the Day of the Octopuses

the Day of the Octopuses by Karissa Cole 2013

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just had to sit down? Like, you hear some particularly stunning news, and your brain just can’t process this information and run the muscles needed to keep you standing at the same time. All of your surroundings go a bit blurry, time becomes nothing more than a four letter word, and everything else just goes completely unnoticed, as your mind works feverishly to sort out whatever it was that stunned it so. These kinds of moments seem to happen with an alarming frequency in my life. Most often on a Tuesday.

I should’ve known something was up. Things had been quiet for at least 3 weeks. Think that’s some kind of record for me. All things considered, I’ve had stranger stuff happen, though. But, then again, I might just be getting used to it.

So, this all started earlier this morning. Like most days this summer, the first thing I did to start the day was open up the window in my bedroom. I was instantly greeted by the most perfect breeze: not too warm, not too cool. The weather has been strangely mild for this time of year, but I’m not complaining. Finally, after suffering through endless days of rain and gloom last month, for the past two weeks the sun has been shining down, warm and supremely pleasant. I am in no hurry for it to end. I stood in front of the window for just a moment, inhaling deeply, enjoying the fresh air. There had been a schedule shift at work and so I ended up having today off. I decided to get caught up on some housework. Sounds boring, I’m sure. But I’ve always had an affinity for housework. This is probably because I have an awesome home music system, and I am not above dancing to whatever song I happen to have blaring while I sweep the floors. And there’s something about a sunny, warm, breezy day that just makes me feel a little bit more motivated to get some actual work done.

Pushing through my bedroom door, I headed down the short, narrow hallway toward the kitchen and living room. I hadn’t gotten two steps when I suddenly heard…music coming from the other room. This struck me as odd, you see, because I was the only one home and, although I had planned to, I had yet to turn my stereo on. I paused in the hallway for a second as my brain wrapped itself around the sound. Finally the song registered: “We Built This City” by Starship. And it was playing none too quietly, I noticed. Okay, maybe I left my music player on last night and it was still shuffling through the hundreds of songs, I thought to myself, even though I was positive that couldn’t be it.

I continued making my way down the hall, the music growing louder and clearer the closer I got. It took me all of two seconds to walk the length of the hallway and arrive in the kitchen. Everything was basically normal: the sun was streaming in through the window above the sink, the breeze wafted through the slightly opened window in the living room. But nothing is ever completely normal in my life. I really should know that by now. The first abnormal thing I noticed was, of course, the music still playing (the Starship song had ended and a Hall & Oates song had just started up – a seemingly strange mix of music, but, believe it or not, this was not unusual for me, especially when my media player shuffles through all of the eclectic music I’ve got). The old music playing, though, was nothing, compared to the other thing… or… things, I should say, that I saw in my kitchen. They were everywhere, on the counter, on the floor, under the table, on top of the fridge. I don’t know what kept me from going into full panic mode. I mean, anyone who walks into her kitchen one morning to be suddenly faced with a dozen or so multicolored octopuses has every reason to panic, right?

So. There. I said it. Octopuses. In my kitchen, I found a dozen, tiny, brightly colored octopuses. Living, breathing….cleaning octopuses! You know, I’m almost going into panic mode now, just thinking about it all. Talk about a delayed reaction. There they were though. There was a little blue on washing dishes easily 3 times his size in the sink. Under the table, two orange-colored ones were eradicating some dust bunnies. Another one, this one light green, sat atop my counter, polishing it to a shine. Each of them worked diligently,  cleaning, dusting, and tidying. And as they worked, some of them, even sang along to the song playing. Have you ever heard a tiny yellow octopus sing along to “You Make My Dreams” while it organizes your spice rack first thing in the morning? This is the kind of life I apparently lead, you know, where if someone ever asked me that question, I’d have to answer with a yes.

I stood there, at the edge of the bright, bustling room, just… staring, and for how long I don’t know. Eventually I realized I had sat down, right there on my floor. I just couldn’t stand, I suppose. I continued to watch them work, each of them bouncing around to the music, truly seeming to be enjoying their activities. Slowly, this was becoming less of a “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?” kind of thing, and more of a “Dude this is really fascinating” kind of thing. In fact, I watched them with great interest. I also couldn’t help but notice that they were doing extremely exceptional work. My kitchen had never looked this spotless, and I’m known for being a very tidy person.

