PlanetJune Craft Blog

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December update

I’m still concentrating on nursing myself back to health at the moment, so I can enjoy the upcoming Christmas summer holiday (the advantage of living in the southern hemisphere!) and have a fresh start in 2015.

Taking this time off to rest was a very hard decision to make – especially at this time of year: the best time for doing business – but as I slowly inch back to my normal self, I know it was the only choice I could have made. Thank you all so much for your messages of support on my last post (and on Facebook and by email) – they’ve meant so much to me in this very frustrating time.

Now I’m finally starting to feel a bit better, and I have some fun news to share…

Crochet Award Nominations

What a lovely surprise to discover I’ve been nominated for three Flamies:

Badge - I've been nominated for Flamie

Please cast your vote now for your favourites in crochet – you don’t need to make a choice for every category, just the ones you care about.

(And I’d be very happy if your choices include me in the above categories!)

Fan Mail!

Today I received an amazing surprise in the mail: Monica (MagicalAmigurumi) made me a mini-me using the Girl pattern from my CIG to Amigurumi with some clever mods – she’s the spitting image of me, even down to the miniature glasses and a tiny version of my Lacy Bobbles Cowl. Isn’t she great? I feel like a superstar now :D

me and my mini-me from Monica
me and my mini-me from Monica

ServInt Spotlight

And, just in case my head hadn’t already got big enough, my excellent webhost, ServInt, just featured PlanetJune in a spotlight on their Facebook page. (FYI, if your traffic has outgrown your shared hosting, I highly recommend them for a fast, reliable, easy-to-upgrade server solution.)

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

Pine Cone Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

By complete coincidence, November’s winner is Andrea M‘s review of my Flamie-nominated Pine Cone Collection:

I just downloaded the pattern on Saturday and made 7 cones over the weekend, they are totally addictive! They are really a lot of fun and this is a very versatile pattern that generates all possible sizes of cones. I will make dozens for gifts and decoration this year, four weeks to go!
Very well explained tutorial with helpful photos and a lot of good tips. Love it, June!

Thank you, and congratulations, Andrea – I’ve emailed you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize!

Now I’d better get back to resting and knitting and listening to audiobooks, and trying to ignore that persistent voice in the back of my head that’s telling me I really should be working. This recovery is a slow process, but now I think my health is actually improving, I’m going to enjoy relaxing and taking it easy for a while longer…

Comments (4)

November update

I’m a little giddy with anticipation right now, as I’ve almost reached the end of a design process that’s been eluding me for a very a long time. My upcoming collection of animal designs has taken several years and over a dozen prototypes to reach the point where I’m truly satisfied with the shape and construction, and I’m hoping to have the resulting patterns complete and ready to reveal in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to show them to you!

In the meantime, here’s the latest PlanetJune news:

Christmas CAL

Now November is here, it’s time to begin my annual Christmas CAL. We’re doing things a bit differently this year: not only will the CAL include all the classic PlanetJune Christmas patterns pictured below – perfect for your seasonal decorating – but you can also enter with any PlanetJune design that you’re making as a Christmas present. We’ll cheer you along between now and Christmas as you crochet your handmade gifts – fun!

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2014
You’ll find the links to all my Christmas crochet patterns here

If you’re planning to make any PlanetJune designs as Christmas decorations or gifts, please join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group and share what you’re making…

Crochet Tools Hiatus

I’ve reluctantly decided I have to temporarily close the Crochet Tools section of my shop (where I sell Detail Stuffing Tools, Stitch Markers, Amigurumi Essentials Kits, and free bookmarks) until the new year.

The postal strike in South Africa is still ongoing, and I can’t hazard a guess as to how long your order will take to reach you – the post office workers only shrug when I ask, and I’ve just discovered there are packages I shipped in September that haven’t yet reached their destination. This obviously isn’t acceptable, and I anticipate the delays will only get worse as the strike lengthens and as we approach the busy Christmas season, when delivery times are always longer than usual.

As I have no other way to ship small packets at reasonable cost to you, I see no alternative but to suspend shipping until the strike is resolved, the backlog is cleared, and the Christmas rush is over. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this causes. If you’d like to be notified when PlanetJune crochet tools are available to ship again, please sign up for the one-off notification email.

Fall CAL Report

My ever-popular Pumpkin was the most popular entry in the Fall CAL, with lots of giant and multi-coloured varieties popping up as well as the classic orange. Here’s a sampling of the CAL entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune Fall CAL 2014 - sample of entries

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

Primroses crochet pattern by PlanetJune

October’s winner is Becky G‘s review of my colourful Primroses:

I decided to crochet the entire four plant pot and it looks so pretty. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure it out but the directions are easy to follow and looks life like when finished I would definitely recommend this pattern. I love it!

