Planetary purler: ANU student’s knitting creation goes viral

Publication date
Monday, 4 Jul 2022
Rachel Kirby wearing her Cosmo jumper in front of SHRIMP
Rachel Kirby wearing her Cosmo jumper in front of SHRIMP

PhD student Rachel Kirby has been knitting for about 10 years, but her latest creation is out of this world. 

She has weaved together two of her passions - knitting and space - to design a solar system jumper inspired by her PhD and it's a purler! 

Kirby has been interested in space and rocks since she was a kid and is now studying planetary geology and cosmochemistry at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences. As part of her PhD studies, Kirby examines strange iron meteorites found on Earth, to unravel the mystery of how they were formed. 

"They don't fit into our current models of how iron meteorites formed, which is in the cores of planets that were then broken up and eventually fell to Earth," she says. "I've also been looking at the relationships between different asteroids and meteorites, as well as what happens when they impact each other." 

In her limited free time, Kirby enjoys knitting to relax. While she has a few jumpers under her belt, it's the first time she's designed her own. Her focus was on getting the shape of the jumper right, but she also decided to have some fun and add a solar system pattern.