pattern re-releases: Alpaca & Baby Bunnies

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.

I finally have time to resume my crochet pattern re-release project! I’m starting back in gently, by re-releasing a small set of 2 patterns: my Natural Fibres collection. These patterns both get very popular at this time of year, so I wanted to re-release them as soon as possible.

natural fibres amigurumi patterns by planetjune
Both these patterns are personal favourites of mine, and my real-angora-yarn bunny and real-alpaca-yarn alpaca are extra-lovely and snuggly.

If you’ve previously purchased the Alpaca and/or Baby Bunnies pattern(s), 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 :)

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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Primroses crochet pattern

Nothing says Spring quite like the sight of a primrose. One of the earliest-blossoming spring flowers (the name ‘primrose’ is actually from the Latin for ‘first rose’, although it’s not a rose!) you may also know these pretty plants as primulas, and the closely-related and similar-looking polyanthus.

But why wait for Spring? Bring a taste of spring into your home, whatever the season – a pot of crocheted primroses will brighten your day in a glorious riot of colour!

Primroses crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Primrose plants look so pretty with their crinkled leaves and heart-shaped petals, and I made sure to include those details in my design.

Primroses includes the patterns for two primrose arrangements: a large planter filled to bursting with multi-coloured blooms for maximum impact; and a small round pot containing a single plant perfect to brighten small spaces or as a gift in a hurry!

I’ve used some neat tricks to keep the construction as simple as possible, with surprisingly little sewing. I’ve included full details for assembling and arranging the plants so your primroses will look healthy and full with the least amount of pieces possible (no point wasting hours making hundreds of leaves when you don’t need to!)

Primroses crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I try to come up with different and interesting pot constructions for each of my plant designs – that way, you won’t be buying the same pot pattern twice. My primroses come with a matching set of a small round pot and a long planter; both of which have a shaped lip around the top edge. The lip looks good – just like a real plant pot! – but it also provides a sturdy support to keep the pot in shape.

You can also mix and match different PlanetJune plants with different pots for added value – for example, the primrose pots would look great filled with crocheted cacti or succulents, just as you could make a large round bowl of primroses by using either of the large pots from those patterns.

My colourful Primroses make me smile whenever I see them, and I hope they’ll have the same effect on you! If you’d like to crochet up the joy of springtime, you’ll find the Primroses crochet pattern in my shop right now.

Or, if you’re not quite ready to make your Primroses, why not favourite or queue them on Ravelry, so you don’t forget about them?

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crocheted yoga mat strap

crocheted yoga mat strap

A link on Twitter led me to the pattern for this ingenious crocheted yoga mat strap, designed by Sara at My Merry Messy Life. Instead of just saying ‘that’s clever’ and posting it to Pinterest, I decided it could be just what I need for my own yoga mat!

Sara designed the strap to go over a crocheted yoga mat bag, but I don’t want or need a bag – just a strap to keep my mat rolled up neatly and to make it easier to transport. I don’t usually like to follow patterns without at least putting my own spin on them, but with a pattern this basic, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.

It’s the concept that’s genius: it’s simply a crocheted rope with a small loop at each end. You pull the rope through each loop to form an adjustable noose at each end, then pull the nooses tight around the ends of the mat to hold it together securely – clever and very effective.

I used Knit Picks Dishie worsted weight cotton yarn (left over from one of my book projects!) held double. The original pattern uses acrylic yarn, and unmercerized cotton is much stiffer and harder to work, so I used a K hook (6.5mm) instead of the recommended I hook (5.5mm).

I worked into the back bumps of the starting chain to give a neat finish. It only took 35m of yarn and I was finished in no time. The hardest part was weaving in the ends – with such a narrow project, there’s really nowhere to hide them!

crocheted yoga mat strap

The end result is really useful, both for holding the mat together neatly when it’s not in use and carrying it to and from classes. The cotton yarn I used makes it very strong and sturdy, and crochet is the perfect medium for projects like this – I love being able to quickly create something that’s so functional!

