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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Mermaid's Purse


I've been thinking about this knitting project for a while now, but needed to find the real thing so I had something to work from. And so I was delighted that I stumbled across a mermaid's purse on the beach on holiday. I photographed it, and had a really good look at its shape. 


In case you didn't know, a mermaid's purse is the egg case that surrounds the fertilized eggs of some sharks, skates, and chimaeras. And although it is not strange to find one washed up on the shore, they are also not that common, at least on the beaches where I wander. I do think there is something rather delightful (and a bit magical) about finding a mermaid's purse. 

If you want to read a bit more about them there is a really good site here with advice on identification. And you can take part in a UK survey if you find one yourself, at The Shark's Trust MERMAID'S PURSE. I am going to send them my photo, though I think mine was a Spotted Ray case. I had not realized that there were so many types of mermaid purse until I found this site, so am now wondering if I should come out with a range of knitting patterns for different types. I am sort of joking, as I suspect there may not be a huge demand for this pattern, but sometimes you just have to do something because the spirit moves you.



This is not a long pattern, and contains some icord knitting to make the horns, and short rows to get the curved shape. To get its distinctive slightly deflated shape it is also important not to overstuff it.  

I have set up a Mermaid Purse Promotion. One might look rather nice with some of my other sea creatures.  I have a selection on a shelf in my bathroon, and they make a really nice display. So if you buy this pattern on ravelry in combination with any of my other beach patterns (Spiral Shell, Starfish, Sand Dollar, Scallop Shell, Sea Urchin or Little Minnow) you get a discount of £1. Remember to buy them in one transaction, otherwise this won't work, and email me if you have any problems. The pattern is also available on Craftsy.


And finally, although I have really tried to be realistic with my mermaid's purse,  my daughter suggested that if I added an eye I would have made Sheldon J. Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants, which was not my intention at all, but I do see what she means.







19 comments:

  1. I had never heard of a mermaid's purse before but it looks you've done a fantastic job. Perhaps I shall keep my eyes out next time I'm at the beach - although I may have to look somewhere a little more distant than here in Essex.

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  2. well done they look just like the real thing and how awesome if you did turn one of them into him :P x

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  3. Oh that is such a creepy thing! It looks so real.

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  4. Hehe, is there anything you can't knit?! :) What a lovely idea, i hadn't heard of a mermaids purse before but i'm glad you've told us about them, they sound rather magical x

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  5. Thank you for this interesting post and your delightful little project! We used to find these all the time when we were children. I don't even know the name in German and I had no idea what they are - mermaid's purse is such a lovely name!
    Lena x

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  6. I just love mermaid purses! I know what you mean about being magical. I don't seem them too often any more round here, but once in a while you can spot them. Lovely crochet and I do see what your daughter means. Yours would just be a classy version! (maybe it could have a monical?)
    xx

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  7. Love this! I think there is something magical about them too - when I was in an aquarium in Barrow-in-Furness last spring, they had a display which was mermaid's purses with embryos inside them - you could see the little sharks swimming around inside! The ones we saw were dogfish - they had another display which contained the cases and the newly hatched tiny little sharks, and the third tank in the series was the sharks just before release into the main tank. It was truly inspiring!

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  8. She has a point re plankton! I love how you draw and deliver such lovely things from inspiration around you.

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  9. I've only ever seen these in aquarium displays & didn't know their name - clever you for making a pattern for them!

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  10. Interesting! I've heard of mermaid's purse but not come across one before.

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  11. Such a lovely creation! I, too, think that they are magical, and utterly fascinating. You are right - when one feels the need to do something that will move you, go for it! :)

    Andrea / CocoDrizzle

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  12. Living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains here in southern Alberta, Canada, I need to read posts like this one to know what it's like in other parts of our world. I haven't heard of a mermaid's purse, this is so intriguing. Thanks for sharing your discovery and the interesting photos.

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  13. I've learned something new here! I had never heard of a mermaid's purse, but now, armed with that info, I can appreciate the sea creatures even more. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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  14. Your creativity amazes me! I've never seen (or heard of) a mermaid's purse so this is all new to me. Very interesting.
    Sandy @Texas Twang

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  15. That is very cool. I had never heard of mermaid purses before!

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  16. OMG! So small and perfect! You always find such neat things that inspire you!

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  17. Truly love your sea series, brilliant! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  18. I love the inspiration you get from nature to make your designs. Beautiful!

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