PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

PlanetJune Stories: Dorte’s Fishbowl

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Dorte Jensen in Denmark, who used a selection of my crochet patterns to create this gorgeous realistic fishbowl!

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

I’ll let Dorte explain how this project came to be:


My husband saw your tropical fish patterns and said that they were so cute and that he wanted these fish made for his birthday. I don’t remember when the idea came for me to use a real fishbowl for them.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

My plan required some plants for the bottom of the bowl. I had seen your succulent collection 1 and 2 and I really wanted to crochet them but had never found the time for them. I realized that I could use those plants for the fishbowl. I also came up with my own idea for a plant that the red fish could hide in.

Dorte's improvised crocheted aquatic plant

I didn’t have “earth” to sew the plants onto so they would stand up straight. I made a white circle to sew them onto that I could hide beneath the stones in the bottom of the bowl.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

I suspended the fish using fishing line – I thought that would be most invisible. Then some dots of glue on the edge of the fishbowl to keep the line and the fish in place. I used a line across the fishbowl so the clownfish could hang in the middle of the bowl.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

Finally I just want to say that both the fish and the plants were so much fun to crochet, and your crochet tutorials have taught me a lot. It is always a great pleasure to follow your great, well-explained and well constructed patterns.


(Back to me, June, again!)

Thank you so much, Dorte! Isn’t this a fabulous project? Beautifully crocheted, and using the large glass fishbowl with real stones in the bottom was an effective way to add to the realism of this display.

I think the succulents and her clever plant design look perfect in there too. I was surprised to see how well my succulent patterns stand in for corals and aquatic plants (and yes, in case you’re wondering, I do have some real coral patterns planned for some point in the future too…)

I hope these beautiful colourful fish have brightened your day (and maybe even inspired you to make a crocheted aquarium of your own?) Please leave Dorte a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re looking for the PlanetJune patterns featured above, you can find all my Tropical Fish and Succulent crochet patterns in my shop 🙂

Tropical Fish crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Cactus and Succulent crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Comments (6)

Sprouting seeds – easy, fun and tasty!

I’ve been growing my own sprouts for about a year now, and I thought now would be the perfect time to share the process with you. Even if it’s not practical to get out to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, you can still have nutrient-packed fresh and crunchy sprouts every day.

(And it’d be a great project for kids – it’s so fun to watch the sprouts grow over a few days and then be ready to eat!)

This is my almost-daily lunch:

a sandwich made with home-grown clover sprouts

Mmm, yummy! The act of germinating the seed unlocks all the nutrients contained within it, and the resulting sprout gives you a boost of fresh plant goodness.

And look how much fun it is to watch the seeds sprout – from seed to food in just 5 days!

growing clover sprouts - from seeds to sprouts

My Favourite Sprouts

There are lots of seeds you can sprout, depending on what you enjoy. I started out with broccoli sprouts, because they have loads of health benefits, but I found their flavour overpowering unless I paired it with a spicy condiment in my sandwich (mustard or horseradish are perfect choices).

After some experimentation, I decided on my favourite sprouts – these would both be a great starting point if you’d like to make your own, as they are easy to grow and have a mild flavour that you can easily add to your food without overwhelming it.

Clover
clover seeds and sprouts

Clover sprouts have a mild, fresh flavour. They are perfect in a sandwich or wrap, added to salads, or anywhere else you might use lettuce. I also like to pile them on top of burgers.

(If you can’t find clover sprouting seeds, I hear that alfalfa is similar.)

Mung Beans (Bean Sprouts)
mung bean seeds and bean sprouts

I’m sure you’re familiar with bean sprouts, most commonly used in Chinese cooking. Growing them at home in a jar means you don’t end up with the long straight sprouts you find in the supermarket, but they taste just as good and it’s incredibly easy to toss a handful into your stir fries and sauces when you’re about to serve them, and add a tasty crunch to your dish.

Supplies

To get started, you’ll need some seeds, a wide-mouthed jar and some sort of screen to cover the top of the jar with.

I started my sprouting adventures with the no-cost method: a well-cleaned pasta sauce jar with a doubled layer of cheesecloth across the top, held in place with a rubber band.

