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Mermaid Tail a la Elizabeth Cala

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There
is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
The ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. Psalm 104: 24-26
In our histories, there are a plethora of mythical creatures and creations. Sea monsters,
mermaids, sirens, all are the stuff of our legends. Leviathan, the creature mentioned in the above
scripture, is usually thought of as a terrible beast, destroying ships and bringing ruin to sailors. In this
passage of praise, however, we see that even Leviathan has time for play, has the capacity for childlike
wonder in his creators world.
Recently, my husband and I took a trip to our citys zoo. We spent hours meandering through
the exhibits, looking at all manner of birds, fish, reptiles, big cats, and monkeys they keep there. I
noticed something which Ive forgotten over the years there are a lot of creatures in this world! I was
impressed by the variation and creativity between all the animals, far more creatures, prints, and
patterns than I could have imagined, with details so fine and intricate. I found throughout the afternoon
that I, like Leviathan, stand amazed at what my God can imagine and create. I hope that you, too,
through the use of this pattern, can capture that same wonder and awe at our Lords creative power in
the world around us.

Mermaid Tail a la Elizabeth Cala

Sizes: Toddler, Small Child, Large Child/Small Adult


The toddler sizes should fit a child up to the age of 3-4.
Small Child size should fit a child up to the age of 10, and
the Large Child/Small Adult should fit a child up to the age
of 15, or an adult 55 or less. All pictures are shown in
the Large Child/Small Adult size.

Supplies:
Worsted weight yarn (your choice of colors.
Youll need 1,000-2,000 yards of any given yarn. I ended
up using about 1,775 of I Love this Yarn for the Large
Child size)
Sparkle yarn for accent (optional I found Hobby
Lobbys Yarn Bee Bejeweled to be a good carry-along, I
needed one plus about of a second ball for the Large
Child size pictured left)
Size 9 straight needles
Crochet hook size L
Yarn needle for finishing
Gauge:

11 dc x 7 rows = 4

Instructions
Fin (make two)
On your size 9 straight needles (or size needed to obtain gauge), CO 28st.
K2, P2 for 1
K2, P1 M1* repeat to last 4 st, K2, P2
K2, P2, *K1, P1, K1, P2* to end

K2, P1, M1, P1* repeat to last 4st, K2, P2


K2, P2, *K1, P2, K1* to end
K2, M1, K2, M1* repeat to last 4 st, K2, P2
Keep K2, P2 pattern until fin measures 5, then begin decreases.
*Note: Whichever side you begin decreasing the first fin, decrease from the opposite side on the second
fin.
Row 1: SSK, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 2 and all even rows: Keep K2, P2 pattern, K2tog at end
Row 3: SSK, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 5: SSK, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 7: BO 2, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 9: BO 3, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 11: BO 6, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 13: BO 10, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 15: BO 6, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 17: BO 2, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 19: BO 2, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 21: BO 2, keep K2, P2 pattern to end
Row 23 - 24: K2, P2
Row 25: SSK, SSK
Row 26: K2tog, bind off

Finishing: When your two fins are


complete, sew the smaller sides
together down the middle to
make the complete fin. (see photo
to right)

Tail
The tail is worked as one piece, then sewed partway up the back, then the fin is sewed in to complete
the project.
Using your crochet hook, chain 69
Foundation row: dc into 3rd st from hook. *Ch 2, skip the next 2 st, 2 dc in the following st* repeat
across.
Crochet the entire tail using crocodile stitch. (see below)
Maintain the 67 st. pattern for 8 rounds (should be approximately 22-24 across).
For toddler size, continue crocodile stitch until the desired length is reached (approximately 24).
For Small Child and Large Child/Small Adult, begin increasing to reach 30 across. To increase, add an
extra post-pair at either end on the 2nd foundation row, then maintain the alternating scale pattern
already established. You should increase by 2 post-pairs every-other 2nd foundation row until your
width has been reached. After your width is reached, maintain the crocodile pattern until the
appropriate length (34 36) has been reached.
Note: To make a larger tail, its easy enough to keep the crocodile pattern going. Especially if your
recipients have longer legs!

Crocodile Stitch:
I think of it as a double-layered fabric. The first layer is what I call the post pairs, which is a mesh of 2
dcs and 2 ch spaces between them. The second layer is the scales, which are worked on alternating dc
sides of the post pairs.
Each 2 dcs counts as a post-pair, and are separated by 2 ch. When working the scale row, youll be
working vertically on each of these dcs. For each scale row, you will only make half as many scales as
there are post-pairs, as each scale row will alternate the post-pair its working off of, so the scales will
overlap.
Scale row (working from left to right): ch 1, *5 dc around the first post of foundation row post-pair,
ch1, 5 dc around 2nd post of foundation row post-pair, skip next pair of posts* repeat from *
across. Do not turn your work.
2nd foundation row (working from right to left): ch 2, dc into the space between the 2 posts of one
post-pair below. *ch 2, 2 dc into the space between the 2 posts of one post-pair below* repeat

from * across. *Note be careful to also catch the top portion of scale the lies in between the worked
posts, this helps to keep it neat and strong.
Scale row 2: c1, *5 dc around the first post of the second pair of posts in foundation row, c1, 5 dc
around 2nd post of the second pair of posts in foundation row, skip next pair of posts* repeat from *
across. (the scales should fall in between the scales of the row previous)

A really good resource for seeing this stitch in action can be found here:
http://www.lostandfoundlane.com/p/croc-stitch-easy-way.html

After reaching the length of your tail (24, 34, 36), sc across the top of the tail, with 2sc in the last st.
4 Sc in each of the exposed scales down the side of the tail (use your best judgement as your scmake
sure the border looks like it will lie fairly flat, not too many st, not too few! See pictures below), then sc
across the bottom, and 4 sc in each of the exposed scales up to the top of the tail once again. Sl st to join
the round, and bind off.

Finishing:
Weave in all ends. To make your tail more wearable, fold the tail in half length-wise, so that the scales
face each other (wrong-side out). Sew with some scrap yarn from the fin end of the tail to about 15 up
(or longer on adult blanket if desired).
Then, take the tail, still inside out, and refold lengthwise so the seam now lies at the center. Take the fin
and place it inside the tail, so the flat end of the fin (that will be attached to the end of the tail when
worn) lines up, and all the scales are facing inward towards the fin. Align the seams of the tail and the
fin halves to ensure even sewing.
Take your crochet hook and some scrap yarn, and sl st across, catching with each sl st the front half of
the tail, the fin, and the back half of the tail. Weave in all ends.
Turn your tail inside out, the fin should now hang from the bottom, and your feet should stay nice and
toasty as you dream of your mermaid adventures!

To left: Finished tail before sewing, front side


Below: Finished tail before sewing, back side
Bottom left: folded in half, ready to sew up back

To right: Sewed tail, rearranged for


the fin to be inserted.
Below: Fin inside of tail, ready for
slip stitch together, close up of slip
stitching fin in.