Archive for General

April update

I’m still on the giddy high of being my own boss again and having real time to work on my business instead of squeezing PlanetJune things in around book priorities. It feels so satisfying every time I get to cross something off my to-do list; many items have been on there for well over a year, and that’s been weighing me down. Now I’m back in control, and in March I’ve made several behind-the-scenes improvements as well as publishing 2 new patterns and 8 re-releases, and making good progress on my meerkat commission, so I’m really making a dent in the to-do list.

The next challenge will be to pace myself – there’s just so much I want to do, it’s hard not to eat, breathe, and sleep PlanetJune. But my plan for this year was to slow down and find a healthy balance, and that’s still my goal. Let me finish just one more tempting design idea first, and then I’ll get right on that….

Spring/Easter CAL

The PlanetJune Spring/Easter CAL is going strong and continues until the end of April, so I hope you’ll join us! I’ve already released 2 new patterns since the start of this CAL, and there’s another new one on its way, so there’ll be even more options to choose from, including all these:

PlanetJune Spring/Easter CAL 2014

…and of course the new additions from March, Primroses and Baby Bunnies 2:

Primroses crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Baby Bunnies 2 Expansion Pack crochet pattern by PlanetJune

It’s even more fun to crochet when other people are making the same thing, and you can compare yarns and colour choices and enjoy seeing photos of their finished pieces too. For full details and to crochet any of these patterns along with us, see the CAL thread in the PlanetJune ravelry group :)

Review and Win contest

March’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Jennifer B, with her review of my Brachiosaurus:

crocheted brachiosaurus dinosaur by planetjune

This brachiosaurus dinosaur is as cute as can be! I made one in neon red and the little boy loves him. It’s really easy for little hands to hold the dinosaur around the neck and over the back. The pattern instructions are clear and well-written – you will get the same dinosaur as pictured. Also to attach the body parts invisibly planetjune has an excellent youtube how-to video.

Congrats, Jennifer – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Have you enjoyed any PlanetJune patterns recently? Please consider writing a review for them in my shop – you’ll automatically be entered into the monthly draw with every review, and you’ll help future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying. Thank you!

And I have one more new spring-themed crochet pattern ready to publish: it’s a sweet and quick-to-crochet new donationware pattern, and it’ll be coming tomorrow. (I was planning to release it today, but with it being April Fools’ Day, I thought it was safest to avoid confusion and hold off until tomorrow – PlanetJune patterns are no joke!)


March update

I just finished the last of the page proofs for the book – now all that remains is waiting 5 more months for the release date! With such short deadlines, it’s been an intense and exhausting process, but the advantage is that we don’t have too much longer to wait until you can see what I’ve been working so hard to create. In the meantime, here’s the latest PlanetJune news:

Press Mentions

I’ve just updated my Publications and Media page with new publications and press mentions from the past few months:
June Gilbank 2013 press/publications
Clockwise from top left:

  • Hey look – it’s my new book, Idiot’s Guides: Crochet!
  • Homespun magazine interviewed me about my Succulent patterns.
  • My Amigurumi balloons were featured in Crafty magazine.
  • My Magic Ring tutorial was published in The Bead Book.

These publications hail from the US, Australia, UK and South Africa – it really is a small world, these days. It’s always an honour to be asked to appear in a magazine, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get a chance to acknowledge these features. (If you found me through any of these magazines, here’s a long overdue welcome!)

Spring/Easter CAL

The PlanetJune Spring/Easter CAL runs through March and April, and includes a wide range of patterns: Spring flowers, St Patricks Day and Easter designs, and lots of baby animals! Join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group for this CAL by making any of the PlanetJune patterns pictured here:

PlanetJune Spring/Easter CAL 2014

For full details, please see the CAL thread on ravelry – I hope you’ll join us there!

