Not as scary as it sounds - but very helpful!
Q: What's small, remote controlled, able to eat yarn and excrete perfectly formed yarn balls?
A: Yarn Monster!
Yarn Monster was conceived when SparkFun customer Todd Treece was helping his girlfriend with some knitting. Ensnared by the tedious task of balling the yarn manually, Todd had plenty of time to think of more creative ways to perform such menial labor. He set out to build a custom solution that not only did the job for you but also seemed to be quietly watching you as you carefully crafted clothing from its food source.
The end result is powered by a stepper motor which is driven by an Easy Driver and an Arduino Pro Mini. Speed instructions are sent to the monster via XBee from a remotely connected potentiometer that looks strikingly similar to its mother. Check out the full parts list here.
It should also be noted that SparkFun customer Todd Treece is soon to be SparkFun employee Todd Treece! We found out about Yarn Monster with Todd's application for PHP Developer (one down but still hiring for more!). Soon the father of the Yarn Monster will be amid our developer circle, writing code and fixing bugs - a process not dissimilar from untangling messy yarn knots.