PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

free pattern: Fuzzy Hedgehog

Ready for some cuteness? Fuzzy Hedgehog is a simple and adorable pattern that makes the most of a novelty textured yarn such as eyelash or fur! From realistic shades to bright and colourful options, there are no wrong choices to make – any novelty yarn looks good as hedgehog spines.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

With just two pieces to stitch together, you’ll be able to whip up the sweetest little hedgehog buddy in no time, sized to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. The ears are crocheted as you go, so all you need to do is stitch the head to the body and you’re done.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Please don’t be scared of eyelash-type yarn – with a simple pattern like this, it’s fine if you skip or add a stitch here or there! Using your start-of-round stitch marker means you can add a quick increase or decrease to get back to the right number of stitches at the end of each round, so no harm done – nobody will ever know! And the effect is absolutely perfect for hedgehog spines.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As I like to reward people who choose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of the Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern also includes additional instructional photos and my bonus ‘About Fuzzy Patterns’ PDF, which compiles all my tips on working with fuzzy yarns. As always, the pattern is free for you to use online, 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 with the bonuses.

Go to the free Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern >>

Or jump straight to donate:

Order the Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern >>

Not ready to make one yet? Add this pattern to your Ravelry queue:


Join Team PlanetJune for the Ravellenic Games!

If you’re new to the Ravellenic Games, the idea is to challenge yourself by starting and finishing project(s) during the timeframe of a certain summer 2021 global sports event (July 23 – August 8). It’s just for fun, like a CAL but you get to choose your own projects, and you’ll be awarded virtual medals for projects you complete. Join Team PlanetJune and you can crochet anything PlanetJune during this timeframe – including a Fuzzy Hedgehog for the ‘Toy Toss’ event – and your teammates will cheer you on as you race to the finish!

Ravellenic Games 2021 - Team PlanetJune

For more info on how this all works, see the Team PlanetJune FAQ, or ask in the Team PJ thread on ravelry – my amazing co-Captains and I are standing by and waiting to help.

Please join us in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry and post to the Team PlanetJune thread to register as part of the team! The games begin on Friday (but latecomers are welcome too). I hope to see you there – it’ll be fun for us to all crochet together this summer πŸ™‚

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Relaxing Crafts: Paint by Numbers

Some craft projects require concentration (like following an amigurumi pattern), while other projects are relaxing in their repetitive nature (like crocheting row after row of a simple afghan pattern). I find these more relaxing crafts and projects wonderful for the times when my brain is too tired to concentrate on something complicated, but my hands still want to stay busy.

I’ve started picking up craft kits so I can try different crafts and see what appeals to me. I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts on the crafts I’m dabbling in – maybe you’ll find something you’d like to try too! (And many of these simple crafts are kid-friendly, so these could also be family craft projects, or ideas for gifts for the crafty children in your life.)

So here’s the first post in my new Relaxing Crafts series…


Paint by Numbers

I haven’t painted anything for years, and I thought that a paint by numbers kit might be a good way to practice brush technique and ease me back into the feel of painting so I could try painting something from scratch in future.

I tried the Royal & Langnickel Dolphins Painting By Numbers kit. It looked like a cute picture, and at about the size of a sheet of printer paper, I thought it’d be a manageable size.

dolphins paint by numbers kit

The design and the colour-coded numbers are pre-printed onto the canvas in pale blue, so all you need to do is grab a colour of paint and fill in all the indicated areas with that colour, then repeat for all the other colours, and you have a beautiful painting! Or do you…?

I found it more difficult than I’d expected, considering these kits are designed for kids 8 and older – surely, I should have more skill than an inexperienced 8-year old? For me, it was frustrating to have to follow the arbitrary lines separating the shading colours – for example, I think I’d have preferred to try shading the dolphins in my picture myself vs trying to follow all the jagged bands of shadow and light on the dolphins’ bodies.

dolphins paint by numbers kit
There are lots of fiddly jagged lines to follow to form this shading.

