If there has been a buzzword project in 2016 it has been mermaid blankets. Every knitter and crocheter seems to be fielding requests for these. Of course, the requests rarely come with specifics on the type of mermaid tail they would like – and there are many options! Being the handy knitting elf I am, I thought I would write up a tour exploring the options, both for you, and to send to those who ask mermaid tails of you.
Do you want a split-back or conical shape? Open fin that you can stick your feet into or an aesthetically pleasing flat fin? A scale stitch pattern or something more plain? A pattern calling for thicker yarn might make it faster, but more expensive. A thinner yarn may be less expensive, but not give you the stitch definition you like. All of these factors will help you narrow down what type of pattern you want.
First, let’s begin with the Knitted Options.
In store, we have worked up Dawn Hamilton’s Mermaid Tail for All pattern (pictured above). This is one of the few that is available for free, and features both child and adult sizes. We chose to use the self-striping Ella Rae Seasons as it lends extra whimsy to the subtle scale pattern (right). This mermaid tail doesn’t have a split back, so you get the costume-style tail that kids especially will enjoy pulling on. Like many of the patterns out there, this one sizes quite large, so that each size will be usable for many years before the child out-grows it.
Looking for something more plain? Cheryl Frances’s Mermaid/Dolphin Tail (above left) is in adult sizes and Melody Rogers’s Mermaid Tail Blanket (above right) is child sizes, using chunky and super bulky weight yarns respectively.
Marta Selter’s Knit Mermaid Tail (above left) has a very distinctive lace scale pattern and fin shape. Angie Hartley’s Mermaid Tail Lap Blanket (above right) looks very similar to Dawn Hamilton’s, but has a split in the back so that it is more open. Both have lots of sizes and request mostly worsted/aran weight yarns.
The last two knit versions we will look at are Caroline Brooke’s Adult Mermaid Tail Blanket (above left) and Black Sheep Wools’ Mermaid Tail Blanket (above right), both playing with different colours for body and tail. Black Sheep Wools’ version is adaptable and free, while Caroline Brooke incorporates an easy mesh pattern and drawstring.
Onto the Crochet Options!
(Crochet is always a favourite option for blankets as it is faster than knitting~)
Both Nadia Fuad’s Mermaid Tail Afghan (above left) and Angie Hartley’s Mermaid Tail Couch Blanket (above right) take advantage of crocheted shell patterns to create fish scales. Nadia Fuad’s version is free, Hartley’s version goes into the particulars of how to stripe in different colours, and each have sizes from child through adult.
One of the uniquely crochet options are the three-dimensional scale effects used in Ruffled Cabbage Co.’s Mermaid Tail Snuggle Sack (above left) and Elizabeth Cala’s free Mermaid Tail (above right). I love how the two side by side really demonstrate how much of an effect deciding to use a variegated or a solid colour can have on the finished look.
If solid colours and basic crochet texture are more your style, consider (clockwise from upper left) Sheila Hunt’s Quick and Easy Mermaid Tail, Crochet by Jennifer’s Mermaid Tail Prop, or Dbnicegirl’s Mermaid Tail. They call for super bulky, worsted, and worsted respectively, and cover all sizes. Notice how they all have different tail-to-fin shapes? Every mermaid tail version I have seen is different, and every person I talk to seems to have their own favourite~