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How to make ‘baby’ amigurumi animals

With the Baby Animals CAL in full swing in the PlanetJune Ravelry group, I thought I’d demonstrate a couple of simple methods to convert almost* any amigurumi animal pattern into a ‘baby’ with very little effort and no pattern modifications.

Method 1: Use Bigger Eyes

This couldn’t be simpler: to make an individual animal automatically look cuter and more babyish, all you need to do is use proportionally larger eyes than those recommended in the pattern. This works because baby animals (and humans!) are born with very large eyes in proportion to the rest of their bodies.

There are, of course, other differences (larger head, shorter limbs, larger paws, shorter muzzle, etc), but just making this one change can instantly turn an amigurumi dog into a puppy, for example:

how to make 'baby' amigurumi animals, by planetjune
Don’t you want a Beagle puppy now?

Method 2: Make a Mother & Baby

The other easy and effective way to make a ‘baby’ amigurumi is to crochet two of the same animal, and make one much larger or smaller than the other. You can do this with no changes at all to the pattern, simply by using a heavier yarn (and correspondingly larger hook) to make a larger adult, or a finer yarn (and correspondingly smaller hook) to make a smaller baby (see my Resizing tutorial for more details).

elephant crochet pattern by planetjune
The blue Elephant is definitely an older sibling to the tiny baby grey ones! 

aquaami polar bears crochet pattern by planetjune
Mama and baby Polar Bears

And here’s a gorgeous example from Amanda from Australia (via my Ravelry group), who made a Tuxedo AmiCat with her own little AmiKitten:

mama and baby planetjune tuxedo amicats by amanda
Awww! Amanda’s absolutely adorable AmiCat and kitten

Method 3: Do Both!

You can combine Methods 1 and 2: try using the same size eyes in both sizes of your amigurumi animal, and they’ll look even more realistically like a mama and baby! Just look at my little brown alpaca and see how cute he looks with his smaller body and relatively big eyes:

alpaca crochet pattern by planetjune
Same size eyes in a smaller body: definitely a baby!

*Caveat

I said you can use these tips with almost any amigurumi animal pattern for a reason: these techniques only work for animals where the baby is essentially a miniature version of the adult. Some animals have very different looking young: most obviously, any that go through a metamorphosis (for example, a baby butterfly is a caterpillar, not a tiny butterfly, and a baby frog is a tadpole, not a miniature frog).

This also applies to birds, who turn from a bundle of fluff into a sleek-feathered adult. For example, using bigger eyes or a smaller hook/yarn combo with my (adult) Emperor Penguin pattern would definitely not give you a Baby Emperor Penguin!

adult and baby emperor penguin crochet patterns by planetjune
Remember, baby birds look nothing like their parents…

Aside from those few exceptions, these simple techniques are the easiest way to make a ‘baby’ animal without needing a whole new pattern. Give it a try and breathe new life into your animal patterns by making cute baby versions of them, or an adorable mama-and-baby pair!

(And, if you’re tempted to give it a go in the next couple of weeks, don’t forget to show off the resulting amigurumi by entering them in the PlanetJune Baby Animals crochet-along on Ravelry!)

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Baby Guinea Pigs crochet pattern

For the past 3 years, I’ve been designing baby animal patterns around this time of year – it seems appropriate, as spring heralds the birth of lots of baby animals, and why should it be any different in the crochet world?! I’m keeping up that tradition today, with my new pattern release: Baby Guinea Pigs!

Baby Guinea Pigs crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Story Behind The Pattern

When I was little, my sister and I used to visit the pet shop all the time, to watch the baby bunnies and guinea pigs scampering around together in their big pen in the middle of the shop and choose which were our favourites. In 2012, I remade those bunnies in crochet (the Baby Bunnies pattern), and, in 2014, I added some patterned bunnies to the collection (the Baby Bunnies 2 expansion pack):

Baby Bunnies and Baby Bunnies 2 Expansion Pack crochet patterns by PlanetJune
What’s missing from this picture?

