PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Armadillo crochet pattern

Time to show you the results of my latest crochet pattern commission: I’ve designed an amigurumi Armadillo!

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Armadillo Fun Facts

  • Armadillos are very unusual-looking mammals; they are covered in bony plates of armour that form a protective shell over their backs.
  • They are primarily nocturnal, live in burrows, and eat insects.
  • Armadillos come from South and Central America, and there are 20 different species. My design is based on the nine-banded armadillo (the only variety that’s also found in the United States).
  • The bands in an armadillo’s armour provide flexibility. The nine-banded armadillo may actually have between 7 and 11 bands (my design has 7)!
  • Although you’ve probably heard that armadillos roll into a ball to escape predation, only three-banded armadillos have this ability; other armadillos run away or can jump several feet into the air to escape danger.
  • A nine-banded armadillo always gives birth to exactly 4 identical babies (quadruplets!)

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune

About the Pattern

It was an interesting challenge to come up with techniques to replicate the shape and texture of an armadillo’s amazing armour while still creating a sturdy toy without any holes that could leave ugly gaping holes. I spent a long time playing with different stitches and shaping techniques to give the effect I wanted without making the pattern overly-complicated, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

I hope my photos convey the shape of the armour and the way it curves over the neck and tail just like it does on a real nine-banded armadillo. The armadillo uses three different techniques to produce that wonderful textured armour over the back and on the tail, but the pattern still only uses combinations of the most basic crochet stitches.

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My nine-banded armadillo is 13″ (33cm) long – although a large fraction of that is tail! The special techniques used for crocheting and assembling the armadillo’s armour are all explained in full in the pattern, with lots of step-by-step photos to help you along the way.

Armadillos & Aardvarks…

Armadillos and Aardvarks are an example of convergent evolution – although they hail from different continents and aren’t closely related, they have similar diets and lifestyles and they independently evolved to look similar. I find this concept fascinating, so I designed my Armadillo to form a matched set with my Aardvark – don’t they look cute together?

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune

(Now I just need to design an Anteater and Pangolin to complete the ‘family’ of long-nosed insectivorous mammals!)

Ready to Crochet?

I’d like to thank everyone who commissioned this design – it was certainly a challenge to develop such innovative techniques, but one I was very happy to undertake! You can download the pattern from your PlanetJune account whenever you’re ready – I hope you’re as pleased with the results as I am…

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune

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

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

I really hope you like my Armadillo design!

Comments (5)

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. :)

Comments (3)

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. :)

Comments (7)

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…

Comments (24)

Frilled Lizard crochet pattern

When I was doing dinosaur research for Dinosaurs Sets 2 & 3, I was very disappointed to discover that one of my ‘must-make’ dinosaurs didn’t live up to my expectations. Remember the classic scene in Jurassic Park where a man tries to steal dinosaur embryos and is attacked by a venom-spitting Dilophosaurus with a giant expanding neck frill? It turns out that the neck frill (and the venom) were dramatic licence on the part of the film-makers.

But hang on, if I can’t make a scientifically-inaccurate Dilophosaurus for my Dinosaur collection, why not make the real lizard that inspired the movie-makers?! The frill was actually ‘borrowed’ from the 100% real (and very cool) Australian frill-necked lizards.

And hence today’s fun new release: an Expansion Pack for my Iguana pattern, so you can turn it into a Frilled Lizard in full display mode, with gaping mouth and fully-spread ridged frill.

frilled lizard crochet expansion pack pattern by planetjune

Frilled Lizard Fun Facts

  • Frill-necked lizards are part of the agamid family of lizards, otherwise known as dragons or dragon lizards.
  • The amazing brightly-coloured mouth lining and dramatic frill work as a defense mechanism for the lizard, to make it look big and threatening when it’s frightened.
  • When un-expanded, the pleated frill lies flat along the lizard’s neck with the bright colours hidden, to help the lizard stay camouflaged against predators.
  • Frilled lizards live in trees and come to the ground to feed on insects.
  • They can reach up to 3 feet long (although a good fraction of that comes from their tail!)

frilled lizard crochet expansion pack pattern by planetjune

Pattern Info

This expansion pack pattern is intermediate level, but only because of the frill, which requires both changing colours and using different stitches (not just amigurumi-style single crochet). Please don’t be intimidated if you’re new to this type of crochet, though, as I’ll walk you through developing your crochet skills as you crochet the frill:

  • In addition to my usual full written instructions and charted stitch diagrams, I’ve included instructional appendices for the frill for right- and left-handers.
  • Each appendix walks you through the frill row by row via a special colour-coded stitch diagram for the row and a photo of the frill at the end of the row.
  • If you’re printing the pattern, save paper and ink by only printing the right- or left-handed appendix as applicable (or don’t print either, if you don’t need the additional instructions).
frilled lizard crochet expansion pack 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 Frilled Lizard Expansion Pack for only $2.50 individually from the shop, or, if you haven’t yet bought the Iguana pattern, you can buy the multipack of both lizards, and save 50c on the pair.

Launch Discount

If you’ve already bought the Iguana, you won’t be able to save that 50c. But, for 7 days only, add the Frilled Lizard Expansion Pack pattern to your shopping cart, together with anything else (totalling $5 or more), then use the code FRILLY at checkout and you’ll still get your discount! (Valid until next Sunday: 19th October 2014.)

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!


My Frilled Lizard makes me laugh, with his wide open mouth and colourful frill. I’ve also just realised that his colours are very seasonally appropriate in autumnal shades of brown, orange and yellow – although that was just a happy accident based on the colouring of the real lizards! If you’re not ready to make one just yet, don’t forget to heart and queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about him:

I hope you’ll enjoy this pattern as much as I enjoyed creating him! :)

Comments (4)

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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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