When I was in the third grade, I first learned all about manatees. My third grade teacher got our whole class involved in a cause, Save the Manatee Club. We produced a video for a competition that they had, where a friend of mine and I wrote and performed a rap song about saving the manatees. Thanks to the nonexistence of YouTube at that time, you will never get to see how awesome (errr, a...embarrassing) that might have been.
In the early 90s, manatees were incredibly endangered. The Save the Manatee Club offered the opportunity to adopt manatees, to raise money toward rescue and rehabilitation. As a class, we adopted several. My family adopted one, and I remember being so proud to see that picture of our manatee on our refrigerator.
Now, in 2018, the manatees are no longer on the endangered list. Their status has been changed to "threatened." While they are a far cry from only the few hundred that existed in the early 90s, when I first learned of them, they still need ongoing support and protection to ensure their future. This pattern is available for free on the blog, but 50% of the profits from the purchase of this pattern will go toward the Save the Manatee club, a cause for these gentle creatures that all these years later, is still very near and dear to my heart! The PDF, printer-friendly copy of this pattern can be purchased for only $2 in my Ravelry shop OR my Etsy shop!
This pattern is an update of a very old pattern of mine, and is so so simple, and fun! You can make it with worsted weight yarns and a smaller hook for the baby, or a larger hook with super chunky yarn for the mama, using the same exact pattern!
For the baby:
Hook: F- 3.75mm
Red Heart With Love – Pewter, approximately 1 oz or 53 yrds
6mm black safety eyes
For the mama:
Hook: K - 6.5mm
Bernat Blanket Yarn - Dark Gray
9mm black safety eyes
Additional materials for both:
Yarn needle for sewing.
Small amounts of polyester fiberfill.
Terms and abbreviations to know:
You must know how to start with a magic ring, and how to crochet in rounds.
rnd, rnds - round, rounds
ch, chs – chain, chs
st, sts – stitch, stitches
sl st – slip stitch
sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet
inc – increase, 2 sts into the same stitch
dec – decrease, sc 2 sts together, to make one st
inv – invisible
invsc2tog – invisible single crochet 2 together; this is essentially a decrease, but done in such a way as to make the continuous stitching smoother and the decrease not as noticeable
Starting at the head, working toward the tail.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring; 6 sts
Rnd 2: inc around; 12 sts
Rnd 3: (inc, sc) 6x; 18sts
Rnds 4-6: sc around; 18 sts
Rnd 7: (invsc2tog, sc in next 7 sts) 2x; 16 sts
Rnd 8: sc around; 16 sts
Rnd 9: (inc, sc in next 3 sts) 4x; 20 sts
Rnd 10: (inc, sc in next 4 sts) 4x; 24 sts
Rnd 11: (inc, sc in next 5 sts) 4x; 28 sts
Rnds 12-15: sc around; 28 sts
Rnd 16: (invsc2tog, sc in next 5 sts) 4x; 24 sts
Rnd 17: (invsc2tog, sc in next 4 sts) 4x; 20 sts
Rnd 18: sc around; 20 sts
Use the pictures to help with your safety eye placement. They should be very close to the front, and it will look odd until you add the front cheeks. They are each about 2 rnds out from the center, with the very first st of the project almost right in between them. Also, the last st worked should be on the top right, as you're looking down. This will assure that your eyes are centered when you flatten out the tail. When you come to the end of the pattern, you want to make sure the tail is horizontal with the eyes, so just work in some extra sts if need be.
Rnd 19: (invsc2tog, sc in next 8 sts) 2x; 18 sts
Rnd 20: (invsc2tog, sc in next st) 6x; 12 sts
Gently stuff head and body, while you work toward the tail fin.
Rnds 21-23: sc around; 12 sts
Rnd 24: (inc, sc in next 5 sts) 14 sts
Don't fasten off yet, ch 1, fold the end closed and crochet through 2 sts at a time to close the fin, inc in first st, hdc in next 4 sts, inc in the last st; fin should be closed now with a total of 8 sts
**Note here: to align the tail with the eyes, add or subtract sts as needed, in your last row to be sure that the tail is horizontally aligned with the eyes, before closing.
Cheeks (make 2)
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring; 6 sts
Rnd 2: (inc, sc in next 2 sts) 2x; 8 sts
Rnd 3: sc around, fasten off, leaving tail for sewing; 8 sts
Cheeks do not need to be stuffed. Just pack the beginning tail into them. Pin them in place, sort of oblong like ovals or teardrops, and sew onto the face. Also sew them together a little at the top, giving them a triangular look together and leaving it open toward the bottom, like a mouth.
Side fins (make 2)
You will be working in rnds, around the top and bottom side of the ch. Do not join at the end of each rnd. Use a st marker to mark your rnd.
Rnd 1: 2 sc in first ch, sc in each of the next 2 chs, 3 sc in last ch, turn to work the bottom side of the chs. Sc in each of the 4 bottom chs; 11 sts
Rnd 2: inc, 4 sc, inc, 5 sc; 13 sts
Rnd 3: (invsc2tog) 2x, 2 sc, (invsc2tog) 2x, 3 sc; 9 sts
Rnd 4-6: sc around; 9 sts
Rnd 7: (invsc2tog, sc in next st) 3x, fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing to the body; 6 sts
Do not stuff the fins. Just flatten them, pin to the sides near the neck, about 4 or 5 rnds behind the eyes, and sew onto the manatee.
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