I also assumed I’d be provided with all the paint colours I needed, but there were lots of mixed colours required:

dolphins paint by numbers kit
All the areas with two numbers are colours you have to mix yourself, e.g. “10/20” means a mix of colour 10 and colour 20. It seemed like most of the colours were mixes!

dolphins paint by numbers kit
The results of some of that fiddly colour mixing are disappointingly muddy…

Some of the provided paint colours were used a lot – in mixes as well as solo – and I was always scared I’d run out, especially if I mixed too much of a certain shade and had to waste some of it. This was not a very relaxing process! But I did complete the painting…

dolphins paint by numbers kit
Finished!

The end result is okay, but I feel a bit misled by the box art, which shows a coloured picture of the design, not a completed painting (and now I know to look for that, it seems that’s a common trend in these kits). The provided paint colours aren’t the same as shown in the cover picture, and the result is much less subtle, so it’s a bit disappointing.

dolphins paint by numbers kit
Where are my blue dolphins from the cover pic?!

Given all that, paint by numbers is not something I’d want to try again. If I do ever brave painting again, I’ll just sketch an outline and then attempt to paint it properly – I think I could do at least as well as following the kit!

dolphins paint by numbers kit
The painting is still kind of cute though – especially once I added a glint to each dolphin’s eye (that’s not part of the design).

I did pick up a few painting tips from this experience:

  • Low quality paint has terrible coverage – once I’d painted over each section, I could still see the numbers printed beneath the paler paint shades and had to give them a second coat (and the white paint took three coats to cover the numbers!)
  • Acrylic paint dries much darker than the colour appears when the paint isΒ wet.
  • Painting accurate fine lines is difficult, especially at certain angles. I’m much more comfortable with a pencil than a brush.

dolphins paint by numbers kit
Look carefully and you can still see the blue lines around the edges of the paler colours, despite my best efforts to hide them πŸ™

Relaxing Craft Verdict

As a relaxing craft, I’m calling Paint by Numbers a fail – for me, anyway.

  • If you’re inexperienced in painting, taking care not to stick your hand in the wet paint or paint over the lines requires a fair amount of concentration.
  • If you’re already a painter, you really don’t need a paint by numbers kit – you’d do better without one!

Maybe I was just unlucky with my choice of kits and there are better ones out there. Have you (or your kids) had any success with paint by numbers kits, or do you agree with my assessment? Let me know in the comments!


And now, my search for relaxing crafts continues. I have quite a few lined up already, but I’d love to hear your suggestions for crafts I can try – and review here for you – too. Please leave your ideas below… πŸ™‚

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Badger crochet pattern

Don’t miss the launch discount, at the end of this post!

That’s right, it’s taken a while but I have a new pattern for you! It’s a Badger crochet pattern and I’m so happy to have finally brought this idea in my head to life! Badgers have such a distinctive shape with their stocky grey bodies, black and white striped faces, tiny ears, and cute upturned noses…

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Looking back through my notes, I first started planning this design in March 2014… that’s over 7 years ago! So if I haven’t made your favourite animal yet, don’t think that means it’ll never get made – sometimes it just takes a while for the inspiration and available time to coincide…

Badger Fun Facts

  • Badgers are members of the weasel family, Mustelidae.
  • The variety of badger I’ve made for my pattern is the European badger, arguably the best-known and most beloved badger. You’ll find lots of European badgers as characters in classic children’s books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Wind in the Willows – and of course, as the Hufflepuff emblem in the Harry Potter books!
  • Other types of badger around the world include the American badger, the honey badger from Africa, and various Asian badgers. They all look somewhat similar, but aren’t very closely related.
  • Badgers are masters of digging. They dig for food and live in family groups underground in burrows called setts.
  • They are largely nocturnal and eat a variety of food including worms, fruit and eggs. European Badgers can eat hundreds of earthworms per night!

About the Pattern

As always, the pattern includes full instructions and detailed step-by-step photographs for assembly and all special techniques used, so you can follow along and make a perfect badger.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

You can’t have a badger without those unmistakable black and white face stripes, but there are only 12 rounds of follow-carefully colour changes, and the pattern includes lots of tips – specific to this pattern – to make the colour changing easier and ensure you’ll get a beautifully tidy result.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

After you’ve finished the colourwork on the head and chest, it’s all plain sailing and you’ll be able to enjoy watching the rounded body of your badger take shape as you crochet! The head and body is all worked as one piece and there are only 3 pieces (plus the tiny ears) to sew onto the body, so the final finishing stage is quick and simple.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Colourwork Magic!

