PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for Crochet

free pattern: Leaning Ladders Scarf

Today I have a new PlanetJune Accessories donationware pattern for you: the Leaning Ladders Scarf.

This beginner-friendly scarf is made of only basic stitches, so it’s fast and fun to crochet. The eye-catching diagonal eyelet stripes look great in any yarn, and the simple background highlights the colours in a variegated or self-striping yarn beautifully. Choose your recipient’s favourite colour and you have a perfect gift for anyone in your life – women, men, or children! 

PlanetJune Accessories Leaning Ladders Scarf crochet pattern

Work it in any weight yarn – although I’d recommend DK weight (#3 light) or heavier for a snuggly scarf – with an appropriately sized hook. As with all my accessory patterns, this pattern has both written instructions and a full stitch diagram!

PlanetJune Accessories Leaning Ladders Scarf crochet pattern

As always with my donationware, the Leaning Ladders Scarf pattern is free for your use, but if you’d like to send me a donation towards it (completely optional), you’ll receive the nicely formatted and easy-to-print PDF version of the pattern as a thank you. PDF-only bonuses:

  • The PDF also includes the full written pattern for an any-size piece using this stitch pattern, so you can crochet anything from a skinny scarf up to a large rectangular shawl or blanket. 
  • The PDF is neatly formatted with one section per page (standard written pattern; stitch diagram with key; any-size pattern) so you can print just the page(s) you need.

I hope you’ll enjoy crocheting this scarf for yourself, and maybe you’ll make a few extras as Christmas gifts for friends and family?

Go to Leaning Ladders Scarf pattern >>

More PlanetJune Accessories

I’ve just realised that Leaning Ladders is the 25th design in my PlanetJune Accessories range – wow!

If you like my accessory designs, you can also choose from lots more donationware patterns:

PlanetJune Accessories donationware crochet patterns

Or save when you buy a Custom Set of any 3 regular patterns:

PlanetJune Accessories crochet patterns

You can also find all these patterns individually in the PlanetJune Accessories section of my shop.


a new Chunky Moebius Cowl

Trendgarne kindly sent me some of their ONline Linie 346 Arona yarn, and I decided to try it out with my free Chunky Moebius Cowl pattern. Isn’t it lovely?

PlanetJune Chunky Moebius Cowl

Arona is a 100% cotton ribbon yarn that comes in a 100g ball, which provides a generous 230m of (roughly) worsted weight yarn.

Linie 346 Arona yarn

As you can see, it comes in a beautiful range of variegated shades with slowly-changing colours. I really love all these colourways – aren’t they gorgeous?

Linie 346 Arona yarn

This yarn has an unusual flat ribbon construction, and there’s no recommended crochet hook size given on the ball band, but the recommended knitting needle size is 5-5.5mm. (A good rule of thumb in these cases is to go up a couple of hook sizes from the recommended needle size, as crochet tends to need a larger size so the piece drapes nicely and isn’t too stiff.)

Linie 346 Arona yarn

I swatched with a few different hooks and decided I like the fabric I got with a K (6.5mm) hook. As this yarn is finer than my pattern calls for, I started with a 76 stitch foundation to make a 22″ circumference cowl.

The moebius construction means that the cowl is worked outwards from the middle, and I enjoyed watching the colours change as my cowl grew, from the blue-purple foundation, through light purple and then on to pink and beyond…

Linie 346 Arona yarn

The yarn is easy to work with and the stitch definition is amazing. Even a simple stitch pattern like this stands out clearly and looks so good with the colour-changing yarn.

I worked 10 rows of my pattern until my cowl was 5″ tall. It was finished in no time, and took less than half a ball of yarn (making it a real bargain!)

Planetune Chunky Moebius Cowl

The finished cowl is smooth and cool in the cotton yarn. It feels lovely against my skin and would be perfect for the first chill of breezy autumn days.

As you can see from my selfie at the top of the page, my new worsted weight yarn cowl looks just as good as the chunkier versions, and it sits beautifully against my neck under a light jacket without excess bulk while still keeping my neck warm (useful now I have such short hair…)

chunky moebius cowl crochet pattern by planetjune

If you’d like to make a Chunky Moebius Cowl too, my pattern is free here – it’s a fast and fun stashbusting pattern, and a great choice if you’re making a start on your Christmas gifts!

