View Full Version : knitting for my biology project!

Kels Joy.
05-12-2008, 09:08 PM
my biology teacher does this project every semester where you need to create a model of a eukaryotic cell (for those of you who know biology), and he gives major extra credit for creativity.
for mine, i'm going to be knitting it!

here's what one looks like:

i have a bases for what i'm doing, i'm just at a loss for how to knit a half of a 3-d sphere. i'm wondernig if you could do it kind of like a heel of a sock, the way it jutts out like that, but i'm not a sock-knitter so i wouldn't know how to do that either.

anyone have any ideas? :think: i'd love to hear any feedback or suggestions !
thankss!! :muah:

05-12-2008, 09:39 PM
The half should be easy enough - just like a baby hat: using short circulars, cast on about 50 st. Knit in garter for 6 rows then you can shift to stockinette, or stay with garter for some texture. After about 1 ti 1.5 inches, begin your decreases. K 5, k2tog. Repeat this pattern until last 2 sts, k2tog. Knit next row. Next row, K 4 k2tog, repeat pattern to end of row. Knit next row. Continue decreasing every other row and switch to dpn's when you can no long use circular. After K1 k2tog row, do not do row for knit only, just continue to decrease. When you are down to 7-8 stitches, run yarn through loops, pull tight to close.

The quarter circle "could" be done by doing an identical half circle as in the above, and then folding it in half and whip-stitching the bottom half to the top quarter.

There may be better or easier ways to make your outer shell. Hopefully others will read this and immediately see how it could be made better/easier.

Good luck to you!

05-12-2008, 09:56 PM
Maybe for the quarter circle you could just do 'half' of the hat pattern? Like if you had cast on 50 stitches, just cast on 25, and do the same basic pattern, except on straight needles (ie, knit a few rounds then start that same basic pattern of decreases). Then at the end you could just sew your quarter panel onto the half hat that was already made.... I dunno though, this is definitely not my area of expertise.

You might also look for free knitting patterns for toys to see if they give you some other ideas for how to do this sort of thing.

That's a super cool idea for your bio project, btw!

05-12-2008, 10:43 PM
Wooooooooow. That is going to be quite the project. You're definantly going to get points for creativity.

Unfortuently, I can't really help you with the technical aspects. I just wanted to give your props for tackling such a big project. And good luck :cheering:

05-13-2008, 12:44 AM
I too am no help but wanted to say it sounds cool. I still remember in Jr high we had to bring in a model of a cell and I chose jello but didn't think about it melting so I got no credit for it. good thing yours won't melt. LOL

05-13-2008, 05:22 AM
what a great idea!:thumbsup:
heres a question. Does the model have to be the traditional sectioned globe, or could it be a complete cell with the various organelles deposited inside, and those that need to be in a specific position held in place by wire?
Don't forget, that once you are inside a eukaryotic cell things are not held rigidly in place, so you can be a little freer with the placement too i would presume. A eukariotic cell is defined as a cell containing a nucleus in addition to other organelles such as mitochondria ang Golgi bodies (who would have though that i would be using my GCSE biology for knitting, I love it!). It is only in text book diagrams that everything apears in such a rigid structure, the cells when viewed under a microscope are often much more disorganised and freely aranged (with a few exceptions of course such as red blood cells).

my first thought was somthing like this you see:
http://www.theanticraft.com/archive/samhain06/teratoma.htm (WARNING!! NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED)

A knitted globe (maybe slightly elongated)containing an assortment of organells which are comonly found in a eukariatic cell. If you are going to do a plant cell then i would do two knitted globes, one for the cell wall and one for the cell membrane and would try and make it a little more oblong, perhaps following a basic tote bag pattern to get the cornered effect. The organells could be created using stitched squares of stockinette. for example a mitochondria could be made by making a shallow bowl shape (again based on the bottom of a tote bag but scaled down) and then filled with folded squares of stockinette or garter stitch to represent the crista.

oh i just realised how long this post was ... i gues i got a little excited by the idea.:cheering: :aww:

05-13-2008, 06:43 AM
I had to help my 13 year old daughter with a project like this last year. we made it out of pva and paper and used beads for the little parts inside the cell.

If I was you I would go to the library and find a book on knitted bowl, you might find patterns on the Internet too. use wool and felt the bowl once felted you can cut the wool out how you want so do two bowls cut one in half sew half the bowl to the whole bowl and you have a three quarter. shape the knitting when felting to get the shape you want.

I have never actually done this. but that is what popped into my head when I saw your post. good luck with your project and would love to see photos of finished item.

Sunshine's Mom
05-13-2008, 11:01 AM
Holy Moley! I wouldn't have the brass to tackle something like that but kudos to you! Please post a picture of the finished project. I would like very much to see it.

05-13-2008, 12:11 PM
I'm with Tarrentella on this one, knit it round with a drawstring opening, don't weave in the ends and there are a couple of flagellum right there, and put the parts inside with tags for labels and maybe some tissue paper to keep the round shape and represent the liquid/plasma/cell goo inside.

We want pictures when it's done! What a neat idea.

05-13-2008, 12:28 PM
I agree with Karina. Felting would be the way to go to hold the shape you want/ need for the cellular membrane. This bag pattern (http://www.gogetyoursmock.org/TheBalloonBagWeb.pdf) might help or here is a bowl pattern (http://mmandmyy.blogspot.com/2007/01/felted-bowl-pattern.html) . Felted beads (http://woolfestival.com/articles/felltedbeads.htm) would be cool for some of the organelles floating around.

If you figure this out you will have to post it for us! What a cool idea!

Kels Joy.
05-14-2008, 04:06 PM
thanks everyone for the help and encouragement :thumbsup:
i'll be sure to post a picture when i'm finished

05-14-2008, 07:08 PM
Ahh I just had flashbacks......ok I am good now. I think that is so cool that you are going to knit it. You have to post the pics. Good Luck!!!

05-14-2008, 07:35 PM
Why not Knit a large ball, cast of about 45% of the stitches when you get half way up (just before decreases start) then finish just the back half to the top and close, then P/U stitches at the back and make a flatish backdrop, do the same for the flat top/bottom
the needle felt in the motochondria and Nucleus, etc

just the way I would do it
but I love challenges like this
I did make a doll when I was still a new knitter

and i really REALLY wanna see this when U R done


05-14-2008, 09:53 PM
I like Holly's felted bowl idea. It should be a really fun project and I'd love to see the finished project.