This is a great collaborative project for a beginner and a “helper”. In our case, my 10yrs old daughter and myself. We recently knitted some mini egg cozy hats, which she LOVED doing! She wanted to make a mermaid, but all the patterns online are Crochet Mermaid Patterns.. and she can’t crochet (yet!).
So we created this Knitted Mermaid Pattern and wanted to share it with you! Bar the little tail fin at the end, and some “gathering of stitches” in the mermaid’s tail, this is a “Knit” and “Purl” only project that all beginners who have mastered knit/ purl can make! I give a simple alternative suggestion. Hope you love this Mermaid Craft as much as we do!
Our mermaids are based on little knitted dolls from the Crafty Dolls (Jane Bull) book. We have crafted from this book before, when we made our Doll in a Box craft set! More information on the book below. However, we did adapt it and create our own Mermaid Knitting Pattern shared here. But like to give inspiration credit were credit is due!
To make these knitted mermaid amigurumis, you will need:
- Wool in skin tone of choice (ours is a beige)
- Mermaid shorts, tank top and tail wool
- Mermaid hair colours – we used 3 different ones, anything with some glitter in it is great and you can “pull apart” ordinary wool to create the wavey look below
- 4mm needles
- A little stuffing
- Sewing needle
- Any other embelishments: pearls, fabric roses, we used black mini brads for eyes, but you can stitch on some eyes or use felt (glue this on), pen for rosy cheeks.
The Knitting Pattern:
I confess, I am not an expert knitting pattern developer, so I will do my best to write the pattern in a way that you will be able to follow it!
The mermaid body (make 1):
12 stitches – beginning at the “bottom of the body” and going all the way to the head.
Create a total of 21 rows, alternating Knit & Purl. Start with Knit & finish on Knit.
- Cast on colour of the shorts
- First 3 Rows: Colour of shorts
- Next 3 Rows: Skin tone of choice
- Next 4 rows: Bikini top
- Next 11: Skin tone of choice
DO NOT CAST OFF.. but run the loose thread through the hoops to gather.
- Turn inside out and sew along edge.
- Stuff – leave bottom open
- Using some extra yarn, wrap tightly around 1/3 way down to from a neck and a head
Mermaid Arms (make 2)
Cast on 4 stitches, knit a total of 8 rows, beginning with K, then purl.
Sew up with a ladder stitch along sides and sew to body just below the neck.
Mermaid Legs (make 2)
Cast on 4 stitches, knit a total of 12 rows, beginning with k, then purl.
- First 10 rows: Skin tone of choice
- 2 rows: shorts colour
- Cast of in shorts colour
Sew up with a ladder stitch along sides. Pop into the “bottom” of the body and sew across. Close of body as you go.
Your basic mermaid is made. You now need the hair and tail!
How to knit a Mermaid’s Tail (make 1)
For this part you need to know how to “knit together (K2T)” as well as “increase stitch/ make 1 (M1) ” in both knit and purl. I did this part for my 10yrs old, she did the “regular rows”.
The main part of the meraid tail:
Cast on 14 stitches in the mermaid tail colours.
- Create 5 rows starting with Knit (K, P, K, P, K)
- PURL row: K2T at BOTH ENDS – leaves you with 12 stitches.
- Create 4 rows (K, P, K, P)
- KNIT row: K2T at BOTH ENDS – leaves you with 10 stitches.
- Create 4 rows (P, K, P, K)
- PURL row: K2T at BOTH ENDS – leaves you with 8 stitces.
- Don’t cast off, but run yarn through end and gather the stitches
Sew along the length of the mermaid tail.
Making the fin of the mermaid tail:
Some people may find this a little fiddly and complicated. You could as an alternative cut a fin from felt and sew it on. Or knit a rectangle and wrap some yarn around the middle like a bow.
But this is what I did:
Cast on 4 stitches
- Begin with Knit, M1 at BOTH ENDS – 6 stitches
- PURL, M1 at BOTH ENDS – 8 stitches
- KNIT: M1 at BOTH ENDS – 10 stitches
- Purl one row
Now you will work on only 5 of the stitches to make one half of the fin:
- Knit: K2T, knit remaining 3 – 4 stitches (leave remaining stitches on the needle for later)
- Purl: (same 4 stitches) purl 2, K2T – 3 stitches
- Knit: K2t, knit 1 – 2stitches
- Cast off.
Repeat in mirror fashing for the other 5 stitches:
- Knit 3 stitches, K2T (4 stitches)
- Purl: K2T, purl 2 stitches (3 stitches)
- Knit 1, K2T (2 stitches)
- Cast off
Sew up loose ends and then sew the tail to the bottom of the fin.
The Mearmaid’s hair & eyes
I actually created the hair and eyes, whilst my 10yrs old continued to knit the arms, legs and mermaids tail.
For the eyes, we glued two “mini” brads in place. But, you can use small buttons, felt or some black wool. The rosy cheeks are made with felt tip pens.
I happened to have some small perls, we tied those on as a perl necklace. But you can leave these out or have a rummage through your craft stash for other embellishments.
For the hair:
I sewed some stitches in hair colour across the head, so that the mermaid has a fringe and also hair “all over”.
Then I cut long pieces of wool – approx 30cm strips. I unravelled some of the wool which came in 3 strands, to make thinner “curly” waves 1 strand wide. If you have a variety of colours and textures that is really nice.
Place on top of the head and sew in a central party.
More info n the Crafty Dolls book – please NOTE – this mermaid pattern is NOT in the book as such. It has the basic knitted dolls, but the rows of colours, the mermaid hair and the mermaid tail and fin are all ours. But this book is fun and my daughter and I are enjoying getting inspiration from it.
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If you are looking for more mermaid DIYs, check out these: