September 21, 2015

Octopus Puzzle Ball

One of the crochet bloggers I like to follow, AllAboutAmi, had a post a while back about an amish puzzle ball she made for her daughter. Pretty cool by itself, no doubt, but she mentioned that they had other animal shaped ones and after taking a quick look, I fell in love with the octopus one. The pattern is free on Ravelry and is by Dedri Uys of Look at What I Made.

I've got about half a skein of my favorite Mandala colorway from Madeline Tosh on hand, leftover from my baby otachi and I thought it would be an excellent octopus coloring. I'm pretty sure it is a DK weight yarn. I decided to use it for accents in the head and do the body and the rest with a Bernat in Aqua which I found on super clearance at the local Joann's.

Knowing that the Mandala yarn is a little thinner I used a 4.25mm hook to do the wedges parts of the head, that would make sure they weren't too small to match up to the larger yarn pieces. I was a little worried that I would not have enough of the mandala to do all 12 of the wedges, but somehow I managed... Each took about 10 minutes to make (x 12) for a total of 2 hours for the wedges.
I then went down to the 4.00mm hook as the pattern calls for for the wedge lids, as well as the rest of the pattern. The two wedge lid chains took about an hour each. After that it took another two hours to attach the lids to the wedges, stuff and close off the two body rings.
finished body rings
Once I had two rings done, I started into the head. The mouth is first and I used a little bit of what was left of the mandala yarn for the mouth, with a little bit of white scrap for the teeth/beak. After that you start on the head proper making a cone and after a bit you add the mouth in to the bottom and then work the tentacles out from there. It's a really cool technique to be able to make this all in one big piece.
mouth piece
After that it is a matter of working the four remaining wedges, head and a three lid chain together into another ring, this one with an octopus head on it! I think I did it backwards from they way they did but it made sense to me and it ended up with the same result, so it was fine. Took me about half an hour to attach, stuff and finish off the head and ring.

For the eyes I decided to go with buttons as well. I have found that using crochet thread (like for doilies) is a great way to attach buttons to crochet. It is much thicker than regular thread and is much sturdier, but will also fit in a yarn needle and most button holes and it is easy to find in white and black.

Once they were on, the octopus was done! Pretty cute. He's about 17 inches long from tentacles to top of the bulb part of the ball itself. I had fun making him, but he is for sale.

Difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: about 7 hours