I first got the idea for a moody octopus from one of my good friends. She purchased several of them, and sent me pictures of all of them. I thought they were the cutest thing and wanted one for myself. I was all ready to ask her where she buys them when I realized I could just knit one for myself. I had seen many crocheted mood octopi, but I couldn't find any knit patterns. It didn't appear to be a hard shape, so I decided I would just figure it out as I go.
I knew I wanted to use colors that I already had in my stash (because why not bust the stash while I'm at it). Most of my yarn is worsted weight acrylic yarn, so that made deciding on size and material super easy. I'm not sure what brand of yarn it was as this particular yarn was actually gifted to me from a friend whose grandmother no longer knits. I ended up making two prototypes and found that stiffer yarn provides more structural support.
This was also a fun little knitting adventure as it was my first time using five double-pointed needles. Usually, I stick to four (three to hold stithces and one to knit with). I thought the extra needle made it difficult at first when I had fewer stitches, but as I kept increasing the stitches, the needles became much easier to handle.
This little moody octopus makes a great present for anyone! It's a cute and easy way to express your feelings. I love keeping my moody octopus on my desk - just seeing the happy face makes me smile no matter what kind of mood I'm in. I gifted my second moody octopus to my brother who is a teacher. My intent is for him to keep it in his classroom so his students always know what kind of mood he is in - I hope his students get a kick out of it, too.
This moody octopus is great for an advanced beginner who wants to learn how to do increases and use double-pointed needles. The body is knit top-down in the round, and the legs are knit flat. The face is added using duplicate stitches. The body and legs are seamed using whip stitch. The final diameter of the ocotpus is 7 inches, the final length of the legs are 3 inches each, and the final diameter of the constructed ocotpus is 13 inches. The size is easily adjustable based on needle size, number of increases, and yarn weight.
(5) US 9/5.5 mm double-pointed needles
US 9/5.5 mm straight or 16" circular needles
Any two colors of worsted weight yarn
Color A: 185 yds (170m)
Color B: 185 yds (170m)
(8) round stitch markers
(2) hanging stitch markers
16 sts x 23 rows = 4"
K = knit
*...* = repeat between the "*"
M1R = make one right
M1L = make one left
SL1P = slip one stitch purlwise
WYIB = with yarn in back
K2tog = knit two stitches together
SSK = slip, slip, knit
SM = stitch marker
M1R = Slip the left needle underneath the yarn between the stitch on the left needle and right needle from back to front. Knit through the front loop.
M1L = Slip the left needle underneath the yarn between the stitch on the left needle and right needle from front to back. Knit through the back loop.
*Note: make a body in Color A and Color B
Cast on 12 stitches using long tail cast on method in one color on the double-pointed needles. Leave a few inches of tail to cinch the top with later. Divide stitches evenly between (4) needles. Place round stitch markers on either side of the middle stitch on each needle.
Knit a full round.
Round 1: *K1, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K1*
Round 2 (and all even rounds): knit all
Round 3: *K2, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K2*
Round 5: *K3, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K3*
Round 7: *K4, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K4*
Round 9: *K5, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K5*
Round 11: *K6, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K6*
Round 13: *K7, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K7*
Round 15: *K8, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K8*
Round 17: *K9, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K9*
Round 19: *K10, M1R, slip SM, K1, slip SM, M1L, K10*
Round 21: *K11, slip SM, SL1P WYIB, slip SM, K11* (place a hanging stitch marker on the first and second slipped stitch)
Round 22: knit all
Repeat rounds 21-22 until you knit 44 rows. Feel free to switch to 16" circular needles at any point if that is more comfortable.
Cast off on row 45 knitting all stitches. Leave a 2 foot tail for seaming.
Reapeat in Color B.
*Note: Make 8 legs in Color A and 8 legs in Color B.
Cast on 10 stitches onto the circular or straight needles. The legs will be knit flat. Leave a 6 inch tail to use for seaming.
Row 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: knit all
Row 2, 4, 6, 8, 10: purl all
Row 11: *SSK, K6, K2tog*
Row 12 (and all even rows): purl all
Row 13: *SSK, K4, K2tog*
Row 15: *SSK, K2, K2tog*
Row 17: *SSK, K2tog*
Row 18: cast off purlwise leaving a 6 inch tail to use for seaming
Repeat for a total of 8 legs in Color A and 8 legs in Color B.
Eyes and Mouth
*Note: Color A body will have one face duplicated in Color B, and Color B body will have the other face duplicated in Color A.
Follow the charts below to duplicate the face onto the body. "SM" refers to the hanging stitch markers placed after the body increases.
Seaming and Construction
1. Cinch the top of the bodies.
2. Match up the ends of each body. Match the ends such that Color A body should be able to fit inside of Color B body with the the face facing outward and vice versa. You should be able to flip one body inside out and see a different face.
3. Seam 3/4 of the body using the tails from the body cast off using the whip stitch method. Stuff the body with poly-fil. Be careful not to overstuff it which would cause the inside body to sag underneath the top body.
4. Match one Color A leg with one Color B leg. Seam together the sides of the leg using the tail from the cast off such that the right sides face out. Repeat with the rest of the legs.
5. Stuff each leg with stuffing. Seam the legs to the body of the octopus using the tail left from the cast on by using whip stitch. Sew each side of the leg to the corresponding body color.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!
If you share photos on instagram, be sure to tag me (@knitting_with_sara) so I can see your Moody Octopus!