PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for Crochet

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern

It’s hard to come up with a new Christmas design – with thousands of patterns to compete with, it’s not easy to think of something original that hasn’t been done before, but I’m confident that my Snow Stars are a completely new concept!

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern by PlanetJune
This pattern collection is really three patterns in one:

  • An amazing one-piece, no-sew, seamless amigurumi star
  • Three quick and easy crocheted snowflakes
  • A set of beautiful Christmas decorations

The Star

I’ve spent the last couple of years playing around with prototypes for a one-piece crocheted star that’s smooth and lovely all over, with no sewing at all required, and I finally figured it out. It’s truly magical how it comes together; while you crochet it looks like it’ll never work, but as you start to add the stuffing it magically turns into a plump adorable star before your eyes. And all with little more than single crochet stitches! I hope you’ll be as excited to try this technique as I am to have invented it.

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern by PlanetJune

(And, as a bonus, my star also makes a lovely seamless one-piece baby toy. Embroider features to make it truly baby-safe, or, for a child past teething age, you can insert standard animal eyes before you stuff and close the star.)

The Snowflakes

With the star design complete, I’ve spent the last few weeks crocheting endless snowflakes, tweaking my designs until I developed a set of three that met all my criteria:

  • Pretty and well-balanced designs
  • All completely different but complementary
  • Sized to fit perfectly on the star when made with the same yarn
  • Not too chunky, even in worsted weight yarn

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I’m really happy with the results! And, as the snowflakes are small even with heavy yarn, when you size them down with crochet cotton and a small hook, you end up with most adorably tiny snowflakes! (My thread samples pictured above are just over 2″ diameter with size 10 thread and a B US/2.25mm hook) – and you could go even smaller if your hands don’t mind tiny hooks.)

These perfectly formed beauties only take minutes to complete, and would be perfect as gift-toppers, to accent your Christmas place-settings, or anywhere else a tiny wintery decoration is needed – and the pattern includes stiffening instructions so your flakes won’t droop.

The Snow Stars

Put it all together, and you have a dazzling and completely original tree ornament. All the snowflakes fit perfectly on the star, and the star forms a colourful backdrop to each snowflake. Make your stars in any colour to match your Christmas decor, then add your favourite snowflake design! Instructions for adding a hanging loop are included in the pattern, so you can easily add your Snow Stars to your tree or to a garland.

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Pattern

Snow Star Ornaments is a detailed 10-page pattern. In addition to the written crochet pattern instructions, it includes right- and left-handed stitch diagrams for all three snowflakes, and lots of photo tutorials (for the special stitch used, stuffing and assembling the star and ornaments, stiffening the snowflakes, and adding an optional hanging loop).

But I’ve also laid it out to be print friendly: if you’d like to print it out, you can save paper and ink by printing just 3 pages:

  1. The star crochet pattern
  2. The snowflake written instructions
  3. The page with the appropriate snowflake stitch diagrams for you (right- or left-handed)

The Crochet-Along

As you may know, we’re hosting a Christmas CAL in the PlanetJune Ravelry group – you can join in by making any PlanetJune Christmas-themed patterns (including this one!) and posting a photo to the CAL thread. If you’d like to join the CAL by making Snow Star Ornaments, click through to the CAL thread and take advantage of the CAL discount for this pattern.

Snow Star Ornaments crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If you’d like to buy the pattern, you can find it here in my shop (but don’t forget to grab the CAL discount code first!). 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 my Snow Star Ornaments! And I hope it’s not too early to say Happy Christmas (or seasonal holiday of your choice) :)

Comments (2)

How to Fold a Triangular Shawl

how to fold a triangular shawl by planetjune

If you’ve been bitten by the shawl-crocheting bug, it can be easy to build up quite a collection! As part of the Accessories CAL (in the PlanetJune Ravelry group), I thought now would be a good time to discuss how you store your shawls. I used to hang mine in my closet, but I quickly ran out of hanging space, and now I prefer to keep them all neatly folded in a plastic storage box.

Triangular shawls, in particular, can be a bit tricky to fold for storage, so here’s my method to turn any size and style of triangular shawl into a tidy rectangle.

