April 23, 2018

Oleg the Octopus

In addition to the mushroom folk and the dragon from Lalylala, I bought a third pattern for Oleg the Octopus. In my stash I had two different blue fingering yarns I considered for this project, but in the end went with a set of 4 ombre skeins from Wooly Wonka in St. Tropez, bought at a Fiber Fest. Used a 3.25mm hook and 9mm eyes for this project.

Of course this made it harder on myself, since I wanted the doll to fade from the dark at the bottom to light at the head. I started with the tentacles in the darkest yarn, and after making one, worried I would not have enough yarn total to do the whole project. Instead of going back to my safe single color skein however, I decided to keep making tentacles but instead of breaking the yarn, left a long tail between each piece so that I could unravel the whole thing if I decided to scrap it. In the end I managed to get 7 and a half legs out of the darkest skein. I tried switching to the next one, but it ended up looking like I had dipped that leg in something and was way too obvious for my tastes.

So I frogged three legs. This left 4 of the darkest and I made 4 more of the next color. Side by side they were much harder to tell apart in color so I alternated them in the circle of legs. This meant I had some of the darkest yarn left to close up the bottom of the body between the legs, and have enough to join them on top as well as well as fade it into the body.

Once I got close to the end of the darkest I started switching between the darkest and next skein every other row till I ran out of the darkest. Then the body was solid through the next color, but near the neck I started to alternate with the second lightest color again as I ran out of the third. That left the two lightest yarns left, which was perfect.

The head I started with the fins in the lightest color and the hood is made from the tip to the brim which worked in my favor as well. Even though I had plenty of yarn in the two lighest colors I still alternated a few rows at the brim of the hat to match the neck of the body. For the arms, I used the lightest color right next to the hands and faded into the second color up the arm. The pattern had called for cuffs of a contrasting color but I wanted to stick with my ombre.
 Of course I had to add a little of the blush to the face.

Finally I worked the collar piece. It is mostly made from the lightest yarn but I used the tiny bit of darkest yarn left over to edge the piece. The hanging ties are meant to be plied, but as I couldn't figure that out, I instead used a simple knotting method like you used to make friendship bracelets out of as a kid. Switching between the light and dark every 5 knots gave it a cool look with a spiral detail. I found a few beads I had in an old jewelry box, no idea what they might have been for but they were perfect I thought.

From this image you can better tell the difference between the lightest and darkest. But looking at it overall its very subtle I think.

It kind of has the coolest profile.

The head and hands is made from a bright white sock yarn from Lion Brand. I do feel like the head might be a little small, but over all it came out great. I've marked out this last image so you can see what colors ended up where. This is why it was a bit of a pain, not only did I have to break it down right but make sure I had enough of each color to make it work. Super happy with how it turned out and I think he is way more interesting this way than in a solid blue, even if it was very pretty.

Time to complete: 70 hours, after working and frogging over and over.
Difficulty: Easy
Size: About 12.5 inches tall, diameter from tip of one leg to opposite side is 10 inches