Stitchology 22 : Mermaid Scales


The best part about this month’s new stitch pattern is that it is so very easy to accomplish, with only four rows to repeat and a technique that is worked over just 2 pegs…nice!  The most difficult part for me this time around was trying to decide what it most reminded me of to be able to choose a name, lol!  When I look at this square, I see a pretty lattice design that is anchored with knots on each side, but I also see four-pointed little flowers, sea stars, and even water droplets.  The more I got to looking at it, the more it seemed to be quite intricate and even a little mesmerizing. The knitting chart even turned out to resemble a sea full of rolling waves!  Mermaids seemed the perfect idea to convey a little bit of mystery, along with all things sparkling sea and sand for the beginning of summer. I hope you think so too…Enjoy!

In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure.  My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square.  As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you?  You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. 😉  To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.

Mermaid Scales Square

Items Needed

Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge.  The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.

Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage neptune)

Notions: Loom tool, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter, and blocking pins)


Pattern Notes:

*For flat pieces of a greater size, simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch edges for the length and width required, then complete with the Finishing Rows.  The border edges may need to also be increased to coordinate with the number of increased Repeating Pattern Rows.

*When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap.  When the stitch requires an e-wrap, it will be noted.

*All slip stitches (s1) for this pattern are completed by carrying the working yarn behind the peg(s).
approx: approximately
sts: stitches
CO: cast on
ew E-wrap stitch
s1: slip/skip one peg
k: knit
KO: knit off
wy: working yarn
ssk: slip, slip, knit
m1: make one/increase by one
BO: bind off


*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, the steps  involving the pattern’s lacy stitch are placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that they are all accomplished on just two pegs.

This pattern creates eyelets by the Slip, Slip, Knit (ssk) method, for a left leaning eyelet. The following dictates how to work them, along with the lace method, into the pattern:

[s1, ssk, m1, ew]:  Work over just 2 pegs (from right to left):

  • Move the loop from the s1 peg to the ssk peg.
  • Carry the wy behind the empty s1 peg to the ssk peg.
  • Knit off the first loop on the ssk peg and rather than letting the loop drop behind the peg, slide it back over the s1 peg for a “make one”(m1).
  • Knit off the 2nd loop on the ssk peg.
  • E-wrap the s1 peg and knit off.
  • Move to the next 2 pegs in line and prepare to ssk.  The wy will be carried behind both the original ssk peg and the newly empty s1 peg of the next 2 pegs in line.


*Please view this handy video for an easy to visualize tutorial on how to work the [s1, ssk, m1, ew] on only 2 pegs:  (*Clarification Note: the video describes the eyelet decrease as a knit 2 together (k2tog), but because it is a left leaning decrease, it is actually an ssk. 😉 )



Repeating Pattern Rows

Here are the Repeating Pattern Rows for the stitch itself, based on the chart above:

(*Note: The knits in Rows 2 and 4 are only added at the beginning and end of each of the rows to make them offset from one another. The repeating stitch count is actually in multiples of 2 + 1 for knitting in a flat panel. Check out the chart below of the entire square to see this in action.)

Row 1: k3.

Row 2: *[s1, ssk, m1, ew], rep from *,  k1.

Row 3: k3.

Row 4: k1, *[s1, ssk, m1, ew], rep from *.

Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” square:

Everything you need to know about knitting your square is included in the above chart.  Believe it or not, you can actually create your square without looking at another thing!  For help with reading charts, please see the Stitchology I post for a detailed explanation, and you’ll be ready to go!

But, don’t worry…I am also providing you with the step by step instructions below. 😉

Step by Step Instructions:

Cast onto your loom from left to right, using a total of 30 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

Set Up Rows

Row 1: p30.

Row 2: k30.

Row 3: p30.

Main Pattern Rows

Mermaid Scales Stitch angleRow 4:  k30.

Row 5:  p3, *[s1, ssk, m1, ew], repeat from * to last 3 sts, p3.

Row 6:  k30.

Row 7:  p3, k1, *[s1, ssk, m1, ew], repeat from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.

Rows 8-53:  Repeat Rows 4-7.

Row 54: k30.

Finishing Rows

Row 55: k30.

Row 56: p30.

Row 57: k30.

Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off)  Weave in ends and trim close to work.

Block to an 8” x 8” measurement.  This particular square is worked a tad smaller than 8″ x 8″, so that once blocked, the pattern will open up to show the eyelets at their best.  A thorough soaking and pinning to the 8″ x 8″ measurement is required to achieve the proper size.

Afghan Notes:

Stitchology Squares If you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares.  We will be sharing at least 24 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket.  Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:

  • Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
  • Children: 42″ x 48″
  • Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
  • Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
  • Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a note for Bethany Dailey below in the comments! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Stitchology 22 : Mermaid Scales

  1. I love the mermaid scale stitch. I have been searching for the “how to ” for this stitch. I am looking for a loom knitting pattern for the full mermaid tail for an adult and have had no luck finding one. Would you happen to have a pattern for the mermaid tail?

  2. Hi Nancy! 🙂 I’m so glad you like the stitch…I love the visual depths it produces, with so little effort! All the how-to information on this particular stitch is included in this post. 😉

    I will say that there is a terrific mermaid tail blanket for the looms released here:

    It uses the crocodile stitch, but you could substitute this Mermaid Scale stitch in place of it for a much simpler choice. I would love to see it when you have finished!


  3. This looks stunning. I’d like to make a scarf with this stitch. Would leaving off the garter edge on the sides make it curl? Thanks for the helpful video. I always look forward to your posts Bethany.

  4. Oh, wonderful, Cindy! I’m so happy to hear this stitch (and the others) are well received…thank you!

    As for leaving off the garter borders, I think you will be ok. I didn’t notice any significant curling with this one, and it does require a bit of blocking to open up the stitch, which would also stop the curling. Just remember to use a wool, or another natural fiber that blocks well. 🙂

    Happy looming!

  5. Bethany, I love this stitch. My daughter in law wants a baby mermaid blanket as a photo prop. I believe this stitch will be perfect.
    Thank you for sharing.

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