Knitting: An Accidental Whale


It’s a new year and time for a new blogging category on Mailbox Mermaid: ocean-inspired knitting projects!

During my holiday at home, I finally picked up a pair of knitting needles for the first time since I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in the fall of 2015. Although I managed to recover, thanks to occupational therapy and workplace modifications, I still shied away from returning to an activity that is basically the textbook definition of “repetitive motion.”

But then I gave it a try and made this whale!

This little guy was actually supposed to be a dolphin, according to the pattern, but I think he looks much more like a humpback. Perhaps, like my favorite cetacean documentary that involves robotic camera-creatures filming pod activity, this whale can gather intel from within the knitted dolphin community.


I learned to knit when I was nine years old. I took to it quite quickly, and began speeding my way through my mother’s library of knitting books. One tome, however, eluded me: World of Knitted Toys. It had the most charming patterns, but as a kid-knitter who didn’t quite understand how to kfb without making a hole, I couldn’t complete any projects to my satisfaction.

Now I’m older and wiser and figured that a twenty-three-year-old should probably be able to knit the dang dolphin pattern that eluded my nine-year-old self (described as “easy” in the book’s internal project-challenge ranking system). And I did! (Thank you, YouTube, for walking me through the more confusing techniques.)


The trickiest part was creating this dorsal fin, which involved “turning” the work and casting on additional stitches to create a peak in the middle of the knitting.


As soon as I realized the body looked more whale-like, I lengthened his pectoral fins to complete the humpback look.


The tail, sadly, still looks dolphin-y, but I can adjust that in a future project. Next, I think I’ll use black yarn and lengthen the beak and head slightly to create my favorite odontocete: Pseudorca crassidens, the “false killer whale”! Here’s hoping I’ll have an ocean  of knitted cetaceans by the end of 2017.

3 thoughts on “Knitting: An Accidental Whale

  1. Idle Emma January 6, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Where would we be without YouTube to turn to for help when so called ‘easy’ patterns elude us! xD

  2. marinegirl1 January 7, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I love your humpback whale, it looks amazing and like the best companion you could have when you can’t be close to the ocean every day. Can’t wait to see future knitted creatures 🙂

  3. Ari Baker January 11, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Oh, I love it! I’m much more of a humpback than a dolphin fan anyway, though. As someone whose biggest knitting achievement is a Hufflepuff scarf I salute you, because this looks incredibly complicated.

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