Who doesn't need a life-sized, squishy, tentacled companion?
With his sleepy eyes and wonderfully squishable body, Opus the Octopus is equally at home perched on a sofa or at the head of a bed. He's a great decoration for a child's room, and would love to hang out with The Deadliest Crab.
Opus's design is inspired by the real thing (octopus vulgaris in particular), but minus the creepy parrot-like beak. Octopuses (not octopi) are members of the Cephalopod family, which also includes squid, cuttlefish, and chambered Nautiluses. They're highly intelligent, and able to unscrew jars, use tools, solve mazes, and, on occasion, accurately predict the outcome of Word Cup Soccer matches. They are masters of disguise, amazing escape artists, and exceedingly lovable -- possibly because they have three hearts.
Opus is worked in the round with intarsia tentacles worked flat.
|photos: Cate Carter-Evans|
|19 sts/29 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with yarn held double using larger needles|
Yarn should be held double on Opus' body and tentacles. His eyelids are knitted with a single strand of yarn.
Round 1: Kfb 4 times. 8 st.
Round 92: [K5, m1, k4, m1, k5] 4 times. 64 sts.
Round 93: Knit.
Round 94: [K4, m1, k8, m1, k4] 4 times. 72 sts.
Round 95: Knit.
Round 96: [K3, m1, k12, m1, k3] 4 times. 80 sts.
Round 97: Knit.
Round 98: [K2, m1, k16, m1, k2] 4 times. 88 st.
Round 99: Place safety pin or removable marker in this row for eye placement. Knit.
Round 100: Knit.
Round 101: [K2, ssk, k14, k2tog, k2] 4 times. 80 sts.
Round 102-103: Knit.
Round 104: [Ssk, k12, k2tog, k2] 4 times. 72 sts.
Round 105: Knit.
Round 106: [K2, ssk, k10, k2tog, k2] 4 times. 64 sts.
Round 107: Knit.
Round 108: [K2, ssk, k8, k2tog, k2] 4 times. 56 sts.
Rounds 109-110: Knit.
Round 111: [K6, kfb] 8 times. 64 sts.
Round 112: Knit.
Round 113: [K7, kfb] 8 times. 72 sts.
Round 114: Knit.
Round 115: [K8, kfb] 8 times. 80 sts.
Round 116: Work even.
Round 117: [K7, kfb, k1, kfb] 8 times. 96 sts.
Round 118: Work even
Round 119: [K7, kfb, k3, kfb] 8 times. 112 st.
If you haven't already, transfer all stitches to your circular needle. Leave sts on hold for now.
The Blinky Eyelids (make 4)
Lay out the eyelid pieces with the cast-on edges facing each other so they form two halves of a circle. Starting from the outside corners, sew the corners of the eyelids to each other with 2-3 stitches (about a quarter inch on each side) using the tails from the cast-on. Leave all tails in place, and steam block.
Find the marker you placed at round 99 for eye placement. This marks the horizontal placement for the eyes. Place the eyes directly across from each other, about three quarters of an inch below the eyebrow bulges (the four symmetrical bumps created by the Eyeball Bulge shaping).
Using the remaining tails on the eyelids, stitch them over the safety eyes and hide any remaining ends inside.The Seamy Underbelly
Using contrast color (CC) held double and larger needles, cast on 4 stitches. Divide onto dpns, and join to knit in the round being careful not to twist.
Round 1: Kfb 4 times. 8 st.
Using larger needles, slip the first 14 sts of the underbelly to a single needle; slip the first 14 sts of the body onto the sample needle, to the right of the underbelly sts. 28 sts. Do not join for working in the round.
*With RS facing, join MC yarn butterfly at start of row.
Move to next set of 14 sts on body and underbelly, and repeat from *, for 7 remaining tentacles.
Fill the body with polyfil or wool, being careful not to overstuff. Opus looks best when he's a bit floppy.
Prepare to fill tentacles by tearing off three roving pieces in lengths of 20, 14, and 10 inches Do not cut -- tearing the roving gives you nice tapered ends. Place the roving pieces inside the tentacle with the ends together at the top. Only the 20 inch length should reach the end of the tentacle, and you should have at least 2 inches extending into Opus' body. Sew up the open side of the tentacle using the mattress stitch.
Repeat for remaining tentacles, and snuggle your new buddy!
Legal disclaimer: Opus is intended as a decorative item only. Plastic eyes are small parts, and could pose a choking hazard to small children. Follow safety eye manufacturer's instructions and product warnings.
|ABOUT THE DESIGNER|
Cate Carter-Evans is an American dyer and multi-crafter living in Shanghai, China. She runs Infinite Twist, a yarn company specializing in hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns.
Pattern & images © 2014 Cate Carter-Evans. Contact Cate