PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

burgled…

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!

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Guinea Fowl crochet pattern

This is one of those ideas that came to me on a whim and then I couldn’t possibly not make it! There are flocks of wild guinea fowl around Cape Town, and I see, or at least hear, them several times a week. It’s hilarious to watch a group of empty-headed guinea fowl following each other around, especially when one starts to run and they all follow, bobbing along at surprising speed!

Guinea fowl have beautiful spotted feathers, a plump, shapely body, and a colourful featherless face – the perfect combination of eye-catching colouring and exaggerated appearance to form a bold, stylized design:

Guinea Fowl amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune
Colour! Shape! Isn’t it fun?

Inspiration

I didn’t think a bird with such detailed markings would be something I could reproduce for a crochet pattern, but then I saw the colourful, stylized guinea fowl designs on ceramics by local artist Dragana Jevtovic. It suddenly occurred to me that I could use a similar concept in my own work, by also representing the tiny guinea fowl spots on a larger scale. With that thought, an impossibly detailed surface pattern became perfect for amigurumi. This could be the start of new explorations of colour and pattern for me; I’m so happy with the eye-catching result of this first design!

amigurumi guinea fowl and real feathers
I like to pick up guinea fowl feathers when I see nice ones like these; they’re too pretty to leave on the ground.

Guinea Fowl fun facts

  • Guinea fowl (aka guineafowl or guineahens) are found in the wild throughout Africa south of the Sahara desert, but they have also been domesticated.
  • There are several species of guinea fowl, but the most recognisable (and the one on which I based my design) is the helmeted guinea fowl.
  • Guinea fowl make excellent farm ‘watchdogs’, as they squawk loudly whenever potential danger approaches, sending all the chickens running to safety!
  • They eat insects and ticks as well as seed, so domestic guinea fowl are handy to keep around the garden for pest control.
  • Guinea fowl can fly, but prefer to run from danger. At night, they fly up into a tree to roost.

Guinea Fowl amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

About this pattern

As well as a lovely ornamental amigurumi, a guinea fowl would make a perfect toy, with its large cuddly body, and bright colours and patterning. Don’t be intimidated by the combination of shaping and frequent colour changes – I carefully designed this pattern to have separate shaping rounds and colour changing rounds, so you never have to worry about both at once! And, when you’re making the spots, the other yarn is always carried, so there are no knots to tie and no ends to weave in. It’s surprisingly simple, and very satisfying to see the beautiful body shape come together.

Guinea Fowl amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If you’d like to make a guinea fowl (or a whole flock!), you’ll find my Guinea Fowl pattern in the new Birds category of the PlanetJune shop.

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

I hope you’ll enjoy this design as much as I enjoyed creating it! Please let me know what you think in the comments :)

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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 :)

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teaching with PlanetJune patterns

Did you know that you can teach classes using my paid or donationware/free patterns? Well, today I have a PlanetJune Story for you on just that topic, from Beth Graham, a designer and teacher who works and teaches crochet at Shall We Knit? in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. (You can connect with Beth on Ravelry or Facebook.)

Shall We Knit? is a crochet friendly shop featuring rooms of yarns, fiber, books, and inspiration for knitters, crocheters, and spinners. You can contact the store for info on their crochet classes and one-on-one instruction. Sadly, I just missed out on the chance to count them as my own local yarn store, as they relocated to my old home town of Waterloo shortly after I left for South Africa! I’m still a bit sad about that even now; just look at all that pretty yarn…

Shall We Knit?, Waterloo, Ontario
Shall We Knit? photo, borrowed from www.shallweknit.com

Beth taught an Amigurumi Apples class last Saturday, and has kindly offered to share her experience with us. Over to you, Beth:

I offered a successful class at Shall We Knit? featuring June’s Amigurumi Apples pattern. The two-hour project class on beginner amigurumi introduced crocheters to the adjustable loop technique, the formula for creating flat circles using increases and decreases to create 3-D shapes, and June’s ingenious invisible decrease.

