Despite majoring in philosophy in college, earning a master of fine arts degree in writing, and committing most of my free time to producing fiction, I’ve somehow managed to end up surrounded by scientists, doctors, and other people of a left-brain persuasion. There’s my cousin Matt, who recently completed his PhD in chemistry and now has a postdoctoral position at Harvard; my friend Danica, who is the proud owner of a PhD in biophysics; Marissa just started her residency in internal medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University; Will, who is working on devices that will eventually end on Mars; and then, of course, there’s just about everyone who I work with at my day job.
While this makes for particularly interesting dinner parties, it also means that my knitting often takes a serious left turn. Just last week, one of the physicians for whom I work asked me to knit her this:
Now, I have actually seen one of these first-hand (a real one, not a knitted one) and while some of the anatomy is exaggerated here, I have to admit that it’s a pretty good representation of a uterus. And who would have thought that fallopian tubes could be so cute? It thrills me to no end that I have a job where someone can ask me for one of these with a straight face. Can you imagine your supervisor asking you to knit this for her? I didn’t think so.
But it doesn’t stop there! In a few weeks Z and I will be visiting the east coast, and one of our stops will be Boston, where we’ll be seeing the aforementioned Matt. He’s way too busy running experiments and getting published in Cell to read this blog, which means that I can show you this:
This is a slightly modified version of June Oshiro’s brilliant DNA scarf, which I am knitting with my new favorite scarf yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca. It’s 50/50 alpaca and wool, which keeps its price reasonable while still retaining some of that alpaca coolness. Matt just moved to Boston from San Francisco this past June, which means he’s really going to appreciate this scarf in about one month. Okay, okay, I know what you’re saying; Matt works with methyl-lysine analogs and recombinant histones, and what do they have to do with DNA? Nothing, probably, but DNA makes a much nicer cable pattern than either of the above items. At least I think it does. I can’t find a picture of recombinant histones.
If you have a scientist in your life——or happen to be one yourself——you should check out this handy guide to geeky knitting patterns. There’s already so much math involved in knitting, it’s really not such a big leap. Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, we geeks rule the world now anyway.