Step #2: Note 1: Changing colors on sc
To change colors when last stitch is a single crochet, insert your hook into stitch, yarn over, and pull through the stitch. Now hook your new color strand, dropping the old strand, and pull through the last loop. When changing colors for the first time, I like to be cautious and do a simple knot with the tail and the dropped yarn. It keeps it doubly secure, but not exactly by the crocheter's handbook.
Step #3: Make the body, rows 3-73
- Row 3: 2dc in first st (that last sc), sk 2 st, sc in the 3rd dc of the 5dc shell, sk 2 st, then follow the 5dc pattern until last sc. Here you only do 3dc, changing colors (Note 2), ch 1 and turn.
- Row 4: Sc in first st, sk 2 st, then follow the 5dc pattern until the end where you sc in that last st/dc. Change colors, ch 2 and turn (see Note 3).
- Rows 5–73: Repeat rows 3–4 (see Note 4).
Step #4: Note 2: Changing colors on dc
To change colors when the last stitch is a double crochet, you yarn over and insert your hook into the stitch. Yarn over and pull through the stitch then yarn over and pull through 2 loops. Now hook your new strand, dropping the old stand, and pull through remaining loops on your hook.
Step #5: Note 3: Repeating color change
By now your color change pattern might be ready to repeat, depending on the number of strands you’re using. To make things easier, always bring up the next color behind the color you’re dropping.
Step #6: Note 4: Increase/decrease
By making sure that on rows you start with a sc, you end with a sc and the rows you start with ch2, 2dc you end with 3dc you’ll help ensure that you’re not increasing or decreasing. You will also see the work is slightly raised and rippled. This is normal.
Step #10: Make the body, rounds 96–103
- Rounds 96–98: Continue with 3dc group, but now only skip 1 stitch in between the 3dc group and the sc.
- Round 99: Do 3dc, sc tog where the next 2 sc would go (in the 2nd dc of the 3dc group). Do your 3dc pattern, making sure to do a sc tog in every 3rd sc spot (see Note 5).
- Round 100: Change colors in the first sc spot, 3dc then sc tog (in the 2nd dc of the 3dc group). Do your 3dc pattern with a sc tog in every 3rd sc spot. Continue around until back at the beginning of round.
- Round 101: Change colors in first dc of the 3dc, sc tog over the next 2 sc spot. Do your 3dc pattern with a sc tog in every 3rd sc spot. Continue around until back at the beginning of round.
- Rounds 102–103: Change colors in the first sc, then sc tog in every sc spot should be for 2 rounds. This should leave you with 12 stitches. Bind off, and leave a tail so you can go ahead and sew the tail closed.
- First, choose 1- or 2-strand method (see Note 6).
- Fin Row 1: Ch 43, dc in 4th chain from hook and dc across, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 2: Dc tog, dc in rest of stitches, ch 2 and turn (see Note 7).
- Fin Row 3: Dc across, dc tog in last 2 dc, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Rows 4–11: Repeat rows 2–3.
- Fin Row 12: Now do dc tog, dc tog, then dc in rest of stitches, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 13: Dc across until the last 4 st where you will dc tog, dc tog, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 14: 2 dc in each of the next 2 st, dc across, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 15: Dc across, put 2 dc in each of the last 2 dc, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 16: 2 dc in first dc, dc across, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Row 17: Dc across, 2 dc in last st, ch 2 and turn.
- Fin Rows 18–25: Repeat rows 16–17.
- Fin Row 26: Dc across, ch 1 and turn.
- Border of Fin: Now sc around, making sure to put 3 sc in the corners except the last corner you come to, which should be your starting point. Ch 1 and turn, so that now you’re working on the top/straight edge of the fin (see picture).
- Top of Fin Row 1: Sc tog across, ch 1, turn.
- Top of Fin Row 2: Sc tog across, ch 1 and turn.
- Top of Fin Row 3: *Sc tog, sc* across. Ch 1 and turn.
- Top of Fin Row 4: *Sc tog, sc* across. Bind off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
Step #14: Note 6: Single or double strand
The fin can be done with 1 or 2 strands held together. I have done both ways and they both have worked and looked great. The 2-strand method will use more yarn, so keep that in mind. Here I’m showing the 2-stranded fin to show a little lesser known method than the typical one strand. Both will still use the size H hook.
Step #16: Sew fin to body
- Lay the lapghan and fin both facedown and pin together. As shown in the picture, I used 2 hooks to show actual beginning of fin to end of fin. Make sure to sew from technical beginning to end to give more stability to the fin.
- Whip-stitch the tail securely, including the sides of the sc rows, onto the lapghan.
- Bind off and weave the last one in.
- Now celebrate because you're done! Go curl up with your feet cozy warm in your mermaid tail. (Here's my merman husband Dan.)
- If you want to do another one (or are asked to replicate it), think about different color combinations, different boutique yarns, or fleece yarns you could use. A flashy option would be to sew sequins onto the final project. You’re only limited by your imagination.