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.