I ran across a post on Instagram the other day talking about how crocheted octopus dolls can be given to tiny premature babies to help them feel safe and comfortable, which in turn boosts their oxygen levels and overall health. I know someone who recently had a very tiny preemie and was instantly curious.
I did a lot of research and discovered that there is a hospital in Denmark that has tested this theory. They give little crocheted or knitted octopus dolls to their preemie patients and have seen noticeable results. They said that cuddling with the soft tentacles reminds the babies of the umbilical cord and being in the womb. The medical staff reported that this calms the babies – leading to improved breathing and heart rates and increased levels of oxygen in their blood. They also said that babies with an octopus doll were less likely to pull out their tubes and monitors.
I was eager to come up with a pattern to make one of these helpful little guys!
I used 1 skein of Patons Grace Yarn, Azure and a size 3.125 crochet hook.
You will also need two 8mm safety eyes, a needle, embroidery floss for the mouth, and some stuffing for the head.
I made sure my stitches were very tight to minimize stuffing coming out during use and washing.
Here is what I came up with for the pattern!
Row 1: Make a magic ring with 6 single crochets
Row 2: inc around (12)
Row 3: *1sc, inc* around (18)
Row 4: *2sc, inc* around (24)
Row 5: *3sc, inc* around (30)
Row 6: *4sc, inc* around (36)
Row 7: *5sc, inc* around (42)
Row 8: *6sc, inc* around (48)
Row 9: *7sc, inc* around (54)
Rows 10-15: sc around (54)
Row 16: *7sc, dec* around (48)
Rows 17-18: sc around (48)
Row 19: *6sc, dec* around (42)
Rows 20-21: sc around (42)
Row 22: *5sc, dec* around (36)
Rows 23-24: sc around (36)
Row 25: *4sc, dec* around (30)
Row 26-27: sc around (30)
Row 28: *3sc, dec* around (24)
Row 29: sc around (24)
Fasten off, leave a long end for sewing the tentacles on. Attach the eyes between rows 21 and 22, 8 stitches apart. Sew a smile with embroidery floss a few rows below the eyes. Stuff the head.
Row 1: make a magic ring with 8 sc
Row 2: inc around (16)
Row 3: *1sc, inc* around (24)
Row 4: *chain 40, 2hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 2hdc in each ch to end, skip one st, sl st in next, sc* repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 tentacles.
Fasten off. Sew on bottom of head. It should line up perfectly with 24 stitches on each piece.
Let me know if you make one and share pictures 🙂 Don’t hesitate to ask questions or point out mistakes in my pattern. I’m new to this!
Happy Crocheting ❤