Recommended Yarns & Those to Avoid
The type of yarn used in each octopus is very important. It should not contain metal threads, sequins, etc. It must be 100% cotton, and NOT MERCERIZED. "Kitchen" cotton yarns do NOT work well. Pastel, "happy" colors work best. Try to stay away from bright dark colors, or browns, grays, etc. with one exception: babies seem to focus on black/white/red. If you want to, you can make your octopus using these colors. If using red, black, and white the octopus should be made in blocks of color, not varigated. Example: White body, black eyes, red mouth, black or red, or white tentacles. Other colors of verigated yarn are OK, and can be quite pretty when the colors are "baby" tones.
All octopuses will be washed in a special hypoallergenic, non-residue, non-scented laundry soap, and dried on HIGH heat before being delivered to the NICU. If there is significant color bleeding, it will be returned to the maker to give to someone else. However, almost all that we have received have been color fast.
Below are yarns which should meet these specifications. Some are in the store, and some are online only. It is best to contact the store first to see if they carry the yarn in their store before going there. If not, they should have it online. (Note: Stores may also carry other yarns which are not recommended for this project).
I Love This Cotton! Yarn Wt: 4-Med Hobby Lobby
Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme (Solids, Batik, and Splash) Wt. 4 -Med Yarn Products.com
Lily Sugar 'n Creme -- this yarn can be subject to darker colors bleeding
Lily Peaches 'n Creme -- Walmart -- this yarn can be subject to darker colors bleeding
Universal Yarn Supreme DK (Solids and Sea Spray) Wt: 3-Light Yarn.com
Debbie Bliss Eco Fair Trade Collection 100% Organic Wt: 3-Light Yarn.com
NOT Recommended Yarns (color rubbing off, roughness, hard to maintain tension, mercerized)
Paton's Grace Wt: 3 Light -- Mercerized
Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton
Lion's Brand 24/7 Cotton Yarn Wt: 4-Med
Knit Picks Dishie Yarn
Red Heart de la Creme Wt: 4-Med
Omega Sinfonia Wt: 3-Light
Paton's 100% Cotton 4 ply Super Fine Weight -- But, OK to use for embroidery
Fillers -- MUST always be new, not reused. Fill the octopus body so that it is firm and does not concave when pressure is put on the body with the length of your index finger (not pushing down with the tip of your finger). Fibers tend to soft and collapse a bit when washed, so the octopus needs to be stuffed very, very full before sewing the lining closed.
Fairfield Polyfil Premium Joann, Micheal's, Hobby Lobby, Walmart
Fairfield Crafters Dry Fiber Fill
Fairfield Ply-Fil Supreme Filler Plush Fiber Fill
Pellon Perfect Loft Cluster Fiber Fill
Loops and Threads Classic Fiber Fill
Morning Glory Premier Polyester
Poly-fil Silky Soft Plush Fiber