Nellie the Elephant African Flower by Heidi Bears

Nellie the Elephant African Flower

June 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
2.0 mm
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for £5.50 GBP buy it now

Erratum: On page 3 “Materials Requirements”, under the section “Sock weight/fingering weight…” , the word at the end of the sentence should be elephant not hippo. :)

Please note: This listing is for a downloadable PDF of the pattern instructions for making Nellie …there is no hard copy of the pattern available, nor a finished item. The pattern is available only in English :)

Nellie is the fourth of my patterns that makes use of the African Flower hexagon crochet motif and variations thereof, joined in a specific order to make a recognizable 3D toy. I love this African Flower pattern and the creative possibilities of using it to make 3D items  Nellie is made using four different African Flower motifs: Hexagon, Pentagon, Heptagon and Octagon. She is also an excellent stash buster project, as you only need to use very small amounts of leftover sock yarn to make a motif.

So, let’s take a look at the important points and how you will start to make your own happy Nellie!

:: Steps to making your own little Nellie ::

  1. Read the whole pattern through properly, so you have a good overview.
  2. Make sure you know how to crochet the African Flower hexagon crochet motif. I have included both written and charted instructions for the African Flower hexagon in this pattern. If you are a visual learner, you can see a step by step photo tutorial on my blog:
  3. Make sure you are able to crochet the different variations of the African Flower motif, including how to make an African Flower Pentagon, Heptagon and Octagon… for clarity: the pentagon has five petals and five sides, the heptagon has seven petals and seven sides and the octagon has eight petals and eight sides. The difference is simply the number of “petal” repeats that you crochet…each variation is therefore equally easy to crochet. I have included written and charted instructions in this pattern on how to crochet each of these African Flower motif variations. I have also posted a fully explained tutorial on how to crochet an African Flower pentagon , on my blog, which can be found here:

  1. Make sure you have gone through and practiced the join-as-you-go technique. This has been explained and illustrated at the end of the pattern: Appendix : Joining Tutorials. Since the joining method is really very important to the success of the project, I strongly suggest that you practice joining on scrap yarn motifs before starting the project. If you would prefer to sew your motifs together, you won’t need to practice the join-as-you-go technique, but will need to be confident in your neat sewing ability. I have included some instructions on how to sew stuff together… you can use the same principles for sewing body motifs together.

  2. Either choose your yarn for this project or use the sock yarn that you have left over from other projects. Make all the required motifs for Nellie BUT only up to Round 4 of the African Flower motif if you are doing a join-as-you-go method, or the full motif up to Round 5 if you are sewing up the motifs.

  3. Know how to do a basic hand sewing backstitch using thread and a needle or have a sewing machine to do this instead of by hand. You will need to make a small weight material filled fabric bag to act as a counterweight to Nellie’s trunk (tutorial pg 33)

: : Materials Requirements : :

The Nellie that has been crocheted for this pattern, was made using sock weight/fingering/#1 weight yarn. Using this weight yarn will give you a Nellie measuring approximately 37cm measured nose to tail, and approximately 14cm high at the shoulder.


Abbreviations : sc = single crochet dc = double crochet

Sock weight / Fingering weight yarn/ #1 in colors of your choice… this little ellie is a great stash busting project as you can use small amounts of sock yarn for each motif, and the more colourful the happier  I used random colors, keeping only to the cream colored yarn for Round 5 of each motif. Although I can’t tell you how much yardage of each color I used, I can tell you that the total weight of yarn for the whole ellie was around 120g (unstuffed).
The yardage for the sock yarn I used is around 320m/100g (350yds/100g). It is a superwash merino yarn, but you can use any alternative fingering weight yarn you like…I suggest that animal fibre yarns would be preferable, as they have more stretch, making the stuffing and shaping of the ellie easier.

Crochet Hook 2.0mm
Polyester toy stuffing
Ellie Eyes (plastic safety eyes or glass looped eyes). PLEASE NOTE THAT ATTACHED EYES ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR TOYS CREATED FOR CHILDREN! They can be a suffocation hazard. If you are making this ellie for a child, rather embroider the eyes using embroidery thread! I would still suggest sculpting the eye sockets before embroidering the eyes…it adds a lovely realistic element  I have used 10mm wire looped glass eyes. These can easily be sourced from sellers on eBay.

Embroidery Thread Plastic pellets used in toy making
Scissors Four pieces of cotton fabric 10 x 10cm each
Long sewing needle (doll making needles work well)
Tapestry Needle used for sewing in ends Normal sewing needle
General sewing thread

: : Skills Requirements : :

Basic Crocheting Skills: Chain stitch (ch) , Single Crochet (sc), Double Crochet (dc), Slip Stitch (sl st) joining a chain to make a ring, joining in a new color yarn.

Join-as-you-go motif joining: This pattern will require that you join the crocheted motifs each stitch to each stitch. This is necessary to prevent the stuffing popping out of the toy. It is imperative that you are confident in your join-as-you-go ability. The method I use is explained in the Appendix pages found at the end of the pattern. These tutorials are illustrated by using actual motif chart illustrations with explanatory notes. This cuts down on printing 
However, if you are scared witless by the thought of doing a join-as-you-go joining method, all is not lost…you can simply make all your motifs in full (including Round 5), then sew them together. The order of motif placement and the number of sides needing to be joined stays exactly the same whether you join-as-you-go or sew up.

Basic sewing skills: You will be sewing the ears to the head using spare yarn and a tapestry needle. You will also need to sew up a small fabric bag filled with plastic pellets to use as a body counterweight.