PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

worsted weight yarn comparison: huge update!

I published my original worsted weight yarn comparison almost a decade ago, as a way to show that, even though two yarns are both labelled as 100% acrylic and worsted weight, they may be too different (in terms of thickness, softness and/or shininess) to mix within the same project and get a good result.

Since then I’ve had many requests for an update including more common and modern yarns, so we could all use it as a lookup table to find suitable matches. With more local craft stores closing and the trend towards online shopping, it’s becoming more difficult to just go into a shop and compare yarns directly, so I decided to go for it and create a useful resource for all of us!

I asked my Ravelry group members to send me samples of worsted weight acrylics from their stashes, and they really came through for me – I had dozens of different yarns to compare! A huge thanks goes to ravelers SilentSilence, MagicalAmigurumi, JEMCCreations, somelady42 and abjCrochet for their help with this project. 🙂

worsted weight yarn samples

I sorted and labelled all the samples, then I realised I had a daunting task ahead of me: trying to figure out how to categorize and catalogue these samples in a way that would a) be useful and b) let me add to the results in future…

Can We Just Calculate the Thickness?

With my wide range of samples, I was hoping to discover a trend that we could use to determine yarn similarities in future without having to compare specific yarns side by side. I hoped to come up with some numbers so you could just look up the details of a yarn online and then do the calculation to figure out for yourself whether it should be a lighter or heavier worsted weight yarn.

Using the weight and yardage info from the ball band of each yarn, I calculated the weight per metre of each of my yarn samples in the hope that this would give an indication of the thickness of the yarn. While this may work for broader differences between yarn weights (e.g. a fingering weight yarn would definitely weigh less per metre than a bulky weight yarn!), within the worsted weight category I found absolutely no correlation between the nominal length per gram according to the ball band and the actual thickness of the yarns.

So no, we definitely can’t use the information on the ball band as a way to compare different worsted weight acrylic yarns.

My Testing Methods

I had an idea that winding bobbins with the yarns may be a good way to compare yarns without crocheting a sample with each, so I tested my theory by carefully winding bobbins with leftover yarn from the exact same balls I crocheted my original samples from, way back in 2012! (Luckily I never throw anything away…)

And here are the results! First, the original samples:

worsted weight acrylic yarns

And secondly, the bobbins:

worsted weight acrylic yarns

Each of my bobbins is wound in exactly the same way, with the same number of wraps. I’ve arranged my yarn bobbins in the same colour order as the size order from my crocheted samples, and you can see that there are clear height differences in the yarn wound onto the bobbins that correspond to the size difference I found in the crocheted samples. So this seems like a good indicator of yarn weight.

But that’s not the only factor; the best chance of getting a good match between yarns seems to be by visual and tactile comparison, so I’ve looked at, touched and compared samples of each yarn side by side to assess their thickness, sheen and texture.

Categories

As with my original comparison, I’ve split the yarns by two measures:

Weight: I’ve named my categories the same as before:

  • light worsted weight
  • worsted weight
  • heavy worsted weight

Appearance and Texture: In my original comparison, I called these sheen, slight sheen and no sheen. I’ve clarified the category headings now:

  • soft and shiny
  • slightly soft/shiny
  • sturdy and matte

Here’s an example from each of the categories (I’ve chosen samples that vary in both weight and appearance/texture):

worsted weight acrylic yarns - differences

Left: light worsted weight; soft and shiny
Middle: worsted weight; slightly soft/shiny
Right: heavy worsted weight; sturdy and matte

Hopefully you can see the differences! Between the left and right samples there’s a huge difference in both thickness and appearance, and the middle sample lies somewhere between the two in both measures.

So, I’ve ended up with 9 different categories: for each of the three weights, there are three appearance/texture options.

Results

With over 40 samples wound, labelled and categorized, I’m finally ready to share the results with you!

worsted weight acrylic yarns

I’ve published the results in a table here: Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison. The blog isn’t the best format to display them in, so, I’ve also compiled them into a 3×3 table in a downloadable PDF file, with weight across the top and appearance/texture down the side. This is a free download that you can grab from my shop for no charge 🙂

Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison - a free 2 page PDF file by PlanetJune

I’ll keep both versions updated as and when I receive new yarns to include. (And, if you have a worsted weight acrylic yarn you’d like me to add to the list, please scroll to the ‘What’s Missing’ section at the bottom of the Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison webpage for details of how you can send me a sample!)

