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Monday, June 7, 2021

Amino acids - basic structure

This pattern demonstrates the basic structure of amino acids, with an R group in place of the variable group. I will soon be publishing a pattern for each of the individual amino acids, which you should check out if you want to know more information about these very important molecules.




Difficulty:
Easy


You will need:
  • Dk yarn in white, black, purple, red, brown, and  light blue
  • Black embroidery thread
  • A 2.5mm crochet hook
  • Toy stuffing
  • A darning needle
  • A pair of scissors

Amino acids are a group of molecules found in your body that is used to create proteins. They all have the same basic structure, but differ in their 'R' group, a side chain of atoms that gives each amino acid its specific properties. You can find out more about amino acids by watching this video.


For the carbon atoms (make 2):
With black make a magic loop with 6sc
Round 1: make 2sc in each st (12sc)
Round 2: (sc in the first st, make 2sc in the next st) 6 times to end (18sc)
Rounds 3 - 6: (4 rounds) sc in each st
Round 7: (sc in the first st, sc2tog) 6 times (12sc)
Stuff firmly
Round 8: sc2tog 6 times (6sc)
Fasten off

For the hydrogen atoms (make 4):
With light blue make a magic loop with 6sc
Round 1: make 2sc in each st (12sc)
Rounds 2 - 3: (2 rounds) sc in each st
Round 4: sc2tog 6 times (6sc)
Fasten off
Stuff firmly

For the nitrogen atom:
With purple make a magic loop with 6sc
Round 1: make 2sc in each st (12sc)
Round 2: (sc in the first st, make 2sc in the next st) 6 times to end (18sc)
Round 3: (sc in the first 5 sts, make 2sc in the next st) 3 times (21sc)
Rounds 4 - 7: (4 rounds) sc in each st
Round 8: (sc2, sc2tog ) 6 times (18sc)
Round 9: (sc, sc2tog) 6 times (12sc)
Stuff firmly
Round 10: sc2tog 6 times (6sc)
Fasten off

For the oxygen (make 2):
With red make a magic loop with 6sc
Round 1: make 2sc in each st (12sc)
Round 2: (sc in the first st, make 2sc in the next st) 6 times to end (18sc)
Round 3: (sc in the first 5 sts, make 2sc in the next st) 3 times (21sc)
Round 4: sc3, make 2sc in the next st, (sc6, make 2sc in the next st) twice, sc3 (24sc)
Rounds 5 - 8: (4 rounds) sc in each st
Round 9: sc3, sc2tog, (sc6, sc2tog) twice, sc3 (21sc)
Round 10: (sc5, sc2tog) 3 times (18sc)
Round 11: (sc, sc2tog) 6 times (12sc)
Stuff firmly
Round 12: sc2tog 6 times (6sc)
Fasten off

Fun fact 1:
Whilst there are 20 different amino acids present in our bodies, only 9 of these need to be acquired through our food, as our bodies are able to create the other 11.


For the single bonds (make 8):
With white ch6
Round 1: sc in the first cahin st you made, then sc in the following 5 chain sts to make a loop (6sc)
Fasten off

For the double bonds (make 2):
With white ch4
Round 1: sc in the first cahin st you made, then sc in the following 3 chain sts to make a loop (4sc)
Fasten off

For the R group:
With brown make a magic loop with 8sc
Round 1: (sc, make 3sc inthe next st) 4 times (16sc)
Round 2: sc2, make 3sc in the next st, (sc3, make 3sc in the next st) 3 times, sc (24sc)
Rounds 3 - 8: (6 rounds) sc in each st
Round 9: (sc3, sc3tog) 4 times
Round 10: sc2, sc3tog, (sc, sc3tog) 3 times
Stuff firmly
Round 11: sc2tog, sc, sc2tog twice
Fasten off

To make up:
I have included a photo tutorial to guide you through the assembling of this molecule.

Firstly sew one of the single bonds to two of your hydrogen atoms, as shown below.

These other end of these bonds then needs to be sewn to the nitrogen atom. They should be sewn so that they are approximately 1/3 of the circumference apart.

You then need to sew third single bond to the Nitrogen atom, so that it is equidistant from each of the hydrogen atoms.

The other end of this bond should then be sewn to one of the carbon atoms.


After this you need to sew another of the hydrogen atoms to the carbon atom (connected via a bond). The bonds around this carbon atom are the most difficult to position correctly. They should be less than 1/3 of the circumference apart, but more than 1/4 (the actual bond angle is 109.5°, but you don't need to be this specific (unless you want to be of course!)


After this the next bond will need to be sewn, onto which the 2nd carbon atom is attached. This should be positioned so that the bond angle between each of the bonds is equal. Keep in mind that you will later be sewing a 4th atom to this central carbon, which will also need to be equidistant from each of the atoms already surrounding the carbon. The positioning of the atoms should start to be farming a sort of tetrahedral shape, as shown below.


After this you need to sew a single bond to the second carbon atom you attached, so that it is a distance of 1/3 of the circumference of the molecule away from the existing bond ). You will then need to sew one of the oxygen atoms to this.
Next you should sew a single bond to the remaining hydrogen atom. This should then be sewn to the oxygen atom at a distance grater than 1/4 of the circumference away from the existing bond, but less than the distance (proportional to the circumference) between the bonds around the first carbon atom (the exact angle between them is 104.5° if you're interested)



You then need to sew the two double bonds next to each other on the remaining oxygen atom, as shown below.


This atom should then be sewn to the second carbon atom (the one the other oxygen is attached to) so that it is a distance of 1/3 of the circumference away from each of the existing bonds.


Finally you should sew the last bond onto the R group, and should then sew this to the first carbon atom so that it is equidistant from each of the other bonds.



Fun fact 2:
In reality, this shape is not the only one that the amino acid can take. Theoretically each amino acids has 2 so-called 'stereoisomers' (known as the L and the D isomer) which differ in the positioning of the 4 groups around the central carbon atom (see this video on stereoisomerism for more detail). However, in reality the D configuration is very rarely found in living organisms, hence why in this pattern we have created the L isomer.


For the eyes (make 2):
With black dk yarn make a magic loop with 6sc
Fasten off

Add highlights using white yarn, then sew the eyes to the nitrogen atom. Embroider the mouth underneath using black embroidery thread. 






That's all from this pattern - I hope you've found it interesting and informative. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, either by leaving a comment below, or via my Ravelry page. However, if you're hoping for a speedy reply its best to contact me via my Instagram. You can also follow me on there to find out more about the patterns I'm currently working on, and be alerted when I publish anything new, As always you are very welcome to sell finished products but I do ask that you don't re-post this pattern, or claim it or any of its images as your own. Thank you!


References:

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