This is my second time to crochet a mermaid tail. No, I’m not a perfectionist, but the colours of my previous mermaid tail blanket haunt me. They, in my opinion, did not look nice together at all. I did finish it though because I really wanted to gift it to my little granddaughter who loves mermaids. When she stays overnight, and at the end of the day we cuddle together under a blanket and watch a half hour or so of CoComelon to wind down. Perfect for a special blanket. Also, Christmas is coming!
What did I change from last time?
Well, since you asked…
Colours & Yarn Selection
As I mentioned, this is my second attempt to crochet a mermaid tail blanket and I think I finally nailed it! The colours, of course, were my main source of anguish last time. This time I chose more carefully. I looked for bright and colourful and most importantly, all three colours. As recommended by the pattern, I used the Red Heart Super Saver yarn and chose a bright yellow, deep rich purple and and third variegated yarn called “Monet” that had a little of both. These were all purchased from the Canadian online shop Mary Maxim. I just loved this colourful combination! So much better. Awww. One thing I did notice was that the “Monet” yarn was quite a lot thinner and not as soft & fluffy than the other two. It meshed well for colours though and so wasn’t a problem. I don’t know if it would have been fine if the whole blanket was with that yarn.
So, I guess I’m a little late to the party, but Ravelry is THE place for knitting and crochet people. It is a great source of patterns and contains tons of projects of these patterns. Of course, if you are reading this post and you are into yarn, you already know that right? Well, if you do, my username is “FranMcW“.
So there I was looking around Ravelry and I discovered that this exact pattern to crochet a mermaid tail is on there. It includes about 1889 projects (at time of writing this post) already made and described by others. In many cases, it includes their pictures and notes! What an incredible resource that I totally missed the first time out. Blast!
After spending a few hours browsing the beautiful finished projects with notes on the Ravelry site, I got some great tips! Specifically, I learned a different way to decrease the end of the tail tapering towards the fin. Detailed instructions for the fin were also included by Ravelry user Knitsister1. The greatest time saver for me was the idea to carry the yarn along the edge at each colour change and pick it up yarn when it was needed. Granted, this was a bit messy to juggle three attached balls, but soooo much easier than weaving in all those ends!
I learned more about working with yarn. For instance, when buying the yarn this time, I took note of the content and washing instructions. Since this would become a blanket for watching tv, etc., it will likely need to be washed fairly regularly. I realized that some yarns are not as washing friendly as others ( I know, duh! Fran). As a newbie, I just grabbed yarn and dug in. So, in the future, I will become a little more nuanced in my choices.
Yarn or Wool
I have also –mostly– stopped calling the stuff I knit or crochet with wool. I have just always referred to it in a generic sense as wool. My bad. Yarn is much more accurate since not all of the stringy stuff is actually wool.
Blocking was a completely new concept for me. Never heard of it before, although it makes sense. Blocking helps even out the finished project. Essentially, using water or steam to prepare the finished fabric, shaping it and possibly securing with pins, then leaving it to dry flat. The blocking methods are varied and are different for different materials. So much information is available online though and it does make a difference!
Yep, did it a second time and it really isn’t that hard. I incorporated ideas for reducing towards the fin from the Ravelry site, but basically everything else was the same. The colours make all the difference.
So, will I see you on the Ravelry site?