Knitted Instructables Robot
Forget toys that will talk to you, or dance for you, or need batteries to be played with. Let’s get back to basics with a good old fashioned plushie toy. Something to cuddle, yet something that fits in with this modern world we live in. I bring you the soft and very huggable Instructables Robot! And with a little time, you can knit your very own Robot just like mine.
While I have tried to keep these instructions easy, you will need to know how to knit in the round, either using double pointed needles or a circular needle using the magic loop method. The magic loop method is, in my opinion, a lot easier than using dpns and I would urge you to learn it if you don't already know how. It's so easy, my 13 year old has picked it up without any trouble. You can find a video tutorial here.
You will also need to be able to do an i-cord. This is very easy. You cast on 3 stitches using a double pointed needle. Slide these stitches to the right hand end of the needle and using another dpn, knit the 3 stitches. Again, slide the stitches to the right and knit. Continue in this manner till the piece is the required length.
I always leave fairly long tails of thread both at cast on and cast off. These tails are quite often used in sewing up. That way, there are less threads to weave in at the end.
Materials and tools
The yarn – I used 8 ply acrylic in the following colours:
Yellow - about 80 grams
Brown/orange - about 50 grams
Black – small amount
Red – small amount
Grey – small amount
White – small amount
Stuffing – I used Hobby Fill
4mm circular needle (the one I used was 80cm long) alternatively, you could use a set of double pointed needles
Pair of 4mm needles - these are not absolutely necessary as you can just use the circular needle to knit back and forth.
set of 3.25 double pointed needles
Needle for sewing up and duplicate stitch embroidery
Stitch markers – I actually don’t like the plastic stitch markers you can buy, I prefer to just tie a scrap of different coloured yarn around the needle.
Row counter (optional)
k2tog - knit to together
p2tog - purl 2 together
m1 - make one stitch. Insert the left needle under the bar (of thread) between the stitches and pull this up onto the left needle. Knit into the back of this loop.
dpn -double pointed needle
kp in next stitch - knit and purl into the next stitch (making an extra stitch)
ssk - slip slip knit decrease. Slip the next 2 stitches knitwise onto the right needle. Insert the left needle into the front of these two stitches and knit them - there is a video tutorial here.
Step 1: Body
Note: I have used a circular needle and the magic loop method to knit the body, mainly because I like the seamless result, however, you could use straight needles and knit this piece flat and put a seam up the back. To do it that way, work rows in stocking stitch instead of knitting all rounds. You will also need to break off the yarn when you change colours in the first few rows and later when doing the shaping, make sure that decrease rows fall on a knit row.
Note: The marker will be where rounds start and finish. I deliberately made it 2 stitches in from the ‘real’ round end, because it’s easier to change colours after you have joined the knitting into a circle rather than trying to join the knitting into a circle while also trying to change from one yarn colour to another.
Another important thing to note. When you join your knitting to make a circle, make sure that the stitches are NOT twisted around the needle anywhere. I can’t stress this enough. On my first attempt at this, I thought all my stitches were straight and went on happily knitting. After about 10 rounds, I thought I should check, only to find I was knitting a mobius strip!
Using black yarn and the circular needle, cast on 120 stitches.
Knit across stitches then join knitting to form a circle. Knit 2 stitches and place a row/round marker. Join in yellow yarn, but do not cut the black yarn.
Knit 3 rounds in yellow.
Knit 1 round black. Break off black yarn and continue in yellow.
Knit 28 rounds.
Next round: knit 20, place marker (it’s a good idea to make these markers a different colour to your round marker), knit 20, place marker, knit 40, place marker, knit 20, place marker, knit 20.
Next round: *knit to 2 stitches before marker, k2tog, slip marker, ssk. Repeat from * 3 times, knit to end of round (112 stitches remain)
Next round: knit
Repeat last two rows 8 times (48 stitches remain)
Knit one round
Next round: knit 9, k2tog, remove marker, k2 tog, remove marker, ssk, knit 18, k2tog, remove marker, k2tog, remove marker, k2tog, remove marker, ssk, knit 9 (42 stitches remain)
Cast off leaving a long thread.
Using straight needles and yellow yarn, cast on 40 stitches and work 30 rows of stocking stitch.
Step 2: Finishing Off the Body
Before sewing up the body and stuffing, you will need to add the detail. This is done using black yarn and duplicate stitches. I could have knitted these stitches as I was making the piece, but I don't like carrying wool along too far at the back of the work while knitting and these stitches are 8 stitches apart. As for knitting in the front detail, because I was making this pattern up as I went along, I wasn't quite sure where the detail should be placed until I had finished the piece.
Single stitches around the bottom.
Locate where the rounds end and, on the wrong side of the work, attach a length of black yarn on a needle. Bring the needle through from the back to the front at the bottom of the stitch you want to duplicate (this stitch should be in the middle yellow row and 2 stitches to the left of the round joining point.
Following the path of the thread of the stitch you are duplicating, pass the needle behind the bottom of the stitch above. Next return the needle through the spot at the bottom of the V (where you brought the needle out) to the back of the work. Pull the yarn snug and you should have a stitch that looks like it was actually knitted.
The next single stitch will be 8 stitches to the left of this one, so one the wrong side of the work, carry the yarn along to the next spot by threading the needle in the black loops.
Continue embroidering single stitches evey eight stitches until you get back to the center back. Secure and cut yarn.
