This past fall I had the chance to do a live demo at Maker Faire in NYC – have you heard about Maker Faire? It’s a really cool sort of tech-geek-crafting mashup, where folks who like to make things get together at a fairground and crazy things happen, like people build huge handmade robotic machines while others hang out and knit. OK, that’s probably not the best explanation – you should just go to their website to check it out.
Anyway, in thinking about what I would demonstrate, I decided to combine my love of crochet with a nod to the robottery of Maker Faire, and make a crochet robot. You know, a crobot!
Now, I didn’t invent these. There are lots of clever crafters around the internets making crochet robot creations. This is just my little contribution to the trend.
So now, without further ado, I present….
The baby is ornery, the dad is bewildered, and the mom is just trying to make it through the day. What can I say, life is tough in robotland.
The good news is, these guys are super easy to make and personalize. I didn’t even write a real pattern for robot-making because it’s so easy to do – if you know crochet basics, you can follow along with the steps below, making your pieces any size you wish for customized ‘bots. Here we go!
What You’ll Need
- worsted-weight yarn
- crochet hook in a size to give you a tight gauge
- craft felt
- miscellaneous hardware, including screws, hex nuts, little gear thingies, and little loop thingies on screws (just browse the hardware store and find stuff that looks interesting)
- sewing needle and thread
- fiber-fill stuffing
- yarn needle
1. Make the bodies
To begin, make 2 single crochet rectangles – these will become the front and back of the robot bodies. Mine are probably about 1.5″ wide and about 4″ tall. On the first rectangle you make, fasten off the yarn and leave a long tail. On the second rectangle you make, do not fasten off.
On the second rectangle (the one with the working yarn still attached), single crochet around all four sides of the piece, then continue working in rounds. This will begin to form the sides of the robot body. Just continue working in rounds (in a continuous spiral) until your sides are as deep as you’d like – mine are probably about 1″ deep.
2. Make the face and belly
Cut two pieces of colored felt in square or rectangle shapes with rounded corners. Stitch little gear hardware onto the belly piece, using sewing thread and a sewing needle. For the face, pierce the felt with small scissors or a seam ripper, then insert two screws for eyes. With black embroidery floss, embroider simple straight-line features like a mouth and eyelashes or eyebrows. Remove the screw-eyes for now and set them aside.
3. Make the arms and legs
Next, cut 4 strips of felt about 1/2″ wide and 4-5″ long each. These are the arms and legs. (I cut my leg pieces a bit longer than my arm pieces.) You’ll also need 4 hex nuts.
Thread one piece of felt through each nut, folding the felt in half so it’s doubled. With matching thread and a sewing needle, sew the two layers of felt together from the nut to the end of the felt. Leave the thread and needle attached.
Finally, sew the back of the body to the front/sides using the long tail and a yarn needle. Stuff the body firmly with fiberfill before completing the seam, then fasten off and weave in the yarn tail.
Insert the screw eyes into the face and a loop-screw thing into the top of each head, placing a dab of glue onto the screw part of each item before inserting it into the fabric/yarn.
NOTE I know you already know this, but: the small metal pieces on these crobots mean these are not safe for little kids, as they could be a choking hazard. Crobots are toys for grown-ups!