Hello dear friends and readers 😀
There's a new craze if you're a young girl, or if you're an old one too really - and that is mermaid tail blankets. I've seen pictures of them all over the place from pinterest to ravelry, and on many many shopping sites, they seem to pop up everywhere. I'd toyed with the idea of making one for Little Miss but never quite got round to it. You know how it is, life is busy and these things just stay somewhere near the end of the ever-lasting never-ending to-do list. I then was asked by a friend to make one for her 11 year old daughter for her birthday, and the colour scheme requested was "very girly, pink and purple".
When friends ask me to make things, I always confidently go "Yeah! Of course! Absolutely! I can make that! No worries!" .... and then I go off and have a mild panic-attack "Oh my gosh I've no idea what I'm doing or how to do it or where to start, er better look at some pics online" and end up scrabbling around the internet to find a pattern or something. And this time the Internet came up trumps with this great freebie pattern from yarnutopia
The pattern called for chunky wool, and I think I mentioned in a previous post that I rushed out to buy some, and got started straight away. The only problem was I really wasn't liking how the chunky yarn was working out to this pattern, the blanket was really stiff and un-drapey. I do tend to crochet quite tightly so maybe I should have tried a bigger hook. As it was I was using a 6mm hook, and I find if I go bigger I just get more cramp in my hands. So I decided to ditch the chunky and start over in double-knit. So yes I had to rip out the 20 or so rows I'd done - sob! There is nothing more un-gratifying than ripping out work. Especially work where you've changed colour every row so you don't even get a nice decent sized ball of yarn, instead you get multiple annoying little ones.....
Anyway back to the blanket, and the double-knit with a 5mm hook came out really well. I used a purple, a pink, and a purpley-pink (original, huh?!). They're were all from my stash (hurrah!!!) and were various brands. One King Cole, one a strange Sue Ryder label from their charity shops (though the yarn they sell is new) and the pink one was labelless so who knows what brand that was. The pattern is a really simple shell pattern with a 2-row repeat, and I changed colour at the end of every row. I love how this gives it the effect of scales.
The blanket is worked from the top down, in rows back and forth, and as you get to the bottom you join the sides together and begin to work in the round. Then do a few clever decreases thereby sort of gathering the end together, and this creates a little closed in section that you can tuck your feet into, so it's lovely and snuggly. The fin part is made completely separately, and sewn onto the main body at the end. As the pattern had called for chunky and instead I had used DK, I had to increase the number of starting chains, and work more rows, so I was winging it a bit, but it seemed to work out fine. What I then didn't think about was that of course then the fin would also need scaling up. To do this I just worked a border all around it for a few rows.
The last thing to do, other than sew in the ends - yawn - was to add a border around the open part of the blanket. You could opt to sew the back all the way up making a really long thin tail, a bit like a sleeping bag, but I think it's more flexible if you only have the small part at the end joined up, it's easier to get in and out of for a start, although I will grant you that the dressing-up possibilities may be slightly hampered. So, to get back to the border, I added a row of half-trebles all the way around.
And here it is all laid out. I wish you could have a go in it, it's super cuddly, perfect for a bit of TV-watching, or lazing on the sofa reading a book. Not that I ever get the chance to do that these days...
I adore how it turned out. As a pressie for an 11 year old I love everything about it, I'm really pleased with the colour combination I chose - and believe me I faffed about for ages with goodness how many shades of purple and pink - choosing colours is something I always find tricky - but I think these work well together. And I love how soft and drapey it is, just lovely to cuddle into with your teddy.
I have it on good authority that the birthday girl loves it too😀 Soon I'm going to make one for Little Miss, it's her birthday in about 6 weeks, and one for my friend for Christmas, yes she is grown-up but grown-ups lounge on the sofa too, don't they.
Til next time,