Archive for May, 2011

A Hat For Dean Kamen

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Ever since knitting a hat for Woodie Flowers at the New York City Regional competition, I’ve been thinking about what would make a good hat for Dean Kamen.hat 52

People had mentioned that he wouldn’t wear it unless it matched with his denim ensemble.  The FIRST logo is very important to him, so that was incorporated, as was his name, and of course lots of robots!

During the competition, one of our mentors wore a hole in her jeans, and we sacrificed them for the cause.  The jeans were cut lengthwise in strips about 1/4 inch wide (any thinner and the fabric will fray too much, any thicker and it will not knit properly).  The denim strips are in the stripes at the top of the hat.

Knitting the hat was the easy part.  Finding Dean Kamen on the last day of Championships proved to be much more challenging.  After the final matches on Einstein, I headed out with another mentor in search of him.  We were lucky to meet Monica, a woman who works at FIRST in New Hampshire.  She told us that Dean had already left the building, but that she would pack up the hat and card, and be sure that he got them.


Thanks Monica!  We appreciate your helpful delivery.  We’re hoping that Dean will wear the hat, and take a photo to send to us, but we realize he’s a busy guy.


To see more of what we did at our competition, and to see the FIRST build season in a nutshell tune in to CNN, they’re airing a special about education and how special FIRST is.

St. Louis

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Heading to St. Louis (19 hours on a bus) was great for sleeping and knitting.  The weather was stormy, and it was hard to see the arch as we approached.

archThis hat, number 50 was intended for Morgan Freeman…but we never ended up seeing him or hearing him at the competition.  Hat 50 will be repurposed for someone else sometime soon.

hat 50

Hat 51 was created in the stands at the World Championships.hat 51We had an exciting time playing with and against the best robots in the world.  We met some of our old friends, and made new ones.

team knitters

It turns out that several teams knit hats!  I’d like to think ours are the most unique out there, but I challenge all other teams to engineer creative hats for themselves.

ASIMOWe saw ASIMO the robot from Honda that can climb stairs, run, walk, and stand on one foot (as seen above).  It was such a great demonstration of highly skilled engineering and design.

archCaptain Canada and I had a walk and saw the arch in the sunshine…. and later in the trip we all were treated to a concert by the Black Eyed Peas.

concertIt was an exciting time for all of us!

hat 51

Before I knew it, hat 51 was complete!  The needles didn’t sit idle for long.  A hat for Dean Kamen was the next on the agenda.