I hope you find this resource useful! And don’t forget to download the PDF version from my shop now – no charge, no catch – it’s my gift to you 🙂

Comments (3)

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings applique crochet pattern

Since I released my Baby Sea Turtle AppliquĂ© pattern, I’ve had multiple requests from people making a Turtle Beach blanket and wanting matching flat turtle eggs, hatching turtles and swimming turtle hatchlings to complete the scene.

Some of my best ideas come directly from my customers, and this was one of them: of course I should design the full set, to match my original turtle blanket, but with flat applique turtles! So, here are the Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings:

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings is an Expansion Pack for the Baby Sea Turtle Appliqué crochet pattern, that includes all the modifications required to crochet flat appliqué versions of a hatching turtle emerging from its egg and a half-submerged swimming turtle, plus the pattern for a turtle egg appliqué.

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.

An Appliqued Turtle Blanket

Here’s an example of how the appliquĂ© turtles look on a Turtle Beach blanket:

Turtle Beach blanket with Baby Sea Turtle Appliques - crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Isn’t that lovely?! The PlanetJune patterns I used to make this are:

Top Tip: If this picture is tempting you to make a Turtle Beach blanket for the first time, I’d recommend you get started on your turtles now, but hold off on donating for the blanket pattern just yet – I’ll have a new option coming in the next couple of weeks that you may prefer…

I’m so happy with how these appliquĂ© versions of my baby sea turtles work on a blanket – for me, they seem much more practical than attaching stuffed turtles to a blanket.

As you can see above, it has the same visual appeal as the original turtle blanket, but the flat appliqués create a more sophisticated beach blanket for adults and older children.

Or, if you want a blanket for babies and young children, because I designed the flat turtles to match my original Baby Sea Turtle Collection in size, shape and style, you can make a blanket with applique turtles and gift it together with one or two matching amigurumi baby sea turtles to play with!

Purchase Options

Baby Sea Turtle Applique and Hatchlings crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Launch Discount

Now, if you’ve already bought the Baby Sea Turtle AppliquĂ© pattern, you won’t be able to save that dollar. But, for 7 days only, add the Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings Expansion Pack pattern to your shopping cart, together with anything else (totalling $5 or more), then use the code TURTLEPOWER at checkout and you’ll still get your discount! (Valid until next Wednesday: 15th September 2021.)

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!

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings crochet pattern by PlanetJune


If you’re not ready to make your Baby Sea Turtle appliquĂ©s just yet, don’t forget to heart and queue the pattern on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it:

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings: 

Baby Sea Turtle Appliqué:

Baby Sea Turtle Hatchlings crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I hope you’ll enjoy adding these turtles to your next beach blanket!

Which do you prefer: the flat or stuffed turtles? (Or both?!) Would you like to see more PlanetJune Appliqué patterns, or should I focus only on amigurumi designs?

Do let me know what you think in the comments…

Comments (3)

amigurumi Maggie & Maui

I’ve avoided making any ‘small white fluffy dog’ designs to date, but now I have a fluffy white dog of my own I just had to give it a go and make an amigurumi version of my sweet Maggie, who’s (mostly) a mix of miniature poodle, maltese and bichon frise.

amigurumi Maggie dog by planetjune

One of the problems with designing patterns for long-haired dogs is that they can look quite different depending on how their fur is clipped – for show, for practicality, or something in between. And lots of the small dogs I know are mixed breeds, so they may not look exactly like a specific breed archetype anyway… It’s a challenge to make a pattern that will please people, so I thought starting with my own pup as the model will at least make me happy 😉

To make my ami-Maggie, I started with the closest parts from several of my existing AmiDogs designs, and then made a few tweaks to get a closer match to my little maltipoochon. I used mainly off-white yarn, with light brown for the ears, as Maggie is a little apricot-coloured in places, and not bright white anywhere! And here’s the result:

amigurumi Maggie dog by planetjune

Aww! I debated brushing ami-Maggie all over to give her a fluffier look, but in the end I decided that the fluffy ears were enough to make her mini-me look like her. Do you agree? (I might still brush the top of her head a bit too…)

amigurumi Maggie dog by planetjune

You’ve probably guessed what’s coming next, huh? I adore both my babies, and I couldn’t just make an ami-Maggie without making an ami-Maui to complete the set!