Step 1: Hold your shawl with the point facing down:

how to fold a triangular shawl by planetjune

Step 2: Bring the top left corner across to the top right corner:

how to fold a triangular shawl by planetjune

Step 3: Bring the bottom point up to the top left corner:

how to fold a triangular shawl by planetjune

Step 4: Bring the top right point across to the top left corner:

how to fold a triangular shawl by planetjune

And that’s it: a perfect rectangle. If your shawl is large, you may want to fold it in half again before you store it (but I think you can figure out how to do that without a photo…)

So now you can go from this:

Cozy Mesh and Palm Leaves shawl crochet patterns by planetjune

to this tidy little stack of crocheted loveliness!

Cozy Mesh and Palm Leaves shawl crochet patterns by planetjune

And – in case you’d like to make a few more shawls so you can practice your folding technique – you can find all my shawl patterns here 😉

Comments (2)

perfect fit wristwarmers

With the new PlanetJune Accessories CAL starting, I thought it was about time to show you these wristwarmers I made from the Front-and-Back Wristwarmers pattern in my book, Idiot’s Guides: Crochet.

They look lovely in person, but I’ve had real trouble photographing them! Because they’re such a rich, deep brown, they look like a solid mass in photos, and you can’t see the gorgeous stitch texture. But I think they deserve to be seen, so please forgive my over-exposed hands in these photos – let’s call them ‘arty’ shots 😉

brown wristwarmers from Front-and-Back Fingerless Mitts pattern by June Gilbank

I made them in a stretch yarn (Elle Stretch) that’s much finer than the yarn I used for the book samples, so I expected to have to use the large size instructions even though I have small hands, but the stretch in the yarn compensated for that, giving me a nice snug – but not tight – fit.

brown wristwarmers from Front-and-Back Fingerless Mitts pattern by June Gilbank
Don’t they fit me well?

Maybe you didn’t think my book IG: Crochet was for you, because you’re way past the beginner stage of crochet? If you enjoy making accessories crochet pattern, that’s definitely not the case! I arranged the included patterns at the end of the book in approximate order of difficulty, and there are some lovely – and a little more advanced – accessories at the end of the pattern section, including the stunning Double Diagonals Shawl (skills: crocheting lace, reading a chart), and the matching Front-and-Back Hat and Fingerless Mitts set (skills: post stitches, working into front/back loop only, making accessories to fit):

Idiot's Guides: Crochet by June Gilbank - patterns
IG: Crochet patterns – arranged in approximate order of difficulty from basic (top) to a little more challenging (bottom). All the techniques you’ll need to make all these patterns are explained in full, with detailed step-by-step photo tutorials, in the book.

If you’d like more info on the book, please see my main Idiot’s Guides: Crochet page, which includes links to the week of posts I wrote to explain the book’s contents in detail.

And if you’re making any projects from the book before the end of the year (or any PlanetJune Accessories patterns), join the Accessories CAL in my Ravelry group and show us what’s on your hook – we’d love to see what you’re crocheting…

Comments (1)

new PlanetJune Accessories shawl mini collection

Note: Don’t miss the launch discounts at the end of this post!

Today I’m adding two new shawl designs to my PlanetJune Accessories range. Although they sound very similar on the surface – both are triangular shawls, worked from the bottom up – they are actually a study in contrasts. One is restrained, elegant, warm and textured:

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

The other is an extra-wide, shallow triangle – bold, lacy and flamboyant:

Palm Leaves Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

Both are fun to crochet, and come with options to extend their value! Ready to meet them?

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl

I designed the Cozy Mesh stitch pattern to feel like a comforting hug around your shoulders – this is not a gauzy, feather-light wisp of a shawl; it has a little weight built into the gorgeous stitch pattern. The texture and lace are built on a small scale, to give a warm, substantial fabric with no gaping holes, while still allowing the fabric to drape and flow beautifully without a hint of stiffness.

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

With a single 50g skein of fingering-weight yarn, you can crochet a kerchief-style mini-shawl to keep your neck warm and fit neatly into the gap above the collar of your jacket or v-neck sweater (like the blue sample, below, left). With just two 50g skeins, you can make a useful everyday-sized shawl (like the purple sample above).

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

The bottom-up construction means you can keep crocheting until your shawl is the desired size (or you run out of yarn). The unfussy edging is built directly into the shawl, so you don’t even need to keep any yarn back for later.