Congratulations, Becky – I’ve emailed you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize! And thanks to everyone who takes a minute to leave a review in my shop for a pattern they’ve enjoyed – I (and other would-be customers) appreciate every one…

Comments (1)

October update

September is over which means I’m back from my mini sabbatical, which went by in a flash – did you even have time to miss me?!

I achieved some major goals: an amazing trip to Malaysia (I’ll share that with you when I’ve finished sorting through the 2000-ish photos I took…) and some big technical improvements with the shop (I’ll tell you about those in a later post too).

And then I hit a snag: I was stricken with first a bad tummy bug (while travelling), then a cold (probably caught on the long journey home) and now I have bronchitis, so I’m not at all rested and revitalised as I’d expected to be after this time away from you. The best laid plans…

While I do have several new and exciting patterns in the works, nothing is anywhere near ready to publish, and I think I’m going to have to pass on designing any new Fall- or Christmas-themed patterns this year. I know it seems like a wasted opportunity, but my designs take inspiration, time and a clear head to develop and I don’t have much of any of those right now – being awake coughing all night will do that to you!

Fall CAL

However, I do already have a million and one designs (approximately), so all is not lost. ;)

This month’s crochet-along theme is all things fall, halloween and autumnal, from cute and spooky amigurumi, to seasonally-appropriate accessories. You can choose from any PlanetJune patterns and the patterns from both my books, provided they fit the theme (either as-is, or with your own customizations). Here’s a selection of ideas to get you started:

a selection of Fall-themed PlanetJune patterns
Note: This photo doesn’t even include all the PlanetJune options, let alone any pics from Idiot’s Guides: Crochet – if you’ve already bought the book, you’ll know there are lots of seasonally-appropriate options there too!

I hope you’ll join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group for the Fall CAL this October :)

Book-Along CAL Report

The vast majority of entries in the Book-Along were made from the patterns (and creative uses of the stitch patterns) from my new book, Idiot’s Guides: Crochet. It hasn’t even been out for 2 months yet, and it’s an amazing feeling to see it being put to such good use, and to see people taking my advice from the book and modifying my patterns to make their own gorgeous versions. Here’s a sampling of the CAL entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune BookAlong CAL 2014 - sample of entries

I’m going to start a new thread in the Ravelry group for future book projects – it’s lovely to be able to browse through and see what everyone is making.

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

I have a bumper crop of winners to announce this month, as circumstances haven’t left me time to draw any winners since May(!), so here are the whole summer’s randomly-drawn winners:

PlanetJune pattern reviews

June’s winner is Jessica C‘s review of the ever-popular Baby Bunnies:

Very well-written pattern, easy to follow and with plenty of pictures to assist in placement of parts. They work up quickly and easily.

July’s winner is Stacey H‘s review of the Baby Sea Turtle Collection:

I made several of these! This was the very first pattern I made. I actually learned to crochet so I could make this pattern! It was easy enough for a beginner!

August’s winner is Peggy G‘s review of the classic Stegosaurus:

My nephew is dino-crazy, so I have made him almost every single one of June’s dinosaurs. They are a huge hit with him and they are so cute and fun to make. Super detailed pattern makes them zero-stress. Highly recommended!

And September’s winner is Chevelle G‘s review of my Gecko pattern:

I’ve been crocheting for just over a year now, but this was my first amigurumi project! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it for ages, and when my fiance saw that I’d pinned this pattern from Ravelry to my Pinterest board, he fell in love and asked me to make him one! June’s pattern was so straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for someone having a go at amigurumi for the first time. It was amazed to see it taking shape so fast – I had this little guy finished in just a few hours, and my fiance loved him! I can’t wait to try more of June’s patterns – they are detailed, easy to follow and full of photos that are a great reference. Thank you, June! :)

Congratulations to all the winners – I’ve emailed you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize! And thanks to everyone who takes a minute to leave a review in my shop for a pattern they’ve enjoyed – please do keep those reviews coming…

Comments (3)

August update

I skipped July’s monthly update, as I didn’t have anything to report except more burglary aftermath, but now I’m being treated for the PTSD, and today I had new extra-strong security gates installed at every entryway into my house, so things are getting better and I should feel much more secure from now on. And that’s enough about that – let’s move swiftly onto the good stuff!