The noose construction works perfectly to keep the mat rolled neatly (below, left), and, in conjunction with the grippy mat, it even allows me to carry the mat in the much more convenient but less stable vertical position (below, right) without it slipping out of the strap.

crocheted yoga mat strap

Why am I not wearing yoga gear here? Well, ironically, as soon as I made the strap my knee started playing up (it’s never been quite the same since I was hit by a car 13 years ago; my knee took the full force of the impact) and it’s quite painful at the moment, so I may not be able to take my newly-strapped mat to a yoga class for a while. But at least my mat is ready to go as soon as my knee has recovered – it’s added incentive to get myself better :)

I highly recommend this yoga mat strap if you do yoga. You should also keep it in mind as a quick-to-crochet gift for a yoga-loving friend, although without the mat in place it just looks like a strange loopy rope, so you’ll have to give your friend a demo before they’ll fully appreciate what you’ve made for them!

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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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baby sea turtle collection pattern

One of the most amazing sights I’ve seen in wildlife documentaries is the night when all the baby sea turtles hatch simultaneously. They dig their way up from their sandy nests and then frantically flipper their way down the beach towards the safety of the sea, like tiny clockwork-powered toys. When they finally reach the sea, they’re transformed into miniature graceful marvels, flapping lazily under the waves like birds in flight.

I’d love to see this for myself, and, as it happens, sea turtles lay their eggs on some beaches right here in South Africa! Unfortunately, those beaches are on the east coast and I’m on the west coast, and, with my ongoing book responsibilities (we’re now in the middle of the editing/proofing cycle), making that dream a reality isn’t something that’s going to happen this year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a turtle adventure next year, but, in the meantime, I thought we could all enjoy this miracle of nature in amigurumi form, with my Baby Sea Turtle Collection!

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The hatchlings alone would make the cutest toys – in natural or any other colours – but you can complete the scene with turtle eggs and an adorable baby turtle who is just emerging from his egg.

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Make as many baby sea turtles as you want – at only 4.5″ (12cm) long, they don’t take long to complete, and fit nicely in your hand, just like a real baby sea turtle. My original AquaAmi Sea Turtle design is still one of my most popular patterns, but you’ll be relieved to know that this baby turtle has only 7 pieces to crochet (instead of 26!) so you could make a whole beachful of babies in the time it takes you to crochet one full-size turtle ;)

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The collection also includes the pattern for these turtle eggs. Fun fact: this egg shape is intentional; sea turtle eggs are round like ping pong balls, not ovoid like chicken eggs.

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

But my unexpected favourite part of this pattern collection is the hatching turtle. It ended up being a lot more challenging than I’d anticipated, and took three completely different design concepts to come up with a design I’m satisfied with. The first resulted in the egg being misshapen unless you’re extremely careful with the assembly and don’t touch or play with it at all after assembly, so that was no good. The second looked great until I stitched it all together and realised it looked like someone had sliced the turtle in half – definitely not the look I was going for…

The final design concept was worth the wait though – you can really see that the turtle is emerging from the egg! It’s such a clever design and I think you’ll enjoy seeing it magically come together from pieces that don’t look like they could possibly form a turtle. The pattern includes lots of photos to show every step of the assembly, so you won’t have any problems completing your baby turtle collection :)

Team PlanetJune - Ravellenic Games 2014

Have you joined Team PlanetJune yet for the Ravellenic Games? Join us by challenging yourself to complete one (or more) PlanetJune patterns in the Feb 7-23 Olympic timeframe. As the Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi are small pieces (and each turtle can count as its own project), they’d make perfect Rav Games entries. If you’d like to try making one (or more) baby turtles as a part of Team PJ, there’s an exclusive discount code on the pattern, available only in the team thread :)

I can’t wait to see baby turtles popping up in all sorts of colours (don’t forget to share yours on Ravelry when you’ve made them, so we can all enjoy them!)

And if you’re not ready to buy the Baby Sea Turtle Collection just yet, please heart or queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it :)

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As you can probably tell, I love, love, love baby sea turtles. I hope you’ll enjoy using this pattern as much as I enjoyed designing it!

