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Mermaid Tail Cocoon Blanket

It's been a while since I shared a crochet project. Boy was this a labor of love!  This one is a Christmas present for my niece. I hope she likes it! I can see her now, sitting on the couch, reading her favorite book in her mermaid tail blanket!
 
Back view with tail flipped over. Seam is visible, but barely.
I’ve seen a slew of these online. Some made entirely of the crocodile stitch and some made this way. I started out with a crocodile stitch cocoon but found it was very bulky and I couldn’t imagine my grandbaby swaddled in it comfortably. Besides, she’s a hot one, and the crocodile stitch makes your project pretty well insulated. I think I started this project over about six maybe seven times. I have Obsessive Crochet Disorder. Even looking at this finished product, I think I would like to redo the tail, but NO!

I started out with a single crochet that I did in four rows in the round, using back loop only. I love the way it ridges when you do that. I will say, I ended up closing it so her feet won’t stick out, so I think a SC row of 18, back loop only is fine also. After your fourth row, just back loop DC around one side and front loop DC until the other side until you close your circle. It works. I actually did it on one of my prior attempts.



Double crochet each subsequent row, increasing every fourth row until it is the appropriate width. Each increase adds six stitches to the row. I marked the row where I stopped at 72 DCs with a different color yarn so I could count how many rows to add from there for the pattern, but truly, this depends on the height of the wearer, so I don’t think it matters. For the record, I added 40 more rows of 72 DCs. 

Yarn to show end of increases is at the seam. Barely visible from this vantage point. 

My first few attempts had a very visible seam that moved around the tail at a diagonal. I didn’t like it at all. Some people say your starting DC is a CH 3. Some say it is a CH 2. So I played around with that, but it really didn’t make much of a difference. The trick, I found, was to turn the work over at the end of each row. So when you finish off one row, turn the work around, so you are working back over what you just finished. SL into the first gap, which is the last stitch you made in the previous row. CH 2, then DC into each gap around. The seam is almost invisible. And she’ll be sitting on it anyway.

The tail is also ridged with a HDC, back loop only. Love it. Gives it a nice texture. When it was completely assembled, I added some bells - because who doesn’t like a jingle? And a few white beads to embellish. This tail is two pieces. I think in the future, I would make it one piece so that the center where you combine the two pieces isn’t such a huge gap.


At the top, I finished the row with a crocodile stitch around then added shell buttons on either side of each crocodile, alternating back (white) and front (shell). I did sew down the centers of my crocodile stitch with a yarn needle because they don’t lay very flat). Unfortunately, it's very hard to see in this picture.


So, while this pattern is, eh discretionary depending on your wearer, I hope you find it easy to follow and that you'll try to make one for someone you love!   

XO~
Rolly <3

CH = Chain     
STs = Stitches    
SL = Slip Stitch
DC = Double Crochet    
HDC = Half Double Crochet              
CRST = Crocodile Stitch 
FPDC = Front Post Double Crochet                           

I used a one pound skein of Red Heart yarn and a size K hook.
Foundation Row:  CH 36; join with SL into 1st ST
Row 1:  CH 1; SC into top loop only around, joining in last ST with SL; 36 STs around
Row 2 – 4: Repeat row 1
Row 5: SL into first gap. CH 2; DC into each gap around; SL into the top of first DC; 36 STs around
Row 6-7: Turn work around; SL into first gap (the one you just finished). CH 2; DC into each gap around; SL into the top of first DC; 36 STs around
Row 8:  Turn work around; SL into first gap. CH 2; DC into the next 4 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); *DC into the next 5 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); repeat around from *; SL into the top of first DC; 42 STs around
Row 9-10: Turn work around; SL into the first gap; CH 2; DC around; SL into the top of first DC; 42 STs around
Row 11:  Turn work around; SL into first gap; CH 2; DC into next 5 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); *DC into the next 6 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); repeat from *; SL into the top of first DC; 48 STs around
Row 12-13:  Turn work around; SL into first gap; CH 2; DC around. SL into top of first DC; 48 STs around
Row 14:  Turn work around; SL into first gap; CH 2; DC into next 6 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); *DC into the next 7 STs; DC 2x into the next ST (increase made); repeat from *; SL into top of first DC; 54 STs around
Row 15-16: Turn work around; SL into first gap;  DC around; SL into top of first DC; 54 STs around

Continue increasing every 4th row until you have the width you want. 
·      increase every 8th ST  = 60 STs around
·      increase every 9th ST  = 66 STs around
·      increase every 10th ST = 72 STs around
·      increase every 11th ST = 78 STs around etc., etc.,

Once you get to the width you want, continue turning your work, and working into each gap until you get the length you want. I stopped mine at 72 STs around, and then worked another 40 rows of DC. My niece is about 4’ 10” tall.

Crocodile stitch row! A CRST is basically a FPDC around a one post going down, and then a FPDC going up the next post. There is a CH 1 between the two posts. If you’ve never done a crocodile stitch, please watch this fabulous tutorial by Mikey with the Crochet Crowd. He is awesome. 

      Row 40:  Once you have finished row 40 of DCs, finish off the row, by SL into the top of the first DC. Then, CH 2; FPDC down the post directly beneath your CH 2 four times (as the first CH 2 counts as your first DC); CH 1; grab the next post and FPDC up that post 5x; *SKIP 5 POSTS; grab the 6th post and FPDC down that post 5x; CH 1; FPDC up the next post 5x; repeat from * to end of row and SL into the top of the first DC in the first CRST. 

      TAIL: I used Michelle's pattern though I changed it up a bit with the number of decreases in each row and ended up adding an additional row at each end to make it larger. Thanks Michelle!!

It’s easier than it sounds. Watch Mikey’s video!! I hope you have great success with your project!