Recently I read about the wonderful people who are volunteering to crochet octopus toys for preemies. This is an ongoing project, where many more toys are needed across the globe. More Volunteers are needed to crochet small octopuses for local Newborn Infant Care Units (NICU).
So, what do octopuses have to do with preemies? I can hear you thinking..........
This project has been popular in Europe since 2013, it has recently started to take fruition in the United States.
Additionally, Poole Hospital in Dorset, England, has read about the idea and started not only doing it, but also spreading the news of the wonderful effect the octopuses have on preemies.
If you would like to get involved and receive more information on specifics for crocheting an Octopus for a Preemie, contact Palm by calling 612-232-0111 (in the US) or email her at email@example.com. Facebook pages have also been set up at Octopus for a Preemie – (US) / Octopus for a preemie (UK). Please check that your octos will meet the requirements before you start crocheting.
Below are a few crochet patterns that will help to get you started!
Click on the image to view the pattern page >>
If you don't have the time to make one, but would still like to help, you can buy a lucky crochet octopus for preemies and newborns from TinyBabies.com.
Find out more about this project and see how you can get involved by clicking on the image above.
A wonderful free crochet pattern from mynomadhome.com.
Octopus Crochet Pattern (US Terms)
This pattern is from the website Octopus For A Preemie UK where you will find many free octo crochet patterns in both US and UK terms and information on how to donate your finished creations.
- Crochet hook size 2mm and 3mm, use 3mm for tentacles (optional)
- Cotton yarn it has to be 100% cotton! 4ply cotton is recommended.
- Stuffing: Fibre filling – has to be washable at 60 degrees Celsius, we recommend “supreme toy filling” which can be bought on eBay and Amazon
- Tapestry needle, to embroider the face, and to use it to sew on the bottom.
- sc – single crochet
- st – stitch sts - stitches
- ch – chain
- inc – 2 sc in 1 stitch to increase
- sl st – slip stitch
- dec – decrease by crocheting *…*- repeat the next 2 sc together
- Working in continuous rounds: Using a 2mm hook.
- 1 st round: 6 sc in a magic ring
- 2 nd round: 2sc in each st (12 sts)
- 3 rd round: *1sc, 1 inc* x 6 (18 sts)
- 4 th round: *2sc, 1inc* x 6 (24 sts)
- 5th round: *3sc, 1inc* x6 (30 sts)
- 6 th round: *4sc, 1inc* x 6 (36 sts)
- 7 th round : *5sc, 1inc* x 6 (42sts)
- 8 th – 16th round: 1 sc in each st (42 sts)
- 17th round: *5sc, 1dec* x6 (36 sts)
- 18th – 19th round: 1sc in each st (36 sts)
- 20th round: *4sc, 1dec* x6 (30 sts)
- 21st – 22nd round: 1sc in each st (30 sts)
- 23rd round: *3sc, 1dec* x6 (24 sts)
- 24th – 25th round: 1sc in each st (24 sts) Start stuffing the body, will fill it completely later.
- 26th round: *2sc, 1dec* x6 (18 sts)
- 27th round: *7sc, 1 dec* x2 (16 sts) 28th round: 1sc in each st (16 sts)
There are 3 ways to finish the Octopus >>
The first way to finish the octopus: (recommended for beginners)
Fill Octopus firmly. Make a bottom and attach the bottom using round 29 29th round: work 1dc in each st around (16sts) change to 3mm hook if wishing thicker tentacles, stay with 2mm if wanting slim ones.
This is where the tentacles start: *1 sc, chain around 50 - chain until you have a 22cm long chain, turn, 2 sc in each chain, make sure to use the top loop for the tentacle to curl. 1 sc in next st of the body. 1sc and then chain again.
The second way to finish the octopus:
On round 28 change to 3mm hook if wishing thicker tentacles, stay with 2mm if wanting slim ones. This is where the tentacles start – to make tentacles use only the front loops of each of the stitches: *1 sc, chain around 50 - chain until you have a 22cm long chain, turn, 2 sc in each chain, make sure to use the top loop for the tentacle to curl. 1 sc in next st of the body. 1sc and then around 50 chains again. Make bottom and sew to the body using the back loops stitches and the same yarn.
The third way to finish the octopus:
On round 28 change to 3mm hook if wishing thicker tentacles, stay with 2mm if wanting slim ones. This is where the tentacles start – to make tentacles use only the front loops of each of the stitches: *1 sc, chain around 50 - chain until you have a 22cm long chain, turn, 2 sc in each chain, make sure to use the top loop for the tentacle to curl. 1 sc in next st of the body. 1sc and then around 50 chains again. 29th round: close body using decrease.
- 1 st round: 5 sc in a magic ring
- 2 nd round: 2 sc in each stitch (10 stitches)
- 3 rd round: *1sc, 1inc* x5(15 stitches) End with a sl st, cut the yarn but leave enough to sew on to body.
Assembling the octo: Embroider eyes and mouth in your preferred design.
The size of the finished octopus:
- Head MUST have a min diameter of 3.5 cm and a length of 3.5 – 8cm from top to bottom when stuffed
- Tentacles: Head length 3.5 – 5cm: 10 – 16cm tentacles / Head length 5 – 8cm: 16 – 22cm tentacles
- Stuff the body firmly, but not solid. Must have a little spring to it.
Crochet Octopus Video Tutorials
Take a look at this video, with helpful tips and tricks from Nico Lil!
There is also a brilliant video from the Facebook page Octopus for a Preemie UK >>
Make a crochet octopus for premature babies
**Please be aware that the octos featured in this post should meet the standards required by the people campaigning. For further information please visit >> Facebook page at Octopus for a Preemie – (US) / Octopus for a preemie (UK). Check out the requirements for donations and other information there.**
**Do not make these to give to other babies or young children as the tentacles may pose as a chocking hazard. please use common sense when making and giving these octos.**
Are you going to try making one of these? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo
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