amigurumi apples class

Because of the apple’s simple, yet elegant, design, students left the course feeling quite clever, and – even better! – having finished their projects!

amigurumi apples class

Amigurumi Apples is a perfect teaching tool for introducing all these techniques and more, and I highly recommend it to other instructors considering a beginner amigurumi class. (I got permission from June to use the pattern prior to the class and purchased a copy for each student.)

amigurumi apples class

Well done, Beth – it sounds like your class was a great success! I’ve taught classes using a few of my patterns and I know how good it feels to guide new crocheters – or new amigurumists – to complete their first amigurumi. Once they’ve mastered the basic skills, they’ll have the confidence to attempt any amigurumi pattern.

As Beth said, it’s easy to teach with any PlanetJune pattern (paid or donationware) – all you need to do is purchase a copy of the pattern for yourself and one for each of your students. So, if you work in a yarn store or teach crochet classes independently, why not use a PlanetJune pattern for your next class?

Please see my Teaching FAQ for further details, and don’t forget to take a couple of photos of your class – I’d love to share them here!

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pattern re-releases: Donationware

I’m updating my entire back catalogue of patterns with extra information and tips and a new space-saving layout, and re-releasing them in batches as they are ready. Please see the Pattern Re-Release FAQ for more information.

Today I have a big new batch of re-releases for you. This batch includes 13 donationware crochet patterns, and 6 donationware craft tutorials. Note:

  • This batch doesn’t include the PlanetJune Accessories donationware – all my Accessories patterns will be re-released in a separate batch.
  • All later donationware patterns/tutorials that aren’t included here are already in the new format!

All these crochet patterns are now updated and re-released:

donationware crochet patterns by planetjune

And all these craft tutorials:

donationware craft tutorials by planetjune

If you’ve previously donated towards any of these patterns or tutorials, the update(s) are now ready for you to download in the new format!

Log back into your PlanetJune account at any time in the next 2 weeks and you’ll see the download buttons for these purchases have been re-enabled, so you can click and download the new versions.

If you have lots of past orders in your PlanetJune account, you don’t have to hunt for the right ones; just follow these simple steps:

  1. In your PlanetJune account, click Show All Orders.
  2. At the top of that page, click to the list of all your past purchases.
  3. Find the pattern/tutorial name in the alphabetical list.
  4. Click the order number to go directly to that order.
  5. Re-save your pattern/tutorial :)

If you have any questions about the pattern reformat project, or you received the patterns through a different mechanism (and so don’t have an order for them in the PlanetJune shop) but you’d still like the new versions, check the Pattern Re-Release FAQ for more information.

(There’ll be more pattern re-releases coming soon – if you’d like to get an email notification each time a new batch is ready, sign up for the Crochet Pattern Updates mailing list.)

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a plan to make butterflies…

I’m really enjoying butterflies at the moment. I love sitting in the sunshine and watching the butterflies float over my garden, but they almost always refuse to land and let me capture them in a photo. Here’s my favourite photo I’ve managed to take so far, thanks to the lure of my pretty Pompom Tree:

butterfly photo
I think it’s a Common Zebra Blue (it was blue on top!) but don’t quote me on that…

We’ve visited Butterfly World in the Cape Winelands – a butterfly house makes it much easier to see all sorts of butterflies close up and take photos, and we’ll definitely be going back – but it somehow feels like cheating once you know they have to import 300 chrysalises every week to keep the tropical butterflies on display, so it’s not exactly a natural environment… Anyway, here’s one of my favourite Butterfly World pics:

butterfly photo
No idea what type of butterfly this is (Butterfly World is a bit lacking in info), but just look at those markings!

