When my baby son started grabbing things, I wanted to make him a fun toy that would encourage him. I searched Ravelry for octopus pattern, but none of them were small enough or using the yarn I wanted. So, inspired by all the other octopus patterns, I created my own! If you use heavier yarn, the octopus will turn out bigger, and if you use fingering, it will be quite tiny :) This is especially fun in self-striping or other wildly coloured yarn.
Yarn: Sport weight, and a rest of white and black cotton for the eyes.
Cast on 40 stitches, join to work in the round. Work K2,P2 rib for 5
rounds. Work in stockinette stitch for 7 rounds after that. Increase 8
stitches in the next round by working k4, m1 around. Work straight on 50
stitches for 3 rounds, then begin decreases:
R1: k2tog, k4 around (40 st).
R2, R4, R6: work st st.
R3: k2tog, k3 around (32 st).
R5: k2tog, k2 around (24 st).
R7: k2tog, k around (16 st).
R8: k2tog around.
Cut yarn and pull tail through all st twice.
CO 3 st, pick up 5 from cast-on edge. K 5 rds on 8 st, then work k3, k2tog, k1, ssk. K 8 rds on 6 st, then work k1, k2tog, k1, ssk. Work i-cord on remaining 4 st for 2 - 3 in. Cut yarn and pull tail through all st twice.
Work remaining 7 tentacles the same way.
For the eyes, using white yarn, work 8 sc into an adjustable ring, leaving long tails. Embroider pupil using black yarn by stitching through center of ring and one sc. Make 2, sew onto body just above ribbing, preferably lopsided.
Pick up 3 st cast on for first tentacle and one from somewhere that looks like it might get holey. Continue for other tentacles so that you have 32 sts. K 1 rd, then work decrease rows as for body, starting from rd 5. Before working the last row, stuff with polyfill. Weave in ends, and place on a baby near you!