(There’ll also be at least one new addition to the Springtime patterns during this CAL – I have several new designs in progress that would fit the theme, so we’ll just have to wait and see how many I can complete in time…)

Ravellenic Games Report

Team PlanetJune - Ravellenic Games 2014

The medals have yet to be awarded, so we don’t have a team total yet, but Team PlanetJune performed brilliantly, with dinosaurs and lots and lots of baby turtles being the most popular projects. Well done to all the team members! Here’s a sampling of the entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

Ravellenic Games 2014 - sample of Team PlanetJune entries

I failed to win any medals myself, as last-minute book commitments meant I had to postpone my Meerkat design. I’d still like to continue my plan of sharing my Meerkat design as I complete it, so I’ve decided to instead chronicle my design process as a series of blog posts, so you can follow along with me here – I hope you’ll find it enlightening to see what goes into a PlanetJune design!

Review and Win contest

February’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Heather L, with her review of my AmiDogs Basset Hound:

AmiDogs Basset Hound amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

June’s attention to detail makes for a super cute finished product. Floppy ears, droopy eyes, and a little legs. As always, June’s instructions are so well written that you are essentially assured a wonderful result.

Congrats, Heather – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Is the fact that I’ve succeeded in publishing this update on March 1st a sign that I’m finally starting to feel a little control over my life again? Let’s say it is. The book is finished, my taxes are finished – that means all my critical deadlines are finally out of the way and I can finally take some time to relax. Remind me not to sign up for anything else time-critical any time soon!

The looking-after-myself plan that I talked about in my 2013 Year in Review starts now – and not a moment too soon…

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changing plans and catching up

Time for a confession: my time management has had a bit of a hiccup, because of the book. I assumed that, at this stage, all I had left to do was a final read-through of basically perfect pages, but I grossly underestimated this stage of the book production process.

We’re now at the critical stage where all the different jobs – editing, photography, design and layout, illustration – come together for the first time, and all those elements, expertly created by different people, have to be carefully aligned and tweaked to get all the pieces to come together perfectly.

The reason for my misunderstanding is that neither of my other books had this stage: Paper Chains & Garlands was much simpler in terms of design and content, so there was little that could go wrong; and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi had no page design beyond the stylesheet, and all the photographs and illustrations were inserted exactly as I provided them, so, again, the pages needed little more than a cursory glance from me at this stage.

Idiot’s Guides: Crochet will be very different, with clean, attractive page layouts and professional photography – it’s very exciting, but it just takes much longer to get it all right. Each page needs to be tweaked and cuts may need to be made to get it all to fit beautifully into the design without losing any essential information.

Collaborating with the rest of the team to make sure everything ends up perfect would be painstaking and time-consuming work in the best case, but, as I’m also on the other side of the world from my team, their working day is only just beginning as mine ends. I stay up late every time we need a meeting, and email exchanges usually take the best part of 24 hours to get a simple yes/no reply, and much longer if it’s a back-and-forth conversation!

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I had to pull a few 12-hour days trying to get my Baby Sea Turtle Collection published in time for the Rav Games as promised while all this was going on. The pattern has had a great response, so I’m happy I did that, but I can’t keep overdoing things.

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll still be busy checking and re-checking every page of the book, to make sure the book is as close to perfect as we can get it before it goes to print. I’m not going to cut corners with this crucial step, so that means I’ve had to drop the ball on a few other things…

CAL roundups

This is a good thing really – it’s a clear sign that my CAL roundup posts need an overhaul. I just don’t have the time to put together roundup posts as I have in the past, but I’ve come up with a neat solution!

From now on, I’ll be posting a screenshot from Ravelry as a sample of the CAL entries, and you can click through to see all the entries in full. (This does mean you’ll need a Ravelry username to see them all, but it’s free to join and hugely beneficial to anyone who crochets (or knits). If you haven’t joined already, now would be a good time – and then come and join the PlanetJune group too so we can help you get to know Rav better!)

This change also has a big benefit for CALers: no more image dimension requirements! Upload any photos you want to your project, any size or shape, tag your project with the CAL tag (v important!), and you’re entered. My summary screenshot will show the projects with the most favourites, so it’ll add a little friendly competition – take the best photos you can and see if you can make it into the top 12 so your project will appear in the summary pic :)

Let’s start this off now with the January CAL roundup that I missed: the 2013 Designs CAL. All the designs I released in 2013 were eligible for this CAL, which led to a nice variety of projects. Here are just a few of the lovely entries we had:

PlanetJune 2013 Designs CAL - sample of entries
Click through to Ravelry to see all the 2013 Designs CAL entries!