You’ll often see photos of amigurumi designs with colourwork that only show you one side of the completed item, because the colourwork on the other side looks much worse. There’s a good reason for that – amigurumi stitches don’t stack exactly on top of each other, so there’s a built-in slant, which makes symmetrical colourwork essentially impossible.

I’ve been working for years on techniques to make paired vertical or slanting stripes at various angles for my amigurumi (and I still haven’t mastered every effect I’m looking for – there’s lots more research for me to do for future designs!) but I never release a design without getting everything to match as closely as I can.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, are close-ups of both sides of my badger’s head and chest, so you can see how the colourwork looks good, with smooth black face stripes with matching angles and no awkward jagged transitions, from either side πŸ™‚

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune
Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Just follow the pattern and you’ll be able to achieve the same effect!

Buy Now & Launch Discount

Ready to get started? Pick up my Badger crochet pattern from my shop right now. Or, if you’re not ready to make it just yet, add it to your Ravelry queue or favourites so you don’t forget about it:

And for one week only, you can take an extra 50c off the price: add the Badger pattern to your shopping cart, and enter the discount code TRUFFLEHUNTER at checkout! (Offer ends Tuesday 6 July, 2021.)


Badgers play an essential part in popular culture, and their real-life counterparts are just adorable. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing one in real life, but I always enjoy watching them on wildlife documentaries, and now I can see a (crocheted) badger whenever I want!

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I really hope you’ll enjoy my Badger pattern. Don’t forget to share photos with me when you’ve made one:

…I always love to hear from you, and to see what you’ve been making from my patterns. πŸ™‚

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getting back to the studio

Greetings from the new PlanetJune studio!

new PlanetJune studio
As you can see, I have a brand new home for all my giant amigurumi – yay!

My new studio is still very much a work in progress. My vision is to set up different stations for all the aspects of PlanetJune – business and crafting – as I have a large space here, and I want to be able to get down to work on whatever I need to do without too much setup.

So far, my sewing station is set up (that was the first priority – sooo many curtains to hem for a brand new house!) and the photography station is just about ready to go:

new PlanetJune studio

My computer station is ready to process new patterns into pretty PDFs:

new PlanetJune studio

(Of course nothing goes as smoothly as planned; I was just about to get back to work when I discovered that the latest Windows update had broken something in my workflow and I can no longer lay out patterns any more using my old software.

This is a good thing really – I’ve been meaning to upgrade to better desktop publishing software for a long time, and this has given me the push to make it happen, so I’m working on developing a new template for PlanetJune patterns. Once it’s ready and I get up to speed with my new software, laying out new patterns and making edits and improvements should be much smoother in future.)

Now, back to today: I’ll give you a proper studio tour at a later date, once all the remaining boxes and piles of stuff have homes and I’ve decorated a bit, but these pics are a little preview of my beautiful space.

new PlanetJune studio

As you can see, I have lots of natural light in my studio (there are 6 windows!) which is going to come in very handy.

Hang on, is that a PlanetJune hoodie you’re wearing there, June? Why yes, it is! Isn’t it cool?

PlanetJune logo hoodie

Rush Order Tees offered to send me a custom hoodie of my own design. I chose a dark grey men’s size small hoodie so I can wear it as a jacket, and I thought that printing my logo in white would look good against the dark grey.

The process was seamless: they have their own designers who optimize your logo or artwork for printing and check that the colours, alignment, etc are perfect. I approved the proof they sent me and they printed and shipped my hoodie within a couple of days.

PlanetJune logo hoodie

Can you see, their designers actually optimized my logo so the ring around my yarn planet is actually a very pale grey instead of the white I originally asked for? It’s a nice touch (and of course I could have requested they change it back to white if I hadn’t liked it).

If you’d like to order some custom apparel too, Rush Order Tees offer t-shirts, hoodies, hats and more. I’m very happy with my hoodie – the quality of the Hanes Ultimate Cotton zip up hoodie is good, and the printing of my logo is clear and crisp. Plus it’s fun to walk around the neighbourhood (the only place I ever go these days…) wearing my own merch πŸ˜€

Now, back to setting up my new pattern template, and then I’ll finally be ready to publish a new pattern – it feels like it’s been forever since I was able to do that!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my new studio… More to come πŸ™‚

Comments (10)

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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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