Thursday, January 30, 2014

Protein structures -> crochet patterns

I've been working on a general method for making crochet patterns out of protein crystal structures. For example, here's a ribbon diagram of lysozyme. While the finished 3D structure would be overwhelming to tackle all at once, it's manageable to put together after making the secondary structure first.

Patterns for individual proteins as well as instructions for making your own "translations" are forthcoming.

Thanks to Sandy for teaching me the technique of working around a wire at the Fiber Arts Work Night at the Artisan's Asylum!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lacework diatoms: 11 free crochet patterns of microscopic life

Original samples
The biggest crochet project I've ever worked on was a book of 75 knit and crochet patterns representing marine life, published a little over a year ago now. Interestingly (and somewhat tragically), the patterns I was most excited about were the ones that had a lukewarm reception at the publishing company. I was hoping they might appear grouped together in a spread called "Under the Microscope," but instead they got cut from the manuscript altogether because they were predicted to draw little interest from the average reader. That's probably true, but I'd like to release them here in the hopes that someone (perhaps on the internet's long tail of bio-nerdiness) can have fun with them!
Rovag, Wikimedia Commons

Not only are diatoms awesome in and of themselves, but their complex shapes prompted me to learn some interesting lacework techniques in the quest to approximate them in yarn, which I wrote about here. Also, I had a great time constructing the radiolaria. I think you will too!

So, I put together one pdf containing all 11 of these patterns. They're basically in the format I supplied to the publishing company: the patterns are abbreviated, but there is a hand-drawn chart for each one. There's also a legend included on page 2 to help you decipher the text and charts.

PDF of Lacework Diatoms (EDIT: please first click on the link normally to go to Dropbox, then use their download link on that page. If you save-as the pdf at this address directly, you'll get a corrupted file.)

The whole thing is released under a CC BY-SA license. Enjoy!