The subjects of our three tableaux were chosen after discussions with the three speakers, who will talk at the final Cheltenham Science Festival talk. After all we’re hoping that they will be able to use the tableaux to illustrate their talks. Armed with our list of ideas we got together with MS researchers Helen Wheeler and Nicola Hamilton-Whitaker to turn words into shapes with the help of a lot of plasticine and imagination.
Some of our early design models are shown here:
We used these ideas and the scenes created to design and collect knitting patterns that would allow us to create the shapes and patterns that we wanted.
Each tableau has its own webpage (see left) explaining what we’re knitting and why, followed by all the patterns. For most patterns there will be a pdf download available soon. However some patterns have been kindly lent to us by other knitters for this project and for these we’re unable to provide downloads.
Most of the patterns are quite small and can be easily knitted with odds and ends of wool. The patterns were knitted with single pointed 3.5 mm needles and double knitting wool as a guide. There are some exceptions such as the DNA helix and strand which need double pointed needles. Others can be adapted to double pointed but are written in single pointed (Hannah who came up with a lot of the patterns isn’t a very good double pointed needle knitter which is why the patterns are only for single pointed needles). Feel free to use the needles and wool that you have available, gauge is not important in these patterns. Though it is best if the gauge is not too lose to prevent the stuffing from poking out.
For most patterns you will need in addition to wool a small amount of stuffing and a darning needle.
For many of the patterns we have specified guide colours, these are the colours that we will be giving people to knit with at our events. Our hope is that when we assemble the tableaux people can identify objects based on their colour. Please don’t worry if you use another colour, we would still love to receive your contribution! Most of the patterns have very distinctive shapes which will be as much if not more of an identifying feature than the colour.
If you convert a pattern to double pointed and want to share it or if you spot any mistakes please do let Hannah know (email@example.com) so that she can update the patterns.
K – knit
P – purl
M1 – make 1 stitch by knitting front and back loop of the next stitch
R – row
NR - next row
tog – together
s1 – slip the next stitch
ssk – slip the next two stitches as if to knit, insert the left needle into the front of both stitches and knit together
yo – yarn over
dbl dec – slip 2 stitches, knit 1 and then pass the two slipped stitches over
psso – pass the slipped stitch over
sts – stitches
st st – stocking stitch, alternating rows of knit and purl stitch
MC - main colour
CC - contrast colour
There are a lot of helpful knitting websites on the internet and there are many videos on YouTube videos explaining all of the stitches used should you run into any difficulties.