Many of you have probably seen the adorable crocheted octopuses making their way into NICUs around the world. We are pleased to announce that we're organizing our own Octo Project here in central Maryland! We've been working over the past few weeks to get local crocheters together to make octopuses to be donated to babies in a NICU in our area. I wanted to update everyone on our progress and let you know how interested crafters can get involved.

The inspiration for this is of course The Danish Octo Project, the group in Denmark that has been featured in the news recently for their program delivering octopuses to babies in sixteen hospitals in Denmark and one in Greenland. They have found that when given these small octopuses to hold, premature babies are comforted by the tentacles that serve as a replacement for the umbilical cord they often hold onto in the womb. And with their hands otherwise occupied, the preemies are less likely to pull on their tubes and wires.

We're starting out small because we'd like to be sure that every family that goes through the NICU we're working with can be offered an octopus and there are only so many I can crank out in a day. But we would love to make this a larger project, so if you live in central Maryland or south central Pennsylvania and would like to get involved, we would welcome your participation! You can download the pattern here. It has been very slightly adjusted from the original Danish Octo Project version (which you can find here) for American crocheters. Please feel free to use it to make an octopus for a friend or loved one with a preemie. Or if you'd like to make one (or more!) to donate through our project, please contact me at sally@preemiepride.com and we can discuss details.

We are also partnering with The Knitting Cottage in Waynesboro, PA to make kits available, which include the pattern and enough yarn for an octopus (sold at the cost of the yarn alone). The shop is located at 6768 Iron Bridge Rd just south of Waynesboro, so if you're in the area and want an easy way to get started, please do stop by and see them. You can return the finished octopuses to the shop and we'll collect them to be packaged and donated to the hospital.

We're so excited to be working on this and are looking forward to sharing more as we progress. Stay tuned for updates and pictures of lots of adorable octopuses!Save

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