Rearview Fridays: Knitted Organs

Today I think it’s time to share another knitting project for Rearview Fridays, 3 dimensional internal organs! I made them as costume pieces for a dance I choreographed last year called Organ Stories. The story of the dance itself will be  one for another Rearview Friday, I have to upload some video and want to give the dance it’s due here. And these organs deserve their stand-alone own entry.

This first shot is of The Uterus, with me and dancer Krista Posyniak getting organised for a rehearsal in June 2011. I was super-duper pregnant with Gene!

Inspiration: The Heart

In 2009 I knitted an anatomical heart for my husband for Valentine’s day, which he thought was weird, but I also like to think he secretly loves that I do such things! I sought out a pattern online since I didn’t really know where to start and was amazed at all the anatomical patterns people had come up with. Here’s the heart pattern I used, it’s by Kristin Ledgett of The Knit Cafe in Toronto.

I also knitted a heart that year for a wee boy named Ford, my friend’s son who was in hospital with complications from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Sometimes when I’m at a loss when those I cherish are in a hard spot, making something is the only way I can think of to show my deep love. I pour my thoughts and goodness and hope into my hours of work, and I hope, I believe, that the object carries the weight of that love. Ford is no longer alive, but I’m glad my knitted heart sat beside him and his mom, who is so dear to me, for a while. So this piece is especially tender for me.

The Lungs

I chose 4 organs that I’d make short solos about. The dancer spoke about facts and emotional associations of each organ and then danced a little organ-specific solo — like a lecture-demo on physiology through dance!

Here are the lungs, they tie around the neck and have super-strong earth magnets on the back that stick to a blouse with magnets sewn into it. I developed my own pattern from a few different ones I looked at online, but I didn’t write it down since I modified as I went, argh! Ah well, there’s next time.

The Uterus

This one made me giggle as I made it. And it was great when people would ask me what I was making, particularly because I was obviously pregnant while I was knitting! It was a highly appropriate organ to be knitting in my condition. I worked directly from a lovely, easy to follow pattern on Knitty by MK Carroll. I’ve also made this as a gift for my midwives, the lovely ladies that saw my boys into the world. Best midwife or obstetrician gift ever!

The Brain

The Brain I concocted myself. I used a great little Blue Whoville Hat Pattern as a base, though I modified a lot of things, made it bigger, alternated knit and purl for the earflaps so that they’d be more smooth than the original and did away with the ribbed band in the original.

Then I made miles and miles and miles of i-cord that I sewed onto the hat like a brain. It was fun to tell people that I was knitting my brain, have them look at the looooooooog cord, scratch their heads and walk away wondering about my sanity … but my plan worked! Here it is:

And lastly, I leave you with a shot from the performance of Organ Stories in July 2011. Here’s the slightly frazzled Professor Posyniak with her spectacles on and her Judy covered in organs. You can see the magnets sewn onto her blouse that the organs stick to for each solo. She was just finished lecturing about the brain and was about to dance it, which as mentioned before I’ll share in video form on another day:

This photo by Andréa de Keijzer, the dancer is Krista Posyniak.

Happy Friday everyone, hope that you’ll never look at your organs the same now that you’ve made it through this post …

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8 thoughts on “Rearview Fridays: Knitted Organs

  1. I love this! So unique and amazing. I need to go knit myself some organs right now. 🙂 I wonder if the extra brain will keep me from forgetting things…

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