Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Basic Crochet Octopus Applique Pattern

I made these little guys a couple of months ago. Meet Ollie, Violet, Inky, Squish, and Coral.

I made Ollie on a total whim, and loved him so much that I decided he needed a couple of friends. As I crocheted them, I developed a personality for each one and a little story about them. Ollie and his friends formed a band called The Cephalopods. They are a huge hit in their underwater community, Octopia.

Ollie is the leader of the group, and the lead guitarist/singer of the band. He is kind, adventurous and loves to have fun. He is enjoying being famous, but sometimes he wishes girls would stop chasing him around...but only sometimes...

Violet is his little sister. She is sweet, but has a mischievous side and loves to play pranks on her big brother. Her most favorite prank? Convincing Ollie that there was a shark outside the venue they were playing at and causing him to ink when Inky quickly swam around the corner. She sings and plays keys.

Inky is the muscle of the group. He plays the drums and is usually the one hauling all the stage equipment around. The Cephalopods don't need roadies with Inky around. He is well-intentioned, but doesn't always understand what's going on around him.

Squish is the brains of this operation. He has a head for business and acts as the band's manager as well as its bass player. He is often quiet, but very witty. When the band isn't performing, you can usually find him air siphon deep in a book.

Coral is the newest addition to the group. She just moved to Octopia and met Violet at school. They became fast friends and Violet invited her to join the band, much to the initial annoyance of big brother, Ollie. Coral sings and plays percussion - tambourine, triangle, xylophone, and of course, cowbell. (What's a band without a cowbell?) She is creative and spontaneous, and is always up for anything. Ollie is now very glad that Coral is part of the band. He even has a bit of a crush on her, not that he would ever tell anyone.

The Cephalopods are getting ready to go on their first tour together and they are so excited! Can't you tell from their dilated pupils? :)

I know...weird, right? My mind comes up with strange things while I'm crocheting. Although, I do think it would make a cute children's book/cartoon. Anyone out there want to option it?

Anyways, enough about that, here's what you came for...a pattern to make your very own octopus. This is a simple pattern and can be adapted in many different ways - as you can see from the different shapes and sizes of The Cephalopods. All you have to do is change the number of stitches in the first round, the number of increase rounds, or the number of chains for each tentacle to make a wide variety of these cute little things. Squish was a little different - I started him with a ch of 5, and then worked my rounds on both sides of the starting ch, increasing 3 stitches at what would become the top and bottom of the octopus. Have fun experimenting - that's the best part of this project!

Here is the pattern for Ollie (or in this case, Ollie's twin sister, Opal):

Round 1: Using any yarn, and a compatible hook (I used scrap worsted weight yarn, Bernat Waverly I think, and an I hook), make 11dc in a magic circle, join with a sl to the top of first dc. (11 stitches)

Round 2: Ch 2, dc in same stitch, 2dc in each stitch around, join with a sl st to the top of the ch 2. (22 stitches)

Round 3: Ch 2, dc in same stitch, *1 dc, 2dc in next stitch, repeat from * around, join with a sl st to the top of the ch 2 (33 stitches)

Round 4: Ch 1, sc in the next 8 stitches, turn (now working in rows)

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in each stitch across, turn

Row 6: (Tentacles) *Ch 13, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch, sl st into same stitch from row 5, sl st into next stitch, repeat from * 7 more times (8 tentacles). Fasten off and weave in ends. The tentacles will curl up on themselves, but you might want to give them a little twist as well for definition.

For the eyes, I used 4 buttons -2 larger white buttons and two smaller black buttons which I sewed onto the octopus at the same time. That's it...addicting aren't they? They come off the hook so fast (insert witty fishing remark here) and are so cute that they're hard to resist.

And here she is - Opal! Opal doesn't play in the band, and at times she gets a little jealous of the fame that her twin brother and little sister are experiencing. She doesn't let her jealousy get the best of her though, and tries to enjoy the perks that go along with having famous siblings. She stays busy at school with her duties as class president and captain of the debate team. Her and Squish have a little thing going on, but they're keeping it a secret for now.

And that little bow? The pattern is super simple:
Row 1: ch 15, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in every ch (14 stitches), ch 1, turn
Row 2: 15 sc, fold in half lengthwise and sl st together. Wrap the end around the middle 10-15 times. Fasten off, sew into place, and weave in ends.

There have been some requests on how to make Squish, the oval headed octopus, so here it is! To make the oval, you make a chain (I did 8), work sc in both sides of the chain and include an extra stitch in each corner (so the first and last chains will both have 3 stitches in them). You sl st to join, and then ch 2 (counts a dc), and dc around, working 2dc in each of the 3 stitches in the corners, sl st to join. Again, ch 2 (counts a dc), and dc around, working 2dc in 4 stitches in each corner, sl st to join. Then follow the tutorial for the tentacles. Here is a little chart to help:

Now go make yourself a whole little octopus minion army...and while you're at it, make up a little story about them!

What am I going to do with all these little octopuses? (That really is the correct plural, look it up!) I have no idea, but I think they would make a cute garland above my desk, so maybe I'll give that a try later. Or perhaps they'll get sewn onto the next blanket I make...or bag...who knows!

Update: Here is where my little octopus friends are currently living - right above my desk, making me smile every time I look at them.


  1. I am planning a small afghan as a doll or toy blanket for a child living on the Florida Coast. Your sweet little octopus will be one of several fishy type appliques. The basic afghan will be a small ripple design with a band of tan for the beach, a band of solid teal, a band of harmonizing variegated yarn from teal into almost navy, and a narrow band of white for whitecaps which when combined will suggest the ocean. Have yet to decide how many repeats. I can imagine the colorful appliques of fish and octopuses scattered about the "ocean" layers. Thanks for the use of the pattern.

  2. Love your pattern, thank you so much!
    I made an extra head to sew on the back, added a little stuffing and now have a 3D version 😊

  3. Adorei
    Estou fazendo pra amiguinhos de minha neta. Matéria biologia que estão aprendendo. MT obrigad

  4. These are adorable - many thanks.