Book-Along CAL

I’m most excited this month to start a new crochet-along for the new book (and the previous book, to be inclusive) in the PlanetJune Ravelry group. Throughout August and September, you can join in by making anything using the patterns, concepts and techniques from either of my two crochet books: Idiot’s Guides: Crochet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi:

Idiot's Guides: Crochet by June Gilbank - patterns
IG Crochet: Easy Stitch Gallery patterns
IG Crochet: Intermediate Stitch Gallery patterns
IG Crochet: Motif patterns
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank - patterns

So yes, you have a lot of choices! I think you’ll find something you’ll like in this Crochet-Along and I hope you’ll join us by making one (or many) projects over the next 2 months and sharing them in the Book-Along CAL thread – you’ll find full details of the CAL there.

If you’re new to PlanetJune CALs, please see the CAL FAQ page for information and instructions for how to get started!

Subscribing to Blog Comments

It’s come to my attention that a recent WordPress update broke the ‘Notify me of follow-up comments by email’ function on my blog. I’m not sure how long it’s been broken for, so if you asked me a question and were waiting for notification of my reply, please return to the post you commented on to see my reply! The feature is now fixed and runs through Jetpack, so, in future, you can subscribe to comments on any post and you will receive notification by email when I respond to your query.

I do apologise to anyone who’s been negatively affected by this – I got to work fixing it as soon as someone mentioned it wasn’t working, but, as far as I know, it could have been broken for months. :( If you notice any other problems with my website, please let me know – I want everything to run smoothly, and if anything looks or acts strangely, I’d really appreciate it if you’d mention it to me, so I can try to improve it. Thanks!

Fiction and Fantasy CAL Report

The June/July CAL has now ended. Even though it’s been summer (for most) we had a lovely variety of entries – including lots of the new Aliens – and some very creative participants! Here’s a sampling of the entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune Fiction and Fantasy CAL 2014 - sample of entries

Review and Win contest

The monthly Review and Win contest has not been abandoned; I’m just postponing the draws for the winners of June and July’s contests. I’ll announce the 3 winners for all 3 summer months in September’s monthly update – so keep your fingers crossed, one of your June or July reviews may already be a winner and you don’t even know it yet!

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

It’s Book Launch Time!

Idiot's Guides: Crochet by June Gilbank

Tomorrow, August 5th, is the official launch date for my new book, Idiot’s Guides: Crochet. So, if you haven’t pre-ordered it online, you may be able to pick it up from your local bookstore!

If you do see a copy on the shelf in a real-life shop, please snap me a pic and tweet, facebook or email it to me – I’d love to see my book ‘in the wild’!

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burgled (update)

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who took the time to leave me a message after my last post about the burglary. Reading them has meant a lot to me. These days, so few people comment on blogs, and it feels good to know you’re still out there reading what I write. I really appreciate all your advice and messages of support – thank you.

I still feel sick thinking about how lucky I was to be unharmed – at least physically – and how this could happen again (with far worse consequences) at any time, but here’s a quick update on my situation in case you’ve been worrying about me.

Fixing the Damage

All our belongings that were taken have been replaced. We’ve actually done quite well out of that: everything was insured, and having 2-4 year old laptops and tablets replaced with their current equivalents means nice shiny new models in place of the old slower ones.

But, in a great example of the relaxed pace of ‘Africa time’, I still have no front door! The company our insurance contracted to fit the replacement door and security door finally came to measure for the new door on Friday (9 days after the burglary…), but it’ll probably take another 2 weeks before the new door is made and can be fitted. In the meantime, our old door has been boarded up and screwed into the frame, so don’t worry: this delay isn’t a security problem, it’s just a bit frustrating not having a front door that opens.

Home Security

Thank you for all the advice – I’m definitely not considering buying a gun, but I’d like a dog, if I can figure out if Maui would be happy with that, and if we can find the right dog for our family. I’ve been considering getting a dog for several years, but it’s a big long-term commitment and I’ve never felt 100% sure that I’m ready. Maybe this will be the push I need, so I’ll have the bonus of a barking alarm as an additional burglar deterrent…

I live behind high spiked gates, with bars on all the windows and metal gates over all the doors. I assumed that would keep me safe, but it’s obviously not enough. I’m hoping the replacement doors will be more secure, and we’re also going to see if we can change how the alarm system works so I have more protection against intruders while I’m working from home all day.

Data Security

One excellent thing has come of all this: I’ve had to seriously address the issue of protecting my data with some sort of offsite backup, so I don’t lose my business files (or personal documents). Several of you suggested cloud storage, but I don’t feel that’s a secure solution for sensitive information. I already use Dropbox for saving ideas and sharing files with other people, but I’m not convinced it’s sufficiently safe for important private data such as my business files, tax records, etc.