You will need to identify the 'corners' of the body to place the front detail. To do this, look at where the shaping is at the top. Where the two parts of the shaping meet is the corner. Follow this line down the side all the way to the bottom. Place a marker at each corner - as well as placement of the detail, you will need to know where the corners are when sewing the bottom of the body on.
Once you have determined where the corners are, you can count stitches in and up from the black row to start embroidering (using duplicate stitch) the detail.
Buttons (make 3)
With grey yarn and 3.25mm needles, cast on 15 stitches.
Cut a long tail and thread through stitches on needle.
Remove from needle and pull tightly to gather.
Sew ends together to make a round button and bind off.
Step 3: Head, Eyes and Ears.
Entire piece is worked in stocking stitch.
Using 4mm straight needles and orange or brown yarn, cast on 15 stitches.
Starting with a knit row, work 20 rows of stocking stitch.
Cast on 15 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 10 rows.
Cast off 15 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Work 20 rows.
Eyes (make 2)
Using 3.25mm needles (I just used the double pointed ones) and red yarn, cast on 15 stitches.
Cast off all stitches, leaving a long tail.
Bring the piece into a circle and use one of the tails of thread to sew row ends together.
Ears (make 2)
Using 3.25mm double pointed needles and black yarn, cast on 3 stitches.
Work 10 rows of i-cord.
Break off black and join red.
knit and purl in every stitch (6 stitches)
Transfer to 4mm circular needle and join into a round
knit and purl into every stitch (12 stitches)
knit one round
Thread black tails of thread and pass up and down through the i-cord. - This will make it firmer.
Step 4: Arms
Arms (make 2)
*With 3.25mm double pointed needle and white yarn, cast on 3 stitches.
Work 4 rows of i-cord
Cut yarn, leaving a short thread.
Move work onto a spare dpn
Repeat from * four times, but do not cut yarn on fourth piece.
With all pieces on one dpn, purl across all 12 stitches to join them together.
Transfer to a circular needle and knit all stitches and join into a loop. Add a round marker.
Knit one round
Next round - k4, m1, k4, m1, k4 (14 stitches)
Next round - k4, m1, k4, m1, k4, m1, k2 (17 stitches)
Knit one round
Next round - k5, m1, k5, m1, k5, m1, k2 (20 stitches)
Break off white and add orange.
Knit 6 rounds
Add black (don't break off orange) and knit 1 round
Knit 1 round orange
Knit 1 round black. break off black and continue in orange.
Knit 5 rounds.
Cast off 1 stitch at beginning of next round, then knit to round marker. Turn.
From here work will be in stocking stitch, turning at the end of each row.
Next row - Cast off 1 stitch at beginning of row, purl to end. (18 stitches)
Next row - k2tog, knit to 2 last stitches, k2tog (16 stitches)
Next row - p2tog, purl to last 2 stitches, p2tog (14 stitches)
Repeat last 2 rows 3 times (2 stitches)
Thread yarn from the tip of each finger down through the middle of the i-cord and trim.
Hold fingers in such a way that they make a line of four (see picture) and using one of the tails of yarn, sew the two sides together so there are no gaps. Thread remaining tails into the inside of the hand.
Step 5: Legs and Wheels
Wheels (make 2)
Using 4mm circular needle and black, cast on 12 stitches.
Knit across and join into a loop.
Knit one round.
Next round - knit and purl into every stitch (24 stitches)
Repeat last round twice (96 stitches)
Knit one round.
Next round k2tog to end (48 stitches)
Repeat last round twice (12 stitches)
Knit one round
Join cast on and cast off edges together and sew partly.
Stuff and finish sewing up.
Using 4mm circular needle and orange, cast on 29 stitches.
Knit across and join to form a loop.
Knit 6 rounds.
Add black (do not cut orange) and work one round black, one round orange and one round black.
Break off black and continue in orange.
Knit 5 rounds*
Next round Knit 7, turn, purl 4, turn
Continuing on these 4 stitches, work 6 rows of stocking stitch.
Join grey to next stitch and knit6 stitches. Turn **
Working on these 6 stitches and starting with a purl row, work 8 rows.
Next row p2tog, p2, p2tog
Next row k2tog twice
Next row p2tog
Bind off ***
Rejoin orange and cast off 4 stitches.
Break off orange and join in grey and knit across remaining stitches, turn.
Repeat from ** to *** to make second grey flap.
Work as left leg to *
knit 3 stitches.
Cast off next 4 stitches.
Break off orange and join grey
Knit 5 stitches (6 stitches on needle) turn
work from ** to *** to make flap.
Rejoin orange and knit 4 stitches, turn
Work 7 rows stocking stitch.
Join grey and knit to end, turn.
Work from **to*** to work second flap.
To make up
Sew the cast off edge of the orange flap to the opposite cast off edge.
Sew the sides of the flap to the base of the grey flaps.
Pass one grey flap through the middle of the wheel and join securely to the other flap.
Weave in yarn tails and straighten up the wheel.
Step 6: Making Up
Sew bottom of body piece to main body piece, matching up corners.
Stuff through neck opening and sew up hole.
Sew head piece into an open box shape - sorry, someone forgot to take a photo at this stage.
Stuff head and sew onto body.
Sew eyes and ears onto head.
With black yarn, sew lines on face above and below eyes.
Stuff arms and sew in place. My daughter wanted one arm up and one down.
Stuff legs and sew in place on bottom of body, taking note that round ends face each other on inside legs and where the orange flap is stitched down faces the back.
Sew three buttons onto chest and your robot is ready to be hugged, played with, thrown around or whatever you want to do with it.