Once I knew I’d be keeping this hobby going, I invested in a set of wide-mouthed mason jars and screw-on sprouting lids (there are lots of options – if you buy some, just make sure the width of the top is the same as the mouth of your jars.)

And then, you’ll need some seeds! You can buy these from health food stores or online. Just make sure you search for sprouting seeds that are intended for consumption – regular seeds that are intended to be planted in the ground to grow into plants are usually treated with a fungicide, so the seeds are not edible.

Get Sprouting!

Here are my notes for sprouting clover. The process is the same for other sprouts; the only differences would be a) how much seed to use, b) how long to soak the seed for, and c) how many days until the sprouts are ready.

But these instructions will give you an idea of how easy it is to grow your own sprouts…

  1. Measure 2 tbsp of seed into the jar, then screw on the lid.
  2. Fill with water and soak for 8-12 hours.
  3. Tip out the soaking water.
  4. Without removing the lid, add water, swirl the seeds around and tip out the water.starting clover sprouts
  5. Repeat step 4, making sure to shake out all the water so the seeds won’t be sitting in water.
  6. Shake the seeds down away from the jar lid so air can circulate.
    starting clover sprouts
  7. Lay the jar on its side, out of direct sunlight.
  8. Every morning and evening, repeat steps 4-7.
  9. When the jar is fairly full (3-5 days) and the sprouts have leaves, leave the jar on a sunny windowsill for a day for the leaves to green up.
  10. Tip the sprouts into a large bowl and fill it with water.preparing clover sprouts
  11. Swish the sprouts around so the hulls float to the top.
    preparing clover sprouts
  12. Skim off the hulls or push them to the sides of the bowl, then grab a handful of sprouts and pull them out of the bowl.preparing clover sprouts
  13. Place into a salad spinner or onto a kitchen towel-covered plate.
  14. Repeat to get all the rest of the sprouts out (leaving a few hulls with them is fine).preparing clover sprouts
  15. Spin the sprouts to dry them, or leave them on the counter for a couple of hours to dry out.
  16. Put the sprouts in a plastic container and refrigerate for up to a week.
  17. Enjoy!

a sandwich made with home-grown clover sprouts

I hope this has inspired you to think about growing your own fresh sprouts!

And, if you’ve tried growing sprouting seeds before, which varieties are your favourites? I’d love to try some different seeds – do let me know your recommendations in the comments below…

Comments (10)

free crochet pattern: Happy Rainbows

Rainbows are a symbol of hope and unity as well as being full of bright and cheerful colours. I think we could all do with some cheer right now, as well as encouraging hope and unity.

My hope is that my Happy Rainbows pattern will brighten your day while you crochet it, and then go on to brighten the day of everyone who sees it!

Happy Rainbows crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Use these cheerful rainbows to brighten anyone’s day with a splash of colour and a message of hope and unity! Tape them to your window, hang them on the wall, or stitch them to a crocheted blanket or cushion as a colourful applique.

As buying yarn may be difficult at this time, I’ve designed this pattern so both rainbow sizes use easily-available worsted weight yarn. The only difference between the large and small rainbows is the hook size and the number of strands of yarn, so grab your brightest yarns from your stash and crochet some cheer!

Happy Rainbows crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As I like to reward people who chose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of this pattern includes a bonus pattern for matching flat-bottomed rainbows (pictured below), and additional progress photos (including left-handed photos).

Happy Rainbows crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As always, the pattern is free for you to use, and you need only donate if you’d like to thank me for my time in creating it, or if you’d like the easy-to-print PDF version.

I hope you enjoy my Happy Rainbows pattern!

Go to the Happy Rainbows pattern >>

Comments (1)

Crochet dog eye wipes

I try to be environmentally conscious when it comes to my pup Maggie and avoid waste where I can. I even use compostable poop bags, and all her waste and hair clippings go straight into the green bin for composting.

