Aaaaaand I’m back! I’m finally on the mend after being sick for over a week, plus I had some important business to attend to, then I got a custom order… Excuses, excuses, excuses. Baby week fell apart. I did mail a baby gift yesterday, so I’ve kept up the theme in life if not on the blog. Please forgive me for this lapse, let’s forget this gap in baby posts and move right along. As a way to make my absence up to you, let me present the fuzzy baby octopus:
Sweet little octopuses seem like a good gift for a sweet little baby until you think about how small the tentacles are. Then you start to worry that you didn’t sew them on securely enough. Then you wonder what would happen if the stuffing poked out from between the stitches while a baby was chewing on it. And then you give up on ever crocheting a baby toy. Well, at least that’s what I did.A few weeks ago I was shopping through Michaels’ clearance yarn section and I came across the fuzzy Loops & Threads Whisper yarn. Its pastel colors, softness, and overall cuteness made me think of babies and I decided that I would make a fuzzy octopus for a baby, even if it would never make it into a baby’s little hands (it could be on a mobile or a shelf for decoration.) As I’m relatively new to crochet, spotting each single crochet with this fluffy yarn was pretty difficult. My solution to this was to combine Whisper with worsted weight yarn in a similar color and use both at the same time as if it were one strand of yarn instead of two. The worsted yarn made each sc so much easier to differentiate. Using two strands of yarn makes each sc thicker and thus makes the whole project bigger (without increasing the stitches in the pattern.) The increased size turned out to be the best part: the tentacles are large enough that I’m not concerned about a baby eating them and the thick yarn closes up any gaps between the stitches to prevent the stuffing from coming out. I left a super long yarn tail on each tentacle as I finished them off to ensure I was able to sew each one on at least twice. While I’m sure it’s not completely baby-safe, it’s safer. Since I’m surrounded by new and upcoming babies, I’ve started making a lot of fuzzy octopuses. I mailed out three in the past week! Whether I make enough to list them in my Etsy shop is yet to be seen, but I enjoy making them so it’ll probably happen. As ego-maniacal as it sounds, I get overcome with cuteness as I make each one. I’ve been reduced to squealing “It’s so fuzzy!” as soon as I stitch the smiling face on. I stocked up on the Whisper yarn since it’s on clearance; I bought baby blue, pale yellow, and in lieu of pink (there was none) I bought a variegated white, yellow, and pink which I combined with a baby pink worsted weight yarn. The octopus on the left in the photo is the combination of the variegated and pink yarns. The moral of this story is that there are probably ways to make a favorite toy a bit more appropriate for babies. It might take some brainstorming, you might find inspiration in unlikely sources, or you might find the solution by accident, but the point of creating is that you can customize and create exactly what you want. The other moral is that you can make some neat projects by combining two different kinds of yarn. You’re free to do whatever you want, so do it. Well, that’s what I learned but I’m always open to learning some more. Got any baby-safe tips to improve on crocheted toys? Anyone know what the safest type of stuffing is? Share it in the comments section!