Things You'll Need
- Crochet hook
- Tapestry needle
Adding a scaly texture to a crocheted piece can be done in several ways. A reptilian-style scale with a pointed, triangular shape can be made using a technique called the "crocodile stitch." If you are interested in a more rounded, fish-like scale, there is also a technique to accomplish this type of scale. For scales that are to be added to a mermaid piece, such as a toy or garment, either style is suitable and can be adjusted to suit your preference.
Crocodile Stitch Scales
Crochet your base chain to the size you want your finished item to be. Make sure that the number of chain stitches is a multiple of three. Add another three chain stitches at the end to act as your first double crochet of the second row.
Work a double crochet into the third chain from the hook, creating two double crochet stitches. Chain two stitches, skip two chain stitches and work two double crochets in the same stitch. This is called a "V-stitch." Repeat this across to the end of the foundation chain.
Chain one stitch and turn your work 90 degrees so that you are working down the length of the piece rather than across.
Work five double crochet stitches along the post of the first double crochet. Chain one stitch and flip your work over so that the back is now in the front. Work five double crochets along the post of the second double crochet. This is the crocodile scale pattern.
Flip your work back over. Skip the next V-stitch and work a crocodile scale in the following V-stitch. Repeat the combination down the length of the piece. Chain three and turn your work.
Create V-stitches in the center of the first row's scales by working two double crochets. This will set you up for your next row. Chain two stitches between the new V-stitches. Repeat the process from Step 3, which will create staggered rows of crocodile scales. Fasten off your work at the end of the piece and weave in the loose ends with a tapestry needle.
Create your foundation chain to the size you want the piece to be, with the chain being in multiples of four. Turn and single crochet across. You can also choose to use a single crochet (or chainless) foundation, if desired.
Chain two stitches and work a double crochet into each of the next two stitches. You will start every even numbered row this way. The odd numbered rows will start with a chain two, then single crochet in the next two stitches.
Make a scale using the following pattern of stitches: work four double crochets into the next stitch. Chain two stitches, turn your work and work a double crochet into the base of the chain. Work two double crochets into each of the four scale stitches, then chain three to move on to the next scale.
Work a double crochet stitch in the three stitches between each scale. Make scales only on even-numbered rows. On odd-numbered rows, single crochet in each of the stitches between the previously made scales and single crochet around the three chain stitches attached to each scale.
Continue working this pattern until the piece is the size you want. Fasten off your work and weave in the loose ends with a tapestry needle.
Use different weights of yarn and crochet hook sizes to create larger or smaller scales.
Use shiny yarn to give your scale pieces a "mermaid look."
Keep track of your rows using a row counter or by keeping tally on a piece of paper, as the even-numbered and odd-numbered rows have to be worked in a specific order to continue building the piece.
- Use different weights of yarn and crochet hook sizes to create larger or smaller scales.
- Use shiny yarn to give your scale pieces a "mermaid look."
- Keep track of your rows using a row counter or by keeping tally on a piece of paper, as the even-numbered and odd-numbered rows have to be worked in a specific order to continue building the piece.
Linda Becksterhed is a professional writer with a legal and crafting focus. She handled creation and distribution of fan newsletters from 1998 to 2001 and maintains an entertainment blog. She is a paralegal and an accomplished fiber artist, specializing in yarn, spinning fibers and crochet and knit designs.