Posts Tagged ‘robotics’

Hat 62: a felted cowboy hat

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Is it possible to knit a cowboy hat?  That’s been a question bantered about our team for the past few weeks now.  One of our mentors always wears a cowboy hat….and we wanted to make him a hat that would suit his personal style.

After checking ravelry and seeing a few crocheted cowboy hats, we expanded the search elsewhere online and found this hat which is knit large and felted.


image source:

My first stop was to get some Cascade 220 (I used 3 skeins), in our team colours, and cast on.  very large hatThis hat took about a day to create.  It is loosely knit on very large needles with the yarn held double.  Before felting it looks like quite a floppy mess.feltedAfter 2 hot washes and cold rinses in the machine it became a nice stiff fabric that had shrunk significantly.  I stretched the hat over a small mixing bowl and used clothespins and string to mold the hat into a cowboy hat shape.

After drying it should hold its shape quite nicely.  I’m looking forward to the final results!

Hat 61

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Hat 61 was made in a warehouse.  hat61I’ve been spending lots of time recently in a warehouse, or otherwise occupied with robotics related business.  This past week we saw the end of build season.  Our robot is now in a bag and we’re preparing for competition.

teamFor more information on our team, check out

And Then There Were 60

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Over the past few days since Christmas I’ve been hibernating.  It’s dark, and cold, and it’s cozy inside where I’m organizing things…cooking a bit…and knitting a lot.

Here are the hats that I’ve made over the past few days.  They have been made in preparation for the kickoff of the FIRST robotics build season (Jan 7th).  Our team is growing, and as such the new heads need new hats!

Hat #56 was started earlier in the month, but finished in the past few days.  The robot and number glow in the dark.

Hat #57 is a very stripey hat with bit of glow in the dark yarn in there somewhere.

Hat #58 is a little special.  It fits like a bucket hat, or a cow boy hat depending on how you fix the brim.  The brim is worked as an attached i-cord over a wire, so the hat can take on a variety of shapes.  This was a bit of an improvisational knitting task.  The original cast on edge which was going to be the brim ended up close to the crown of the hat.  Fingers crossed it will fit properly!Hat #59 is a more traditional hat, like the earlier versions…with robots knit right in.

Finally, hat #60 is knit in more subtle colours to suit the intended recipient.

I’m very much looking forward to handing out these hats on kickoff day!  For more information about our robotics team check out the K-Botics website and read the blog.

Hat #55

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This hat is a particularly special hat.  It is the first hat that I’ve ever knit out of sock weight yarn.  It was an experiment in the scale of a pattern.  The very same robot charts look quite intricate on this hat!

robotsIt is knit out of superwash merino wool, and it is so soft, warm, and stretchy.  All the additional time and care were definitely worth it!  I think that this hat will be worn lots, and appreciated for the warmth and care and time invested.  I look forward to see this hat on the head of a smiling K-Bot soon!

Two More Hats

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

With a new season of robotics comes the new flock of robot hats.  Here are hats #53new hat

And #54new hat

We’re preparing for the kick off of the FIRST robotics tournament this January.  We work each Thursday building skills in technology and teamwork.  It’s a large group this year, but the good thing is that this year everyone is learning to knit!

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.

Preparing for the Worlds

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

After earning a spot at the World Championships for robotics, knitting was kept on the back burner for a while….time was spent doing fundraising–a fantastic bottle drive….bottle drive

…building a battery caddy….


…decorating Easter eggs…


…and preparing for a mammoth bus ride to St. Louis!

Hats 48 and 49 at the Greater Toronto Regional

Monday, April 4th, 2011

While with the K-Botics team at the Greater Toronto Regional competition, hats 48 and 49 took shape.

hat 48

Hat 48 did a number on my circulars–the cord snapped right off at the needle!  It’s a good thing I brought a back up pair!

hat 49The competition was the 10th anniversary of FIRST robotics in Canada.  It was really exciting to compete, and even more thrilling to win the Engineering Inspiration award which qualified us to compete at the World Championships in St. Louis.


Knitting has really caught on at robotics competitions–with our team at least.  At one point there were 4 or 5 of us knitting and cheering in the stands.

Hat 47

Friday, March 25th, 2011

As the end of March approaches, my hat total is getting closer and closer to 50.  This is hat #47, knit for a boy who skateboards and has long hair.  He wanted a hat that would droop, and hopefully this one fits the bill.

hat 47

What he doesn’t yet know is that the robot and team number glow in the dark!  K-Botics is getting ready for another competition next weekend.  I’m packing up my knitting needles and robotics yarn stash, and aiming for 50.