I now have an excellent solution (thanks to Aleksandra’s recommendation) – I’ve created my own private, secure, cloud storage on my own web server. It works exactly like Dropbox, so all my files are automatically synced whenever I update them, I have access to all my data from any computer or mobile device. The difference is that my data is all encrypted at my end, so only I have the decryption key, and it’s only stored on my own server, so there’s far less risk of a security breach. And, because my server lives in North America, it’s 100% safe from South African burglars ;)

I know this probably won’t help many of my readers, but in case anyone googling for secure offsite data backup and file synchronization finds this post, I’m using Seafile for my own private cloud storage. A one-sentence review: it’s open source, completely free if you have your own server, and so far I’ve found it very easy to use: my files are auto-syncing from my computer, and I can easily access anything I need using the Android app on my phone and tablet. (I also found a similar solution called OwnCloud, but I haven’t tried it, so that’s not a personal recommendation, just another option you could consider.)

Moving Forward

Well, I’m trying to, at least. I’m still very jumpy, and every noise sounds like an intruder preparing to break in and attack me, but I have a plan for that: if I see anyone on my property, I’ll hit the panic button to set off the alarm, and hopefully scare them off before they get into the house. I feel a bit safer knowing I have some way to protect myself if I see anyone coming.

I’ve also made lots of progress on several of my big long-term projects – trying to take my mind off being scared – although there’s nothing to see yet, as I haven’t been able to do any final quality checks while I’ve been too exhausted to think clearly. But this means there’ll be lots of new PlanetJune stuff coming very soon…

Things are getting better. Thank you for caring. :)

Comments (15)


Last week was my 8th blogiversary, but that was the last thing on my mind at the time. I had a horribly traumatic week: I disturbed a burglary in progress at my house, and I’m still very shaken up by the experience. I’ll tell the story here for those who want to know, and then I’ll try not to discuss it again. I’d love to hear messages of support or advice, but I don’t want to answer questions, please – it’s still all too raw, and dwelling on it makes the terror flood back.

I’ve never really felt safe in South Africa, but I assumed that, locked up in my house with security bars on all the windows and doors, and protected by an armed response security group, I was safe to be alone at home all day. Not true: the burglars easily forced my front gate, security gate and front door with just a crowbar, in the middle of the day.

I was photographing birds in my back garden, and when I walked back into the house I found two men in my living room, holding armfuls of my stuff. When they saw me, they ran outside to a waiting car. At the car, they turned back and just looked at me, and time stood still… Then they jumped into the car and sped off before I could even grasp what was happening. They got away with the TV, our laptops, my tablet and a few other bits of tech, and our front door and security gate are now wrecked and useless.

Almost a week later, I still can’t stop replaying it over and over in my mind. They may well have been armed; the police sounded very surprised that I hadn’t been attacked. That moment – where the burglars hesitated and stared at me before deciding to drive off – haunts me: if they’d made the other decision, I’d have been completely defenceless with all the doors between us hanging broken and useless…

(And, on a lesser scale of scariness from my lucky escape, but still a big eye-opener: I realised later that I was also only a minute or two away from losing my entire business! Luckily they hadn’t reached my big PC when I disturbed them, so I still have all my critical PlanetJune data. I feel a bit sick that I’ve lost design notes and reference pics from my tablet, but it could have been far worse. Our insurance will cover replacement tech, we’ve changed all the passwords we can think of, and I’m figuring out an off-site backup strategy so I won’t come this close again to losing everything I’ve worked so hard to build.)

I feel violated and traumatised by this whole experience. I’m trying to get back to a normal routine, but I don’t even have a new front door or security gate yet, I’m not sleeping well, and every sound sends me running around the house checking all the doors. It’s awful to not feel safe in your own home. How do you get over something like this? It just fades with time, I suppose?

So, I’m going to skip my 8th blogiversary roundup. I’m sure I’ve done lots of good stuff over the past year, but that all seems a bit hollow right now. I’m just glad I’m still around to start my 9th year of blogging. Thank you for sticking with me – at a horrible time like this, it’s good to remember I have friends all over the world who do care that I’m still here.

I’ll be back soon with a more cheerful post!