As this is a donationware pattern, if you donate a dollar or more you can get the PDF version, which includes bonus content, including a fully illustrated explanation of how the Moebius construction works, standard measurements for man, woman, and child, and additional step by step photos.

I’m looking forward to coming up with the perfect pattern to use my other balls of the Arona yarn! I really enjoyed its smoothness, stitch definition, and, of course, the wonderful colourways. If you’d like to try this yarn too, here’s the Arona Ravelry listing (it includes some links to online stockists, in case you can’t find it locally).

Comments (1)

Mushroom Collection & Variations crochet patterns

Don’t miss the launch discount, at the end of this post!

I have two new Fall-themed patterns to launch today: my new Mushroom Collection, and an Expansion Pack so you can crochet even more types of mushrooms!

Mushroom Collection crochet pattern

The Mushroom Collection includes 6 different realistic mushroom designs (3 domed and 3 flat, each in small, medium and large sizes). All the mushrooms in this collection are perfectly shaped, with gills hidden under the caps and a crisp colour change between cap and gills. They all use the same techniques, so once you’ve learnt them with your first mushroom, you’ll be able to whip up more in no time!

Mushroom Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Choose the shapes and sizes you prefer, or create a mixed arrangement in a variety of shades of white and brown. Pile them in a bowl, arrange them on a window ledge, or add them to a seasonal centrepiece or wreath.

Mushroom Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I’ve shown my mushrooms with either a dark cap and pale base, or a neutral cap and stem with dark gills, but you could also make a single-coloured mushroom, or one with different colours for the cap, gills and stem, giving 4 different colour options for each style of mushroom.

Mushroom Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The mushrooms don’t use much yarn (15-35m each, depending on size/style) and look good in all sorts of colours, so they make great stashbusters! And you can stick with my neutral shades or get more whimsical with brightly-coloured caps – it’s completely up to you.

Mushroom Variations Expansion Pack

This Expansion Pack includes all the modifications required to crochet each of the mushrooms in the Mushroom Collection with any/all of these variations:

Mushroom Variations Expansion Pack crochet pattern by PlanetJune

  1. Red and White (top left): This colour scheme makes beautiful decorative mushrooms (perfect for Christmas!)
  2. Short Stem (top right): Especially good for play food – these mushrooms look good enough to eat.
  3. No-Sew (bottom left): A speedy crocheted alternative to the standard needle-stitched finish.
  4. No Gills (bottom right): A quick and easy option – great if you want to whip up a large batch of mushrooms in a hurry.

What is an Expansion Pack?

Expansion Packs by PlanetJune

  • An Expansion Pack is an add-on to an existing PlanetJune pattern.
  • The Expansion Pack lets you modify or add to the original pattern to create something else.
  • You cannot use the Expansion Pack alone – you must also purchase the original pattern in order to be able to complete the pictured items in the Expansion Pack pattern.

You can pick and choose to apply any or all of the modifications to any of the six mushroom sizes and styles from the Mushroom Collection, making 96 distinct mushroom possibilities (or 384 if you include the different colour options!)

All the variations (apart from the Red and White) make the mushrooms faster to crochet/assemble.

Red and White - Mushroom Variations Expansion Pack crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The spots on the Red and White mushroom obviously take a little more time (especially for the large one!), but the result is so cute, and they’d make gorgeous Christmas decorations as well as Fall decor, so you can repurpose them and keep them on display for months 😉

Fall CAL

We’d love to see the mushrooms you’re making in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry – you can make mushrooms galore (or any other fall-themed PlanetJune designs) as part of the current crochet-along. The CAL runs through till the end of November, so there’s time to crochet a whole variety of different mushrooms…

I hope you’ll join us – I can’t wait to see all the combinations that sprout up!

Links to Buy & Launch Discount

As with all my Expansion Packs, you can buy the patterns separately (although please note that you do need the base Mushroom Collection pattern to be able to make any of the Mushroom Variations), or there’s a discount when you buy both together.