(It’s a process… For the next roundup, we’ll know that everyone should tweak each project’s first photo so the project doesn’t fall off the edges of the thumbnail, as some of these do! Do click through to see them all in their full glory.)

Meerkat Design Process

The additional book work has thrown a huge spanner in the works for my plan to share the progress on my Meerkat design as I go. Something as demanding as a new design is always a challenge, and even more so if I’m sharing the details of designing it as I go – quite a nerve-wracking proposition for me!

I’ve only been able to write the first update so far, and now I think it’ll be better all round if I postpone the entire plan until after my book commitments are complete. The book and the meerkat commission both deserve my full attention, and that’s not going to happen if I try to do both simultaneously.

I’ll still share my design process as promised, and the commissioners will still get their Meerkat pattern in the not-too-distant future, but I’m going to set this aside until the book is 100% finished. I think I’ll make the Meerkat design process into a series of blog posts instead, hopefully running throughout March.

Finding a Balance

This year, I’m trying to keep a flexible attitude and be willing to change plans to keep my work level more manageable. So, although the Meerkat is on hold for a couple more weeks, I am using my non-book time productively – I have another couple of (less stressful) designs in the works, so there will be more PlanetJune patterns coming soon.

I feel confident that, once the book work is really out of the way (as I mistakenly thought it already was!) I’ll be able to find a balance without over-committing, and my life will finally calm down. And I’m really looking forward to getting stuck back into PlanetJune full time – there’s so much I want to do, and I can’t wait to be able to show you some of the other exciting designs that currently only exist inside my head – the Baby Sea Turtles were just the beginning…

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February update

February already! I’m still busy with book edits and didn’t manage to get any new designs ready to release in January, but there should be a new surprise PlanetJune amigurumi animal coming later this week! I also have more exciting plans for this month…

Ravellenic Games – join Team PlanetJune!

Team PlanetJune is limbering up and getting ready for the Ravellenic Games opening ceremony on February 7th! If you’re new to the games, they are a non-competitive fun yarny challenge that runs over the timeframe of the Olympics. As a member of Team PlanetJune, you’ll challenge yourself to complete one (or more) PlanetJune patterns in the Feb 7-23 timeframe, and each project you complete will earn you ‘medals’ you can display on ravelry.

Team PlanetJune - Ravellenic Games 2014

Between us, we’ll try to win as many medals for Team PJ as we can, and we’ll all be cheering each other on in the team thread. It’ll be lots of fun and I hope you’ll join us as a member of Team PlanetJune – whether you choose to participate or just to cheer us on :)

To sign up, all you need to do is post in the Team PJ thread in the PlanetJune ravelry group before Feb 7th, saying you’d like to join, and then start planning your projects!

Follow my Meerkat Design Process

As I have a new commission (the Meerkat) to begin at exactly the time of the games, I’m going to attempt to create my Meerkat as my entry into the Ravellenic Games.

I’ll do all my research and preparation for the design before the games begin on February 7th, and attempt to complete the design (to at least the stage of a good prototype) between the opening ceremony on February 7th and the closing ceremony on February 23rd.

I’ll be sharing my progress in the Team PlanetJune thread on ravelry, so if you’d like a rare chance to see my design process in action, please join us there.

Meerkats at Durrell (photo by June Gilbank)
I took this photo at Durrell in November. How will I translate those little scamps into crochet? Follow my progress in the Team PJ thread!

For Meerkat Commissioners: how does this affect your commission?

