Crocheting at Cowpens Battlefield

Today while continuing the drive home from Alabama, I worked on the African Flower soccer ball. My spirits had been buoyed by watching a few minutes of the World Cup game between Japan and The Netherlands over breakfast, so it was with renewed determination that I set to work on my multi-colored soccer-ball-to-be.

Yesterday, after piecing together what will be one of four panels that I will then assemble with the remaining 8 pentagons, I was a bit troubled that the pentagon seemed to pooch out. At first I thought it was because I was tired, but after I got a reasonably good night’s sleep, the troublesome pentagon still failed to lay flat.

My next thought was that the joining method I used had caused the problem (right sides together, with a single crochet stitch through both loops of both stitches), so I decided to try using a slip stitch through both loops of both stitches, but as an outside seam. Sometimes this method of joining works well and adds both interest and elan to a design, but it didn’t seem to work that way for the soccer-ball-to-be:

Crochet pentagon design that did not work for the crochet soccer ball
Outer seam with slip stitch

Not only did the resulting panel look messy but, I was still having problems with the pentagon. So, somewhere along Interstate 85 in South Carolina just south of the turnoff for Cowpens National Battlefield, it occurred to me that I needed to make the pentagon smaller.

Meanwhile, my 12-year-old, who had been sitting in the back seat quietly reading, looked up from his book at exactly the moment we neared the sign for the turnoff. “Can we go to Cowpens?” he wanted to know.

Within fifteen minutes we were pulling into the parking lot of the National Battlefield. I informed my family that I planned to stay in the car and crochet. I was very close to arriving at a solution to my pentagon problem, and heat and humidity not withstanding, I did not want to lose my crochet mojo.

So while my family watched an eighteen minute presentation about Cowpens National Battlefield and surveyed the goods in the bookstore, I sat in the car and contemplated solutions to my pentagon problem.

My initial thought was to pull out the last round and replace the double crochet stitches with half-double crochet stitches. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I should unravel the entire pentagon and start from scratch, which is exactly what I did. So, instead of just making five petals instead of six, I used a half-double crochet everywhere the pattern called for a double crochet.

The result was a pentagon that lay flat and fit correctly.

crochet pentagon for a crochet soccer ball
New, improved, half-double pentagon

Although the overall difference was slight,

crochet pentagon for a crochet soccer ball
The half-double crochet pentagon on top of the double crochet pentagon

the modification resulted in a pentagon that fit much better.

Crochet hexagons and crochet pentagon for a crochet soccer ball
First panel of the African Flower soccer ball with a better fitting pentagon

I am beginning to think I just might get this done.

Update: Since this post was originally written, I have completed a pattern so that you can make your own crochet soccer ball:

Related: Free crochet soccer ball pattern