But to sweeten this deal even more and give you an incentive to join the CAL right away, I’m offering an additional discount on the Multipack Set (Mushroom Collection & Variations) if you buy within the next 7 days, so you can get endless mushroom options for only $7.00!

So, here are your options:

Or, if you’re not ready to buy yet, click through to Ravelry and favourite/queue them so you won’t forget about them!

Mushroom Collection & Variations crochet patterns by PlanetJune

I didn’t think I’d ever be tempted to call mushrooms gorgeous, but these designs look so decorative, I think I might change my mind on that front: they’re both realistic and stylised, and the more you make, the better they look together…

What do you think? I hope you’ll have as much fun choosing colours and crocheting mushrooms as I did while designing them 🙂

Comments (5)

Review: Fauxchet

I’m always interested to see and try new innovations in yarncrafting, so when I heard about Fauxchet, I was intrigued. Billed as ‘a new way to crochet’, fauxcheting uses a special tool in place of a crochet hook. Just as knooking is the process of forming actual knit stitches with a modified crochet hook (see my review of The Knook here), the Fauxchet easyloop tool forms actual crochet stitches using a completely different method.

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review
(If you have a knitting machine you may recognise the special tool as a stitch transfer tool for making cables etc, but this is a clever repurposing.)

Now, as a crocheter, you may be wondering why on earth you’d want to do this! I wondered the same, which is why I was eager to test out this tool for myself and see if it offers anything new and different from standard crochet.

After trying it out, the main benefits I see are that:

  1. It’s very easy to learn, as there’s just one movement: pushing the tool into the work, grabbing the loop with your other hand, then pulling the tool back out. I think this would make it a fun entry into yarncrafting for children and non-crocheters.
  2. It uses completely different muscles and movements from crochet. If you have problems with mobility or pain in your hands or wrists, Fauxchet could be a good solution. You don’t need to tension the yarn, as the stitch size is controlled by the size of the loops you form by pushing the tool into the fabric – the further you push the tool, the larger your stitch. You don’t need to rotate the tool at all, and the only motions are pushing/pulling with your dominant hand, and pinching/releasing with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand.
  3. As you’ll see below, I love the fabric that it forms!

My Experience

I started out by trying all the basic stitches (chain, slip stitch in back and both loops, single crochet in back and both loops). Although there is a slight learning curve, I found that I could form nice even stitches within a couple of rows of my sample:

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

Prior crochet experience is not at all necessary, as Fauxchet is worked completely differently. The back of the fabric faces you while you crochet, and you work left-to-right across your fabric (right-to-left for left-handers!), so it doesn’t feel at all like crocheting.

You thread the end of the yarn through the eye at the front of the tool before you begin:

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

Then, instead of building up loops on your hook as you form each stitch, you grip the loops with the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand. This sounds like it may be a bit tricky, but is very simple once you’ve practiced for a few minutes.

The basic Fauxchet motion is very simple: your dominant hand pushes the tip of the tool into a stitch, then pulls it back out again, while your other hand pinches the loop that’s formed between thumb and forefinger. Those are the only motions involved! Take a look:

Insert the tool into a stitch:
Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

Grip the loop with your other hand, then withdraw the tool:
Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

Note: I’m left-handed, and these photos are not intended as a tutorial – just to give you a basic idea of the very simple technique.

I highly recommend you watch the video demos on the Fauxchet site to see how easy the stitches are in practice, with the instruction book to hand as well. Although the instruction book does explain the stitches step-by-step, it makes them sound more complicated than they actually are (e.g. inserting your hook into the next stitch and through the loop you’re holding is accomplished in one easy movement, but it’s split into two steps in the instructions).

My experience was also complicated by the fact that there are no left-handed instructions (in the books or the videos) so I had to constantly reverse all the directions. But as the stitches are so simple – as you’ll see if you watch the videos – it wasn’t too difficult to swap every ‘left’ and ‘right’ in the instructions.

My Fauxchet tip is to make the starting chain extremely loosely. In fact, if you’re fairly new to fauxchet, I recommend you make the first few rows (or a swatch) to get your tension even, then unravel it all and start again with the same yarn once you’ve got into the rhythm.

