HP-themed octopod fundraiser

Is it possible to continue to enjoy the Potterverse while the author continues making ever more strained statements about her anti-trans bigotry?  On the one hand, I’m finding difficulty in my current attempts to reread the series, as my trust in the author is eroded.  On the other hand, there are so many people whose memories and even identities are so entwined with Harry Potter that it is simply not possible to make a clean break and walk away.  The stance of retaining claim to one’s own memories and development, as a reader and a person, while rejecting the bigotry, is a stance worth protecting.

My high schooler and her friend, who run our Octopod business, have listed House-themed octopods as a fundraiser.  They will donate 100% of the proceeds ($10 per octopod) to the Trevor Project, one of the organizations that worked with Harry Potter fan groups such as MuggleNet and the Leaky Cauldron to develop a response to JKR’s bigoted statements.  People can choose if they’d like a bit of rainbow or trans pride ribbon to go with their octopod, or else a sticker with the graphic design by Fox Estacado.  The annual Back to Hogwarts media campaign is heating up, and these octopods want to do their part to declare that everyone is welcome to study magic.

Update: We raised $150 for the Trevor Project.

Octopods: a rough crochet pattern

This pattern is approximate, as I usually improvise octopods. They are just blobs with eyes!

You can also check out a video of this process.

Use a J-size hook and wool or merino that can felt (not superwash), in worsted or aran weight. I’ve gotten the best machine-felting results with Malabrigo Merino Worsted or Manos del Uruguay Maxima. Cascade 220 works decently, although it sometimes needs more time in the washer for complete felting. I do not recommend Noro Kureyon.

For body of octopus:
R1: Ch2, slip stitch, forming a round.
R2: SC 6 (stitching 3 times into each stitch from the first round), slip stitch.
R3: SC 12 (stitching 2 times into each stitch from the second round), slip stitch.
R4: SC 18 (alternating between stitching once and stitching twice into each stitch), slip stitch.
R5: SC 24-ish, slip stitch.
Decrease (every other stitch) until 15 stitches remain.

For each tentacle:
Hooking two stitches at once, chain 11, then slip stitch into beginning of chain to form loop.

SC sides of loop together with 5 stitches to end of tentacle, turn and SC 4 stitches again to body of octopus.

After forming 8 tentacles:
Stuff octopus body loosely with chain stitch.

Decrease in rounds to center of the bottom of the octopod. Tie off.

To full the octopod:
Machine wash on heavy duty, using hot water and a small amount of laundry detergent, along with a pair of jeans for friction. Remove from machine and massage into shape, aggressively if need be. Let dry overnight.

When dry:
Stitch on beads for eyes. If making octopods for children under 3 years old, embroider eyes with thread.

If you like, check out Your Daily Octopod on Twitter.