Octopus for Preemie {Free Crochet Pattern & Video Tutorial} – Octo Project

Octo Project - Crochet for babies

Octo Project is a worldwide project that has crafters help preemies thrive by crocheting octopuses for babies in the NICU. The tentacles of the octopus resemble the umbilical cord and remind babies of the womb and comfort.

This is a modified crochet pattern by Anastasia Popova to the original Octo Project pattern. Changes are made to accommodate worsted weight yarn and eliminate seeming.

Skills Required:

  • Basic stitches (single crochet)
  • Adjustable ring
  • Increases
  • Decreases
  • Crocheting in the round
  • Basic sewing

Finished Measurements: About 8″ tall. Head circumference is about 7″. Curled up tentacles are about 4-5″ long, fully stretched cannot exceed 8″ for safety reasons.

Yarn: Worsted weight 100% cotton yarn.

I would recommend not using mercerized cotton as it is treated with chemicals to make yarn shinier. I would also recommend not using yellow color for preemies (bad juju). I have used Sugar n’ Cream which can be purchased at any big box craft store. It’s inexpensive, readily available and comes in a lot of colors. It could be a little hard on your hands as it needs to be crocheted at a tight gauge. Another great option that I will mostly be using is Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, very soft, great color selection.

Sample Shown in: Lily Sugar ’n Cream (100% cotton; 120 yds [110 m]/ 2.5 oz [70.9 g]), and

                                        I Love This Cotton (100% cotton; 180 yds [165 m]/3.5 oz [100 g]).

Hook: US size G/6 (4.25 mm). Or hook necessary to obtain gauge.

Notions: Yarn needle, fiberfill.

Gauge: 8-9 sts and 10-11 rows = 2″ in single crochet.

Note on gauge: Gauge is not crucial for this project, stitches should be tight for stuffing not to show through.

Pattern Instructions

BODY

Make an adjustable ring.

RND 1: Make 6 sc into the ring. Pull tail to tighten the ring – 6 sts.

RND 2: 2 sc in each st around – 12 sts.

RND 3: (Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) around – 18 sts.

RND 4: (Sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st) around – 24 sts.

RND 5-9: Sc in each st around.

RND 10: (Sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog) around – 18 sts.

RND 11-12: Sc in each st around.

RND 13: (Sc in next 7 sts, sc2tog) twice – 16 sts.

RND 14: Sc in each st around.

RND 15 (this is where tentacles are created and attached to the body): *Sc in next st, crochet a tentacle (see below) sc in next st of the body; repeat from * 7 more times, making 8 tentacles.

TENTACLES

Note on tentacle length: Fully stretched tentacles should not be longer than 8″ as they may pose a choking hazard. I usually make a chain 8″ long, between 30-40 chains.

Option 1: Ch 35, 2 sc in 3rd ch from the hook, (3 sc in next ch, 2 sc in next 2 chs) across all chains.

Option 2 (shown in the video): Ch 35, 2 sc in 3rd ch from hook and each ch across.

BOTTOM

With the tentacles falling to the outside (spreading like a flower), crochet into the two single crochet stitches that’s between the tentacles only.

RND 16: Sc in each sc around – 16 sts.

RND 17: Sc2tog around – 8 sts.

Fasten off leaving 8″ tail.

Octo Project - Crochet for babies

Finishing

Stuff the body with fiberfill. Using yarn needle, weave the tail through the remaining 8 sts and pull tight to close the opening. Secure the yarn and weave in the ends.

Embellish as desired.


Written pattern copyright Anastasia Popova 2017, all rights reserved. Please do not reprint or repost this pattern, but please do link to this page to share this pattern with others.

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Comments (28)

  • Avatar

    Mona

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    Hi there,
    What’s the circumference of the finished octopus’ head? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Anastasia

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      Hi Mona,

      thank you for your comment! The head circumference is about 7″.

      Thank you,

      Anastasia

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Laura Lathrop

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      Crochet is an art I have not yet mastered. Is there a comparable knitting pattern? Thanks!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Robin Ford

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    Does anyone have a link to how to find a hospital that is involved in the “Octo Project”? Thanks 🙂

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Kris Hashimoto

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      Octopus for a preemie-US is a Facebook page that may help. Checking in to it myself!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Faye Taylor

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    Where do u send them after they are made?