  • Follow along in the Team PJ thread and you’ll be able to see bonus in-progress photos of my design before it’s complete (not something I would usually do!)
  • Don’t worry: my design will not be adversely affected by the games. If I’m not completely happy with it, I’ll ‘fail’ the time challenge of the games so I can take as much additional time as I need to make it as good as possible.
  • Your pattern will definitely not be completed by the end of the games! Even if my design is finished, I’ll still have the bulk of the work ahead of me: writing the instructions, taking and editing photos, creating the pattern, and everything else that goes into every PlanetJune pattern. I have other commitments (I’m still working through the book edits), so it could take several weeks after completing the prototype design before I can complete the pattern. As you don’t usually get to see my designs until I’m ready to release the pattern, I want you to be aware of this upfront so you’re not disappointed later – it’s a slow process, but it’ll be worth it!

Review and Win contest

January’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Alicia B, with her review of my Plesiosaurus:

amigurumi plesiosaurus by planetjune

The shaping on this water reptile is amazing. And again I love the extra info on the animal itself that June provides. You can tell she does a lot of research into her projects before she even picks up a hook and yarn. Nice bonus not much sewing on this one! Especially after some of the spikey dinos

Congrats, Alicia – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Don’t forget: join Team PlanetJune before February 7th to take part in the Rav Games with us – it’ll be fun, I promise!

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January update

I’m still technically on holiday for another week, but in this age of smartphones and wifi it’s hard to ever take a complete break – there are always more questions to answer and people to help! I’m trying to keep work to a minimum, though, and enjoying some relaxing crafting time.

My Craft WIPs

It’s such a treat to have time to make things again! I’ve really missed this…

cross stitch wip by planetjune

I’m making progress on my secret long term cross stitch project, which I started well over a year ago (and its companion piece over 2 years ago)! I don’t think I’ll be finishing it any time soon, but that’s fine by me – it’s a nice relaxing project to pick up whenever I have time.

fimo chameleon wip by planetjune

I’ve been playing with my polymer clay for the first time in a couple of years. My FIMO is getting pretty old now, and took a long time to condition so it didn’t crack when I worked it. My hands were hurting after that, so I only got partway through sculpting the basic body shape of a chameleon before I had to stop. It was going well, but I don’t expect the clay to stay workable; I’ll probably have to ball up my efforts and start again from scratch for my next claying session (boo). At least I have a good chameleon colour mixed now, so I can get straight into sculpting next time!

mystery amigurumi wip by planetjune

I’ve also started crocheting a very cute new design – all will be revealed in the next few weeks… It’s lovely to have time to think about amigurumi again, and, yes, I count my designing as play, not work! Writing, editing, photographing and publishing patterns is definitely (hard) work, but the design and crocheting part is exactly what I’d be doing even if it didn’t pay – I love this part :)

2013 Designs CAL

The January CAL includes all 18 of the crochet patterns I released last year – a nice mix of free and paid, amigurumi and accessories, and (hopefully!) something to appeal to everyone:

2013 PlanetJune crochet patterns

If you’d like to join in, you’ll find the CAL thread in the PlanetJune ravelry group – I hope to see you there :)

Review and Win contest

I apparently completely forgot to do the monthly update in December (I can’t imagine why…), so I have 2 ‘Review and Win’ winners to announce today!

November’s winner is Aimee N, with her review of my Cascading Clusters Shawl:

Cascading Clusters Shawl crochet pattern by June Gilbank

I bought this pattern as soon as I saw it and put another shawl aside so that I could work on it. I like to work from charts, and the chart for this pattern was very clear and easy to follow. It’s a quick project too. I used an alpaca sport-weight yarn which drapes beautifully. I am so pleased with this shawl that I will probably make it again — and I rarely make the same pattern more than once!

And December’s winner is Jeanne S, with her review of my Christmas Trees:

crocheted Christmas trees by planetjune

Another great pattern from June. Very easy to follow directions, and the tiny star is adorable! I used white worsted weight yarn, red heart shimmer, worked really well. Then I had some finer weight pale blue glittery yarn. Made the small tree again. Stands on its own without being stuffed, and very quick to make up. Thanks again

Congrats to both of the winners – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

And now I’m heading back to a lazy afternoon of watching TV and crafting. My 2014 is going pretty well so far – I hope yours is too.