And yet, something was still missing from my original vision… All those baby bunnies, and not a baby guinea pig in sight! With this pattern, I’m setting that right and finally recreating the pet shop scene from my childhood memories. :)

Baby Bunnies and Baby Guinea Pigs crochet patterns by PlanetJune
Awww, that’s more like it!

(By the way, while researching for this pattern, I discovered that it’s commonly recommended to not keep rabbits and guinea pigs together long-term. Luckily that never applies to the crocheted varieties, who will stay as cute baby best friends forever!)

About the Pattern

I designed my Baby Guinea Pigs to be perfect companions for the Baby Bunnies – a match in size, style and simplicity, but of course with their own distinctive shaping and personalities.

My pattern includes a quick and easy Single-Coloured piggy (with optional brushing instructions, to make it fluffy as shown in my sample), and three different types of colour patterns. As with Baby Bunnies 2, the three marking types are graded by difficulty:

  1. Test the waters by making your first simple colour changes for the Banded guinea pig.
  2. Get your feet wet with a few more colour changes for the Blazed markings.
  3. Wade into multiple changes per round with the more complex Dutch markings.

Baby Guinea Pigs crochet pattern by PlanetJune
Top to bottom: Single-Coloured, Banded, Blazed, Dutch

And if you want even more choices, you can go even further by mixing and matching (use the Blazed head with the Banded body, for example, or use the Dutch foot colours on any of the other piggies) to really customise your guinea pigs!

You can pick up the pattern from my shop right now (but don’t miss the discount below!) I can’t wait to see all your cute baby piggies. :)

If you’re not quite ready to buy, how about adding Baby Guinea Pigs to your queue or favourites on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it?

Baby Animals CAL (& Discount!)

The April PlanetJune CAL starts tomorrow, and its theme is Baby Animals – perfect timing for crocheting up some Baby Guinea Pigs (and maybe a few Baby Bunnies too, and some turtles, and an octopus, and…)

But here’s the great thing: you really don’t have to limit yourself. One of the nice things about my baby animals patterns is that, being small, they’re much faster to complete than larger amigurumi, so you can make lots of them! Here’s a sampling of your pattern choices:

PlanetJune Baby Animals CAL crochet pattern options

Ready to get started? Hop across to the PlanetJune Ravelry group and you’ll find a special CAL discount on the Baby Guinea Pigs pattern waiting for you in the Baby Animals CAL thread! Join us and let’s see how many baby animals we can crochet in April. :)

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in tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett

When I heard yesterday that Sir Terry Pratchett had passed away, my first thought was to make something to pay tribute to the man and his work, but then I realised that Terry Pratchett’s writings have already inspired me in so many ways over the years.

Although my heart hurts today, it makes me happy to know that, in 2008, he got to see my tribute to his work in the form of my Amigurumi Discworld, and I hope he could tell from that how much his books mean to me:

amigurumi discworld by planetjune
See my Amigurumi Discworld page for more details on this project

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

I’ve just realised that Terry Pratchett’s books have been a part of my life for over a quarter of a century! At age 11, when my best friend recommended Reaper Man to me, I took one look at the skeleton on the cover and decided it looked weird, creepy, and definitely not a book I’d enjoy reading. Luckily I ignored that first impression and trusted my friend (thank you Helen, wherever you are now) and my life was forever changed…

I could never have guessed that Death, that ‘weird, creepy’ skeleton, would become one of my favourite characters in literature! That’s part of the Pratchett genius, and something you can’t possibly understand until you read his books. The characters, the humour, and the way the strands of the plot always come together in such a satisying way by the end of the book – every Terry Pratchett book is a gem.

As time went by, I devoured every new Discworld book as soon as I could get my hands on it. In high school, I was delighted to ‘get’ the Shakespearean references in Wyrd Sisters after studying Macbeth in English classes. During my student days, I queued for hours at Cambridge book signings to exchange a few words with the man himself and get a favourite book or two signed. And commuting through a long Canadian winter (2 hours each way, driving cross-country through the darkness and snowstorms) was made bearable by having my Discworld audiobooks for company.

crocheted orang utan by planetjune
See my Crocheted Orangutan page for more details on this project

My enduring love for orangutans was first sparked by Terry’s interest in them via, of course, the Librarian from the Discworld books, and also by a documentary he made (Terry Pratchett’s Jungle Quest) about his trip to Borneo to see the endangered orang utan population. This not only led to my year-long art project to make a life-size realistic poseable baby orang utan (above), but also to last year’s trip to Borneo where I trekked through jungle (with my bad knee!) just so I too could see orangs in the wild.

