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“Mama, can you knit me a mermaid costume for Halloween?”
“Sure!”  (How hard could it be to find a knitting pattern for a child’s mermaid costume?)  Hmm… Well, it proved to be rather difficult – impossible actually, at least where I looked.  So I had to make up a mermaid costume pattern in a hurry.  Here is what we came up with:

To make your own Knitted Mermaid Costume you will need:

*2-3 Balls Sport-Weight Yarn (We used two skeins of chartreuse wool/acrylic by Orsetto 1oz3/4 for 165 yards)

*Size 3.5 Circular 17″ Needles

*Large Needle for Stitching Up

*Pipe Cleaners (To give shape to the tail)

*Small Amount of Stuffing

This pattern is worked in the round and then bound off and worked back and forth for the tail. I found it easier to hold the work and use the circular needles for the whole pattern instead of switching to straight needles.   This is a relatively simple pattern that knits up quickly and can be adjusted for length.

Body:
R1. Cast on 116 st.
R2-7. Mark first stitch and K in Rib in the round for 5 rows.
R8-. K in the round for desired length. (Ours is about 17″).

Decrease Before Tail:
R1-4. B/O last st at end of each row, turn work. You will no longer be working in round, so treat the round needles as straight needles alternating K and P rows (stockinette).
R5. *K 10,SK 2 tog*,repeat to last two stitches and B/O last st.
R6. P to end, B/O last st.
R7. *K 10,SK 2 tog*,repeat to last two stitches and B/O last st.
R8. P to end, B/O last st.
R9-. Repeat Rows 5-8 until 48 st. remain.

Top of Tail:
R1. P row, B/O last st.
R2. K row, B/O last st.
R3-. Repeat Rows1-2 until 36 st. Remain.

Tail: (**You will make two of these Tail sections**)
R1-4. K 4 rows in stockinette w/o B/O =36 sts.
R5. *K2, M1*, repeat to end. = 53 sts.
R6. P row.
R7. *K2, M1*, repeat to last st. K last st. =78 sts.
R8. P row.
R9-19. Work in stockinette for 10 rows. =78 sts.
R20. K 38 sts (the center of your work), B/O 3 sts. =38 sts. per needle.
R21. P 38 sts, join second ball of yarn after B/O and P 38 sts separately. *The tail is now split and will be worked as two pieces at the same time*.
R22. Turn work, K across 38 sts. Switch balls of yarn and K across 38 sts on second half of tail.
R23-25. Work two tail sections in stockinette for 3 rows.
R26. K 19, M1, K 19 for both sections. =39 sts each.
R27. P row for both sections.
R28. *K1, M1* to end for both. =41 sts each.
R29-36. Work in stockinette for both tail sections.
R37. K1, K2 tog, K to last 3 sts, K2 tog, K1 for both sections. =39 sts each.
R38. P row for both sections.
R39. K1, k2 tog, K to last 3 sts, K2 tog, K1for both sections. =37 sts each.
R40. P 17 sts, P2 tog, P to end. =36 sts each.
R 41. First fin: *K 1, K2 tog*, repeat to end. Second fin: *K2 tog, K1*, repeat to end. =24 sts each.
R42. P row for both sections.
R43. First fin: *K1, K2tog*, repeat to end. Second fin: *K2 tog, K1*, repeat to end. =16 sts each.
R44-47. Work in stockinette for both tail sections.
R48. *K1, K2 tog*, repeat to end for both tail sections. =11 sts each.
R49. P row for both sections.
R50. First fin: *K1, K2tog* repeat to last 2 sts, K 2 sts. Second fin: K 2, K2 tog, *K1, K2 tog*, repeat to end. =8 sts each.
R51. P row for both sections.
R52. First fin: *K1, K2 tog*to last 2 sts, K 2 sts. Second fin: K 2 sts, *K2 tog, K1*, repeat end. =6 sts each.
R52: First fin: *P1,P2 tog*, repeat to end. Second fin: *P2 tog, P1*, repeat to end. =4 sts each.
R53. K2 tog to end for both sections. =2 sts each.
R54. B/O.

*Work up second Tail section as above. Begin by C/O 36 stitches.

Strap:
R1. C/O 4 st.
R2-. Work in Rib to desired length and B/O.

Finishing:
1. Bend pipe cleaners into tail shape, twisting together if more length is needed. Whip stitch pipe cleaners onto one half of the tail as shown. (This should be done onto the wrong/purl side of tail).

2. Place a small amount of stuffing on top of the tail piece stitched to pipe cleaners.

3. Layer second piece of the tail on top (wrong sides together), sandwiching the stuffing.

4. Stitch tail pieces together on all sides, carefully containing the pipe cleaners and stuffing.

5. Stitch on strap to form halter.

6. Work in loose ends.

7. Go for a swim!  Happy Halloween!!

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