Mermaid Blanket

Friday, March 23, 2018
Ravelry Project Page - Mermaid Blanket

This project was a request from my granddaughter Natalie for a mermaid blanket (a blanket that when you are wrapped in it it makes you look like a mermaid). The project began with the search for a pattern (why reinvent the wheel?) and ended with what almost always happens — not finding a pattern that matched the picture in my head and having to develop one of my own.

Here are the notes on how I made my mermaid blanket. Hopefully these notes are detailed enough because I'm not going to write up a formal pattern and there may be errors. If you do make a blanket from these directions and find something which can be corrected please let me know and I'll update this post.



Yarn: The blanket needed to be washable so an acrylic or superwash wool was necessary and I couldn't believe my luck when I found a "Dusty Teal" color of Red Heart Super Saver in my yarn stash — the perfect mermaid color! A total of 3 skeins were used (with NO extra).

Crochet or Knit? I didn't really care. I would have preferred crochet because it's faster but finding the right stitch pattern was more important. I found a knitting stitch pattern that would make a good texture for a blanket and also looked like fish scales, so knitting it was.


Stitch pattern:
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker
Purl-Twist Fabric (p125)

Even number of sts.
Rows 1 and 3 (Right side)—Knit.
Row 2—* P2 tog, but do not sl from needle; then purl 1st st again, and sl both sts from needle together; rep from #.
Row 4—P1, * rep from * of Row 2 across to last st, end p1.
Repeat Rows 1-4.

Size: The finished size is approximately 36" x 40" (excluding the tail)

Blanket instructions:
1. Cast on 170 stitches with size 10 needles
2. K1, P1 ribbing for 1.5"
3. Work the above 4 rows of the Purl-Twist until blanket measures 24" ending with Row 4.
Notes: I added three stitches of a seed stitch border to each side for this version and while it worked I wasn't completely happy with it. If I were to make this again I would try the English Slip Stitch Selvedge Edge instead.

Watch the tension with the purl-twist stitch.
It's very easy to work it too loose.

4. Continue working in pattern and begin decreasing two stitches on the knit rows (rows 1 and 3) by knitting two together(k2tog); work one k2tog at the beginning of the row and one k2tog at the end.

5. Keep decreasing until there are 96 stitches. The blanket should now be approximately 40" in length.


6. Divide the stitches onto two needles with the center 48 stitches on one needle and the 24 stitches from the two ends on another needle. I actually did this with a circular needle and two double pointed needles (see above picture).

7. K1 from front needle, k1 from back needle, (k2tog from front needle, k2tog from back needle)across (50 stitches)

8. (K1, p1, k2tog, p1, k1, p2tog) across end k1, p1 38 stitches.

9. To make a cocoon at the bottom of the blanket, seam the two edges of the blanket together for about 12".

Fin
Note: I did NOT design the fin. I really liked this mermaid fin pattern and only made small tweaks for my yarn and design.
  • Knit 1x1 ribbing for 1.5”
  • k1, YO, p1 across (57 stitches)
  • k1, ktbl, p1 across
  • k1, p1, m1, p1 across (76 stitches)
  • k1p1 across
  • k1, YO, p1 for 24 sts, pm, k1p1 to last 24 sts, pm, k1, YO, p1 for last 10 sts (100 stitches; 36 stitches on either end and 28 stitches between markers)
  • k1, ktbl, p1 to marker, sm, k1p1 to second marker, sm, k1, ktbl, p1 to end
  • k1, p1, m1, p1 to marker, sm, k1p1 to second marker, sm, k1, p1, m1, p1 to end (124 stitches; 48 stitches on either end and 28 stitches between markers)
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 60 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 58 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 56 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 54 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 52 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 50 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across.
  • k1p1 across 48 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 46 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 44 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 42 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 40 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 38 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 36 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 34 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 32 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 30 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 28 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 26 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 24 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 22 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 20 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 16 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 12 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 8 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across 4 sts, W&T
  • k1p1 across
  • k1p1 across, knitting each wrap and knit stitch together
  • repeat from k1p1 across 32 sts, W&T for other half of tail
  • knit 1x1 ribbing for 2" then bind off in pattern.