And, in my downtime, I’ve been enjoying playing Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary on my phone – it’s a beautiful, non-competitive, casual game where the goal is to attract and raise different species of butterflies in your own little patch of rainforest. It’s even educational, as all the butterflies are based on real species and there’s a fun fact to discover about each species! (Yes, this is the kind of game I’d be making if PlanetJune ever expanded into game design!)

flutter: butterfly sanctuary
If you’re looking for a relaxing casual game for Android or iOS, I can recommend Flutter!

Naturally, my thoughts turned to making some butterflies of my own – bright, beautiful butterflies to display in my house and inspect whenever I want, many-coloured and patterned after real species. I can’t achieve that level of detail in crochet without tiny stitches (my hands say no thanks) or lots of surface embroidery (to me, that’s ‘cheating’ – it’s not my design style) and then I remembered my old friend punchneedle embroidery

Punchneedle is the perfect medium for the butterflies I want to make! Using multiple colours doesn’t increase the difficulty the way it would in crochet, and I can choose from hundreds of shades of embroidery floss to make each butterfly just right. I haven’t had a chance to do any punchneedle since before I left Canada, and now I’m going to make time to play – it’ll be healthy to have a fun ongoing non-work-related craft project. I’ll be making them in a similar fashion to my Punchneedle Poinsettia design, so I’ll cut each one to shape after I finish the embroidery and there’ll be no background around the wings:

punchneedle poinsettia by planetjune

My vision is to make a group of different butterflies – all different colours and shapes but all based on my interpretation of real species – and mount each one individually on a wall so they all ‘fly’ together in a colourful cloud. The great part of my plan is that each butterfly will be its own mini work of art, so there’s no pressure to complete the project – I can just design a new butterfly whenever I feel like it, buy the right shades of floss, make the embroidery, and then add it to the group. The project will be finished when I get bored with it, or my swarm of butterflies may continue to grow forever…

Isn’t this a great idea? My first punchneedle butterfly will be one of my friends from the Flutter game: a Sea Green Swallowtail – I’ll share the results with you soon!

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Meerkat crochet pattern

It’s taken a while to get to this point, but my Meerkat crochet pattern is finally ready to release!

Meerkat Fun Facts

  • Meerkats live in southern Africa and are related to mongooses.
  • They live in clans of about 20 in large underground burrows.
  • They primarily eat insects but also munch on scorpions (they bite off the poisonous sting first).
  • One meerkat always stands guard to look for danger such as eagles and jackals while the others forage for food.
  • Their dark eye patches act like sunglasses to protect their eyes from the strong desert sun!

meerkat amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune
Amigurumi meerkat reporting for guard duty!

What Makes a Good Cover Photo?

As I’ve been talking about my process with this design (see the Design Reports #1, #2, #3 and #4), I thought I’d give you one last glimpse into what goes into a PlanetJune pattern: the cover photography.

My pattern was ready before the end of April, and all that was left was to take the cover photos. I had a great plan to take them while my Mum was visiting: we’d be passing through all sorts of natural African landscapes, so I’d take my camera and meerkat with me and take his photos on location in his natural environment!

We picked a day forecast for intermittent clouds and set out, only to find non-stop brilliant sunshine all day, which was great for Mum on her holiday – we had a lovely day relaxing in the sunshine and admiring the views – but not quite right for my cover shoot:

meerkat amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

Full sun means deep shadows, and that’s not what you need for cover photos! Although appealing photos play a critical part in selling a design, it’s very important that you, the potential customer, can clearly see exactly what you’re trying to make. A set of dull studio photos where you can look at the meerkat from every angle is more useful than a stunningly artistic nature photoshoot where you can’t really see the meerkat well. In these photos, the eye patches are overshadowed by actual shadow, the arms cast distracting dark shadows on the body, and the tail is all but invisible in deep shade.

I tried again in a different spot, but the sun was unrelenting (although I still think this photo is really cute!):

meerkat amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

So my pattern was stalled until Mum had gone back home and I could head back to my studio to recreate the Meerkat’s natural environment, PlanetJune-style.