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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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South Africa wildlife III

This post is part of my occasional series of photoblog posts about the wildlife and nature I see while living in South Africa.

I’m very happy to be able to resume these wildlife posts! One of the hardest parts of the last year was having no free time to enjoy the amazing opportunity I have here to get relatively close to animals you’d normally only see in zoos, if at all, in their natural habitat. But that’s all ended, and now I can experience natural wonders again, and share them with you… As I’m always driving, I don’t usually get to share scenic views with you – it’s hard to take photos with both hands on the wheel! – so I’ve conscripted Dave to take a few landscape shots on his phone en route so you can get a better feel for our future adventures.

After Christmas, we made our annual cherry-picking pilgrimage to Ceres. You just can’t beat sweet, juicy cherries, straight from the tree, and it’s well worth the 5-hour round trip during the short cherry season, not only for the cherries, but it’s also a lovely drive, through farmland…

farmland

…and mountains…

mountains

…and then more farmland. This was our third trip to Ceres, but the wonderful (and frustrating) thing about wildlife is its unpredictability – you rarely see the same animals twice along the same route. In this case it worked in our favour – I saw my first Blue Cranes!

blue crane

The Blue Crane is the national bird of South Africa. It’s large and unmistakable, with its bulbous head, thin neck, and long wing plumes, and I’ve been hoping to see one ever since we moved here. Just look at that strange head shape!

blue crane

The first one we saw was flying, but luckily, I spotted this one in a field from far enough away that I could pull over to the shoulder and stop right next to it to take some photos – perfect!

It always irks me when I see these ‘do not feed the baboons’ signs, because I’ve only seen baboons once or twice in my almost 3 years here, and I’ve never been able to take a decent photo when I have seen them – only shots of rapidly-disappearing baboon backsides (not the ideal angle for a photo…)

feeding of baboons prohibited
Yes, the Afrikaans word for baboons is bobbejane – teehee!

Half an hour or so after seeing these signs, when I’d long given up on actually seeing any baboons on this trip, we scored another wildlife victory – and this one was really special…

baboons
Sorry the photo looks wobbly – it’s due to heat haze

A whole troop of baboons, in the middle of the road! They were completely unconcerned about the passing cars:

baboons

In fact, the big male sat himself down right in the middle of the road for a few minutes – I’m not sure what would have happened if a car had appeared in his lane…

baboons

It wasn’t until I looked at my photos that I noticed that almost all the baboons (except the big male) had babies clinging to their backs or tummies!

baboons

You do have to take care around baboons, hence all those ‘do not feed the baboons’ signs; they can be dangerous, and the males in particular are very large and can get fiercely territorial. The dominant male was very impressive, and got within a few metres of my car – luckily he was feeling laid back and didn’t try to charge us while I had the window down to take these photos!

baboons

What an amazing sight, to see them all out in the open, in the middle of nowhere, like this – don’t you think?

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this wildlife post! Please leave me a comment if so – I do love to hear from you…

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Commissions: rebooted

I had to take a break from my crochet pattern commissions towards the end of last year, to keep up with my book deadlines. Now it’s time for me to start them up again, and this is a good opportunity for me to re-examine the process and see how I can improve it to make it more sustainable…

The Good

I love accepting commissions for new amigurumi patterns – I’ve come up with some very special designs that I’d probably never have got around to making, had they not been commissioned. Knowing that people believe and trust in my ability to create a certain animal makes me even more determined to get it right!

PlanetJune Commissions: the first 18 months

The Bad

The idea of the commissions is great, but the reality of fulfilling them has contributed to my stress in the past year; my skin condition makes me essentially allergic to deadlines because it’s triggered by stress. The more pressure I feel, the more that manifests physically, and that only adds to my stress (as well as stopping me from taking any in-progress photos until my hands heal – a big problem when I’m trying to get a new pattern finished!)

