Saturday, 16 January 2010

Pattern - 4 needle knit

To knit your neuron on 4 double-ended needles, you start at the top, and work down and round the cell body like a sock, tapering down to a point where the axon joins on to the cell body. You then stitch in your axon, stuff and close off the body, and add your dendrites.

I used 4 double-pointed 3.5mm (US4, UK10) needles & Double Knitting wool, but please use what you like). You also need darning needle & a small bit of stuffing.

AXON: Cut 15 equal lengths of wool 10-20cm/4-8”.Knot together, divide into 3x5, & plait. Knot ends together,

CELL BODY: Cast on 15 & divide between 3 needles (3x5 stitches)
Round 1: Knit 1 complete round (3x5st = 15st)
Rnd2: M1 for each st on all needles (3x10st = 30st)
Rnd3-6: K complete rounds
Rnd7 onwards: Decrease number of st on each needle for every other needle by doing the following:
Rnd7: K2 tog, K8 on needle1 (9st); K10 on needle2 (10st); K2 tog, K8 on needle3 (9st)
Complete round therefore has 9+10+9 = 28st
Rnd8: K9; K2 tog,K8; K9 (9+9+9 = 27st)
Rnd9: K2tog,K7; K9; K2 tog,K7 (8+9+8=25st)
Rnd10: K8; K2tog,K7; K8 (8+8+8=24st)
Rnd11: K2tog,K6; K8; K2tog,K6 (7+8+7=22st)
Rnd12: K7; K2tog,K6; K7 (7+7+7=21st)

Continue decreasing in the same way until you have a complete round of just 9st, with 3st on each needle.

Casting off: cut wool allowing length of ~15cm/6”. Use darning needle to draw cut end through remaining st, stitch furthest from cut end first. Slide remainging st off needles.

Finishing: Place one end of your plaited axon into the loop of casts-off stitches, pull loop tight, & sew axon into body. Stuff the body then sew he top closed.

DENDRITES: Cut 6 equal lengths of wool of e.g. 15cm/6”. With darning needle, pull strands through a few stitches on the cell body so that you have 12 free ends hanging out.
Divide into 3x2 strands & start plaiting. Make the dendrite branched by separating out & tying off strands at intervals, continuing to plait with remaining strands. Knot the end. Repeat many times!

K=knit; M1=Make 1 by knitting both front & back loop of stitch; P=pearl R=Row; Rnd=Round; st=stitch; StSt=stocking stitch (1 row knit, 1 row pearl); tog=together

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