To be honest, I don’t know how long I sat there. I completely lost track of the time, and even the music flowing out of the two wall-mounted speakers faded into the background, as I sat there, completely mesmerized. Gradually they each seemed to finish up their specific jobs and before I new it, they had somehow worked together to open my front door, just a crack. Two or three of them scurried (if you can picture a land-dwelling cephalopod scurrying) from the living room across the kitchen to meet up with the rest. Before leaving through the opened door, each one would wave goodbye to me, a smile on its face, and I could almost swear I heard a few of them call out “goodbye!” and “have a nice day!” and “see you next time!” in the tiniest, squeakiest little voices I have ever encountered. Before I new it I was all alone in the room. One of them had turned off the music, I guess, and they made sure to close the front door after the last one went through.

I probably sat there on my kitchen floor for a good twenty minutes before I had enough brain-power to get up again. When I finally did, I took a look around the room. Absolutely spotless. Everything had been cleaned, dusted, and organized. I found the living room in a similar state. Nothing was out of its place, and in fact, they had put a few things back on the shelf that I had lazily left out over the weekend. They had even managed to clean my bathroom from top to bottom. My apartment has never been this…perfect.

I’ve had all day to try to figure out this strange occurrence. So far all I’ve come up with is the theory that, just like some people have unusually luckier lives than others, maybe some people have unusually odder lives than others. You know, like maybe everyone is supposed to have the same amount of weirdness in their lives, but some people accidentally end up with a surplus, just like some people somehow end up with an abundance of good luck. Growing evidence in my life has lead me to believe this must be the case.

Of all the bizarre things I’ve had happen to me in life, though, I have to say, this one, the Day of the Octopuses, has definitely got to be the cleanest of them all.

________________________________________________________

the Day of the Octopuses PROMO by Karissa Cole 2013

So I finally finished my octopus pattern and story. I don’t really know if it ended up being worth the wait, though. This is the fourth octopus design I’ve come up with while working on this project. The first prototype was very simplistic. The second was much more realistic, while still sort of having that cute, cartoon-y kind of style. The third prototype was just…no. And then we have this, the fourth and (for now) final. To be honest, it doesn’t look at all like I had planned. I feel a bit bad about that. I had been planning to design a larger, more realistic looking cephalopod. But I have not been feeling 100% lately, to say the least. And, besides, when I lined up the options to my Cuteness Committee (the few people I rely on to let me know if a pattern is cute enough for distribution) this design was the winner. And I had been taking so long to get it done I figured it would have to be good enough.

So, here it is, the Day of the Octopuses amigurumi pattern. I hope someone out there gets some use out of it! :)

S U G G E S T E D  M A T E R I A L S:

• Worsted weight yarn such as Loops & Threads® Impeccable™ Brights
• G/7 4.50MM crochet hook
• One (1) pair of 6MM safety eyes (available in many craft stores or online at http://www.crscrafts.com)
• Scissors
• Yarn needle
• Fiberfill stuffing

A B B R E V I A T I O N S:

MC – magic circle (magic loop/magic ring)
sc – single crochet(s)
hdc – half double crochet stitch
inc – increase
dec – decrease
st(s) – stitch(es)
ch – chain
*actions in asterisks should be repeated until round completion or to the indicated stopping point in the round*
(number in parentheses indicates total number of stitches after round/row completion)
FO – fasten off
RND – Round
dc –  double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
sl st – slip stitch

T H E  P A T T E R N:
Work in spirals. Do not join rounds. Use a stitch marker (paper clip, yarn tail, etc) to mark rounds.

This pattern is not intended for beginners. Not that I would’ve ever let that stop me :)

This is a super simplistic pattern, made up of two parts. The main body and the tentacles are worked as one. The second piece is simply a crocheted circle made to attach on the underside of the octopus. If you’d like to leave the octopus unstuffed (the tight nature of amigurumi stitches should be firm enough for the octopus to maintain its shape) then just leave off making the second piece. At the end of the main pattern I’ve included a few variations you can try. If you have particularly “tall” or “short” stitches, you may wish to try out one of these alternatives.

We’ll be working with multiples of 3 for most of this pattern, starting with 6 in a magic circle. Therefore, in the first round, work 1 sc, then increase in the next stitch. Repeat the pattern until you get to the end of round 1. In the next round work 2 separate scs, then increase, repeating around. For the third row work 3 separate scs, then increase, repeating around, etc. Unlike my other patterns, this involves a bit more math, but it’s nothing fancy, especially since the pattern is so simple :)

Although the pattern is not expressly written so, I recommend staggering increases and decreases to avoid ending up with a triangular shape. It’s up to you of course.