I found the process of ‘fauxcheting’ very soothing once I got into the rhythm. It made a nice change from crocheting and knitting, and the fabric formed is so loose and drapey that it looks very pretty, even with using only the simplest crochet stitches.

Fauxchet vs Crochet

Although Fauxchet does produce actual crochet stitches, it’s far more limited than a crochet hook. As there’s no mechanism for a yarn over, you can only use it to make short stitches: chain, slip stitch, single crochet, and loop stitch (although, by working into back, front or both loops, that still allows for a range of results). And, just as with crochet, you can make combination stitches from the basic stitches (sc clusters, picots, etc).

I compared a swatch of normal crochet with my Fauxcheted swatch and learnt a few things:

  1. Working with worsted weight yarn, the Fauxchet tool gave me the same gauge as crocheting with a size M (9mm) crochet hook. That’s a lot larger than you’d usually use with ww yarn!
  2. The fauxchet stitches are twisted compared with standard single crochet stitches (see photo comparison, below) – possibly why the stitch is called ‘single Fauxchet’ instead of ‘single crochet’ in the instructions, as they aren’t exactly the same stitch.
  3. Fauxcheted fabric is both drapier and less gappy than the equivalent crocheted fabric made with the same yarn to the same gauge. With my M hook, the crochet feels more like knots and spaces, while Fauxchet stitches feel looser and give more even coverage. I have a theory for this: I suspect that using an extra-large hook forces big holes into your fabric, thus pulling the previous stitches into knots, whereas the slim Fauxchet needle doesn’t disturb the previous stitches, keeping the fabric more regular.

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review
Fauxchet vs crochet – look at the blue ‘V’ shapes and youll see the fauxchet Vs are twisted at the bottom compared with the crochet Vs.

While the large size of the Fauxchet stitches means that it’s unsuitable for making amigurumi (where the whole point is to make small stitches so you produce a stiff, well-shaped fabric), it is ideally suited for making wearable accessories, as the gauge is so loose that your stitches will have beautiful drape with no effort on your part!

Fauxchet In Practice

My favourite stitch from my swatch was the ‘ridged single Fauxchet’, which is the equivalent of front loop only twisted single crochet (but much easier than that name makes it sound!)

I love the look of the fabric this stitch makes, so I thought I’d try making a quick ridged single Fauxchet scarf in a bulky chainette bamboo yarn I had in my stash. The yarn is lovely and soft, but although it’s labelled DK it’s on the heavy end of bulky, and it’s been too heavy for me to crochet with (giant chunky stitches aren’t my style). Here’s the resulting scarf:

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

The fabric is even and not at all stiff. I’m very impressed with how it looks:

Fauxchet Easyloop Yarn Tool review

Fauxchet on Canvas

I was excited to see that you can also use Fauxchet to make rugs. It’s much faster than latch hooking, because you make loop stitches into the rug canvas directly from the ball of yarn, instead of tying on individual strands of yarn. The end result is a loopy rug, or you can cut the loops if you’d like a more conventional shag rug.

I did have a little play with the loop stitches, but I didn’t quite get the hang of it – I won’t even show you my swatch, because it’s too embarrassing. Every time I pulled a knot tight to lock a loop in place, I shrank the loop at the same time… I think my problem is that the motion uses your non-dominant hand, and I’m not very skilled with my right hand!

I can see from the videos that it’s possible to do it correctly and consistently, so I’d just need some more practice before attempting a rug. While there definitely is a learning curve to this technique, if you persevered and got the hang of it, it’d be a lot faster and less fiddly than conventional latch hooking.

Fauxchet: My Verdict


  • Easy to learn
  • Different (and small) movements may be useful for those suffering from hand and wrist problems
  • Makes fabric with beautiful drape


  • Limited range of stitches (chain, slip stitch, twisted single crochet, loop stitch)
  • The Fauxchet tool is only intended for use with worsted and bulky weight yarn
  • As the yarn is threaded through the tool, the tool is locked into the project until you finish an entire ball of yarn or cut the yarn
  • Working backwards and using such a different gauge means you can’t easily follow a standard crochet pattern

So, is Fauxchet a replacement for crochet? No, definitely not – and nobody is claiming that it is. But it does have its own advantages, and I’ll definitely be keeping my Fauxchet tool in my craft collection.

