Yarn Divas Are Occupied with Octopi

Yarn Divas with eight-legged friends (photo by Lynne Kelsey)

Lynne Kelsey

The Yarn Divas of Robson Ranch are no strangers to creating handmade items for charity. Ongoing projects include lap robes for Friends of the Family, scarves for the homeless, and hats for newborns. Recently, our crafters were presented with a unique request from Texas Health Presbyterian: octopi for premature infants.

The Octo Project (THP) originated in Denmark in 2013. Preemies may grab at wires and tubes in their Isolettes, and it is thought the tentacles on the soft octopi not only give them something to hold onto, but also remind them of the umbilical cord that was with them in the womb. These soft toys are made of yarn and fiber stuffing that can withstand washing in a hospital laundry, keeping them clean and safe for fragile little ones. It’s a happy day when these babies can leave the hospital clutching their octopus friend!

To date, the Yarn Divas have donated over 125 octopi for THP’s neonatal unit and have another 100 in the works. Most are crocheted, because that technique results in the curly “tentacles” that make the little creatures so appealing. They’re made in every color, and all have cheerful stitched faces. Many also have special accessories—cowboy hats, scarves, bow ties, beanies, and flowers.

The Yarn Divas meet every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Bluebonnet Room at the CATC. Members work in knitting, crocheting, embroidery—any craft that utilizes yarn or floss. We welcome new members at any time, regardless of whether you’re experienced or not. We love helping newbies learn, and we have materials to get you started!