with a magic loop

10dc into loop

Then working into each stitch

(1dc, 3ch, 2tr cluster, 3ch) x5

Leave long tail and sew into back of flower so end is near centre opposite to starting tail. Pull starting tail tight.

Flower centre – make 6

Using yellow #10 cotton ( or whatever you have that is similar) and 1.5mm hook

Chain 5, ss into 3rd ch from hook (1 picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (2nd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (3rd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (4th picot).

Finish off.

Thread tail through chain before first picot then from below in gap between second and third picots then back through chain before first picot. Pull picots together with tail.

Insert centre through middle of flower and secure ends at back of flower.

Refer to tutorial above for advice on putting component parts together

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

US version of pattern

Brown circle

Worsted weight yarn and 3.5mm hook

Start with a magic loop

Working in spiral and working into each stitch

Rounds

  1. 8sc
  2. 2sc in each sc – (16 scs)
  3. (2sc, sc) x 8 – (24 scs)
  4. (2sc sc, sc,) x 8 – (32 scs)
  5. (2sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (40 scs)
  6. (2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (48 scs)
  7. (2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (56 scs)

Continue in this pattern or finish earlier till circle fills top of pot.

Leaves

Small Leaf – make 4

Dark green worsted weight yarn and 3.5mm hook

start with slip knot that can be closed by pulling starting tail.

Ch 7

working into back loops only

Dc into 3rd ch from hook, dc into next, tr into next, tr into next.

Tr and dtr into centre of chain at start then tr in same chain after knot.

Work into other side of loops in reverse to start, tr, tr, dc, dc, 2ch.

Slip stitch into loop made by 2ch at start, pull tight.

4ch for stem. Leave long tail for sewing leaf in place later.

Pull slip knot tight. Sew starting tail at back of leaf up one side of the centre and back down the other side to strengthen spine.

Medium Leaf – make 4

As small leaf but use 4mm hook and work 2tr, dtr, 2tr, into chain at start instead of tr, dtr, tr. Make 5ch instead of 4ch for stem.

Large Leaf – make 4

As medium leaf but use 4.5mm hook

Flower – make 6

Start with a magic loop

10sc into loop

Then working into each stitch

(1sc, 3ch, 2dc cluster, 3ch) x5

Leave long tail and sew into back of flower so end is near centre opposite to starting tail. Pull starting tail tight.

Flower centre – make 6

Using yellow #10 cotton ( or whatever you have that is similar) and 1.5mm hook

Chain 5, ss into 3rd ch from hook (1 picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (2nd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (3rd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (4th picot).

Finish off.

Thread tail through chain before first picot then from below in gap between second and third picots then back through chain before first picot. Pull picots together with tail.

Insert centre through middle of flower and secure ends at back of flower.

Refer to tutorial above for advice on putting component parts together

Advertisements

Published by

Rainbow Junkie

I am a retired mother of three and grandmother of five. I mostly knit and crochet while I watch television. I also love cooking and have dabbled in various other crafty things. I am crazy about: Rainbows, Butterflies, Flowers, Bees, Honey, Hexagons, Snowflakes, Symmetry, Mathematics and Dragons

41 thoughts on “African Violet tutorial”

      1. I used your tutorial, and I’d like to thank you. I made it for a coworker, and it turned out lovely.
        I also crocheted a pot for the flowers.
        It was a bit challenging w the UK terms/US terms, but a good kind of challenge. In the US, worsted weight/4 is the most common yarn, so that’s what I used.
        Thanks so much!

        Like

        1. Glad you found this useful. Although the tutorial was in UK terms there was a US version of the pattern at the bottom though I notice I talk about DK yarn in the US version and it should be worsted weight as that is the US equivalent.

          Like

      2. Hello, I am an advisor for a youth service group and the African Violet is our signature flower. Could I purchase one from you? I cannot crochet at all. I have tried. Jill

        Like

  1. Wow what. A great tutorial, very clear! I have four African violets, two in flower and two soon to be in flower. When they stop flowering in think Ill have to crochet some!

    Like

  2. Just finished a pot plant for my cousin’s birthday. Used an empty white Pot Noodle container and made a row of holes around the top to secure my ‘lattice’ cover. Was going to send a picture, but can’t see where to do that

    Like

    1. Yes. I have never sat down and worked out the best way to make an even circle but even with increases in the same spot you can pull the shape to be more circular. It is a very common way to increase. However amending my brown circle is on my to-do list.

      Like

  3. Oh my! I’ve just found your site through a link from Ookbawka, I think. These African Violet Pots are wonderful! Though my crochet plate is rather full at the time, am putting this on my To Do in 2015 Bucket List (a separate file in my crochet files).
    Thank you for this detailed tutorial! It’s wonderful!
    I will be doing US terms, but could easily determine the correct stitches as I read along…
    Rather easy and quite beautiful! And I know several friends who’d just positively swoon if given one of these!
    I gave a crochet necklace to a friend last year – every time I see her, she’s wearing it – and raving about it! (as she does the little change purse I made for her!)
    Crochet gives us inexpensive ways to gift when otherwise we would not be able to do so.

    Thank you again…I have to check…can I subscribe to this site?

    Like

  4. Thanks for a great tutorial, and the translation into American terms. I might still use your UK pattern just to get used to translating it in my head. I might have to make one for my son and his wife. They live in my basement and have to bring their plants upstairs to get some sun. And I’m inspired to look for my mother’s crocheted spider plant pattern when I visit my sister, who lives in the home we grew up in.

    Like

  5. Thank you! You are so incredibly generous with offering your gorgeous pattern for free to us all. Thank you again. With love, from a yarnaholic!

    Like

  6. These are just fabulous! When I was growing up both my Nan and my Mum grew these in abundance, each being able to start a new plant from just a leaf. They are one of my earliest childhood memories. I am not so lucky, I don’t have green fingers but I can crochet so I’m definitely going to have to try these. Thanks so much for the tutorial too, bookmarked for when I have the right materials 🙂

    Like

  7. Thank you very much for the pattern. I just finished a pot with African Violets. I want to try another colours. The flowers are so beautiful! Thank you again. I wish you a wonderful spring and all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s