Every now and again we stumble across someone doing something truly different with knitting that blows us away. Daniel Lam is one of those people.
Daniel is a paediatrics resident at the University of Colorado in the US, and undertook the fascinating project of knitting parts of the human anatomy.
We spoke to him about this unique idea, to find out more…
Why and when did you decide to knit parts of the human anatomy?
I started during medical school while I was assisting the teaching of our anatomy course. Having just taken the same course a year earlier, I remembered all the parts that were difficult to learn, despite the Powerpoints, chalk talks and white board models. I felt like what I really needed was something physical that I could manipulate and see in three dimensions, so I started knitting body parts to do just that – give students a way of touching the very thing they were learning about so they could see the complex ways they moved or were arranged.
How long did it take you to knit the body parts?
Some were longer than others. The eyeball just took a day, but the abdominal organs took a few weeks. For both of those projects, the set-up afterwards probably took the longest, figuring out how best to arrange/display them so they were clear and approachable.
What do you tend to knit in your spare time?
I’m a big fan of hats and scarves. But I also like knitting funky things and trying out new techniques, which is why I also knit cats, ostriches, and Japanese animated film characters.
Do you have another big project in mind you want to knit, or what would be your dream to knit?
I’d like to knit the vasculature system, starting from the aorta and then going all the way down to the terminal branches reaching the legs and feet. Or a dermatome sweater. Or a pair of asthmatic lungs. Or the Circle of Willis. Or I might just make a pair of socks.
Thanks Daniel, your work is truly fascinating.
So how about it, would you try knitting parts of the human body?
Photo credits: Daniel Lam