With the birth of little Prince Louis, new babies are very much in the news at the moment. The imminent arrival of a new baby is a great incentive to getting out the knitting needles (or crochet hook). But if you don’t know anyone who’s expecting at the moment there are still some good reasons to knit or crochet for little ones.

Around the world there is a very special craft project running. Known as Octopus for a Preemie, this campaign is behind the crocheting or knitting of tiny octopi that are then given to premature babies in hospitals. These octopi have spiralling tentacles which aim to replicate the feel of the umbilical cord that babies hold onto while still in the womb. If premature babies can grasp one of the ‘tentacles’ then they are comforted by the sensation and they are also far less likely to pull out any tubes or other special equipment attached to their tiny bodies.

The project began in Denmark in 2013 but is now running in several countries worldwide. Voluntary coordinators provide an approved pattern for anyone interested in contributing, along with advice on the correct yarn and stuffing to use. They then check the finished octopi to make sure that they are suitable before passing them onto hospitals. If you’re interested in getting involved the website is octopusforapreemie.com – where you’ll find a contact page and the email address is octopusforapreemie@yahoo.com . You can find the campaign on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/groups/octopusforapreemie

This is where all the group activity takes place and where you’ll find everything you need, along with yarn sales, raffles, discounts and offers, and lots of other fun stuff. So why not get involved and don’t forget to share your octopi with us too!