Under the general heading of “things that never really needed to be made, but were” we have my week-long diversion into mermaid tails. Turns out, undersea princess is a common enough fantasy game for the pre-pre-adolescent set that both my daughter and her cousin are occasional dabblers.

For some time, my firstborn has been wrapping towels around herself after her bath. When the towel is wrapped around her legs, she declares “I am a mermaid”. (When the hood of the hooded towel is around her head, and the towel hanging down around her back, she declares that she is “Mommy Mary”. I cannot explain it, I do not try). But towels are frustrating things, and don’t stay in place like the average 4-year-old might like.

So I made her a tail. A great big absorbant Bernat Handicrafter Cotton tail. In a 4-row slipped stitch pattern that reminded me of scales. And a fin that flops out over her feet. In fact, I made two tails. One top-down and one bottom-up. Which made the two fins slightly different. And it was a lot of fun. I sent one to my niece, who may or may not ever put it on, since it will be arriving just after her mermaid-themed birthday party.

I may get around to writing it up as a pattern, or I may not, since it wasn’t really all the hard, and I’m not convinced that there wouldn’t have been a dozen ways that it could have been done better. I’m unsure about what makes a legitimate contribution to the sum total of knitting patterns in the world. Is there anyone who would want to make a mermaid tail who is unlikely to stumble upon one of the many better ways to do it than I did?


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