Okay! Let’s get started.

M A I N  B O D Y / H E A D:
MC 6
RND 1) evenly increase to 9 sts
RND 2) evenly increase to 12 sts
RND 3) evenly increase to 15 sts
RND 4) evenly increase to 18 sts
RND 5) evenly increase to 21 sts
RNDs 6-10) sc around, maintaining the 21 sts
RND 11) decrease evenly to 18 sts
RNDs 12-13) sc around, maintaining the 18 sts
RND 14) *7sc, dec* (16)
RND 15) sc around, maintaining the 16 sts

DO NOT BREAK YARN.

[ALTERNATIVES: Add in or take out some of the rounds on the 21 sts. Want a “shorter” octopus? Instead of working 5 rounds straight, try doing only three. Conversely, for a taller octopus, do a few more rounds. You may also wish to add on a few rounds after round 15.]

We’re now ready to work the tentacles. Each tentacles is worked right from the body, one after another. To start:

Ch 17
Starting in the second ch from hook, work 9 sc, then 7 hdc. Doing so should’ve brought you back to the octopus body. Skip over the next stitch you see on the body, and slip stitch in the one after it. One tentacle is now complete. Repeat this process around and you will end up with 8 tentacles. (I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of this process; I worked on this part of the pattern while watching DS9 and didn’t exactly have my camera equipment handy. Heh heh…)

[ALTERNATIVES: Try chaining more or less than the 17 for longer or shorter tentacles. You can also change up the number of scs and hdcs for some more customization.]

Once the last tentacle is finished break the yarn. You may with to leave a long tail for sewing. Attach the eyes and stuff the head/body firmly.

To make the bottom closure:

MC 6
RND 1) *inc* (12)
RND 2) *sc, inc* (18)
FO.

Turn the octopus upside down an position the closing piece. It is a couple stitches bigger than the bottom of the octopus, so it should curve inward. (See photo). (Problem? If your closing piece isn’t big enough to cover the opening, work a third round as follows: RND 3) *2sc, inc* (24))

Sewing it

Sew the closing piece to the bottom of the octopus. I sewed the closing piece to both the tentacles and the actual body of the octopus. This kept the tentacles from looking like they had “holes” in them. Once you’re done sewing, break the yarn and weave in any loose ends. Done! Be sure to “shape” your octopus. I did this simply by sort of squishing it to look as you see it in the photos.

tDotO by Karissa Cole 2013 2

Disclaimer: Reading this story and making your own small battalion of octopi may or may not result in a day of music-listening and apartment cleaning. Your mileage may vary :)

________________________________________________________

**P L E A S E  N O T E** This is an original short story and pattern. The selling of any products made as the result of this pattern and/or design is not permitted. Please be sure to credit this blog if ever you share your finished octopus by directing others to this original posting so that they too can benefit. If you have any questions about this policy, or this pattern, please contact me. Thank you!**

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  1. I wish a battalion of octopi would come to clean my extremely messy yarn bucket. Of course, if I crochet some for myself, I’ll solve both problems at once. :) I think your octopus totally passes the cuteness factor, and I had a mini happy attack when I saw it. Thank you so much for the adorable pattern!

  2. Yah~ the octopus pattern finally arrived *dances in happiness*
    It is soooo cute! I have to make some *mentally promises myself*
    Love the amigurumi you make ^_^

  3. Yay!!! You have no idea how excited I am to finally see this pattern XD I can’t wait to make my miny army of octopi! :D And the story was adorable :)

    • Thanks, glad to hear! I hope you have fun making your army of octopi :D

  4. That was such an adorable story. I love all your stories. :D

    • Dani
    • October 25th, 2014

    Too excited to make battalion! Thank you for sharing the pattern.

    • Toni C
    • March 21st, 2015

    I realize you may never see this because it’s a few years old, but even as a very experienced crocheter, I cannot for the LIFE of me figure out how to evenly decrease from 21 stitches to get 18 stitches. Please help!!

    • Work 5 successive single crochets, then decrease. Do this 3 times and you should get from 21 to 18 total stitches. Hope this helps :)

  5. I made this today, immediately after seeing this. It came out a little long for me, but I’m going to try it again and see if it comes out better next time. That aside, I used multi colored yarn and embroidered the eyes; it looks great. Thanks so much for the pattern!

  1. April 27th, 2014
  2. September 29th, 2014
  3. November 22nd, 2015
  4. April 8th, 2016
  5. April 19th, 2016

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