We’re excited to share another octopus pattern with you this month as a part of our NICU Nurture Program! These crocheted octopuses are donated to NICU units at facilities we have partnerships with and they are given to families in the unit. The babies snuggle the octopus and to the baby, it feels very similar to the umbilical cord. Check out this simple pattern, or make your own! There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube! Let us know what questions you have!
The pattern this month is to help you crochet a octopus for a preemie to love. It is done like our minion friends. While the pattern is fairly easy, it is important to crochet the stitches fairly tightly to keep little fingers from poking through the holes and the fiber filling showing through. Also the tentacles should be no longer than 8 inches when stretched out for safety reasons.
Soft yarn in yellow and blue
Lighter blue yarn, white and black yarn for the eye.
Crochet hook G
Washable fiber fill for stuffing
single crochet together=sc tog
**This pattern is worked in the round, I used a safety pin to mark the beginning of each round.
With yellow yarn ch 3
R1: 6 sc into the 3rd ch from the hook (6st)
R2: 2 sc in each st around (12st)
R3:*sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around (18st)
R4: *sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next st, repeat from * around (24st)
R5: *sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around (30st)
R 6:*sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around (36st)
R 7-12: sc around (36st)
R13:*sc in next 4 st, sc2tog, repeat from *around (30st)
R14:sc around (30st)
R15:*sc in next 3st, sc 2 tog, repeat from * around (24st)
R16:sc around (24st)
R17:*sc in next 2 st, sc2tog, repeat from *around (18st)
Change to blue yarn.
R18:*sc in next st,sc2tog, repeat from * around (12st)
Stuff the octopus with washable fiber fill. Now you will work the next row in the front loop only. Later you will come back through on the underside to grab those back loops and finish off the octopus.
R19: working in the front loop only, *sc in the next 2 st, sc2 tog, repeat from* around (8st)
Now make the tentacles as follows:
*ch 30 (I measured after I made the first tentacle to make sure it did not exceed 8inches, if it does adjust the number of chains)
sc in the 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in each ch across. As you work you will see the "twirl" of the tentacle begin to form.
When back to the body, sl st in the next stitch. Repeat from * 7 more times to make a total of 8 tentacles.
Arrange the octopus so that the tentacles are overlapping the body/head and the open end is up towards you. You will be working in the free loops from row 19 which are now on the underside of the octopus. Sc 2 together around. Fasten off yarn and then weave the yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight.
For the eyes, with white yarn, ch 3
Row 1: 8 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook, join to the first dc with a sl st.
Row 2: ch 2, 2 sc in each stitch around, change to the light blue yarn, join to first st with a sl st.
Row 3: ch 2, 1 sc in each st around, join to the first st and fasten off. Weave in ends.
With black yarn embroider a small black eye in the center.
Sew eye to the front of the octopus.
We're excited to share a new opportunity with you for how you can impact patients facing serious illnesses! Many times volunteers ask the question, "I don't know how to knit or crochet, but I LOVE to sew? How can I serve?" While there are several ways you can make hats by sewing them, we are thrilled to have a new project for you that will be extremely impactful to cancer patients.
When cancer patients have their port inserted before beginning chemotherapy treatments, the skin around the port can become extremely sensitive and uncomfortable. A port pillow is placed underneath the patients seatbelt to make riding in a vehicle more comfortable.
Port Pillows can be made without even using needle and thread! This makes for a really easy project just using fabric of your choice, poly fill and fabric glue. Of course, if you have a sewing machine or serger, you can easily sew them as well.
1 yard of fabric
needle and thread
a bag of poly-fil stuffing
grosgrain ribbon (1" thick) - cut in 12" pieces
fabric glue or sewing machine
Cut your fabric in squares that are 8 inches x 6 inches. Make a seam (or place a line of fabric glue) along 3 sides of your rectangle about a half inch into the fabric. If you're using fabric glue, make sure you are glueing the side of the fabric that you want on the outside. Let it dry (about an hour) and flip inside out (where the fabric is facing up). Stuff with poly-fill and fold the fourth side in and either make a seam or use your fabric glue to close the pillow. Take your ribbon and glue to your pillow in the center of the back side. The pillow can then be tied around the seat belt to provide comfort to a patient while riding in a vehicle.
818 Ministries will be accepting port pillows moving forward to be packaged with letters of encouragement to impact patients facing serious illnesses. We're excited about this new opportunity and praying for the patients that the port pillows will impact. Hopefully this will help make their experience a little less painful and will bring some encouragement to their day! As always, you can ship hats + a NICU octopus + port pillows + letters of encouragement to the address below:
PO Box 52343
Knoxville, TN 37950
Palmetto Children's Hospital Recap
If you missed our recap video from our trip to Palmetto Children's Hospital last Friday, check out the video below!
If you feel led to partner with us financially, click the button below!
Cheering for you,
Executive Director, 818 Ministrie
I wanted to stop for a few minutes and celebrate with you. February 4th, was our 3 year anniversary! I can't believe how much we've grown and some of the ways God has opened doors for us (but, that's the God we serve! He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine!). Our volunteer base has grown so much in the last 6 months, and most of you found your way to us through Instagram or Facebook (which continues to remind me of the power of social media).
I remember the season where my vision was much smaller than the Lord's for what this would become. I thought we would make some hats, write some letters, share Jesus and encourage patients facing things similar to what my mom overcame with her cancer journey. Boy, was I wrong (in the best way). We have done all of that and much, much more because of how the Lord continues to make introductions and pave the way for the future.
If you're reading this message, YOU are one of our people. You're a vehicle through which the Lord is using to encourage patients fighting serious illnesses and introducing them to Himself. 2018 is going to be a big year. I want to re-share our recap video of 2017 to remind you of some of the cool doors the Lord opened last year. We're believing big things for 2018!
We had a great day at Palmetto Children's Hospital in Columbia, SC last Friday (the photo at the top of this blog is of our Impact Squad that came along - don't they look amazing?!). So thankful to get to spend time with families encouraging their sweet little ones and hand delivering hat + letter packets. AND, we got to introduce 4 new friends to what the Impact Squad is all about. What a great day!
We have several opportunities for you to pray and support what we have planned so far for this year. See below and feel free to respond to this email with questions or thoughts of how you'd like to support:
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Date: TBA (likely early March)
Children's Hospital of Atlanta
Date: April, date will be released soon for Impact Squad volunteer opportunities
Hat sizes needed: children (6-18 years of age)
UT Medical Center
Needs: crocheted/knitted octopuses for NICU families, see the recent blog post for a simple crochet pattern
Date: will be donated throughout the month of April
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Date: TBA (likely in May)
Hat sizes needed: children (6-18 years of age)
Also, if you would like to partner with us financially, click the link below!
Cheering for you,
Executive Director, 818 Ministries