I, like many people during this pandemic, have put many hours into Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch. It’s been a comforting therapy that offers an opportunity to imagine being on a small island with an abundance of nature, cute animal villagers to befriend, and try my hand at creative urban planning.

In our current world situation where we’re keeping each other safe by social distancing, Animal Crossing has been an unexpected form of social interaction with friends that are also playing the game. We can visit each other’s islands and see how they’ve designed their virtual towns, and meet their unique collection of animal neighbors.

Marina is an adorable octopus villager that I met on a visit to my friend’s island. The second I met her, she served as inspiration for the next amigurumi that I was going to make. Being an octopus, Marina has a body shape that I’ve never attempted. The tentacles I knew were be a challenge in terms of proportion, and getting them to be sturdy enough to let Marina stand on her own.

The design process is always time consuming due to failed experiment after failed experiment but like most things in life, sometimes we learn best by making mistakes.

MATERIALS

Yarns – dark pink (P), light pink (L), light blue (B), white (W)
small amount of black yarn
yellow felt
polyester fibrefill
tacky (fabric) glue [I use glue from Aleene’s]
two 8.0 mm safety eyes
size 8 (5.0 mm) crochet hook [I use hooks from Laurel Hill]
yarn needle [I use the bent tip needles from Clover]

ABBREVIATIONS

ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
sl st = slip stitch
inc = single crochet 2 into the same stitch
dec = decrease over next two stitches (single crochet 2 stitches together or use invisible decrease)

HEAD

R1 With P, sc 6 in magic ring (6)
R2 inc in each st around (12)
R3 (sc 1, inc) six times (18)
R4 (sc 2, inc) six times (24)
R5-7 sc in each st around (24)
R8 (sc 3, inc) six times (30)
R9-10 sc in each st around (30)
R11 (sc 3, dec) six times (24)
R12 (sc 2, dec) six times (18)
R13 (sc 1, dec) six times (12)
R14 dec six times (6)

Finish with a sl st. Cut a short tail for sewing. Insert safety eyes 7 rows from the top and 5 stitches apart.
Using a strand of black yarn to embroider eyelashes above the eyes.
Cut small ovals out of yellow felt and glue them below the eyes.
Sew the opening closed.

MOUTH

With P, chain 9.
Skip first ch, sc 8, with W, ch 1 and turn.
Skip first ch, sc 8. 

Finish with a sl st. Cut a long tail for sewing.
Curl and sew the edges together to form a tube. Sew the pink edge to the head.


BODY

R1 With L, sc 6 in magic ring (6)
R2 inc in each st around (12)
R3 (sc 2, inc) four times (16)

Finish with a sl st. Cut a short tail and weave in.

With B, chain 17.
Skip first ch, sc 16, ch 1 and turn.

In the following row (R4), you will crochet into the stitches in the blue piece and the pink piece at the same time. This creates the “overhang” of the sweater.



R4 Going through both stitches of the blue and pink pieces, sc in each st around (16)
R5 (sc 6, dec) two times (14)
R7 (sc 5, dec) two times (12)
R8 (sc 4, dec) two times (10)

Finish with a sl st. Cut a long tail for sewing.

ARM TENTACLE (Make 2 in P and 2 in L)

Chain 5.
Skip first ch from hook, sc 2, hdc 2.

Finish with a sl st. Cut a long tail for sewing for colour P and cut a short tail and weave in for colour L.
Lay a pink piece over a light pink piece and whip stitch around to fasten them together.


LEG TENTACLES (Make 2 in P and 2 in L)

Chain 5.
Skip first ch, sc 2, hdc 2, ch 5 and turn.
Skip first ch, sc 2, hdc 2, ch 6 and turn.
Skip first ch, sc 2, hdc 3.

Fasten off. Cut a long tail for sewing for colour P and cut a short tail and weave in for colour L.
Lay a pink piece over a light pink piece and whip stitch around to fasten them together.


ASSEMBLY

Sew the head to the body.
Sew the arms to the body.
Sew the legs to the body.