Crochet Octopus for a Preemie

August 8, 2018
Four crochet octopus for a preemie in a box

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Crochet Octopus for a Preemie

Hi there! 🙂 Do you like to crochet? (Absolutely!) And how about helping others? (Of course!) Also, isn’t it great when you can help others by doing the things you like? (I love that!) Then you have to read all about the Crochet Octopus for a Preemie!


Around last Christmas, my father saw me swimming in skeins making projects for gifting, and I think that was the moment when he realized that I was really into crochet. Meanwhile, and curiously enough, around the same time, an article came up about how crocheted octopuses were helping premature babies! Knowing my interest in the craft, he sent me the article and I was absolutely amazed! In short, the main idea is this:

Crocheted octopuses help premature babies improve their health while in incubators. The thesis is that the tentacles of the octopus remind the baby of the umbilical cord from when he/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.

Are you mind blown? I was, so I started reading about how I could help because it’s such a simple thing to do and has such a positive impact, there was no way I could resist the call! Furthermore, this initiative is spread over several countries, and each has its own group to take care of everything from gathering volunteers, receiving the octopuses and sending them to the hospitals. Additionally, they also have the pattern in the country’s native language and sometimes you can even find videos to help. You can check the countries involved and their respective groups here.

I got so excited about this initiative, that with the help of the company where I worked, I organized 6 amazing and super fun workshops for collaborators to learn how to make the crochet octopus for a preemie and then send them to a hospital. My goal this year was to donate 12 octopus and I’ve finished 9 so far (aside from the dozens I’ve done for friends and family 🙂 ).

The Project

This is a very easy project to complete. For instance, if you’re a practiced crocheter it will take you between 3 to 4 hours. If you’re a beginner, it’s a very simple project to tackle and it shouldn’t take long for you to become a pro at it! 😉

The octopus will be in close contact with the babies, therefore you have to be very careful about the materials used and the finished size of the project. Nevertheless, all of that is well described in the official patterns. Above all, do check and follow your chosen group’s recommendations and everything will be fine. 🙂

As a general recommendation, the yarn should be 100% cotton. I like using Drops Safran, which is one of the recommended yarns because no matter how much I turn the yarn or wash it, the thread stays very neat and the stitches clear. I have found that one skein makes 3 complete octopuses and you’ll have some leftover. However, some people in the workshops didn’t really like it because it would start unraveling a bit. For a beginner, this can be a stopper, so as an alternative you can try Phildar Phil Coton 3, which some of my trainees found a better option for this project.

I hope that I have awakened in you the desire to give this project a hook, so most importantly, here is the pattern! I am not part of an official group, but I am more than happy to help if you have any doubts!

A blue smiling crochet octopus for a preemie


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

Skill level

  • Easy

Have in Hand

  • 1 skein of Drops Safran (in any color you like)
  • US size C/2 (3.0 mm) crochet hook
  • 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


  • 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 for the next round.
  • To improve the shape of your octopus, check this tutorial on how to make perfect crochet circles.
  • Make the stitches tight so that the filling doesn’t come out when washed or stretched.
  • If the outstretched arms are longer than 8.75”/22 cm, make fewer chains.
  • 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.

Crochet Octopus for a Preemie

Octopus Head

Round 1: 6 sc in magic ring <6>

Round 2: Inc in each st around <12>

Round 3: [Inc, sc] 6 times <18>

Round 4: [Inc, sc, sc] 6 times <24>

Round 5: [Inc, sc, sc, sc] 6 times <30>

Round 6: [Inc, sc, sc, sc, sc] 6 times <36>

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

Round 15: [sc, sc, sc, sc, dec] 6 times  <30>

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

Round 18: [sc, sc, sc, dec] 6 times <24>

Round 19-20: 1 sc in each st around <24>

Round 21: [sc, sc, dec] 6 times <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>

Octopus Arms

Round 25: [1 sc, 50 ch, turn your ch sts and make 2 sc in each ch, 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.

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.


Before filling the octopus, don’t forget to give it a face. You can embroid the eyes and the mouth or crochet them. Up to you.

Fill the octopus with the fiber and sew the bottom to the rest of the body to close it.

Thank you for helping!

The image made for Pinterest of the Crochet Octopus for a Preemie made by Susana from Fluffy Stitches

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