Enter Octopus

  • View of the crown of the Enter Octopus hand knit hat, showing wavy tentacles almost meeting at the centre.
  • A smiling woman wearing the Enter Octopus hat, showing the front of the hat with the body and part of the head of an octopus.
  • A woman wearing the Enter Octopus hand knit hat, showing the head of the octopus, plus many tentacles and part of the crown. She is squatting on a rocky seashore, examining some seaweed.

Did you like the Octopus Slippers but think, “What if I wanted octopuses on my head?” Then this is the pattern for you. Worked in stranded colourwork using fingering weight yarn, Enter Octopus has two octopuses swirling around the body, meeting in a tentacular crown. This pattern has instructions for 3 sizes, with a slightly different chart for each size; you can further tweak the sizing by adjusting the gauge. The charts show the number of stitches for long stretches of one colour, to save you the hassle of counting.

To make Enter Octopus, you will need to know how to do 2-colour stranded colourwork in the round from charts.

Pattern PDF download: $8 USD from Ravelry or Payhip.

Pattern +yarn kits available from Small Bird Workshop.

S (M, L)

Circumference: 17.75 (19.75, 22) in/45 (50.5, 56) cm
To fit (approximately): 19.25 (21.25, 23.5) in/49 (54, 59.5) cm head circumference

Length from cast on to top of crown: 7.75 (8.75, 9.25) in/20 (22.5, 23.5) cm (Can be made deeper by extending the ribbing at the brim.)

Small Bird Workshop Shropshire Fingering (100% Canadian Shropshire wool; 500 yds/457 m per 3.9 oz/110 g): MC: 1 skein (shown in Evensong), CC: 1 skein (shown in Pinot Gris)

See below for yardage needed + more information about the yarn.


  • US 2.5/3 mm 16 in/40 cm needles, or size needed for correct gauge
  • US 2.5/3 mm needles for working small circumference in the round, or size needed for correct gauge
  • US 2/2.75 mm needles for working small circumference in the round or one size smaller than gauge needle.

Note: At this needle size, the US/metric conversion is inconsistent. I recommend using the metric size as a starting point for swatching.

29 sts & 40 rows = 4 in/10cm in stranded colourwork on larger needles, worked in the round and blocked

27 sts & 40 rows = 4 in/10 cm in stockinette stitch on US 2.5/3 mm needles, worked flat and blocked (provided for reference re: yarn weight)

For a good fit, take time to check your gauge.

2 stitch markers; yarn needle

About the Yarn
Small Bird Workshop Shropshire Fingering is a woolen-spun, 2-ply yarn, spun and dyed in Canada using 100% Shropshire wool from a small, purebred flock in Oyama, BC. The Shropshire sheep breed produces springy, matte, medium wool that resists felting, making this fibre a great choice for sweaters, mitts, hats, and socks. Shropshire’s characteristics combine with the woolen-spun structure to make a cushy, warm, cohesive, fabric that holds up well to wear and works at a range of gauges. The stitches plump up and nestle together with washing, making this an excellent yarn for stranded colourwork. Shropshire Fingering is available at smallbirdworkshop.com.

Medium wools are not as soft as fine wools, so while some people will have no problem wearing this yarn next to their skin, you may wish to test how it feels to you with a swatch first. This yarn does soften with knitting and washing, so it’s worth taking the time to wash your test swatch before making your decision. If you know you find non-fine wools uncomfortable against your skin, finer wools such as Rambouillet, Cormo, or Merino would make a good substitute.

If you’re substituting, look for a springy, fingering weight yarn that gives a cohesive (but not stiff) fabric at the pattern’s gauge and that is comfortable against your forehead and neck. You will need approximately 115 (140, 160) yds/ 105 (130, 150) m of MC and 90 (110, 130) yds/80 (105, 115) m of CC.

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