Introduction: Make Your Own Cute Little Ocean Bacterium!

About: Creations of marine microbes.

Let’s make a prochlorococcus bacterium! I didn’t know anything about this bacterium, but according to Wikipedia, it is a photosynthetic picoplankton (cute!) which is “among the major primary producers in the ocean, responsible for a large percentage of the photosynthetic production of oxygen” ( Without these little buddies, life as we know it would be very different!

Here’s what we’ll be making and a picture of what inspired it. I thought I would add a little extra personality to the bacterium with a face. You can decide whether you want to include that or not.

Skill level: easy

This were created by Kitty Quitmeyer ( Research reported in this instructable was supported by the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative of the National Academy of Sciences under award number NAKFI DBS17. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative or the National Academy of Sciences.

Step 1: Materials

  • Green yarn
  • White yarn
  • Black embroidery thread
  • Pink embroidery thread
  • 1.9 mm crochet hook (or hook of similar size)

Step 2: Making the Body

We will make two sides of the bacterium, embroider a cute face on one side, and slip stitch them together. To make the oval shapes, we make a chain, work along both sides, and then increase on each end in each row.

1. With green, chain 4.

2. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, and in each of the next 2 chains. Work 2 more sc in the same space as the last sc.

3. Turn the piece so you can work on the opposite side of the foundation chain. Sc in the bottom of the second sc you did on the other side. 2 sc in the bottom of your first sc on the other side. You now have 8 scs – 1 on each side and 3 on each end.

4. Inc in first stitch and place marker in first stitch of new round. Sc, 3 inc, sc, 2 inc. Sl st last st to first st. (14)

5. Changing to white yarn, chain one. In same st, inc. 2 sc, (inc, sc) * 3. 2sc, (inc, sc) * 2. (20) Skipping chain st, sl st first st to last st.

6. Changing to green yarn, chain 1 and increase into same st. 3 sc, (inc, 2sc) * 3. 3sc, (inc, 3sc) * 2. Skipping chain st, sl st first st to last st. (26)

After finishing first oval, cut and weave in all ends, but do not cut green yarn after finishing the second oval.

Step 3: Embroidering the Face

Embroider cute little face on one side! I used french knots for the black eyes and pink cheeks and backstitch for the black smile. Check the image at the top if you need more guidance, or google around for other ways to embroider faces if you prefer a different style.

Step 4: Finishing

Once you’re done with the face, start to slip stitch the two sides together. When you have just a few stitches left, stuff the form with polyfill or yarn snippings. Once filled, slip st the rest of the ovals together. Cut yarn and pull the end into the form with your hook. Done!