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Thomas Octopus

Hello everyone!

I love the Jean Greenhowe toy patterns. I have nearly all her booklets and have drawn a lot of inspiration from them for my own creations.

One of the first of her patterns I fell in love with was this octopus.
It’s great and can be made in colours you like: the favourite colours of the person you are knitting it for or the colours of their sportsclub or the football club they are fan of. You can knit the legs in one colour or use several colours to make socks.

These are a joy to make, but rather large, so I tweaked the pattern a bit and came up with Thomas Octopus of which I’m sharing the pattern with you today.

I hope you’ll like making and giving these.

Happy knitting!



Thomas Octopus

Body and head (make 1)

  • Beginning at the lower end, cast on 14 sts in skin colour.
  • P 1 row.
  • Inc Kwise into all sts (28 sts).
  • Beginning with a P row, st-st 3 rows.
  • (K1, inc Kwise in next st) to end (42 sts).
  • St-st 6 rows.
  • K 1 row.
  • Beginning with a K row, st-st 16 rows.
  • Change to hat colour and st-st 8 rows.
  • (K2, K2tog) 10, K2 (32 sts).
  • P 1 row.
  • (K1, K2tog) x10, K2 (22 sts).
  • P1, P2tog x10, P1 (12 sts).
  • BOPT, close the back seam with the mattress stitch, stuff and pull a thread through the first row at the bottom, pull tight and work away the thread


Leg (make 8)

  • Beginning at the lower end, cast on 14 sts in shoe colour.
  • K1 row.
  • K1, inc Kwise into 12 sts, K1 (26 sts).
  • K 6 rows.
  • K7, K2tog x6, K7 (20 sts).
  • K 1 row.
  • K6, K2tog x4, K6 (16 sts).
  • K 2 rows.
  • Break off colour for the shoe, leaving a long enough end to close up, and join skin colour.
  • Beginning with a K row, st-st 21 rows.
  • Cast off all sts, leaving a long enough end to close up.
  • Close the leg and shoe with the mattress stitch.



  • Begin at the lower end and cast on 45 sts.
  • K 3 rows.
  • Beginning with a K row, st-st 12 rows.
  • (K2, K2tog) x11, K1 (34 sts).
  • P 1 row.
  • (K1, K2tog) x11, K1 (23 sts).
  • P 1 row.
  • (K1, K2tog) x 7, K2 (16sts)
  • P 1 row.
  • K1, K2tog x 7, K1 (9 sts).
  • St-st 23 rows.
  • Cast off leaving a very long thread.
  • Close the hat with mattress stitch.
  • Do not cut off the yarn but use it to sew the hat to the head at the last row in skin colour.



  • Cast on 100 sts.
  • K 4 rows.
  • Cast off and weave in the ends.



  • You could also knit the octopus’ legs with socks by adding sock colour between the shoe colour and skin colour (st-st 8 rows in sock colour and 13 in skin colour). Using 4 different colours for the socks is great too.
  • When assembling, fill the body and head first, then put the legs around it to see where they go. Attach the legs to the body on the rib row.


  • After having made octopuses in all sorts of sizes and colours, I recently discovered a super easy way to attach the legs to the body on this blog. Although it is a description of a crocheted octopus, it’s pretty much the same for knitted ones: make the legs, fill them but do not close them up separately. Just follow the Left-Handed Crocheter’s instructions.

Please check this list for abbreviations used.
Fill and assemble Thomas Octopus as explained here.
If you like, you can give him some hair. You can find the explanation to do it here.



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