Douglas

cephalopod. n. : any of a class (Cephalopoda) of marine mollusks, including the octopuses that move by expelling water from a tubular siphon under the head and that have a group of sucker-bearing arms, highly developed eyes, and a sac containing ink which is ejected for defense or concealment (m-w.com)

Douglas, the crocheted cephalopod

This is where I stick a random crochet pattern into a generally non-crafty blog. Meet Douglas, the perfect handmade cephalopod for the young person in your life. He also makes a fantastic stress-reliever during final exam week. Douglas is squishy and has legs on which to pull. There are therapeutic reasons two-year-olds cherish such qualities.

Hook: I used a size F hook and random worsted-weight scraps of yarn. Any sturdy, washable yarn would work just fine.

Gauge: Don’t sweat it. It’s a toy.

Body
Row 1 ch 2, 8 sc in second ch from hook. place marker to indicate beg of round. do not join.
Row 2 *2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (16 sts)
Row 3 *1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (24 sts)
Row 4 *sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (32 sts)
Row 5 *sc in each of next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (40 sts)
Row 6 *sc in each of next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (48 sts)
Row 7 *sc in each of next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st. Repeat from * around. (56 sts)
Rows 8-12 1 sc in each stitch around. (56 sts)
Row 13 sc 10. work a 5 trc cluster (*3 yo, insert hook in stitch, pull up a loop, [yo, pull loop through two sts] 3 times, repeat from * 5 times. Yo and pull through all 5 loops on hook). sc in remaining sts. (56 sts)
Row 14 sc 10. skip next sc. sc in remaining sts. (55 sts)
Rows 15-17 work 1 sc in each st around.
Row 18 (create legs) *ch 20. work 5 hdc in 2nd chain from hook and in each remaining ch. skip 3 sts on body and sc in next 2 sts. repeat from * 11 times.
Row 19 holding legs to the front and working behind them, *work 3 sc in the space left by skipping sts on the previous row. then work a sc around the back of each of the next two sc on the previous row. Repeat from * around. Join with sl st and finish off. (56 sts.)

Belly
Work same as for Body through row 6. Join with a sl st and cut yarn, leaving an 18″ tail for seaming.

Finishing
Attach safety eyes (or embroider eyes) as desired. Take a long stitch between the eyes with a loop of yarn and pull as tightly as desired to create a “pinched” look; tie a knot and reinforce with a second stitch for stability.

To make Douglas rattle for small children or babies, put a few dried beans or pennies in a plastic easter egg and tape or glue shut. Wrap in stuffing.

Stuff Douglas firmly. Sew on underbelly with a blunt needle, taking stitches through the front loop of underbelly stitches and the back loop of body stitches. This creates an inconspicuous seam. Pull all loose ends deep into stuffing.

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