And it’s not just the Discworld books: his Bromeliad trilogy for children (Truckers, Diggers, and Wings) – together with a documentary by my other hero, David Attenborough – inspired me to learn about, and create my own, tiny bromeliad-dwelling frog:

strawberry poison dart frog polymer clay sculpture by planetjune

Which in turn led to my Poison Dart Frog crochet pattern:

poison dart frog amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

As you can see, Terry Pratchett’s writing has always been a source of enjoyment and inspiration to me. Last year, I started re-reading all the Discworld books, and once I finish those, I’m going to continue reading (or re-reading) the entire Pratchett canon – I know it’ll be a pleasure.

Although I’m desperately sad to know that he’s no longer with us, Sir Terry will live on forever through his books, which will continue to inspire and delight me and millions of other people all over the world. Now that’s a legacy to be proud of.

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Camel crochet pattern

Today has an extra reason to be known as Hump Day, because it’s Camel time! For my latest commission, I’ve designed a realistic camel complete with curved neck, eyelids, tasseled tail, and of course the essential hump:

camel amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

The Camel crochet pattern is a new addition to my natural fibres range of amigurumi designs (together with the alpaca Alpaca and the angora Baby Bunny) and I’ve been waiting for almost 3 years to have the chance to use the 100% baby camel yarn I bought just for this purpose. Of course, I created my design with standard worsted weight acrylic yarn in mind – there’s no need to splash out on pricey camel yarn unless you want that added realism :)

The regular worsted weight camel is a sturdy 8.5″ (21cm) long. My little camel-yarn camel is only 6.5″ long, because the camel yarn is finer (DK weight) so I used a smaller hook (C US/2.75mm) to keep the stitches tidy. (You can get the same scaling effect with any of my patterns by using a thicker/thinner yarn and a correspondingly larger/smaller hook to resize the pattern to any scale you wish.)

I love how my two samples look like they’re part of an amigurumi camel train:

camel amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

Camel Fun Facts

  • There are two types of camel: the one-humped dromedary (like my design), and the two-humped Bactrian camel.
  • The dromedary is adapted to survive in the hot, dry desert environment of northern Africa and the Middle East.
  • The Bactrian camel comes from Asian climates that can get much colder. Its soft thick undercoat is shed annually and is used to make camel yarn.
  • Camels store fatty deposits in their humps that let them survive in drought conditions.
  • They also have other clever adaptations like the ability to close their nostrils in sandstorms!

camel amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and I’d like to give an extra-special thank you to every one of my patrons who commissioned this pattern last year, paid for it the week before my home invasion trauma, and have been waiting ever since for me to be able to complete their pattern. I’m so grateful for your patience and trust through these many months, and I’m delighted to be able to finally say that your pattern is now ready for you to download from your PlanetJune account!

camel amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

If you weren’t one of the camel commissioners, my Camel pattern is now available to purchase from the PlanetJune shop.

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

I hope you like my Camel design!


As you may know, I’ll be going for knee surgery at some time in the next few weeks. As I can’t predict how long my recovery will take, I’ll wait until I’m better before I accept payment for my next commission, as I don’t want to create another situation like the Camel where personal circumstances cause months of delay between your payment and receiving your pattern. So, if you’ve pledged towards the Armadillo design, please know that I won’t be sending out the invoices until I’m ready to begin work on your design. :)

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AmiCats crochet patterns!

I’ve been working on a collection of cat patterns for years now, as a companion to my large collection of AmiDogs designs (21 and counting). Cats are one of my favourite animals, but one of the most difficult to depict realistically, and I didn’t want to publish any cats until I was satisfied that I’d done justice to their feline grace and beauty.

