PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Fall woodland crochet photoshoot

I spent most of the day yesterday setting up this scene in the PlanetJune forest (no regrets!) and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! This photo captures the essence of what I love about fall – the gorgeous colours and the cozy warm feeling of the season. I hope you love it too…

fall woodland crochet patterns by planetjune

What do you think? Does it give you a warm and cozy feeling?

To set up this woodland scene, I used 5 different PlanetJune designs (find them all at www.planetjune.com/fall!):

Can you spot them all (except the Canadian flag – that didn’t quite fit this theme!) in the scene?

Behind The Scenes

Why did it take me so long to capture one photo? I thought you might enjoy a glimpse into my process here…

First I collected the elements I thought I might include in this photo – a big pile of leaves, mushrooms, acorns, pine cones and squirrels.

amigurumi and applique crochet elements for the woodland photo scene

I set up the empty PlanetJune forest scene with a fleece fabric floor and my painted green backdrop.

painted green backdrop and brown fabric ground for the woodland photo scene

Fun fact: I’ve been using the PlanetJune forest since 2008, when I launched my AfricAmi patterns and realised my white rhino wouldn’t show up well against a white background! The ‘ground’ is a piece of fleece fabric, and the mottled green backdrop is a sheet of white poster board that I painted to look generically leafy. I’m amazed that my painted backdrops have survived my round-the-world travels and I’m still using them 14 years later!

Then it was time to arrange all the elements, light the scene so everything shows up clearly, and start photographing!

two softboxes light the woodland photo scene

I currently use two softboxes to light my photos. They make it possible for me to shoot at any time of day or night and have my pictures always look consistent. Look at the difference they make to the scene: in the above photo the lights are off and in the one below they’re turned on:

two softboxes light the woodland photo scene

After snapping the first photo, I copied it to the computer and checked it on my big monitor. Then came many rounds of tweaking. I’d change the exposure or depth of field on the camera, or moving elements around while hoping I didn’t knock any pieces over or jog the camera tripod (it’s tricky maneuvering around the tripod and light stands to reach into the scene, and my poor mushrooms fell over multiple times!)

two softboxes light the woodland photo scene

After each change, I’d snap another photo and check it again, and repeat over and over. In the end, to create the square photo I was looking for, I had to raise the height of the ground at the back by slipping a roll of extra fabric under my base fleece. And, of course, doing that made allll the mushrooms fall over and I had to start positioning them all again…

But finally, I had the raw photo I wanted, and all that was left to do was to crop and process it into the final image!

fall woodland crochet patterns by planetjune

It’s a long process, but to me it’s like a little art project, and it’s very satisfying when it all comes together into a finished piece I can be proud of. I hope you’ll love my adorable little woodland scene!


a selection of Fall-themed PlanetJune crochet patterns

If you’d like to crochet any of these patterns, or any of my other autumn-themed designs (including some freebies, if crochet patterns aren’t in your budget right now) I’d love it if you’d join the PlanetJune ‘Fall into Autumn’ CAL (crochetalong).

You can find the CAL in the PlanetJune groups on Ravelry and Discord, and you can also join in by posting what you’re making to any of your social media accounts and tagging me (@PlanetJune) so I can see them and leave you a comment.

I don’t usually announce CALs here on the blog unless I’m already writing a related post like this one, so if you’d like to be notified about new crochetalongs, please join one or both of the PlanetJune community groups where our CALs take place, or sign up for my monthly newsletter – I’ll always keep you in the loop!

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Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns

Autumn is my favourite time of year, when the weather starts to cool and the leaves turn glorious colours, and I’m celebrating that now with the second addition to my autumn leaf designs: the Oak Leaf Collection (with a bonus matching tiny acorn design!)

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Oak Leaf Collection & Life-Sized Acorn includes two different sizes of oak leaf to crochet, and a realistic life-sized acorn pattern. Each leaf is worked in one piece, with a clever construction that gives a realistic shape and the suggestion of veins. The acorns are worked amigurumi-style, with an ingenious no-sew construction. So the entire project has no sewing – you’ll only need your needle to weave in the yarn ends!

Ideas for Use

  • Make a pile of acorns as a tasty snack for an amigurumi Squirrel
  • Use a single crocheted oak leaf as an appliqué on a hat or sweater, glue it onto a greetings card, or add a pin back and an acorn to make a brooch
  • Make a simple ornament by adding a hanging loop to a pair of oak leaves and one or two acorns.
  • Crochet lots of leaves in a variety of colours and add a handful of acorns: scatter them on your mantelpiece or Thanksgiving table, or group them together into a beautiful fall garland or wreath.