I’m so glad I gave myself permission to drop the deadlines with my pattern commissions – I really wouldn’t have been happy to release the pattern with unhelpful cover photos, and I think taking the extra time at every stage of this design and pattern-creation process has really paid off. The final photos may not have the realism of the location shoot, but you can appreciate the meerkat’s cuteness much more with this set of photos, don’t you think?

meerkat amigurumi crochet pattern by planetjune

If you were one of my patient patrons who commissioned this pattern, the pattern is, at last, ready for you to download from your PlanetJune account – thank you!

For everyone else, don’t you think you need a meerkat to watch over you while you work? Buy the Meerkat pattern from the PlanetJune shop and you can crochet your very own meerkat sentry!

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

I hope you like my Meerkat – getting to this point has been quite a journey, hasn’t it?!


I’ll be taking a short break before I begin my next commission. Life keeps throwing unexpected challenges at me, and illness and worry make everything a struggle. As I said in my Year in Review plan, I need some time with absolutely no commitments to escape this whirlpool of stress and ill-health, then I’ll have the energy to do justice to my Camel commission! I’ve been looking forward to making my camel for a very long time, and I still am – I just need a little space to breathe first :)

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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 ;)

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Managing Customer Support

Customer support is an area that continually grows as your business expands and you acquire more customers who may need your help. I’ve been running PlanetJune for over 7 years now, and I have many thousands of customers – that’s the potential for a lot of people who may need my support!

Sometimes the task of helping my customers seems overwhelming and never-ending, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I’ve realised it’s partly just my perception:

  • Requests tend to come in clusters: the days that stand out are those where I wake to a dozen customer problems to solve, not the pleasant days where my inbox is filled with only orders and compliments.
  • The hurt caused by one rude or demanding email outweighs the joy of receiving ten kind messages, and it weighs on my mind for much longer.
  • Many of the questions I receive aren’t even from customers – some are general queries related to one of my tutorials, and many others are specific questions relating to a non-PlanetJune pattern. I need to set rules for how much time I can/should devote to these types of questions.

Reaching this point has helped me find a better perspective to cope with all the emails and requests from other sources (blog comments, and messages via Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc), but I still didn’t have a way to quantify how much work I really do to support my customers (and other people with questions for me).

A month ago, I started logging my customer support requests by categorising them, so I’ll be able to see a truer picture. Keeping track of how many questions and problems I actually deal with will help me figure out how much of my time I devote to customer support. Keeping track of the types of support requests I receive will help me to see where I can improve my instructions, systems and support resources to reduce that time commitment.

One month into this, I have enough data to do my first analysis. So what’s the verdict?

  • The largest number of requests by far are for technical support. This is to be expected as I run a shop selling downloadable products, but I hope to reduce the number dramatically by making improvements to the way my shop works. That’s a long-term goal (I’ll start working on it once my pattern re-release project is complete) but I’m already planning the conversion and it’s exciting to think how much customer support time may be saved once I’ve completed it.
  • The second largest category is people asking for help with non-PlanetJune patterns. Since I began blogging, I’ve spent countless hours helping people understand other (poorly-written) patterns, but I now have a policy on that: I provide unlimited support for my own patterns, but I can’t offer a free service to support other people’s patterns – that should be the responsibility of the designer or publisher of those patterns. Having this policy frees me from agonising over whether I should offer help just this once, and from feeling guilty when I don’t. I’m happy to support my customers; I can’t support every crocheter with internet access.
  • The best statistic so far: only two support requests have been for pattern support for PlanetJune patterns. That means I’m doing my job properly by creating error-free patterns that very few people have any difficulty in understanding. And those two questions were both regarding amigurumi techniques, not my pattern instructions, so I could easily respond with a referral to my tutorial on the technique in question.

With only one month of data, I’m already seeing areas of my shop, website and business I can target for improvement. I’ve learnt so much already, and my log will become even more valuable as I add more data over time. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been adding to my FAQ and building a bank of canned responses (stock answers I have ready to send in reply to common questions), and now I can judge how effective these are, and identify more FAQs and canned responses to develop.

