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ERIC trainer and Paediatric Bladder and Bowel Specialist Nurse, Fiona Boorman is passionate about all things continence and promoting understanding through fun educational tools. Follow her pattern to knit you own bowel complete with paper mache lumps of poo. 

Knitted bowelWhy make a knitted bowel? 

Healthcare and education professionals and even parents or carers can use the knitted demonstrated colon to do the following: 

  • To explain peristalsis and Hirschsprung's Disease (stretch receptors and bowel sensation)
  • Anorectal sling/ knees up position on the toilet to optimise emptying
  • Reabsorption of water/ action of Macrogols
  • Constipation and overflow poo/soiling
  • Sampling section in lower rectum
  • Pressure exerted by constipated stool, on the bladder (show partly inflated balloon next to it)

Equipment needed 

Yarn- Use approx 50g of DK or Aran weight.
Knitting needles 2x 3.5mm and 4mm for DK yarn
2x 4mm and 4.5mm for Aran weight yarn

The Bowel Pattern

  • For Double knitting. Use smaller needles and cast on 30 stitches. Work in K1,P1 Rib for about 3cm.
  • Change to thicker needles and either continue on K1/P1 rib or any combination of rib stitches or moss stitch (Usually change stitch every 10cm, to give effect) for about 50-60cms.
  • Change back to slimmer needles and rib for a further 3cm, then cast off. Oversew the two long edges together, to create a tube.
  • Aran yarn: As above but casting on 32 stitches and continuing as above.

How to make paper mache poo

Softer poo can be made using felting techniques, but it is easier to use paper mache.

  • Take about 20 A4 sheets of paper, official letters or bills are best (not shiny paper), tear in to strips. Put in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soak for at least 24 hours.
  • Drain off water, mould and squeeze the soggy paper- using your hands, into pieces about the size of walnuts in shells.
  • Place on a tray and leave in a warm place for a few days until they feel dry.
  • Paint with acrylic paint, I use a variety of colours, but this is not important. Use a clear varnish coat once paint is dry. This protects them from damage and helps them to slide more easily, so can be omitted. Allow to fully dry.

Use 8-10 lumps of poo in the bowel.

Learn more about constipation