Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Betty Baby Bot - Crafty Christmas 2010


Baby Bot and Maria Teresa - My Crafty Christmas 2010  
- Or how to poorly plan your holiday crafting.  Part 2.
(see Part 1 with Hello Kitty in Kimono here)

Betty Baby Bot
Baby Robot for Mia's Christmas

When I saw this super cute crocheted doll, designed by kandjdolls I just loved her!  (a frequent reaction I have to their adorable designs - see the Hello Kitty in Kimono inspired by another of their designs) and I wanted to use her as inspiration for a knitted doll.

precious crochet pattern by kandjdolls here

 (what has this got to do with a Baby Bot?  
 Well... be patient, it all connects together... eventually  heh heh)

She was to be a fun and colorful, no-deadline project, to clear my head after making Stitch and several other requested peeps.  I had made her first booted foot and leg when I found out, in late October, that I needed to make a bunch of gifts for Christmas - so after my initial panic at the time frame, I thought - cool!  I have one started!  And since time was so short (only two months before the holiday!!!), starting with her seemed like a good idea.

It wasn't.

I can make larger and more elaborate peeps for birthdays because there are fewer items to make at a time, but at Christmas, because there are too many to do, I don't make gifts - except for wee ornamenty sized ones for the kids, as time permits.
(see examples of these wee Christmas peeps)

What made me think I could make more and larger ones this time with only two months to do it in?!

So back to the doll foot...
On I went, happily knitting away at this doll (alongside other projects of the needed gifts, including Hello Kitty in Kimono), days were going by, weeks were going by, when I realized that I was making her way too large for the time I had available!

So I stopped there, put her aside and made smaller and simpler projects that I could complete in the time I had.

End of fairy tale.

Heh heh

Nope. That's not what I did. I stubbornly continued working feverishly on her, alongside the other projects needed.  For weeks.

As Christmas drew closer, I grew more and more panicky when I saw how far behind I was.
So then I cut my losses and made something simpler.


I kept trying to get this doll, now known as Maria Teresa, made!

About two weeks before Christmas I was working on creating the elaborate hair that I had decided to put on her (*sigh*). and realized that it was going to be 3 to 4 more days of hard work, with a bunch of other projects still needing to be completed.  And much worse than that, although my Hub and I both loved how she was turning out, she was going to be way too delicate for our very active wee niece.


(I don't normally like to show these peeps before they're finished, but after telling you so much about her, it didn't seem fair not to let you see what I was talking about.  So please forgive her mussy state.)

Maria Teresa unfinished
She's a large peep!  For me, anyway, at 12 inches

Size I prefer making

So, suddenly, at that late date, I had to make something else!  And quick!  I couldn't get waylaid and wander off into another lengthy project!  Something with simple shapes which I could use thicker yarn to make, rather than the fine stuff that I usually use.   Looking through my stash of inspiration pics, and trolling the net for ideas, I chose to make a knitted version of these super adorable, cutie crocheted robots! (apparently from a Japanese crochet amigurumi book Amigurumi Collection Vol. 6 by Uzunotsuke - here  Also available from some sellers on - search for the book title)

This photo of the beautiful one crocheted by masakiti was the one that inspired me, but there are a number of them around.
masakiti's inspirational robot

That worked out great!  Betty Baby Bot was born!  (Hurray!  Finally I got to the point!)

 Pushing her buttons and Tuning her in

My Hub and I really LOVED her!!  So much that I plan to make a mini version for him!  :o)  And she was a great hit with our wee niece!!  Yay!!  She immediately grabbed Betty (or Baby Bot as we call her) and ran around with her, swinging her by a leg, or an arm as she played. Yep. Maria Teresa wouldn't have survived. Heh heh. But Baby Bot was happy as a clam!  Yay!

Maria Teresa's fate is still undetermined. She still needs that 3 to 4 more days of hard work, putting together and sewing her hair, and I'm loaded up with belated Christmas projects (pushed back because, even working day and night - with several all-nighters - I still ran out of time).  She may go to someone else, or maybe she’ll be saved for Mia when she's a bit older (or, my Hub says, maaaybeee, we'll just keep her!  heh heh).

Baby Bot was a fun project (or would have been without the time crunch) and I tried out a mix of yarns that was quite successful. I needed to make these projects from my stash, not a big hardship considering its size, but since I needed this to be much faster than my usual knitting, I also needed worsted weight, not baby yarn!  That, I don't have much of.  For her stripey legs and arms, I did have some Bernat Berella 4 in baby colors, leftover from my years of charity baby blanket knitting.  For the minty part of her (everything but arms and legs), I held two strands of baby yarn together. It worked so much better than I expected!!

Using 1 strand of Bernat Softee Baby Mint and 1 strand of TLC Baby in Powder Pink Sparkle, I knit her on size US 4 needles. Tight. (5's would have been better but they were somewhere in projects and I didn't have time to look for them.)  I was really pleasantly surprised at how the fabric came out. You'd never realize it wasn't one strand, and I LOVED the effect of the subtle variations in color that it created!  Definitely want to try more of this kind of combo!  And I was very pleased with how her mouth turned out... I wanted it to look like that transistory-wirey stuff and I just made several long skinny yarn knots on one length of yarn (actually two strands tied together) and stitched it down in a mouth shape.  (See my yarn knot eyes tutorial for info on how to make knotted yarn eyes and other things.)

She's flawed of course. Especially since I knit her in 5 days (plus the time to put on her face) instead of 2 or 3 weeks, as it would have normally taken me for a simply shaped peep that size.  But despite her flaws, we love her.  (and apparently so does Mia)  :o)  And she's a really good hugger! 

Still more of My Crafty Christmas 2010 in upcoming posts...  Bet you can't wait!!  ;o)

theknittingkitty for theknittycat


  1. you out did yourself this time Shar with your Christmas gifts they all look amazing!

    best wishes and hugs

  2. Hi Sara! So nice to see you! I'm so pleased that you like them, and yes, I out-did myself in! heh heh

  3. Aww thats all I have to say about all your lovely toys. And can I ask where can I find the pattern for Betty Baby Bot? I want it

  4. Thanks very much, Anonymous, for the kind compliments. :o)

    I'm afraid there IS no pattern for Baby Bot. I just freehanded her, using Masakiti's crocheted robot as inspiration. But she's made up of very simple shapes and would be easy for anyone to duplicate. Her hands, feet, head and nose are all balls, her body is an elongated ball or an egg shape, her legs and arms are tubes, and her ears and top knob are half balls with one round of purled stitches before starting the decreases. And that's about it. I've described the yarns I used and how I made her mouth in the post above. :o)

    Hope this helps.

  5. Well it looks like I'm going to be busy.. ;)
    Thanks anyways. Still love your work.. Happy knitting.

  6. Thank you, Rianna. :o) My Hub and I really want a Baby Bot too, but we both have to wait till my hands heal. :o/

    I'm sure that she will be fun for you to experiment with! If you can knit a ball, you can make her! :o)

    And Happy Knitting to you too!

  7. Oops! Please forgive me mispelling your name, Reanna! *blush*

  8. *Giggle* It's OK my finger get going to.. lol. I never knitted a ball, but I have been crocheting all my life and I have been able to use that to add in my knitting. I hope your hands heal quickly. So you can get back to your knitting. I take mine where ever I go. :)