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November update

Yep, I’m still working on my book, and I still can’t tell you any details, but I’m moving into the home stretch of my responsibilities (researching, desigining, writing, photographing, etc), so, very soon, you won’t hear any more book talk from me for a few months! After that, I’ll be able to spill the beans and share some sneak peeks of some of my beautiful projects, and you’ll finally be able to see that all my hard work was worthwhile ;)

November/December Crochet-Alongs

We’re doing things a bit differently for the rest of the year in the Ravelry group – we’re running 2 extra-long CALs simultaneously. Here are the details:

The PlanetJune Accessories CAL runs November 1 – December 31, so you have plenty of time to complete a large project and/or to make accessories as Christmas gifts. You can join in by making any of the PlanetJune Accessories patterns pictured below, or by turning any of my other patterns into a wearable accessory.

PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern range, 2013
The new shawl pattern (top left) is almost ready – look out for the new pattern announcement very shortly!

And the Christmas CAL will have prizes for all, as in previous years, but this year you have an extra month to get your entries made and ready for the big day! This CAL ends December 24th, so you can keep making Christmassy designs right up until Christmas Eve, and we’ll have a big celebratory roundup on Christmas Day :)

PlanetJune Christmas designs, 2012
I’ll also have a new Donationware addition to this range coming later this month…

You’ll find all the details in the relevant threads in the PlanetJune ravelry group – please join us!

Review and Win contest

October’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Alison J, with her review of my Protoceratops dinosaur (the sweet little pink dino from the Dinosaurs Set 3 Expansion Pack):

Dinosaurs Set 3X Expansion Pack crochet patterns by PlanetJune: Protoceratops, Iguanodon, Panoplosaurus
Dinosaurs Set 3X, L-R: Protoceratops, Iguanodon, Panoplosaurus

What a cutie!!!! And what could be better than only the 4 legs to sew on! Her head, frill, and body are worked very cleverly as a single piece with very nice details and super clear instructions. I love all of June’s dinosaur patterns, and I think this was the quickest one I have made so far.
Definitely recommend!!!

Congrats, Alison – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

And to everyone else: please remember to write a Review every time you’ve enjoyed a PlanetJune pattern – thank you!


October update

My book is half finished and it’s coming along well! While I’m busy working on the other half, I have no new patterns to announce, so I thought you might like to see some ideas for other PlanetJune designs you may not have tried before. Here’s a seasonal selection of my most autumnal patterns:

Fall/Autumn themed crochet patterns by PlanetJune

You can find all of these patterns by searching for ‘autumn’ in the shop (or just clicking here!) :)

New-To-Me CAL

The October crochetalong theme is New-To-Me – that means you can join in by making any PlanetJune patterns you haven’t tried before. Choose from any PlanetJune patterns in my shop (amigurumi and accessories), any free patterns from my website, or any of the patterns from my book – lots to choose from! Luckily Ravelry has a nice list of all 152 patterns on my designer page if you feel like browsing :)

Maybe the above collage has given you an idea of a pattern to try..? If you’d like to join in, you’ll find the CAL thread in the PlanetJune ravelry group.

Review and Win contest

August’s rollover ‘Review and Win’ winner is Jeanne S, with her review of my Sea Otter:

Sea Otter amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

So realistic looking. A friend asked if I could make an otter for her dad. I looked all over and Junes was the best. Her dad loved it. The pattern was easy to read and the extra tips are great.

And September’s winner is Angela N, with her review of my Sloth:

sloth amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

I fell in love with sloths after my first trip to Costa Rica so as soon as I saw this pattern, I just had to get it. Like all of June’s pattern designs, this one really captures the animal’s uniqueness and personality and after seeing a number of other sloth patterns that are available, I have to say that for me, June’s design is light years ahead of the rest in terms of the realistic look captured in her design. The pattern is really easy to follow and June gives very useful tips regarding the placement of the eyes, attaching the limbs etc, to make sure you get the best from your finished sloth. You are a true inspiration June! I am now making a wish list of other pattern purchases from you!

