I wanted to make a gift for a new baby and happened upon an article about crocheted soft toy octpuses (octupi?) for premature babies. Apparently the babies take comfort from the spiral tentacles as a replacement for the umbilical cord. Fortunately, the baby in question was born safely and on time, although clearly I could have been a lot better prepared! The octopus only took an evening (and a bit) to make so we wrapped it up and delivered it to the new parents straight away. Baby's big brother (aged 2) really liked the new octopus so we went straight round to the wool shop to buy a different colour and after another evening wielding a crochet hook we have a brother octopus to 'Holly' octopus. We will drop him round later today. I really need to get better at facial features on these amigurumi toys because the expressions on the faces makes such a difference to the finished toy, so whilst I was not completely happy with the eyes and mouths on the octopuses, time was of the essence. Also I'm in the middle of 2 cushion covers, one tea light jar cover and a hexagon quilt so I have to become quicker at finishing things.
The octopuses are made with 100% cotton yarn and washable filling so will be perfectly safe for babies and are washable. I used Wendy Supreme luxury cotton DK and a 3.5mm hook. These are such a good gift for a new baby, but clearly a great gift to a premature baby so I'm going to find out if our local neonatal units have a similar scheme.