Monday, October 23, 2017


I am generally not a crocheter.  I sometimes will use a chain stitch for edging a sweater or shawl or starting a provisional cast-on in knitting, but that's about it.  Once in a blue moon I get bit by the "amigurumi" bug and feel compelled to make a crocheted, cute effigy of some living thing. The problem is that I basically have to re-learn how to crochet every time.  So I don't endeavor to do it very often. It's a vicious cycle, I know.

I even bought a kit from Barnes & Noble fairly recently to make cacti amigurumi.  They're super cute.  But I haven't gotten around to doing any of those yet.  The kit includes enough yarn to make 2 different ones (out of 12 fully patterned ones that are included in the book in the kit).


But about a week ago, I stumbled on a pattern for an amigurumi octopus that I thought would make the perfect gift for a friend.  Most amigurumi are done as crochet and, naturally, this one was too.  I did a first attempt with some dk/worsted yarn I had laying around.  I found this unwieldy and that it produced a pretty small result.  Many might say, "But isn't this the point of amigurumi?  That mundane, full-sized things are transformed into miniature, squishy chotchkies crammed with adorability?"  Perhaps.  Though, Wikipedia states that there is no rule about size.

Therefore, I decided to go my own route and make it a giant octopus, using some leftover Rowan Big Wool Yarn.  Maybe I'm embarking on my own niche market? :-)  Rowan Big Wool is a luscious, all-wool confection that is soft and lofty and knit on size 15 needles.  Well, I didn't have a crochet hook quite that big, so I used the biggest I could find in my arsenal: K, which is equivalent to a 10.5 knitting needle.  All-in-all, it worked out well. (I would obtain an L or M hook if I were to make another of these with similar gauge yarn). I used probably about 1.5 balls, maybe a little less.

Him's grumpy!

It's hard to gauge the size of this guy from the photos, but just his head part is about 4.5 inches tall and the tendrils are about 13 inches, unstretched. So, yeah, he's pretty big. Here are some more photos:

It wouldn't be me if I didn't make some kind of alteration to a pattern, right?  So, aside from the very large size, I also did the octopus tendrils very differently than the pattern's instructions.  Ok. So when I think octopus I picture something like this:

I.e., something with impossibly unique, undulating, curling tendrils.  If you check the pattern, well, the tendrils were more like dense, stubby cones, which I,  a) didn't like and b) could not for the life of me figure out how to do.  So I searched around for something else and ended up improvising and combining a few ideas I saw to come up with legs that look like this:

I'm quite happy with the way the legs turned out.  I think they capture the spirit of an aquatic animal very well.  Here's what I did for each leg (caveat: I’m not a very experienced crocheter, so I hope my instructions make sense):
Make chain of 42 stitches.
Single crochet back (but only through the back loop), starting with second stitch from the hook.
Make one DC increase, DC, repeat for 26 stitches. Slip stitch. Bind-off.
Repeat for all 8 legs.

Another thing I did differently was to close up the bottom.  I really had to.  Because of its size, it would not have been a good idea to leave it open with all the stuffing coming out.  I improvised this too.  Turned out looking clean, which is all I could ask for.

Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this crochet thing, right?

Lastly, I wanted to accentuate the eyes, so I asked a fellow Raveler what she did and she told me just to make a simple cast-on chain as the ring around each eye and attach them separately.  This was so easy and it turned out great!  It adds to the realistic grumpy-ness of the octopus, I think.

Lastly, if I every made another of these---which I might because I found it extremely enjoyable and satisfying---I would crochet maybe two more rounds at the bottom of the head (where the legs are attached) before I attach the legs.