  • Cat Amigurumi

    Monday, October 09, 2017
    Ravelry Project Page - Kitty

    I have always admired the Japanese amigurumi patterns because they have wonderful character and detail. I also love that the patterns are written with stitch charts and lots of photos so you don't need to know Japanese in order to work the pattern. When my daughter Sarah and her husband visited Japan I requested a Japanese amigurumi book and she came back this delight - Cat Amigurumi by Eriko Teranishi



    I made the sitting cat and used Knit Picks Palette yarn which is a fingering weight yarn so the cat is small and fits in the palm of my hand. It's the same yarn I used to crochet the wedding amigurumi and wedding hearts


    The book has wonderful pictures on the making and assembling of the cats and it is also organized with a very clear and concise layout. I scanned and printed a copy of the charts and downloaded the Google Translate app which helped by verifying what I had already guessed.



    She's so cute. I need to find just the right name for her! I'll be making other cats from this book soon.


    Tawashi - My Favorite Dish Scrubber

    Sunday, July 09, 2017
    Ravelry Project Page - Acrylic Tawashi

    I discovered that kitchen scrubbers have acquired a new name—tawashi. Tawashi is a Japanese word meaning bundle and is used generically for any scrubbing item. Tawashi are made from a variety of materials but I was intrigued after reading this Make article: How-To: Magically Clean Eco Tawashi, that 100% acrylic yarn was preferred. Supposedly the synthetic fibers in acrylic yarn are similar to a microfiber and therefore will not scratch. I just had to try this.

    The article provided a tawashi pattern but I like this Double Sided Scrubbie pattern so I made that and substituted acrylic yarn instead of cotton.

    WOW, it's true! I love, love, LOVE this acrylic tawashi. It wipes like a cotton cloth and with only a little elbow grease it scrubs like a steel wool pad but without the harshness. There's a claim that acrylic tawashi will clean without soap but I haven't gone that far (although I use much less dish soap than I would with a cotton dishcloth).

    I highly recommend working your favorite kitchen scrubby pattern with an acrylic yarn. You won't go back to cotton! Also, don't forget to start calling it a tawashi, it's a much more refined word than scrubby.


    Soap Covers - My Favorite Washcloth

    Wednesday, July 05, 2017

    Ever since I made the felted heart soaps, I've been fascinated with covering bars of soap. I now use them exclusively in the bath or shower and have completely ditched using wash clothes and loofahs. In addition to replacing bath paraphernalia, there are other benefits as well: They are very quick to make, use scrap amounts of yarn and are great gifts.

    Two kinds of soap covers can be made. One type is reusable multiple times and the other felts (or like the felted heart soaps, continues to felt) around the soap as it is used.

    Ravelry Project Page - Soap Cover

    My personal favorite reusable soap cover is this Soap Sack pattern by Susan Lawrence at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. I like this pattern because it expands and contracts to fit most regular size bars of soap and is easily adjustable for different yarn weights. Most importantly, it functions well as a washcloth.


    Ravelry Project Page - Soap Sweater

    But what's even more fun is a soap "sweater". A soap sweater is not meant to be reused because while it's being used the yarn felts around the soap. All you need to make one is wool yarn (make sure it's not superwash), knit a rectangle (if you prefer, you can work in the round), wrap it around the soap and stitch it closed. Soap sweaters around smaller bars of soap are great for use when traveling.

    There are hundreds of patterns for soap covers or sweaters. If you search using the keywords: soap, sack, cozy, saver, sweater, coat, sock, or bag, you will find plenty to choose from. Try it—You'll like it!


    #PinkOut

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017
    This is an easy peasy project with endless variations.

