How Hard can a Crocheted Mermaid Tail be?
I saw such a cool mermaid tail blanket pattern and decided my grand daughter would love it for Christmas. She is a little mermaid obsessed this year and was even a mermaid for Halloween. Course I had to try because, you know, I can crochet (can’t I?)
I was trying to think of something I had ever crocheted, like ever? I recalled that a number of years ago I started to crochet an afghan blanket. After a few evenings slowly working on it I had only completed a few rows. It just seemed so agonizingly slow though and I ended up setting it aside for later (you know what I mean right?). Anyway, the point is, I can crochet. I even found my old crochet hook (size J, btw)!
My granddaughter is 3 and just loves purple and pink. Great mermaid colours. Further, I vaguely remember that in the 70’s my Mum would receive a catalogue from Mary Maxim in Canada and guess what? They are still around, Canadian and online! Yup, I was all in and ordered the required yarn in those colours before I could second guess myself. Fortunately for me, there is a YouTube tutorial included with the pattern. What could go wrong? I can crochet right?
First mistake: The pattern called for three colours, but I stuck with the just the two that were her faves. I thought that nice paler colours would look more ethereal and ‘mermaidenly’ so I chose unwisely as it turned out. The “purple”, while very pretty on its own but was more of a mauve really and the pink was rather a dusty rose pink. I was quite disturbed by how awful the colours looked together. It was like a fairy threw up. (oh dear, was I procrastinating again? Maybe).
Onward and upwards. After watching the tutorial and seeing how to cast on the foundation row and make the shells, I made about 5 rows when I noticed that the rows of “shells” lined up with the two colours rather than alternating for a more scale-like look. You can see from the picture below that the top rows of the blanket are above each other rather than off-set as they should be.
Husband suggested adding in a third colour to brighten it up and he suggested maybe a bright green would fix it. I was getting kinda depressed about it so followed the advice and nipped out to the store and grabbed some green. Continuing on, I added in the 3rd colour in around the 5th row and the pattern improved. The colours didn’t. The mistake at the top would just be like a border I figured, but there wasn’t much I could do about the colours at this point.
Moving along, the crocheting itself was not bad at all to master. The detailed tutorial was just what I needed. So, I crocheted my heart out every night while watching some great TV shows. I wish I had actually timed myself, but clearly the project was getting heavier and warmer on me over the next few weeks. Phew. I was actually getting close. I couldn’t quite believe it.
Other Mistakes Include…
I kept forgetting how to finish the different rows at the each end though so I would have check out the video on my phone almost every time. It was still kinda muddled through to be honest. Not that important I guessed because it would seam up in the end (wrong again). I was also getting quite the fringe at the edges as I cut the old colour and started a new colour with every row. Regardless though, I was crocheting and it really wasn’t that hard to master! My left hand started to ache a bit towards the end of the night, but nothing that bad.
I needed to make about 50 rows for a good size for my grand! What? No way. I was never going to get there. It took me ages just to get all the stitches cast on. I forged on trying not to look at the colour mess I was creating.
When it was done, the weaving in of the ends added another three nights of work. It was really tedious work too and I kept worrying that I didn’t weave them in enough. On the bonus side, I was able to “straighten” up the edges with the additional yarn where it was a little jagged from my row ending mess-ups. Liked that.
I made a Mermaid Tail!
Suddenly I reached the required number of rows and it wasn’t that hard at all. I began the reducing the number of shells per row as noted in the pattern by crocheting the shells together. It created rather weird gaps, but that is how its done according to the pattern. When I got to the last row, I finished it leaving a small hole at the bottom. Time to set it aside and work on the tail. Also, ugly and dull in the mauve, but tried to brighten it up by adding the edge in the pink. No, no, no. Made it worse sadly.
Attaching the tail was a bit confusing for me as there were no instructions included in the pattern or video. Just attach – no tutorial or further information. Um, but how? I just sewed in onto the gap in the bottom back and forth with a kinda whip stitch which surprisingly enough seemed to be just fine.
Having said that though, it was rather nice to do the crocheting weaving the yarn around the hook, pull through, repeat. I kept thinking about the finished product and hoping the little one would like it and just kept going.
Its actually looks like Tail…with a Fin
And I did it! I made a mermaid tail! I loaded up some full pictures at the end of this post. Please have a look and please please let me know what you think of the colour combo.
I discovered that working with yarn to sew or crochet is rather forgiving (unlike sewing). The yarn sinks into the project and even my awkward stitches are invisible.
The pattern called to leave it open at the back (so no seam there after all) and then attach in a circle towards the end to create a little pocket at the bottom for your feet. I thought I would sew it up all the way to make a tube. But, as I sat down to show hubby the finished blanket and pulled it up and slipped my feet in and realized that the design is actually perfect as is. Open at the back to sit nicely around you while allowing you to slip your feet into the bottom for coziness. Makes it easier to flop the tail around like a mermaid too.
In summary, I guess it turns out that I CAN crochet. But, you know, I didn’t use to think I could sew either. Do I even know me?
It is actually not hard at all to crochet!
I gotta be honest in that I seem to have a hard time visualizing and choosing colours (noticed this issue for me with making bags too). Oh, but yes I continued to hate the colours of this project. They never grew on me at all and I remain so disappointed in the final product.
Also, the weaving in the ends was nightmarish. So many tails! This took me much more time to complete than I expected and it is rather tedious if I’m honest.
Also, I’ve decided that I don’t want to gift this tail since I feel so awful about the colours and I’ve already planned a second attempt. May apply some lessons learned and definitely find a better colour combination. I also discovered a phenomenal resource site for yarn crafts and spent a few hours skimming through other suggestions on this pattern. Stay tuned for my mermaid tail afghan blanket Number Two…coming up next