Octopus for a preemie

Octopus for a preemie

About the project

World Wide Knit In Public Day 2016 and dziergadanie prawelewe KIP are joined events this year, and take place under the OCTOPUS FOR A PREEMIE project umbrella. This is a world-wide project focused on making squishy octopus toys for premature babies. The tentacles of the octos are meant to resemble the umbilical cord and to remind the babies of their time in the womb.

The concept was born in 2013 in Denmark. More about the original idea is to be found here (in Danish) and here (in English). Making octos for preemies has spread around since and there are many countries where people make and donate their octopus toys to local hospitals. There is a group of Polish volunteers, who coordinate this project in Poland, too (their page is here).

Myself and my friend-Irishmagda have decided to support this idea both for Polish and Irish babies, and for anyone who wishes to take advantage of our versions of the instructions and make octos for any preemie. Based on the original Danish instructions, we have prepared our own version of the patterns for crochet and knitted Octopus, both in Polish and English (UK and US terms).

18th June 2016 is the WWKIP Day so prawelewe and a Wrocław’s LYS-Makeland have joined for a great cause. We meet with our friends, customers, fans and new people to knit and crochet octopus toys, and then donate them for premature babies in hospitals in Wrocław, Poland. There are two techniques you can use to make your octos: crochet (will look similar to the octo on the left in the picture) and knitting (will look somewhat like the one on the right in the picture). There are certain rules for making your octopus toys so they could be given to premature babies, and all are described in the patters (those are also available on the Danish page, Polish project’s page and surely any other coordinators group’s page you will find) but not so many, and all of them are because the octopus toys are to be healthy, helpful and forever for every baby who receives it.

About the event

Our dziergadanie prawelewe KIP + WWKiP Day 2016 have their special FB event here. There is also an event on the official World Wide Knit In Public Day page. You are all welcome to join us, regardless of your level of expertise in knitting or crochet.

WWKiP Day 2016_63 dziergadanie prawelewe KIP(The avatar with octopus used in the banner above is by Pracownia Artystyczna “Ale pomysł!” and comes from this page.)

Octopus for a preemie

Especially for you
Although the WWKiP Day and our 62. dziergadanie prawelewe KIP is a one-day event, this project participation is by no means to end the same day. There is a plan to bring this idea to Ireland- one of our Ravelry prawelewe group friends wants to spread the news there so the patterns published on the prawelewe page are for everybody who wants to get involved. Enjoy!

Please note that there might be slight differences in requirements given by coordinators in different countries. It simply depends on the agreement the people who run the project make with the representatives of the local hospitals. Please make sure that you work your octopus toys exactly the way it is described by the people who will collect your work from you, otherwise your octos might not reach the babies.

Patterns available for a free download

If you grab one or more of them for yourself, please leave a comment below this post to share with all of us that you are involved.

NOTE: English patterns have been slightly updated; the current version is 20-06-2016. Please make sure to work with the newest version of these files.

thumbnail of Octopus for a preemie_Knitted_18-06-2016

Octopus for a preemie- knitted version 20-06-2016 ENG –> Download this pattern


thumbnail of Octopus for a preemie_Crochet_18-06-2016

Octopus for a preemie- crochet version 20-06-2016 ENG –> Download this pattern


thumbnail of Osmiorniczka dla wczesniaka_druty_18-06-2016

Ośmiorniczka dla wcześniaka- wzór na druty 18-06-2016 PL –> Download this pattern


thumbnail of Osmiorniczka dla wczesniaka_szydelko_18-06-2016

Ośmiorniczka dla wcześniaka- wzór na szydełko 18-06-2016 PL –> Download this pattern








spinning fever

Last months have been crazy about spinning. No activity on the blog and on the prawelewe platforms has the only one explanation: spinning is so engaging and rewarding, and enjoyable that I see no point in wasting time for turning on my computer, not to mention about editing photos or writing about my endeavours. On the other hand, every time I see my last post about Easter, I think that it is really the time to fulfill my promise that I gave long time ago in my prawelewe group to write about my tools and fibre preparation. There are some materials for those articles already in my drawer but the texts and photos are still to be organised before I publish my surprise series, so please bare with me. I want to spread some good vibes, though, so let me share about my latest activities.