    Reply

      • Avatar

        CAROLYN L PAVLOVIC

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        I used this pattern to make several octopi and then contacted the University of Chicago hospital to see if they would accept them. I was referred to the Facebook page mentioned above and found out that they have different, stricter standards for: yarn, hook size, must be made in two parts, and must be stuffed to be very hard, etc. I don’t think my hands can take the stress of making them to those standards, so we are finding other places to donate the ones that my sister-in-law and I made. They are fun to make!

        Reply

  • Avatar

    Nichole

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    I’m looking for a recipient hospital as well

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Mary Sibley

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      I love making octopus and would like to know where to send them and how many you would like.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Joy

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        We have a non-profit group in “Az. Sewing for Babies” (in Az)that makes and supplies six different hospitals with Premmie Clothing , quilts, burial outfits…and various positional aids…. Any Childrens hospital with a Neo natal Intensive Care Unit can use them…..and would be delighted to recieve them.No problems to distribute….only problems is volunteers willing to make them.We have a blog and FB page and you can find us on

        Reply

  • Avatar

    Adele

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    While I appreciate you are promoting the Octo for Preemies project, and I did note you stated “This is a modified crochet pattern by Anastasia Popova to the original Octo Project pattern,” providing the link to the original Danish site & pattern would be the proper thing to do –> https://www.spruttegruppen.dk/danish-octo-project-english/ Just as you want credit for your modifications, they would like credit for having created the pattern. Their site also gives a fuller background to the project.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Anastasia

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      Adele,

      Thank you for reading. Not sure if you are either a less experienced computer user or you just read too quickly but the Octo Project is given full credit and a link in the VERY FIRST words of the post. If you hover over “Octo Project”, the first words in the first paragraph, you would see it is a link to that website.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Adele

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    I apologize. The project (initiated in 2013) posted a disclaimer about the pattern. It states: “Please note that the pattern is for private use only and that selling the pattern or the crocheted products is prohibited. That said, there are many varieties of crocheted Octos and we don’t own the copyright to the pattern and have no legal grounds for preventing anyone from making a profit on crocheted Octos.” While I suppose you may own your modifications, I still believe a link back to the project’s site is in order. https://www.spruttegruppen.dk/danish-octo-project-english/

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Anastasia

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      Adele,

      Responded to your previous comment.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Lori

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    Thank you for the simple tutorial! I made my first – and it was the first time I tried a pattern…I’m a simple, single-stitch blanket kind of girl! 🙂

    Question – do you know if the 100% cotton is required for the project? I’ll do some digging, but I used the Sugar ‘n Cream…it worked well for me, but it isn’t very soft. I was thinking maybe the cotton is required because the environment the premies are in.

    Reply

  • Crochet Trends: 2017 - mellie blossom

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    […] pattern by Gosia / My Nomad Home Claud the Octopus by Kate E. Hancock £4.00 GBP Octopus for Preemie – Octo Project by Anastasia Popova Mini Amigurumi Octopus by Sarah […]

    Reply

  • Avatar

    R. Jones

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    I don’t crochet or knit but I will be happy to buy one. My co-worker just had her baby 2 days ago 2months early, a 3.1 lb baby boy.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ana Dobbins

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    Hi. I love to crochet and a friend of mine recommended your organization to me. How do I start a chapter in my town, Tyler, Tx to help the babies in my community. I’m a social worker and very interested in getting something started in my town.

    Ana

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Narisa

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    Hello, I would like to make these octopus for preemie babies in Southampton, UK or is it just in America ? Thanks

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Anita

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    I would be interested in crocheting or try to knit octopus for the cause please e-mail me what I need to do to join.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Prachi

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    Is this pattern approved by the Octopus for a Preemie project in the US?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Brenda

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    How many cotton do you need for each one?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sandra

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    I am obsessed with making these adorable octopuses! It is a great take-along project to work on while waiting or riding, etc. I use a smaller hook for the “head” and one size up for the tentacles so that tiny fingers can grab on – for me, the smaller hook made them too tight.

    Reply

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