Yarn Monster

Not as scary as it sounds - but very helpful!

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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.

Comments 26 comments

  • shjohnson.pi / about 13 years ago / 2

    I read the beginning as y-a-m monster that eats yam and creates perfectly formed yam balls. I didn't know there was a need for yam balls.

  • PBA / about 13 years ago / 2

    One of the most fun project videos I've seen. Awesome!

  • shortedneuron / about 13 years ago / 1

    Todd, I really enjoy how well you anthropomorphized both the monster, and his remote.

  • andrewl / about 13 years ago / 1

    I love it! Possibly the most over engineered project ever, but that just makes it cooler in my eyes.

  • NinoScript / about 13 years ago / 1

    Amazing project and video quality, I don't knit, but I'd have one just for show!
    This is the kind of project that gets people into things when they see it. :D

  • AdamTolley / about 13 years ago / 1

    I think the controller was the best/cutest part. I want all my controllers to look like little monsters now.

  • idox / about 13 years ago / 1

    good job

  • idox / about 13 years ago / 1


  • idox / about 13 years ago / 1


  • Otirb / about 13 years ago / 1

    Awesome video!

  • UNTEngineer / about 13 years ago / 1

    Haha, thats one of the coolest projects Ive seen so far. Brilliant and creative! Im Impressed, I think I know a few people who'd like to have one of these.

  • cigarsnob / about 13 years ago / 1

    Awesome project and video...Does anyone know the name of the song?

  • nolaspring / about 13 years ago / 1


  • Shannon2 / about 13 years ago / 1

    He bothered with a resume? Zeesh, talk about overkill.

  • Member #155131 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Excellent video! The Yarn Monster ROCKS!

  • That was a very entertaining video. Looks like this Yarn Monster would work great if you happened to find a pile of completely untangled yarn. But how often does that happen?

    • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago / 2

      Every other day. If you have a cat

    • Zaphod / about 13 years ago / 1

      As my wife is a knitter, I know the answer to this. Plenty of purchased yarn does not come in a ball, but comes in a "skein" (www.google.com/images?q=skein) which then needs to be wound into a ball.

  • AndrewMV / about 13 years ago / 1

    Easily among the best video-production quality I've seen in a build demonstration...and the cabinet built around the device is just perfect :)

  • Echo / about 13 years ago / 1

    yes. yarn monster! Congratulations!

  • Yvan256 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Yeah for HTML5 video!

  • PaulGroenendaal / about 13 years ago / 1

    Truly the best way to apply for a job at SparkFun!

  • stevech / about 13 years ago / 1

    Impressive project.
    And as well, the great creativity in the video production.

  • CF / about 13 years ago / 1

    Great video!

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