Crochet

Crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019

November 14, 2019
Crochet octopus for a Preemie 2019 cover image with 4 octopus

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Crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019

It’s November, which means it’s crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019 time!!

Inspiration

November 17th is World Prematurity Day (WPD) and it acknowledges the journeys of preterm infants and their families as well as raises awareness of the challenges faced by children born preterm and their families.

I haven’t lived this situation personally, but I know people who have and I am deeply sympathetic. Therefore I want to help. Moreover, it was this project that reconnected me to crochet. And that is why each year I talk about the Octopus for a Preemie project and here is the 2019 take on it. You can read about how I came to know this project here.

But what do crochet octopus have to do with preemies? This!

Crocheted octopuses help premature babies improve their health while in incubators. The tentacles of the octopus remind the baby of the umbilical cord from when he or she was inside their mother. This promotes a sense of security and consequently promotes physical wellbeing. Furthermore, the octopus acts as a companion inside the incubator.

Preterm baby in an incubator holding a crochet octopus

That’s right! A crochet octopus can make a huge difference to a premature baby, improving its chances of becoming a healthy normal baby. It’s this simple! With just a couple of hours, you can make a difference of a lifetime! And this is what the Octopus for a Preemie project is all about.

But how does this project work? There are several groups around the world that organize everything, from gathering crocheter volunteers, to receiving the octopuses and sending them to hospitals. You can check here for a list of participating countries and their websites! And that’s it! Make your crochet octopus for a preemie and send it to your chosen group or groups!

Octopus for a Preemie picture of a baby in an incubator holding a crochet octopus

Project

This is an easy project if you are just starting out with crochet and a quick one if you’re an experienced crocheter. The tricky part of this project is to find the right materials. Because the octopus will be in contact with the premature babies, they undergo a thorough cleaning process in the hospitals. So the materials used have to be resistant and appropriate for babies. As a general recommendation, the yarn must be a 100% cotton yarn and the filling should be of hypoallergenic material, resistant to 60º wash. However, you should check in with your chosen country or group for their specific recommendations!

As I’ve mentioned in my first post about this project, I use Drops Safran, a 100% cotton yarn, with a wide variety of color choices. You can make 3 octopuses out of 1 skein.

Various skeins of Drops Safran in different colours

As for the stuffing material, I buy IKEA pillows that are hypoallergenic and machine washable at 60º and use their filling. 🙂

Without further ado, here is the official pattern. Let’s get our Crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019 on!! I am not part of an official group yet, but I am more than happy to help if you have any doubts!

A pink and yellow crochet octopus for a preemie

Pattern

  • PIN this pattern for later HERE!

Before you start, please review the requirements for size and material for your country of choice!

Skill level

  • Easy

Have in Hand

  • 1 skein Drops Safran [Weight 2/Fine, 1 ¾ oz/ 50 gr, 175 yds/160 m]
  • US size C/2 (3.0 mm) crochet hook
  • Filling
  • Stitch markers, measuring tape, scissors, tapestry needle

Finished measures

  • Head length: 2.75”/ 7 cm
  • Head circumference: 6”/15 cm
  • Arms (outstretched): 8.25”/21 cm

Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • dec: decrease [single crochet 2 stitches together]
  • inc: increase [work 2 single crochet stitches in 1 stitch]
  • sl st: slip stitch
  • st(s): stitches

Notes

  • This pattern includes the magic circle at the beginning of the project and you’ll work in a spiral.
  • Make sure you don’t lose your stitch count by placing a stitch marker in the first stitch of every round. Once you reach it, take it out and do the same in the next round.
  • To improve the shape of your octopus, check this tutorial on how to make perfect crochet circles.
  • For invisible single crochet decreases, check out All About Ami’s tutorial here.
  • Make the stitches tight so that the filling doesn’t come out when washed or stretched.
  • When making the arms, keep your chains loose so you insert your hook easily later.
  • To make the arms more balanced, I make the sc in the back bump that you see when you turn the chains.
  • If your arm doesn’t want to twist with just 2 sc, try making 3 sc (or more if needed) in each ch.
  • If the outstretched arms are longer than 8.75”/22 cm, make fewer chains.
A pink crochet octopus for a preemie 2019

Crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019

Octopus Head

Round 1: 6 sc in magic ring. <6>

Round 2: Inc in each st around. <12>

Round 3: Make 6 inc in this round. <18>

Round 4-6: Repeat Round 3. Round 6 will have <36> total stitches.

Photo tutorial of Round 1 to 6 of the octopus' head

Round 7-14: 1 sc in each st around. <36>

Photo tutorial of Round 7 to 14 of the octopus' head

Round 15: Work 6 dec in this round. <30>

Round 16-17: 1 sc in each st around. <30>

Round 18-20: Repeat Round 15, 16 & 17. Round 20 will have <24> total stitches.

Round 21: Repeat Round 15. <18>

Round 22: 1 sc in each st around <18>

Round 23: [sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, dec] 2 times <16>

Round 24: 1 sc in each st around <16>

Photo tutorial of Round 15 to 24 of the octopus' head

Octopus Arms

Don’t make the chs tight, keep your sts loose so you can do the sc easily.

Round 25: [1 sc, 50 ch, turn your ch sts and make 2 sc in each bump. finish with 1 sc] 8 times and you’ll have 8 arms. End with a sl st and pull the yarn through. Weave in the ends.

Photo tutorial of Round 25 on how to make the arms of the octopus

Octopus Bottom

Round 1: 5 sc in a magic ring <5>

Round 2: 2 sc in each st around <10>

Round 3: [2 sc, sc] 5 times <15>

Finish with a sl st and pull the yarn through. Weave in the ends.

Assembly

Before filling the octopus, don’t forget to give it a happy face! 🙂

Fill the octopus with the fiber and sew (or crochet) the bottom to the rest of the body to close it.

Photo tutorial of how to close the body of the octopus

Finally, it’s time to send your octopus on its mission! Check here for the list of participating countries and their respective websites to know where to send your octopus!

Crochet Octopus for a Preemie 2019 pin image

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