It’s been a loooooong time, isn’t it? Well, it’s been quite busy in the past few months – playing Stardew Valley with my husband, trying to get more illustrations done for my upcoming book, etc. But the itch to make some kind of craft was always there. It got more powerful after I saw this picture.
We have been on lockdown mode for more than 2 months now (today is the 24th of May 2020), with another week to go for the current lockdown to end. May be only to be followed by another lockdown. Anyway, there has been some relaxation for stand-alone shops recently and one of the advantages to living close to the shopping area is that hop-skip-jump and I was back home with all supplies, except for a few – not because they weren’t available but because I had forgotten to buy them.
Today’s shopping included some spools of thread, pull-skein for hand embroidery, and yarn and lightweight plastic ballsfor making octopuses – one each for my two daughters and a keyboard with numpad for my husband – all these apart from the reason for going out which was to buy a board game for the younger one because delivery of her game is delayed while the elder one has already made 3 items using the (promptly delivered) snap circuits with my husband. Well, I did buy a chess board for Anjana in this trip!
Alright, let’s get to the yarn octopus! This is the picture that I had followed. Things used:
- Yarn (we get yarn in a different form and size than that is available at Michael’s or at Jo-Ann’s)
- Lightweight plastic ball
- Wiggly eyes
- Small piece of red coloured paper
- A board to wind the yarn around
I wasn’t sure how much yarn would be needed but I had anyway bought a whole pack – 6 balls of yarn in what I believe to be light salmon color for my younger daughter and an assorted mix of 7 balls for yarn for my elder one – 2 of dark violet, 1 of light violet, 2 of dark blue and 2 of sea blue, because the shop didn’t have 6 balls of purple yarn (her favourite colour). A bit of a hotchpotch, I do admit but these colours did look inviting. The alternative was neon green, which was too bright even for me!
So, remember the keyboard that I had bought for my husband? The carton was kept in a corner to be thrown out as trash. But it did seem to be having the right dimensions for the yarn to be wound around.
I didn’t know how many balls it would take. Ended up using all 6 for Anjana and all 7 for Santoshi.
I removed the yarn from the carton and added a rubberband to the top for the hair and it looked like this –
Now, insert the ball in this mess and secure it with a rubberband and then use a bit of yarn around the rubberband.
Now, snip the ends at the top and bottom. It gives it a less messy look.
Now, divide the yarn into 8 (almost) equal portions for the 8 arms. Divide into 2, then each of them into 2 equal portions and then each of those into 2 equal portions. Now, there will be 8 portions – secure each portion with a rubberband.
Start plaiting each portion, securing each end with a rubberband and add a strip of yarn over the rubberband. Snip the ends of each plait.
We are almost done now. Add wiggly eyes, a small piece of red coloured paper for a mouth and tie a ribbon on the head as a now.
Made a second one using the yarn balls of different shades. This time, I had used a longer board (which is my portable iron board) to ensure that the arms were longer than those of the first octopus.
I had made a mistake of sticking the wiggly eyes a bit far from each other for Anjana’s octopus. So, I tried to put them closer to each other this time but still wasn’t happy. Guess the eyes needed to be bigger for that pretty look as in the inspiration!
Let’s look at costs in Indian Rupees (1 USD is approximately 70-75 Indian Rupees)
- Yarn – 90 (Woolly) and 105 (hotchpotch)
- Plastic ball – 10 each
- Wiggly eyes – 10 for a back of 10 eyes
- Glue – used hardly a few spots -10
- Rubberbands – 5
- Ribbon – used scrap fabrics
So, it is about 110 – 125 Indian Rupees each – less than USD 2 each!
Anjana looked at hers and didn’t share any comment. She looked at Santoshi’s and exclaimed, “Ew! That looks horrible! So many colours!”
She looked at hers again and had to ask, “Why does mine have only one colour?” She gave the name “Woolly” to her Octopus. Couldn’t say if Santoshi liked hers either. Not sure if she had named it. But I had a lot of fun in making them!
What do you think about these? Do you agree with Anjana that they are gross-looking? Comment away! Thanks for reading!!