Comments (50)

June update

I went to an optician last week and discovered that my short-sightedness has actually reduced considerably (a side-effect of getting older!) and my glasses are now much too strong. My eyes have been under constant strain as a result, and that’s probably why I’ve been getting increasingly frequent headaches over the past few months. Headaches make me slow because it’s hard to concentrate, and sometimes stop me from working altogether. I’m hoping that, once my new glasses arrive, the headaches will stop and I’ll be able to be much more productive – fingers crossed…

Commissions Update

By popular demand, I re-added the AmiDogs King Charles Spaniel option to my commissions list this week. For some reason, almost nobody pledged when it was last on the list, but this time, it was fully pledged within 2 days! (I’ll have to think about what that may mean for future commissions.) But, this means I now have 3 AmiDogs commissions in a row – I think that’s about my limit, so I’m putting further AmiDogs on indefinite hold, at least until I complete the 3 dog commissions I already have.

Once the commissions queue is shorter (or in a few months’ time if the queue keeps growing), I’ll hold another commissions review and decide which of the remaining options to remove from the list and which new ideas to add! If you’ve been sending me suggestions, I haven’t been ignoring them; I’m just saving them all up for my next review.

It’s time for me to start my next commission, so I’m currently collecting the pledge monies for the Camel design. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this one! I’ve bought some lovely baby camel yarn to make one with, so the Camel will become the latest member of my Natural Fibres collection (with the alpaca Alpaca and the angora Baby Bunny).

Fiction and Fantasy CAL

For this month’s crochet-along we’ll be using any PlanetJune pattern(s) to create something with a tie-in to fiction – take your favourite characters and props (from books, movies, TV shows, or anywhere else) and bring them to life in crochet! Here are a few pattern ideas to get you started – can you figure out which books and movies I was thinking of when I selected these?

PlanetJune Fiction and Fantasy CAL 2014

Customise the Boy and/or Girl patterns from my Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi book into your favourite character and get advice from our group members who have lots of experience with embellishing and customising amigurumi people. Or, make animals and props that feature in stories, books and movies – stick to the pattern, or get as creative as you want!

Please join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group for this CAL – it’s going to be a fun one :)

AquAlong CAL Report

The May CAL has now ended. Congratulations to all the participants – it was lovely to see so many beautiful aquatic animals being crocheted throughout the month. Baby Sea Turtles were the runaway favourite pattern this time around, and we got to see how they look in a huge varieties of colourways (spoiler alert: they’re all super-cute)! Here’s a sampling of the entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune AquAlong CAL 2014 - sample of entries

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

May’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Rebecca D, with – coincidentally fitting the themes of this post! – her review of my Orca (Killer Whale):

Orca (Killer Whale) amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I was astounded by the beauty of the animal emerging from my crochet hook as I followed PlanetJune’s design. I bought it focused on the accuracy of black-and-white colouration, so I was halfway done before I realised just how perfectly the orca’s head was shaped too. I can tell from the pattern just how complicated it was for June to design, but although it requires concentration, it’s very easy to crochet. I’m overwhelmed by the appearance of the final piece. I bought the pattern thinking solely of my sister, a big orca fan, but it’s such an amazing piece that I will definitely need one of my own.

I’m glad you enjoyed it Rebecca, and congrats – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize :)

Comments (1)

May update

My Mum has come all the way to South Africa to visit me at the moment, so my Meerkat pattern release (and newsletter) will be a bit delayed while I spend some quality time with her – I’m sure you understand; these opportunities don’t come around very often. But we’re planning a day trip tomorrow and we’ll be taking the Meerkat and my camera along with us so he’ll be ready for his close-up if we spot the perfect location for his photoshoot!

AquAlong CAL

For this month’s crochet-along we’ll be making all things related to life in marine and fresh water – join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group for the AquAlong, with an amazing 21 PlanetJune patterns to choose from:

PlanetJune AquAlong CAL 2014

So much choice… Which of these will you pick to join in the aquatic fun in the CAL thread on ravelry?

Spring/Easter CAL Report

The March-April CAL has now ended, with 51 gorgeous entries that really captured the essence of Spring. Here’s a sampling of the entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune Spring/Easter CAL 2014 - sample of entries

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

April’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Lisa J, with her review of my Aardvark:

Aardvark amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

After spending a few weeks perusing all the helpful info on PlanetJune, I was ready to take the plunge and buy a pattern. Couldn’t decide which one I wanted first, so started alphabetically with the lovely Aardvark – and I’m so happy with the results! The instructions are meticulous, precise, and easy to follow. I also followed June’s tutorial for invisible seaming, and voila! Everthing came together perfectly. I really appreciate June’s attention to detail, and I can’t wait for the meerkat pattern!

Congrats, Lisa – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize. And the meerkat is coming very soon ;)

Comments (2)

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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    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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