Rav link for Cozy Mesh:

Palm Leaves Triangular Shawl

Palm Leaves is a shallow triangular shawl with a large, bold, stitch pattern. The extra-tall stitches work up into eye-catching oversized lace that makes an impact! A complementary edging anchors the dramatic main pattern without competing with it. Snuggled up around your neck, this shawl will keep you warm and cosy, or wear it across your shoulders to reveal the beautiful open lace pattern.

Palm Leaves Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

Both my samples are worked in DK weight yarn, making a change from the lighter weight of most shawls. A yarn with long, slow colour changes will be highlighted beautifully in this shawl, as shown in my variegated sample (above), but it’s still equally irresistible in a solid shade (below).

Palm Leaves Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

Again, you can keep crocheting until the shawl is the size you want, and then add the border. I’ve offered two options for the border: a deeper edging (shown in the variegated sample) if you have plenty of yarn remaining, and a shallower version (shown in the terracotta sample) if you want a less dramatic border, or are concerned that you may not have enough yarn to complete the whole edging.

Rav link for Palm Leaves:

Launch Discounts

Links to buy: You can buy the Cozy Mesh and Palm Leaves shawl patterns individually from my shop, or as part of a Custom Set of any 3 PlanetJune Accessories patterns for a special price.

But, to celebrate the launch, I have two special offers, for this week only:

  • Buy either of the new shawl patterns and save 10% (code: SHAWL1)
  • Buy both new shawl patterns and save 20% on each (code: SHAWL2)

Just add the shawl(s) to your shopping cart, and enter the appropriate code in the Discount box at checkout to receive your automatic discount! Valid until next Tuesday, 10 November. (Please note: you must have both shawls in your shopping cart at once to get the 20% discount on both.)


If you’re making one of these shawls this year, please join us for the Accessories CAL in the PlanetJune Ravelry group and let us know right away which shawl you’re planning to make first and what yarn you’ll be using! I can’t wait to see which colours you choose…

Comments (1)

Two-Toed Sloth crochet pattern

When I made my commissioned Sloth design, I had to decide between the two types of Sloth: Two-Toed and Three-Toed. I decided to go with the Three-Toed for my design, but I secretly wished I had time to make a Two-Toed as well…

Although my crocheted sloths don’t have any toes, the markings and nose shape of each type of sloth makes them look very different, although their basic body shapes are the same. This means we have an excellent candidate for a new Expansion Pack, to convert the standard Three-Toed Sloth into a Two-Toed Sloth:

Sloth crochet patterns by PlanetJune

If you aren’t too familiar with sloths – they are very strange creatures! – I refer you to my Sloth Fun Facts from my original Sloth blog post :)

Just like my original Sloth, the Two-Toed has jointed limbs and feet that clip together so he can hang around:

Two-Toed Sloth crochet pattern by PlanetJune

And I have to admit it – this is the real reason I always wanted to make two sloths: when you have two sloths (a matched set, or one of each), your sloths can hug each other:

Sloth crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Awww! Cutest thing ever?

Two-Toed Sloth crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My Two-Toed Sloth uses a special technique to give him nostrils crocheted right into his muzzle – it’s subtle, but gives a nice effect that doesn’t rely on embroidery or any other embellishment techniques. As with the original Sloth, there are only 6 pieces to crochet, and the jointed limbs mean you only have one piece to sew on at the end – very satisfying!

Two-Toed Sloth crochet pattern by PlanetJune

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 buy the Two-Toed Sloth Expansion Pack for only $2.50 individually from the shop, or, if you haven’t yet bought the (three-toed) Sloth pattern, you can buy the multipack of both sloths, and save 50c on the pair.

Launch Discount

If you’ve already bought the original Sloth, you won’t be able to save that 50c. But, for 7 days only, add the Two-Toed Sloth Expansion Pack pattern to your shopping cart, together with anything else (totalling $5 or more), then use the code SLOTHLOVE at checkout and you’ll still get your discount! (Valid until next Tuesday: 13th October 2015.)

Note: If you don’t need anything else right now, this also applies to Gift Certificate purchases, so you can pick up a $5 gift certificate now, get your discount, and have $5 in your PlanetJune account ready for your next purchase, or to send to a crocheting friend!

I’m so happy to finally have a complete set of sloths. If you’re not ready to make your Sloth family just yet, don’t forget to heart and queue them on Ravelry so you don’t forget about them:

Three-Toed Sloth (original): 

Two-Toed Sloth (new):

What do you think? Aren’t hugging amigurumi sloths just the cutest thing?!


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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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