I wish I’d thought to do this years ago, instead of relying on only my judgment to feel where things could be improved! I’ll be using the data from my customer support log to inform the systems I create, which will automate my business as much as possible. My end goal is to free up more time to concentrate on designing patterns and teaching through tutorials, and to allow my business to continue to grow without overwhelming me with a growing volume of administrative tasks.

If you have a craft business, how do you identify areas where your business could be improved, simplified, or streamlined? Could your business benefit from tracking your customer support requests?

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pattern re-releases: Plants

I’m updating my entire back catalogue of patterns with extra information and tips and a new space-saving layout, and re-releasing them in batches as they are ready. Please see the Pattern Re-Release FAQ for more information.

Time for the next batch of re-releases (and a test run for some improvements to my shop – keep reading for details and to help test the changes). This batch includes all my plant patterns: Cactus & Succulent Collections, African Violets, Lucky Bamboo, Water Lily and Christmas Trees. Note:

  • This batch doesn’t include the donationware flowers etc – all my Donationware patterns will be re-released in a separate batch.
  • The Primroses pattern also isn’t included in this batch as it’s a new release, so it’s already in the new format – there’s nothing to update :)

plant amigurumi patterns by planetjune

If you’ve previously purchased any of these pattern(s) (individually, or the Cactus and/or Succulent multipacks), the update(s) are now ready for you to download in the new format!

Log back into your PlanetJune account at any time in the next 2 weeks and you’ll see the download buttons for these pattern purchases have been re-enabled, so you can click and download the new versions.

If you have lots of past orders in your PlanetJune account, you don’t have to hunt for the right ones; just follow these simple steps:

  1. In your PlanetJune account, click Show All Orders.
  2. At the top of that page, click to the list of all your past purchases.
  3. Find the pattern name in the alphabetical list.
  4. Click the order number to go directly to that order.
  5. Re-save your pattern :)

PDF Download Test & Survey

This batch also has a special second purpose. As many of you know, zip file downloads are becoming less popular, particularly as they are very difficult to use with iPads and other mobile devices. To make everyone’s lives easier, I plan to convert my shop to straight PDFs, but this is a huge task with over 250 products to convert, so I want to be very careful to make sure nothing goes wrong, and make sure that your old orders will still be available if you need another copy of any of your patterns.

As a first test run, I’ve added a new PDF version of the Christmas Trees pattern to every order that already included that pattern. If you’ve bought this pattern, you’ll see the updated zip file (MP008.zip) in your order, and also a new file (Christmas Trees crochet pattern.pdf).

download the test PDF pattern from your account
Here’s what the files should look like when you access your order in your account.

If you’ve purchased Christmas Trees, please try to download the Christmas Trees crochet pattern.pdf file and fill in this brief survey about your experience. This will give me valuable feedback to make sure the system is working well for everyone before I start to convert over 250 items in my shop! This isn’t a job I want to do twice, so it’s important that as many people test the system as possible before I get any further into making changes.

As a thank you for helping me test this new functionality, everyone who completes the survey will receive a discount code to use on your next order from PlanetJune! Complete the survey here >>

Note: If anything goes wrong and you can’t save/view the new PDF, you can just download MP008.zip instead – it’s also been updated to the new version of the Christmas Trees pattern, so you won’t miss out. Please let me know what went wrong as well, though, so I can make sure to fix it before the new shop format goes live.


If you have any questions about the pattern reformat project, or you received the patterns through a different mechanism (and so don’t have an order for them in the PlanetJune shop) but you’d still like the new versions, check the Pattern Re-Release FAQ for more information.

(There’ll be more pattern re-releases coming soon – if you’d like to get an email notification each time a new batch is ready, sign up for the Crochet Pattern Updates mailing list.)

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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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