Thanks so much, ladies (and everyone else who leaves a review in my shop); it means the world to me to get this kind of feedback on my designs! I’m sure it also helps other customers to make that all-important decision on whether my patterns are worth buying or not, so please do keep those reviews coming if you’ve enjoyed any of my patterns and would like to share your experience – plus you may even be next month’s contest winner!

Congrats to both of the winners – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

And now, back to the book…


September update

Book Report

I’m working hard on my new book, and, although I can’t really show you anything at this stage, I can say that it’s going very well so far:

sneak peek of some of the yarn for my new book!
  • My trusty spiral-bound notebook (and my new virtual equivalent, Evernote) are full of my crochet knowledge and tips, ready to be shared with you next year!
  • I’ve added to my photography and lighting setup and I’ve created the ultimate crochet tutorial photo studio, so you can expect excellent quality photos in this book (and it’ll make editing photos much easier for me in future too).
  • I have a box of beautiful yarn (sneak peek of some of it to the right) waiting for me to crochet it into lovely things. I’ve already crocheted 14 skeins from it into secret projects…

It’s very exciting to see things starting to take shape after all the preparation and planning I’ve done over the past couple of months, but there’s still a long way to go. I’ll be spending all my time for the rest of the year writing, designing, crocheting, photographing – okay, that’s not much different from my usual work, but as I’m not working for myself, I don’t have the luxury of setting my own schedule.

Unlike my self-published work, book deadlines aren’t arbitrary and can’t be pushed back; I’m one cog in a machine that includes editors, designers, indexers, printers and more, and they’ll need time to work their magic after I’ve finished my part in the process. So, for me, everything else will be taking a back seat from now until I complete my author review in December and hand this baby off so the publishing magic can begin…

Review and Win contest

For the first time in the 3.5 years I’ve been running my monthly free pattern contest, there were no reviews left in my shop last month, so that means there’s no winner in the August ‘Review and Win’ contest. That’s good news for you though, because I’ll roll the prize over to this month, so I’ll be drawing 2 winners (of a free pattern of your choice) from the reviews left in the PlanetJune shop in September!

To be entered, just go to the page of the item you wish to review in my shop, click the Reviews tab and click write a review. If you’ve enjoyed any PlanetJune patterns and haven’t yet reviewed them in my shop, this would be a good time to do so… ;)

And now it’s time to play catch-up; I didn’t have time for a monthly update post last month, so I’m drawing the July ‘Review and Win’ winner today. And the winner is… Sarah M, with her review of my AmiDogs Chihuahua pattern:

amidogs chihuahua crochet pattern by planetjune

What a great pattern! This was my first time doing color changes in an amigurumi pattern. Following June’s pattern directions and her online tutorials regarding color changes, it was so easy! Plus, it looks great. The directions on the pattern were very clear and easy to follow. I have made a handful of amigurumi animals before, but I would not consider myself an expert. I felt very confident following this pattern. The finished product looks just like the pictures! I particularly appreciate the detail regarding how to place the legs, tail, head, muzzle, and eyes. With that many pieces, it was nice to not have to debate how and where to attach everything. I also used June’s invisible join method for a superior looking finished dog. Can’t say enough about it!

Thanks, Sarah, and congrats! I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Donationware CAL

The CAL is already in full swing! I think the fact that these patterns are all fast and easy means we’re going to see lots of entries this month, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all. Please join us by making any of these patterns (including my brand new Twisted Chain Bangle):

Donationware crochet patterns from PlanetJune

…and posting your photos in the Donationware CAL Ravelry thread :)

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July update

Exciting News…

Time to let the cat out of the bag: I’ve just signed the contract to write a new crochet book! This is the first book offer I’ve actually wanted to accept since writing the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi, and I’m already giddy with anticipation about this new book; it’s exactly the book I wanted to write next.

My goal as an author is to write books that become valuable long-term reference sources on your bookshelf, not just collections of patterns. And that, I’m afraid, is all I’m saying for now – I’ll share more details as we near the publication date!

