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If you’re a grammar ace, don’t worry—I know that “octopuses” is considered more appropriate to pluralize “octopus,” but really–it doesn’t sound nearly as cute…

And speaking of cute–these are among my favorite toys to make. Who can resist their round little heads, their shiny black eyes, and their multitude of legs? They rest perfectly on a desk, bookshelf or windowsill–and with a little bell inside, they can be a welcome addition to any baby crib or toy box.

I can’t help but bust into a smile at the thought of being surrounded by hundreds of these little guys– of course, that may just take forever, since I’ve only made a handful of these guys so far, but one can dream—

On a side note: I hate weaving in ends—I know it’s an essential part of finishing a knit project, but that’s the point— When I’m “finishing” a project, I want to be “finished” as soon as possible! After a lot of trial and error, I finally devised the following pattern, which is done with one continuous piece of yarn (yay! only one strand to weave in!).

I hope you enjoy making these cuties as much as I do!

Knitted Octopus Pattern

NOTE: this pattern is for personal use only. Please do not use it for commercial purposes (i.e. selling).


  • Approximately 4.5″ diameter with size 5 needles and sport weight/ worsted weight yarn


  • Knitting on double point needles
  • Increasing stitches (kfb = knit in front and back of stitch)
  • Decreasing stitches (k2tog = knit 2 together)
  • Basic crocheting


  • Set of double point needles
  • Crochet hook
  • Yarn
  • Toy eyes (optional)
  • Toy bell or squeaker (optional)
  • Tapestry/knitting needle to weave in ends and embroider eyes (optional)
BODY (Once you understand the basic pattern below, you can easily adjust it to make the body bigger or smaller)
Cast on 3 stitches.
  • kfb each stitch on a separate needle (6 sts, divided evenly on three double point needles). Place marker.
  • kfb each stitch to marker (12 sts)
  • [K1, kfb] to marker (18 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K2, kfb] to marker (24 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K3, kfb] to marker (30 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K4, kfb] to marker (36 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K5, kfb] to marker (42 sts)
  • Knit 10 rounds
  • [K2tog, k5] to marker (36 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K2tog, k4] to marker (30 sts)
  • Knit 1 round
  • [K2tog, k3] to marker (24 sts)
  • Knit 2 rounds
Legs are made from 3 stitch sections. You will use two of the double points to make the legs. Transfer the stitches from one needle onto another working needle so all 24 stitches are on only two needles.
If you have a double point needle set that has 5 needles, you can also just add your fifth needle to the mix now. Basically, you need two “free” needles to work on each leg.
First 3 stitch section:
  • kfb, k1, kfb (5 sts)
  • Work stockinette stitch for 3-3.5″
  • k2tog, k1, k2tog
  • Purl row
  • Knit row
  • Purl row
  • k2tog, k1
  • Purl row
  • k2tog
  • Bind off remaining one stitch
  • Next, use a crochet hook to “sew up” the sides of the legs together. (Here is a useful link if you do not know how to crochet a seam: “Crochet a Seam with Your Crochet Hook”)
  • Bind off when you are at the base of the leg
  • Next, you will work the 3 stitches to the left of the leg you just finished (with the body facing you). Repeat the steps to make another leg. Do this until all 8 legs are completed.


  • Add toy eyes. I use safety eyes where the eye snaps into a disc and is nearly impossible to pull out. If this is a gift for a (gentle!) dog or cat, then embroidered eyes would be better. Wait until the doll is stuffed before sewing/embroidering eyes.
  • Stuff the octopus with polyfil and a squeaker or bell if you want your octopus to make some noise.
  • Crochet the opening closed. You are basically crocheting a circle from the outside  in. Weave in end.

Sit back and revel in its cuteness!