    Materials:
  • Approximately 250 #8 beads
  • Size 10 thread
  • Size 10 crochet hook

    Note: I am using a hook that is smaller than the one normally used for size 10 thread in order to get a tight stitch.

    Construction:
    1. String beads onto thread.
    2. *Chain 2, bring up bead and chain, repeat from * until all beads have been crocheted.
    3. Join into a circle.

  • Revamping my Mood bag

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    Many years ago when I made my first pilgrimage to Mood in New York City they gave me a cloth/vinyl bag with my purchase. The original bag measured 20"w x 14"h and the depth was created by a 6" side panel on each side of the bag. The bag was a perfect size for my fabric and notion purchase but too large and cumbersome for any other use.

    It was time to make this bag usable by making it smaller.

    1. Step 1: I started with removing the side panels and reducing the width by cutting off 3.5" from each side (no photo).
    2. Step 2: Stitched and serged the two sides.


    3. Step 3: I added depth to the bag by flattening, stitching and trimming the corners to 3". Here's a nice video tutorial on How to Box Bag Corners.


    From this:

    I didn't take a photo of my original bag but this one is just like it. Thanks to Jeanne Marie's Sewing Studio for permission to use your photo.

    To this:


    The final bag size is 13w" x 14"h x 3"d and it is now perfect for my on-the-go knitting projects. Even more importantly, it's being used.


    Magic Yarn Project

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    The Magic Yarn Project is a wonderful program that creates comfortable and whimsical head coverings for children battling cancer. These tiara's are for their Disney princess wigs. The tiaras need to be about 8" in length and can't wrap around the head so I adapted and tweaked this Princess in Disguise pattern.

    Here's the pattern for how I made them:

    Supplies:
    • Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (Turqua, Gold, Real Teal, Light Periwinkle, Medium Purple)
    • Hook: Size F
    Abbreviations:
    • ch - chain
    • sl st - slip stitch
    • sc - single crochet
    • dc - double crochet
    • tr - treble crochet
    • st(s) - stitch(es)
    Stitch explanations:
    5dc cluster (worked in each of the 5 dc of row 1): Yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, (yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull through st, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) 4 times, yo, pull through all 6 lps on hook, ch 1.

    Picot: Ch 3, insert hook back into the center of the base st, yo, pull through st and loop on hook.

    Large picot: Ch 5, insert hook back into the center of the base st, yo, pull through st and loop on hook.

    Pattern:
    Ch 40,
    Row 1: 5 dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as ch2 + skip 2 sts), *skip 3 sts, 5 dc in next st,* repeat from *to* 8 times (for a total of 9 shells), skip 2 sts, dc in next st, turn.

    Row 2: Ch 2, 5dc cluster (makes 1 diamond), *ch 5, 5dc cluster*, repeat from *to* 8 times (for a total of 9 diamonds), dc in top of ch 2 of previous row, turn.

    Row 3:  Ch 1, (3 sc in next ch 5 space, picot, 3 sc in same ch 5 space) twice, 7 sc in next ch 5 space, (in next ch 5 space work 2 sc, 2 dc, 1 tr, 2 dc, 2 sc) twice, 3 sc in next ch 5 space, turn.

    Row 4: Ch 6, sc in tr of previous row, ch 7, sc in next tr of previous row, ch 6, sl st in 3rd sc of 7 sc from previous row, turn.

    Row 5: 4 sc in ch 6 space, picot, 4 sc in same ch 6, 4 sc in ch 7 space, large picot, 4 sc in same ch 7, 4 sc in next ch 6, picot, 4 sc in same ch 6, 4 sc in partial ch 5 from row 3, (3 sc in next ch 5, picot, 3 sc in same ch 5) twice, sl st in top of dc from row 2.

    Fasten off. Weave in ends. Add bling!**

    **You don't have to bling the tiara's. If you'd rather just crochet and send them, the Magic Yarn Project will add the bling.