But, of course, I have many months of work ahead of me before I can share my fabulous new book with you, so please excuse me if I’m slower to respond to questions, and less prolific with new designs, for the rest of this year; I’m going to be working very hard to get all the pieces of the book ready so it can be published in late summer 2014 (if you’re familiar with publishing schedules, that’s a pretty fast turnaround)!

If you need crochet help while I’m in the book-writing zone (or at any time), I recommend the PlanetJune Ravelry group as your first port of call – you’re guaranteed to get fast and friendly advice there, and I’m always lurking to weigh in if nobody else has an answer for you :)

And, in other news…

Review and Win contest

June’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Susanna V, with her review of my Fruit Bat:

crocheted fruit bat by planetjune

This was the first PJ design I ever bought and it’s still probably my favorite. I love bats, and this guy is the perfect mix of realistic but still cute. It’s actually fairly easy to crochet and the shapes are basic. The most challenging part for me was sewing the wings on straight; it’s very easy to start angling without realizing it. Also, if you’ve only ever done amigurumi, you’ll need to know how to do standard crochet rows for the wings, but it’s very easy and the simple trick for making the points on the wings really adds a lot to the design. I’ll never tire of making this one!

Congrats, Susanna – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Fruit-Along CAL

If you feel like a fast and refreshing crochet project, we decided to have an extra crochet-along throughout July, featuring all my fruit designs:

Fruit-Along CAL at PlanetJune

As a bonus, my Apple, Pear, and Citrus patterns are all donationware, so you can pay as much or as little as you like for the patterns (or nothing, if you can’t afford to pay at all!) Join the fruity fun in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry :)

* * *

Okay, now I’d better get back to working on the new book! (Eek!)

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June update

A Personal Note

I’m not telling you my current woe-is-me story to ask for sympathy (not that it wouldn’t be welcome!) but to explain what’s going on with PlanetJune, why I’m so quiet lately, why I’ve fallen behind with my design commissions, and why the situation should be improving very soon!

Last week, we suffered a burst pipe leaking through an electrical outlet at home, which threw off my plans for the whole week while the house was filled with first water (well, a flooded kitchen) and then plumbers and electricians, and we had no hot water, shower or stove for the best part of a week.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time, as I now have only one week left on my visa and it’s going to be a mad scramble for the finish to apply for the new one in time. All this stress and worry is affecting me badly, with crippling tension headaches, eczema, and insomnia.

My Red Panda design was actually finished a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t muster the focus I need to complete the pattern to the PlanetJune level of detail and clarity, so the only option I have is to delay – a sub-standard pattern is not an option!

I’ve decided to stop trying to work on the Red Panda until the immigration stuff is out of the way – the added pressure just makes me feel even worse, and I’m really not making any progress on the pattern. Instead, I’m working on several simpler patterns, and making gradual progress on some longer-term design ideas, so there will be more good stuff coming :)

And, once the visa applications are in, I won’t have to do anything else except wait, so I should be able to rest and rejuvenate very soon and then get back to business as usual – and a lovely Red Panda pattern! In the meantime, thank you so much for your continued patience.

Review and Win contest

May’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Kathryn P, with her review of my Baby Cephalopods:

baby cephalopods crochet patterns by planetjune: octopus, squid, cuttlefish, nautilus

I love how quick these work up! I made all four in an evening while watching tv, and they are so cute! Patterns are straightforward and do not require sewing together a crazy number of pieces, plus the end product is cute and realistic. I definitely recommend this set!

Congrats, Kathryn – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Reptiles & Amphibians CAL

The June CAL is an extended 6-week CAL to take us through to mid-July and give you plenty of time to complete one or more patterns. The Reptiles & Amphibians theme includes all my dinosaur, lizard, turtle and frog designs:

Reptiles & Amphibians CAL at PlanetJune

For easy browsing, you can find all these patterns in one place in my shop by clicking this special link: all PlanetJune Reptile & Amphibian patterns.

Please join us in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry for this 6-week CAL – I think it’s going to be a colourful one!

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  • 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!
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