Knitted Anatomy Kits Offer Cruelty-Free Dissections

Stoneking's creations turn anatomy lab into a soft and cuddly affair. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/

Any student who's ever been through an anatomy lab can remember the sights, sounds and smells of animal dissection. The flash of innards, crunch of bone, and the eye-watering stench of formaldehyde combine to make for one unpleasant experience.

But knitting artist Emily Stoneking of Burlington, Vermont, has flipped that dreadful scene on its head by creating knitted dissections that make learning about anatomy feel less like a murder scene and more like putting on a favorite, cuddly sweater.

Knitted anatomy frog
No frogs were harmed in this dissection. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/
Knitted anatomy frog - closeup
This froggy's little innards were needle-felted by hand out of 100 percent wool. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/

Through her business aKNITomy, Stoneking creates knitted scenes as well as DIY kits that include instructions to create the anatomical dissections of rats, bats, frogs, earthworms and even people.

When I asked her what prompted her to combine knitting with dissection, Stoneking said, "I decided to incorporate my love of vintage anatomical illustrations and make the animals look like dissection models. I am beginning to move more toward two-dimensional, human based artwork that is very strongly influenced by 19th-century anatomical illustrations. I am fascinated by the history of medicine, and I just have always loved the artwork associated with that."

Knitted anatomy rat
This rat comes pinned in an actual dissection tray, but he is not glued down so you can still take him out for a cuddle if you wish. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/
Knitted anatomy earthworm
Who knew earthworms had so much going on inside?. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/

Stoneking — who claims "I'm not a scientist, but I play one on the Internet" — admits that the creations may not be 100-percent accurate. But they are undoubtedly more pleasant to see than the real deal.

"I take a lot of artistic liberties," Emily Stoneking told Bored Panda. "I do spend a lot of time researching real anatomical structures, and my guts have evolved over time (they used to be pretty blobby and random). But now, they really look very human, which I have found people tend to gravitate to."

Knitted anatomy bat
There's nothing spooky about this handcrafted knitted bat dissection. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/
Knitted anatomy human head
This is as close as I ever want to get to seeing the inside of a human head. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/
Knitted anatomy alien
Who's to say that this isn't what the innards of an alien look like?. (Photo: Emily Stoneking/

Check out more of Stoneking's knitted animals dissections at her aKNITomy Etsy shop.