It’s been a long process that took over a dozen prototypes to pin down, but I’ve finally reached the definitive PlanetJune cat shape, and I’m very excited to finally be able to show it to you! So, without further ado, allow me to present my AmiCats designs:

AmiCats amigurumi cat crochet patterns by PlanetJune

About the Designs

With cats, it’s all about the elegant poised shape, and, as I discovered when assembling my early prototypes, the position of certain pieces is absolutely critical. I’ve spent hours studying cat anatomy and refining my prototypes to produce a design that is unmistakably cat-shaped without spoiling the texture of the uninterrupted single crochet stitches.

To ensure that you can follow my pattern and get a beautiful, graceful, cat-shaped result without endlessly repositioning the pieces, I’ve designed the face shaping so the muzzle is built right into the cat, and the front legs are crocheted directly into the body at the appropriate position and angle. All you need to do is follow the pattern and it’ll just work!

Enjoy the magical shaping with no complications by making a Single-Coloured cat in any colour, or choose from a selection of multi-coloured cats: a black and white Tuxedo, a tortoiseshell and white Calico, and of course the classic striped Tabby.

AmiCats amigurumi cat crochet patterns by PlanetJune
Top to bottom: Calico, Single-Coloured, Tuxedo, Tabby

Although I used black eyes for my sample cats – it fits better with the PlanetJune style – I intentionally designed all the AmiCats to use 9mm eyes, as that’s the most common size of cat ‘safety’ eyes you can buy. So if you prefer more embellishment, you can use ‘cat’ eyes, embroider a mouth, add whiskers, etc etc, to give your cats the look and personality you want.

About the Patterns

I’ve included two-page appendices for both right- and left-handers that explain my innovative method for joining the legs and body while you crochet so they sit at exactly the right angle in the finished cat. The method is the same for all the AmiCats, so, once you’ve made one, crocheting more AmiCats will be easy and you’ll enjoy seeing the realistic curves of the cat appear in your hands. The simplest and least time-consuming design is the Single-Coloured cat (you can make it in any colour!), followed by the Tuxedo, then the Calico, and finally the Tabby, whose show-stopping stripes are worth the effort.

AmiCats amigurumi cat crochet patterns by PlanetJune

The pattern also includes bonus instructions to crochet the (optional) pictured nose from crochet thread or embroidery floss and a 1.25mm/size 9 steel hook, and I’ve also given illustrated instructions for making simple felt or embroidered noses, if you don’t want to try crocheting such a tiny nose.

And you can save paper and ink by printing only the appendices you need (crocheted nose; right-handed or left-handed assembly guide, or neither) from any one of the patterns – the appendices are the same for all the AmiCats.

AmiCats amigurumi cat crochet patterns by PlanetJune

You can buy each AmiCats pattern individually from my shop, or pick up the multipack of all 4 AmiCats for less than the price of 3 – that’s a great deal!

If you’re not ready to buy them just yet, please remember to heart and queue them on Ravelry!

Single-Coloured:   Tuxedo:

Calico:   Tabby:

Launch Discount

Let’s make that deal even better: for one week only, you can buy the AmiCats Collection (including all 4 AmiCats designs) for the extra-special low price of $15. To take advantage of this deal, add the AmiCats Collection to your shopping cart, and enter the discount code MEOW at checkout! (Offer ends Friday 23 January, 2015.)

AmiCats Crochet-Along

And, from today until the end of February, join us in the PlanetJune Ravelry group, where we’ll all be making AmiCats galore. I can’t wait to see all the variations popping up from all over the world! Will you follow the patterns exactly, or change some colours to more closely match your own cat(s)? Either way, please join us, and share pics of your AmiCats…

AmiCats amigurumi cat crochet patterns by PlanetJune
AmiCats have the Maui seal of approval!

These designs represent the culmination of literally years of research, sketching, and endless refinement, but I feel it was worth the effort. These patterns are so close to my heart. I hope that shows, and that my AmiCats will bring happiness to many fellow cat lovers. If you love them, please do let me know…

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    June Gilbank

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

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