Emily Stoneking's craftwork is a combination of grisly and cute: a mouse pinned out on a slab, skin stretched flat, wooly guts nestled between head and tail, like a plush version of an old-school high school science lesson, complete with cross stitches for eyes. Or, an earthworm split and splayed on a felt cushion. How about a human brain with all its convoluted squiggles rendered in stitches?
She knitted her first dissected frog after a conversation with her husband.
"We were having one of those conversations where each person keeps coming up with funnier and weirder things based on whatever the last thing said was," she told Bored Panda. "One of us (we each claim credit) came up with the idea of a dissected frog, and as soon as it was said, I had a pretty strong idea about how I would design one."
Stoneking’s designs are available only as knitting patterns for you to knit yourself, and sold through her aKNITomy Etsy store. To do so, you’ll need to be able to knit in the round with double-pointed needles, and to take care of basics like casting on and off. Otherwise, it’s hard to go wrong, and if you do, the pieces are small enough to rip back and start over.
The designs themselves, with names like Vegan Lab Rat and Fetal Pig Dissection, are based in fact, but wheel off into the fantastic, with aliens and vampire bats.
"I take a lot of artistic liberties," she told Bored Panda. "I do spend a lot of time researching real anatomical structures, and my guts have evolved over time, [but the] real deal is pretty messy and there are not a lot of distinct colors, and I want it to look more like an anatomical illustration."
And lest you think that a downloadable PDF won’t make a good gift for the nerdy knitter in your life, don’t worry. I knit, and I would love one of these.