amigurumi Maui cat by planetjune

To make my ami-Maui, I used my AmiCats Tabby pattern, with only basic modifications to make Maui’s white chin and unstriped tail.

amigurumi Maui cat by planetjune

Maui doesn’t have very defined tabby stripes, so I chose two similar heathered shades of taupe/brown (Lion Brand Heartland in Mammoth Cave and Sequioa) to give an impression of mottled tabby colours without modifying the pattern, and I think that was pretty effective.

amigurumi Maui cat by planetjune
My amigurumi versions of my babies aren’t perfect matches for their real-life counterparts, but even at a glance there’s no doubt who they represent, and I just love them!

amigurumi Maggie dog and Maui cat by planetjune


Crochet your own Cats & Dogs!

If you’re looking for cat or dog crochet patterns, look no further than my AmiCats and AmiDogs collections. With 8 cat and 24 dog designs, I have a wide selection for you to choose from:

amigurumi AmiCats and AmiDogs crochet patterns by PlanetJune

So many options! And you can mix and match parts from different patterns to make a closer match to a specific dog or cat.

I know I still have some gaps in my design collection though – do you have a little fluffy dog that you’d like to recreate in crochet? Let me know! Leave me a comment below with the breed of your dog and what you think of my ami-Maggie, and/or email me (june@planetjune.com) with a pic of your baby! If there’s enough interest, I may be inspired to create some more AmiDogs patterns in future…

Comments (13)

Relaxing Crafts: Diamond Painting

For my new Relaxing Crafts series, I decided to pick up a pile of random craft kits that one of my neighbours was selling on Facebook and see if there was anything interesting for me to try…

a selection of craft kits

It was quite a haul for a few dollars! There are quite a few things I’d like to experiment with in here, and I’ll pass the rest onto someone else who has kids who can use them – nothing will go to waste.

Hiding out in the bottom right corner of the above pic, I found a kit I was intrigued to start first: a small diamond painting kit.


Diamond Painting

The craft of ‘diamond painting’ – sticking flat-backed plastic ‘gems’ onto an adhesive colour-coded surface to form a pattern – seems to have sprung up from nowhere over the past few years. Have you heard of it before?

puppy diamond painting kit

A diamond painting kit comes with an adhesive backing (this one is cardboard, but most are canvas), preprinted with the design. You fill in each space with a plastic ‘diamond’. Depending on the kit, the diamonds can be square or round – in this kit, mine were round.

There’s an individual bag for each colour of diamond. With only a few colours in this design, I found it most fun to pour a few colours into the tray at once, and then I got to play a minigame every time: to look for a piece that was a) the right colour and b) the right way up.

puppy diamond painting kit

Each diamond has a domed front and a flat back. You pick up a diamond by loading the nib of the special pen with a little pink wax, then pressing it gently to the domed side of the diamond, so the diamond sticks to the wax:

puppy diamond painting kit

Then you press the flat side of the diamond down to the picture. The adhesive grabs the diamond and keeps it in place. (The wax stays inside the nib of the pen, ready to grab the next diamond.)

puppy diamond painting kit

It’s very satisfying to place all the tiny diamonds into neat rows and watch the picture emerge. It’s faster than cross stitch, much easier than paint-by-numbers(!), and once each piece is placed it stays there, so you don’t have to worry about knocking them out of place before you complete the design.

puppy diamond painting kit

As you work, you peel back the protective plastic film from the painting a bit at a time, so the rest of the picture stays sticky and doesn’t attract dust or lint before you’re ready to apply the diamonds to it.

And, after a little time, the canvas is filled and the finished picture emerges!

puppy diamond painting kit

Relaxing Craft Verdict

This kit was just a dollar store special and I don’t love the design, but as a test of the craft it served its purpose admirably: I call diamond painting a win on the relaxing front! Big thumbs up from me.

I’m looking at diamond painting kits now – there are lots with really nice looking designs, and I think I’ll be picking one up. Here are my top choices at the moment:

Diamond Dotz diamond painting kits
Clockwise from top left: Miniature Magic, Forest Babe, and Graceful Swimmer kits from Diamond Dotz.

I’m leaning towards the turtle – I think the diamonds may make it look like it’s swimming in a sparkling sea. What do you think?


Have you ever tried diamond painting? Are you tempted to try now? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments (11)

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