Today I am going to show you some new hanks, which I am planning to use for a set of three shawls, each in two colours. They will have one thing in common- a ring. No more details for now. Does this sound mysterious enough? Hope so!

The first shawl is going to be based on light grey and powder pink, and here are the singles I spun in Z from Australian merino commercial top:

Diamonds Grey hank

Morganit Pink hank

I plied both of the singles into S, and got ca. 250 m/ 50 grams of grey and ca. 220 m/ 50 grams of pink. There will be two or three hanks more of each colour before I begin knitting. The draft design is already ready and I have estimated the amount of materials needed but in case I need additional yarn, it will be possible and easy for me to spin more for myself. And I so love this feeling of no need to worry about metrage.

Diamonds Grey hank

By the way, the grey in the picture above is stretched on my hand-made yarn swift, which I will write more about in a separate post about my art studio tools. And the pink below is a lovely long and thin hank that I can create straight from the swift. (I also use niddy noddy but since the circumference of the hank stretched around it is smaller than the one made on the swift, I use it only for smaller amounts of fibre.)

Morganit Pink hank

Using this special occasion (this is the first post related fully to my hand-spun yarn with use of my lovely Polish Polonaise spinning wheel from Kromski family), I want to share the joy of having my very own, special, amazing and meaningful prawelewe stamp! It is a gift from my dearest friend- Irishmagda, who ordered it from Ireland and sent to me as a gift.

I am using the stamp now to prepare cute yarn tags for my hand-spun hanks. This is how the tags look like when attached to ready hanks:

Diamonds Grey hank Morganit Pink hank

Aren’t the hanks and their tags lovely? The shawl I am going to make of this yarn will be so beautiful. It has to!

The stamp will show up here and there many times more on this page for sure. I have already planned using it with my MAK markers.Oh, did I say that some new MAK sets are on their way?

~ Cathliin.


leap-day sneak peek

Winter is back! As a wooly person I am very happy with that. The last week was just about a pure spring, and I was almost ready to pack my winter boots and jackets up there in my closet. While this is what I saw today in the morning:

leap-day sneak peek

For several weeks now I have been working on three winter sets, which I hoped to finish, describe and publish still this season, i.e. by 20th March. It is difficult to make a statement now but at least one set should be done by then. Maybe I will manage to publish some elements of the other two sets.

I usually keep my designs in secret but today, when I woke up to the beautiful white world outside, I though that there could not be a better day for a surprise so here is my leap-day sneak peek.

leap-day sneak peekFirst, let me introduce Jan, the snowy neighbor. He was born on our terrace in January but since he is wearing parts of the three sets, he simply must be the host of today’s show.

Jan is wearing the Northern Star Hat and part of the matching Northern Star Scarf. The hat is an example of very simple fair isle aka stranded knitting, hence could be a great kick-off project for somebody who has not tried this technique yet.

The scarf, however, is a treat! I have been thinking of bringing this idea to life for several months already and here it is- a rectangle with a stranded knitting front, which is doubled with an extra layer (sorry, it is hidden to not spoil the secret) and much thinner front parts with panels of star stitch. There is a certain way of wearing this scarf that I have in mind but this I will describe more when the time for publishing the pattern comes.

The third element of this set are the Northern Star Gloves with star motives. These are going to be in large size for men. At least for now. If there is a need I will create a smaller version for women. I cannot wait to finish them and get all the three pieces photographed together. This Northern Star Dream set will be done very soon, and I hope for publishing the patterns within 10 days.


leap-day sneak peek

Another set is called Fishy Ocean and—although it is meant for ladies only–our handsome Jan is presenting one third of the set to you- a Fishy Hat. There are waves and bubbles, and fish of course! This hat uses fair isle, too, and since the colour elements are smaller than the stars in the Northern Dream set, this project might be even better for a newbie. Also, since the stranding is only done through several rounds, the hat is very stretchy so any ponytail or bun will fit under easily.

