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Knitted Digestive System Pattern

WARNING - This pattern has not yet been tested in its entirety. I am in the process of making a second digestive system while revising the pattern and taking instructional pictures. These are my notes from knitting the first one and may be unintelligible to anyone else. If you are serious about making your own Knitted Digestive System, I suggest you check out the Craftster Knitalong. There I am gradually posting sections of the revised pattern as I complete them. Craftster membership is not required to view the posts (but strongly encouraged!).


Yarn (the yarn I used is in parentheses, but this is only a suggestion)
Angry Pink: Worsted Weight, 1/2 oz. (Caron Simply Soft Brites: Papaya)
Mellow Pink: Worsted Weight, 2 oz. (Red Heart Super Saver: Rose Pink)
Shiny White: Sport Weight, 1/4 oz. (Bernat Baby Coordinates: Natural)
Yellow-Pink: Super Bulky Weight, 6 oz. (Red Heart Baby Clouds: Creamsickle)
Soft Pink: Bulky Weight, 1 oz. (Bernat Softee Chunky: Pale Antique Rose)
Burgundy: Worsted Weight, 1 oz. (Red Heart Super Saver: Burgundy)
Green: Worsted Weight, 1/4 oz. (Red Heart 4 ply: Emerald)


With size 6 dpns and Angry Pink, cast on 10 sts using a temporary cast-on, join. (If you don't know how to do a temporary cast-on, just cast on normally using waste yarn then knit 1 row with Angry Pink).
Knit 8 rows.

Pull cast-on edge up through the middle of the dpns. Slip a few stitches off the waste yarn and onto a spare dpn (I find it helps to use a smaller size). Next knit every stitch together with a stitch from the cast-on edge, slipping cast-on stitches from waste yarn onto the spare dpn as needed. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the row.


K3 rows plain.
K3,M1,K3,M1,K3,M1,K1 (13 sts)
K2 rows plain.
K4,M1,K4,M1,K4,M1,K1 (16 sts)
K2 rows plain.
K4,M1,K4,M1,K4,M1,K4,M1 (20 sts)
K12 rows plain.
K5,M1,K5,M1,K5,M1,K5,M1 (24 sts)
K6 rows plain.
Next row: *K12, turn, P10, turn, K8, turn, P6, Turn* K24 and repeat from *to*.
K2 rows.
Over the next 4 rows gradually switch from Angry Pink to Placid Pink as follows:
Row 1: Knit every 3rd or 4th stitch (aiming for a random appearance) from Placid Pink, carrying both yarns inside the work.
Rows 2-4: Knit all Placid Pink stitches and random Angry Pink stitches which neighbor them with Placid Pink, gradually replacing all Angry Pink stitches with Placid Pink.
Row 5: Break Angry Pink and knit all stitches with Placid Pink.

Large intestine:

K4 rows.
Determine stripe placement. Position rectum pointing downward, with one short-row bend facing you and the other to your left. The intestine should bend to your right and slightly upwards. One stripe should be placed facing you in the middle of the intestine. Knit to this place in the round.
*K1 Shiny White, K11 Placid Pink, K1 Shiny White (FROM THE OTHER END OF THE SKEIN - DO NOT CARRY THE WHITE YARN), K1 Placid Pink*
*-* = "base row"
Repeat base row 12 times.
Working exclusively with white, *K1, K2tog 5 times, K2.* Pick up the unworked white strand and work * to * again, then K7. Pick up the first white strand and K7. *With pink, K in front and back of next five stitches, K1 pink, K1 white, repeat from * once more.
K base row 13 times.
Repeat from ** until work measures 30". Lightly stuff the intestine with polyfil. Switch to size 8 needles and knit another 15 inches, ending before a white row. Lightly stuff this section of intestine.


Knit 5 stitches past a white stitch. Cut yarn, leaving about a 6' tail and thread onto a tapestry needle. Fold the tube so that the yarn tail comes out the right edge and the dpns are parallel. Weave together ten stitches (five from the needle in front and five from the needle in back). Knit the next two stitches on the front needle (one of these should be the white stitch), then place them on a stitch holder. Place the next two stitches from the back needle (including the other white stitch) on the holder as well. Knit five stitches, then weave together the remaining stitches as before. Put the four stitches on a dpn and knit 1 1/2" of I-cord (still using the cut yarn tail). K2tog three times, thread the yarn end through the last loop, pull it tight and use the tapestry needle to thread the tail back through the I-cord, hiding it. Trim the yarn end.

Small Intestine:

Arrange the large intestine. The small intestine should arise from the back of the last segment. Using the bulky yellow-pink yarn, pick up six stitches onto the size 10.5 dpns in a circle at this location. Place 3 stitches on each of two dpns and knit across them with a third dpn (I find this faster than using four dpns for so few stitches). Knit until the small intestine measures 21 feet (yes, the human small intestine is 7 yards long. You don't have to make yours quite this long, trust me no one's going to measure, but you need at least 15 feet of innards for them to look authentic).