I think that making a fauxcheted blanket would be a good relaxing long-term project that’d give me a nice soothing break from the other crafts I enjoy. From my experience with my swatches and scarf, I already know that the end result will have beautiful drape and no excess bulk or holes, which are perfect properties for a blanket, so I’m looking forward to the slow meditative process of push/pull, grip/release and watching the rows slowly grow.

Where to Buy

If you’d like to try the Fauxchet tool, you can buy it from Amazon (it’s very inexpensive!), and I recommend you watch the free videos and try some of the free patterns from the Fauxchet site. If you enjoy fauxcheting, you can buy downloadable patterns and ebooks from LeisureArts.

Comments (7)

Summer Days Sunhat crochet pattern

I designed this hat last Christmas (i.e. my southern hemisphere summer) to meet a specific need: to keep the sun out of my eyes while I’m out walking without worrying that my hat would blow off my head! And so, after several refinements, the Summer Days Sunhat was born:

Summer Days Sunhat crochet pattern by PlanetJune

This hat is a cross between a practical bucket hat and a stylish cloche. Well-fitting sides mean the hat won’t blow off your head in windy weather, and the brim has a solid stitch pattern that will keep the sun out of your eyes.

This is an easy-care, easy-wear hat: it doesn’t need blocking and doesn’t have a starched brim, so it’s easy to throw in a bag when you aren’t wearing it without needing to worry about crushing it!

I designed the no-gauge pattern to work for any size head (from a small child to a large adult) and any size yarn (although I like it best in fingering/sport weight so it’s light and elegant). Just measure your head and then follow the simple instructions. You’ll need a calculator to do a single sum to get started, then all you need is a measuring tape so you’ll know when you’ve reached the right size.

Summer Days Sunhat crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The brim has two options – the floppier, all-yarn version (pictured above), and a version that incorporates fishing line to add a little stiffness while leaving the hat foldable but not crushable (pictured below).

Summer Days Sunhat crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My sample hats have already seen me through a South African summer and a Hawaiian vacation, without once blowing away in the wind, and they still look as good as new!

I made the pink and natural coloured ones from a local 4-ply (fingering weight) mercerized cotton yarn – Elle Premier – but I wanted to show a sample made in a more readily-available yarn. I used Patons Grace to make my purple hat, and, although it’s called sport weight, it has exactly the same weight and yardage per ball, so it’s a pretty good match.

Links and Launch Discount

If you’re ready to try crocheting your own Summer Days Sunhat, you can buy it individually from my shop, or as part of a Custom Set of any 3 PlanetJune Accessories patterns of your choice.

PlanetJune Accessories crochet patterns by PlanetJune

And, for this week only, save 50c on the Summer Days Sunhat pattern by using discount code SUMMER at checkout. (Valid until Sunday 17th July 2016.)

Tip: The discount is valid on the Sunhat alone and the Custom Set including the Sunhat – so you can save even more by buying the multipack deal with the discount!

Or, if you’re not ready to buy just yet, please heart or queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it:

I hope you’ll enjoy this pattern! If you make one, please take a photo of you wearing it, and share it in the PJ ravelry group or on my Facebook page, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram (@PlanetJune) so I can see it 🙂

Comments (3)

« Previous entries
  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

    If you'd like to get in touch, you can contact me here.
  • Follow me

    RSS FeedSubscribe to my blog by EmailFollow me on TwitterFollow me on Facebook
    Friend me on RavelryWatch me on YouTubeFollow me on PinterestFollow me on Instagram
  • Life Behind the Scenes

  • Browse Blog Categories

  • Blog Archives

  • Support PlanetJune!

    Want to say thanks? You can send me money in seconds at

    Or simply click one of these links before you shop at Amazon:
    And click the logo below before you buy your next online class from Craftsy:
    Thank you for your support!