The Fishy Scarf is also layered but knitted in the round, and has thinner parts at the beginning and at the end that are rounded and finished with tassels. It is definitely more girly than the Northern Star Scarf because of the colour combination and certain design elements but let it be a secret for now, too. Once it is published you may decide what colours to use in your own sets and whom to give the knitted accessories to when you are ready with them.

There are matching Fishy Gloves as well of course. They will reveal one fish each. Not a golden one though. Mine are pink! Who knows? Maybe they make our dreams come true, too. You will like these for sure.


leap-day sneak peek

And finally is the Snowly Trio- a very, very, very warm hat, which will keep any head in any place on this Earth warm. I began playing with thrums long time ago but only with gloves so I wanted to try designing something to match. One of my goals was to design a hat that would keep one’s whole head, including ears, warm. My Snowly Hat is big, thick, squishy…exactly what we think of when it is freezing cold outside. And it is a fully reversible accessory so not only it is functional but allows change and fun.

The matching Snowly Scarf is made of thick layers, and is meant to be wrapped around one’s neck, shoulders and chest. It is still a secret so I cannot show it just yet.

And then there are very, very, very warm mittens with thrummed inserts, which felt when the mittens are in use. A funny technique, which is not the easiest one to use, especially in tight areas such as thumbs or fingers, but very rewarding for sure. And it is so fun to knit with thrums. You will see for yourself. This Snowly Trio set will keep you warm folks, that is for sure!

Well, this would be it. I hope you enjoy your leap day. To make it even nicer, I run a silly leap-day sale on all my patterns. More information is to be found in my prawelewe group on Ravelry, in this post. Enjoy!

~ Cathliin

P.S. I was so thrilled with the weather today that I snapped a lot of photos. Let me share some of them with you on this last day of February, the 29th!

leap-day sneak peek

leap-day sneak peek

Happy stitching!

~ C.


Christmas 2015 wishes

Christmas-Card-2016And here we are, Christmas time is in full bloom and, at least in this part of the world where I come from- Poland, this period has a very special meaning. Different families celebrate it slightly different, some with more focus on food, drinks and gifts, some other appreciate spending this important time together with family members and friends in an atmosphere of love, prayer, joy and the new beginning approaching. It would be lovely to have snow and winter weather outside–it is +10 C (50 F) in Wrocław now!–but what creates Christmas for us is our spirit and faith; that is why all of us are in the festive mood regardless of the climate.

Of course we all care about the traditional Polish meals to be served during Christmas Eve’s supper and throughout the next two days of Christmas- barszcz, pierogi, home-baked bread, fish, salads as well as bigos and kiełbasa are all there, twelve dishes, including traditional Polish cheese cake and poppy-seed cake.

Christmas time is often associated with Christmas tree, although it is not originally Polish tradition; since it has been in Poland for so long, however, a lot of us treat it already as our thing. In my family, we always have a green tree, which we decorate with a lot of hand made and gifted baubles, toys, tinsels and lights. And while speaking of the Christmas tree, there is a place to say something about the gifts. We always have something for each other, and unlike in other countries, we give the presents to our close ones after the supper on the Christmas Eve, before the midnight mass.

One of my favourite moments of the evening is sharing my hand-made, as you may imagine, knitted, crocheted and/ or tatted, gifts that I have wrapped myself in colourful papers and sparkling ribbons. All the packages look amazing when under the Christmas tree! And we adore the joy of unpacking them, while listening and singing to Christmas carols. The smiles and happy faces of those whom I made something for are the best thank you for me.

I hope you all have blessed moments during this period of time. Spend it with your love ones, find some time for your stitching and rest well. See you back in 2016.

~ Cathliin

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