With Stomach pink, Knit into the front and back of each stitch, place marker (12 sts). Redistribute the stitches onto three needles and knit one row.
KF&B, K2 across (18 sts)
Knit 5 rows plain.
K2tog, K3 across (12 sts)
K2 tog, K4 across (10 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B across (20 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K1 across (30 sts)
K 16 rows
K11, wrap and turn, P10, w&t, K across
Knit 2 rows
K11, w&t, P10, w&t, K across
Knit 1 row
K5, M1, K2, M1, K across (32 sts)
K13, w&t, P12, w&t, K across
Knit 1 row
K1, M1, K3, M1, K6, M1, K3, M1, K across (36 sts)
K17, w&t, P16, w&t, K across
Knit 1 row
K5, M1, K2, M1, K4, M1, K2, M1, K across (40 sts)
K21, w&t, P20, w&t, K across
Knit 8 rows
K 10, w&t, P15, w&t. The next section is worked only on these 17 sts. Place the 6 sts opposite the short rows on a stitch holder and leave the remaining 17 sts on a spare dpn.
K14, w&t, P13, w&t, K12, w&t, P11, w&t, K10, w&t, P9, w&t, K7, w&t, P5, w&t.
(We will now work this same section in reverse, picking up the wrapped stitches. This is just like working the toe of a sock.)
K5, w&t, P5, w&t, K7 (picking up the two wraps when knitting the wrapped stitch), w&t, P9, w&t, K10, w&t, P11, w&t, K12, w&t, P13, w&t, K14, w&t, P15, w&t, K16, w&t. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail a couple of feet long, Weave these stitches together with the stitches on the dpn.


Place the 6 stitches from the stitch holder on a dpn. Pick up 6 stitches from the stomach, a little above the opening. Knit these 12 stitches on three dpns until the esophagus measures 12".
K3, M1 across (16 sts)
Knit 1 row
K4, M1 across (20 sts)
Knit 2 rows.
Lay out stomach and esophagus, mark front and back halves of esophageal opening.
Knit to beginning of back half of esophagus, cast off next 10 sts as follows: Knit stitch, place knitted stitch back on left needle. *Knit 2, pass 1st knitted stitch over 2nd, place 2nd stitch back on left needle, repeat from *. Cut yarn and weave in end.


With Angry pink yarn, knit remaining stitches, Place marker (10 sts).
Turn work, and knit again in same esophagus stitches (20 sts) place marker and join.
*Knit 1 row increasing before each marker.
Knit 1 row increasing after each marker.
Repeat from * 2 more times (32 sts)
Knit 5 rows.
Knit to 2nd marker, K8, M1, K to end
Knit to 2nd marker, K8, P1, K to end
Knit 1 row
Knit to 2nd marker, K7, P1, K1, P1, K to end
Knit to 2nd marker, K6, P1, K3, P1, K to end
K2 tog after each marker, jnit to 2nd marker, K5, P1, K5, P1, K to end
Knit to 2nd marker, K4, P1, K7, P1, K to end
Knit to 2nd marker, K7, P1, K to end. Purl this one stitch in all subsequent rows (this is the crease down the center of the tongue).
*K1 row SSK before each marker
K2 rows
K1 row K2tog after each marker
K2 rows
Repeat from * 2 more times (21 sts)
K 6 rows
Stuff tongue with polyfil
K1 row K2tog after each marker
*K1 row SSK before each marker
K1 row K2tog after each marker
Repeat from * 1 more time (11 sts)
Weave remaining stitches together, adding more stuffing if necessary. Weave in end.


With dull yellow, temporarily cast on 4 sts. Knit across. Remove waste yarn and place cast-on stitches on a dpn. Knit across these stitches, place marker and join.
K1, KF,B&F of next stitch across
Knit 1 row
Pancreas stitch:
*KF,B&F, P3tog across
Knit 1 row
P3tog, KF,B&F across
Knit 1 row
Repeat from * 4 more times
Increase row: M4 (KF,B,F&B in space between stitches), work in pattern to middle of row, M4, work in pattern to end of row
Work Pancreas stitch five more times, work increase row again and work pancreas stitch another five times.
K1, P3 tog across
Knit 1 row
Turn pancreas inside out and stuff. Continue to work stitches with work inside out.
P3 tog, K1 across.
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Weave stitches together and use remaining yarn tail to sew pancreas in place under stomach.


With Burgundy and size 6 dpns, make a slip knot, KF,B&F in knot. Slide stitches to other end of needle and KF&B in each stitch (6 sts).
KF&B, K1 across (9 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K2 across (12 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K1 across (18 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K2 across (24 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K3 across (30 sts)
Knit 1 row
continue in this way until you reach
KF&B, K10 across (72 sts)
Knit 1 row
[KF&B, K1, KF&B, KF&B, K1, KF&B, K1, KF&B] 3 times, KF&B, K11 across (91 sts)
Knit 1 row
KF&B, K12 across (98 sts)
Knit 1 row
Continue as above until you reach
KF&B, K15 across (119 sts)
Knit 1 row
K24, turn, K48, turn, K47, w&t, K46, w&t, K45, w&t, P44, w&t, K43, w&t,
continue asbove, working in stockinette stitch and wrapping 1 stitch every row until you have 10 sts wrapped on each end.
K26, w&t, P24, w&t, K22, w&t, P20, w&t, K18, w&t, P16, w&t, K16, w&t, P16, w&t, K15, w&t, P14, w&t, K14, w&t, P14, w&t, K13, w&t, P12, w&t, K12, w&t, P12, w&t,
continue, wrapping one stitch every row as before, until 4 sts remain.
K58, picking up wraps as necessary. Turn, P53
Work back and forth over 53 sts, K/P2tog with next unworked stitch at the end of each row. After 12 rows You should have 53 remaining unworked stitches. Cut yarn, stuff liver and weave stitches together.


With Green and size 6 dpns, pick up 3 sts from the duodenum. Leave a long tail and you can use it to attach the bile duct to the stomach and liver. Sewing as you go, make enough I-cord to go across the pancreas and the stomach, Up from the stomach about 1 1/2 inches and down the back of the liver another 2 inches.
KF&B of each stitch (6 sts).
Knit 3 rows.
KF&B of each stitch (12 sts).
Knit 6 rows.
KF&B, K1 across (18 sts).
Knit 5 rows.
Stuff Gallbladder.
K2tog until 1 stitch remains, cut end and thread through loop. Sew Gallbladder to underside of liver.