Moving Forward

I’ve thought long and hard about this, and here’s my solution: the new commissions model will have no hard deadlines. Expected time to completion will be 1-3 months, depending on when inspiration strikes. If the stars align and I’m not working on anything else, I may be able to complete a commission in 2 weeks! But if the design isn’t working out as planned, being able to set it aside for a while and let my subconscious mull it over while I work on a different project will be much healthier for me than the nerve-wracking running-out-of-time feeling.

You still end up with the same end result – no PlanetJune pattern is ever released until I’m satisfied it’s as good as I can possibly make it – but without the time pressure of the deadline, the process should run more smoothly and help keep me healthy enough to keep designing for many years to come. There’s a lot more that I want to accomplish, and physical or mental breakdowns aren’t part of that plan!

Dropouts and Top-Up Pledges

If you’re not happy about this change, I do understand, and I’m happy for you to cancel any pledges you’ve made towards future commissions. I’ll be emailing everyone who has outstanding pledges to confirm that they’ll still be happy to honour their pledges when the time comes for me to collect them. Please check your email if you’ve made any pledges!

If there are dropouts, some of the designs already in the fully-pledged waiting list may no longer be fully pledged, so I’ve come up with a plan – I think this is the fairest way to tackle it:

  • I’ll offer top-up pledge spots to replace any dropouts, so you can pledge to keep a design in its place in the waiting list.
  • Any design that receives enough top-up pledges to make up for the dropouts will keep its place in the waiting list (currently: Meerkat, Camel, Armadillo, Macaque [monkey], Bernese Mountain Dog, Miniature Schnauzer).
  • Any design that is no longer fully pledged by Feb 1st (when I will begin the next commission) will lose its place and have to wait until I complete everything else in the queue before it has another chance to be commissioned.

So, if you particularly want any of the currently-commissioned designs, keep checking the Commissions thread in the PJ ravelry group over the next week for my updates (I’ve asked for all dropout requests to be submitted by Tuesday), to see if it needs your top-up pledge to keep its place.

I’m looking forward to picking up the commissions reins again! I wonder how many lovely animals I’ll have the chance to crochet this year, thanks to this scheme… :)

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announcing my new Crochet book!

I’m very excited to announce that my new book will be released on August 5th, 2014, and it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon! With my last book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi, I created the ultimate reference book on amigurumi, and now I’ve turned my attention to all of crochet for my new book, Idiot’s Guide: Crochet

Idiot's Guides: Crochet by June Gilbank

Amazon doesn’t have much info up yet, and what they do have makes it sound like this is just a beginner’s book, but it’s actually much, much more…

Let me tell you about my vision for Crochet: I had three goals for this book, because I wanted to make an ambitious 3 books in 1 volume:

  • The complete beginner’s guide: To create the clearest, most comprehensive learn-to-crochet tutorials, with ultra close-up photos of every single step, so people really can learn to crochet from my book.
  • The crochet tips guide: To distill all the knowledge and tips I’ve picked up over my crocheting life into clear, easy to follow instructions.
  • The beautiful pattern book: To create a collection of stylish original accessories and home decor patterns that would make perfect gifts, so you’ll want to make everything in the book! The patterns need to be simple to work (but not boring for experienced crocheters) and show some of the variety possible in crochet, so you’ll learn more as you make each pattern.

I was fortunate that my editors were happy to accommodate my vision, and I’ve crammed all of these goals into the 272 pages of this book! The Idiot’s Guides series has had a complete makeover and you’ll be very pleasantly surprised when you see the lovely design and hundreds of full-colour photos.

This book is different from every other crochet book on the market and excellent value for money, whatever your crochet skill, as it’s perfect for both beginners and more experienced crocheters. I hope you’ll find it a valuable resource, whether your goal is to learn to crochet, to improve your crochet skills and knowledge, to find a selection of clean, timeless designs to crochet, or all of the above :)

The tutorials have all the detail and clear step-by-step photos you’d expect from me, and the patterns include stitch diagrams and all the added tips and extras you find in my PlanetJune Accessories patterns. I’m so excited about this book, and I hope you will be too!

I’ll be revealing more details about the book and the patterns over the coming months, but if you’re already chomping at the bit, here are the Amazon pre-order links (US, CA, UK and DE):


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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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