My name is Nemo.

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I live on the ocean floor.

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I live offshore from you.

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Yes, I think you’ve seen me before.

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If your head is cold at night,
put me on, ’cause I won’t bite.

Even though here he totally looks like he might chomp your brains:

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Pattern: Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?] by Thelma Egberts, as published on knitty.com
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Eco Fairtrade Collection, 100% organic cotton, about 1.33 skeins color 32601 (orange) and half a skein color 32617 (white); less than half a skein Schachenmayr Nomotta Punto, 55% cotton, 45% acrylic, color 99 (black)
Needles: US size 6
Size: toddler
Started 1/15 and finished 2/12/2011

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I made this for our 2-year-old niece so I had to size the pattern down to fit her because this pattern is for bigger kids’ heads. I cast on only 74 stitches and sized everything else down by a proportionate percentage. I skeined the yarn on my niddy-noddy and ran it through the washer and dryer before starting any knitting, just so it was all pre-shrunk.

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I had to look up what side Nemo’s “lucky fin” is on and I looked at lots of pictures of clownfish in general to get an idea of how they are built. I attached the pectoral fins so they’d flatten a bit toward the back instead of sticking straight out like the pattern dictates. Clownfish fins are edged in black. I like how the dorsal fin is ruffly as though he’s swimming.

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After all that fish research, I skipped making the second dorsal fin and any ventral fins, thinking the hat was going to get too cluttered. The eyes were absolutely the worst. I am no seamstress. I used a dime and a blunt yarn needle to trace a circle on black fabric, folded the fabric in half and stitched around the circle through both layers. Next I cut a slit in one layer, flipped the whole thing inside out so the seams don’t show, and ironed it flat. Then I sewed the black circles onto the white, then the whole eye onto the hat without making him cross-eyed and attempting to get the in about the same place on the head. Did I mention the eyes were the worst? They took me a little over 3 hours. After making the pupils I said the heck with the irises and went straight for the sclerae (a half-dollar coin) so it’s not quite a Nemo eye. But close enough to pass toddler scrutiny, I hope.

Dang it, I thought I was being original. I just looked on Ravelry and someone made a Nemo hat based on this pattern and finished it the same day I did. What are the odds? And she made the eyes way better than I did, too. Now I’m bummed. I bet seeing the hat on my niece’s head will cheer me right up.

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