Being a white dog, she’s prone to tear stains, and the thought of buying disposable eye wipes didn’t sit well with me. And then I realised: hang on, my crocheted Eco-Friendly Cosmetic Rounds would also make perfect reuseable doggy face wipes!

eco-friendly cosmetic rounds crochet pattern by planetjune

For fun, and to tell Maggie’s wipes apart from my own, I decided to crochet her a set that matches her colours – mostly off-white with a little light brown.

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

I used my favourite cotton yarn, KnitPicks Dishie in Swan and Linen, and the colours are a pretty good match!

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

And now for the moment of truth – will they work?

I saturated a wipe in lukewarm water and squeezed it out so it wasn’t dripping. After an initial sniff test:

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

…Maggie gave it the licky seal of approval:

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

I wiped her eyes well, and then she took over to finish the job to her exacting standards!

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

And here’s the finished pretty face once it had dried:

crocheted dog face wipes by planetjune

Mission accomplished!

As with my cosmetic rounds, I’ll toss the used wipes into a mesh laundry bag and run them through the washer and dryer with my laundry – it’s quick and easy.

eco-friendly cosmetic rounds crochet pattern by planetjune

An update on my personal cosmetic rounds: In case you’re wondering how reuseable crocheted facial rounds hold up, I’ve used one clean round every night for 9 months. I made enough to last me for 3 weeks before washing them, so mine have all been laundered many times by now.

They don’t look quite as crisp as new, but they are holding their shape well and are much softer than they were when new, so there’s plenty of life left in them before I need to make replacements!

If you’d like to make your own facial wipes – for humans or pets! – you can find my Eco-Friendly Cosmetic Rounds pattern here 🙂

Comments (4)

Pika crochet pattern

Pika pika! No, it’s not a Pokemon, but an adorable real-life animal…

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

Have you ever heard of a pika before today? Pikas are super-cute and special little creatures – let me tell you a bit about them so you can judge for yourself:

Pika Fun Facts

  • It may look a little like a giant hamster, but the pika is the smallest member of the rabbit family (lagomorphs) that also includes rabbits and hares.
  • Pikas are about 6-8″ (15-20cm) long, and live in rocky alpine areas in the west of North America and in Central Asia.
  • They are nicknamed conies, rock rabbits, boulder bunnies, or whistling hares (for their high-pitched alarm calls).
  • Pikas do not hibernate, so they need to stockpile food for the winter. Every summer, each pika collects and dries out a huge haystack made from grasses and plant stems. The haystack is many times larger than the pika, but it transports the whole thing into its den before the winter comes, a mouthful at a time.
  • Their name should apparently be pronounced PYE-ka, but I’ve heard it said both ways in wildlife documentaries, and PEE-ka is so much cuter, so I’m going with that pronunciation!

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

As pikas are related to rabbits, I realised I could design an expansion pack for the Baby Bunnies pattern, so you can turn it into an adorable Pika without having to buy another complete pattern!

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

Pika crochet 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.

Purchase Options

Okay, you have several bundle options here, so I’ll go through them all for you:

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune - purchase options

  1. If you already have Baby Bunnies, you can buy the Pika Expansion Pack for only $3 individually from the shop.
  2. If you haven’t yet bought Baby Bunnies, you can buy the multipack of Baby Bunnies & Pika, and save 50c on the pair!
  3. Or, you can buy the triple pack of Baby Bunnies 1, Baby Bunnies 2 & Pika, and save $1.50 on the individual prices!

Has that confused you? Don’t worry! Check out all these options, together with their prices, right here 🙂

Launch Discount

Now, if you’ve already bought Baby Bunnies (or Baby Bunnies 1 & 2), you won’t be able to save that 50c (or $1.50). But, for 7 days only, add the Pika Expansion Pack pattern to your shopping cart, together with anything else (totalling $5 or more), then use the code PIKAPIKA at checkout and you’ll still get your discount! (Valid until next Friday: 20th March 2020.)

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!


If you’re not ready to make your Pika just yet, don’t forget to heart and queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it:

Pika: 

Baby Bunnies:

Baby Bunnies 2:

What do you think? Don’t you need to add a cute little pika or two to your life?!

Comments (5)

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    June Gilbank

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