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

About the Patterns

Although they are only available together, I’ve separated the oak leaves and acorns into two separate PDF files, as the crochet and construction techniques are completely different for each, so there’s no info that’s common to both patterns. Here’s a brief intro to each:

Oak Leaf Collection

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

  • This pattern includes large (9-lobed) and small (7-lobed) realistically sized and shaped oak leaves.
  • For each leaf size, you’ll find both the written instructions and a complete stitch diagram on a single easy-to-print page.
  • For more detailed assistance, the pattern also includes general instructions with photos to help you understand the construction of the leaves, and separate appendices for right- and left-handers including row-by-row photos and stitch diagrams for each leaf.

Life-Sized Acorn

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

  • This acorn is approximately life-sized (only 1.5″/4cm long) and realistically shaped, and has an ingenious no-sew construction.
  • The pattern is fully illustrated throughout with lots of step-by-step photos to explain the unique one-piece construction.
  • For ease of printing, it also includes a single-page text-only printable version at the end of the pattern.
  • Note: This is a completely different acorn from my Amigurumi Acorn design from 2007! That one is cute, round and vastly oversized, with the cap and stalk as separate pieces that need to be sewn together.

About the Designs

I’m really pleased with the work I’ve been doing on applique design in recent years. I’m evolving a new style of applique where I shape the piece with single crochet stitches, which gives a sturdy result without any holes – it’s the 2D version of my amigurumi style! As I develop this style, I’m learning how to create different shapes and angles with each new design, and the oak leaves are the epitome of my work so far in this field.

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJuneSpot the difference! Real and crocheted oak leaves

It’s fascinating to me – to have the lobes of the leaf sit at realistic angles and create a symmetrical leaf, the number and position of the stitches has to be different on each side of the leaf… It’s not at all obvious how to do this, but the beauty of it is that once I’ve created the design and written and charted the pattern for you, you can simply follow it to make perfectly-shaped leaves without having to understand any of that!

And the acorn was a different sort of design challenge: making a realistic size and shape when you have so few stitches to work with – even one stitch makes a huge difference! I tried many different ideas (there are well over a dozen green-and-purple acorn prototypes still littering my desk…)

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

This no-sew method, although unconventional, was by far the best in terms of a good result. After you’ve made the first one and learnt how it comes together, it’s not difficult at all and they’re quick to crochet with no assembly at the end – you’ll love it!

Buy Now

Ready to get started? Pick up the Oak Leaf Collection & Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns from my shop right now.

Oak Leaf Collection and Life-Sized Acorn crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Or, if you’re not ready to make them just yet, add them to your Ravelry queue or favourites so you don’t forget:

I hope you’ll love these new seasonal designs and that they’ll spark ideas for your Fall, Thanksgiving and Halloween decorating! And they’d be even more spectacular if you combine them with my Maple Leaf Collection and Pine Cone Collection patterns… I can’t wait to see what you do with them!

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Turtle Beach: Puffy Seafoam video tutorial

Trying something new today: I’ve created my first pattern-exclusive video tutorial: a quick video demonstration that’s only available to purchasers of a specific pattern, and that demonstrates a specific part of the pattern that might trip you up.

In this case, I’m demonstrating the optional Puffy Seafoam add-on for my Turtle Beach blankets, found in the donationware version of the Ribbed Ripple/Turtle Beach pattern.

3D crocheted Puffy Seafoam addition for any Turtle Beach blanket by PlanetJuneIsn’t it a lovely effect?

This addition lets you add a row of 3-dimensional seafoam to any of my Turtle Beach blanket patterns. It’s crocheted as an afterthought directly onto the completed blanket, so if you’ve already made a turtle beach blanket, you can add the puffy seafoam at any time!

A Little Background…

Turtle Beach Collection is my most popular pattern set, having gone viral multiple times since I first released the original donationware blanket pattern to accompany my baby sea turtles in 2016, and I’ve been improving and expanding the collection ever since then, with more blanket patterns, flat and stuffed turtles, starfish, and additional modification ideas.

In 2019 I first added a brief explanation for the Puffy Seafoam at the end of the basic Ribbed Ripple/Turtle Beach Donationware pattern. It’s a fast and fun addition with a realistic 3D effect, but the construction is a little unusual, so I thought it deserved a bit more detail to help you make it!

Now, I’ve updated the tutorial in the pattern (it now includes full right-handed and left-handed instructions) and I’ve created an exclusive video tutorial (with right- and left-handed versions) to accompany this, so you can watch it in action – isn’t that cool?

video tutorial for 3D crocheted Puffy Seafoam addition for any Turtle Beach blanket by PlanetJune

How to Get the Video

If you’ve ever donated for the Ribbed Ripple/Turtle Beach blanket pattern, you can log back into your PlanetJune account and download the new Ribbed Ripple pattern PDF from ‘My Patterns‘.

On page 9 of the PDF, you’ll find the updated Puffy Seafoam add-on instructions, including the links to both the right-handed and left-handed versions of the new video.

Turtle Beach Collection crochet patterns by PlanetJuneLeft: Classic Blue blanket; stuffed 3D turtles
Right: Teal Ombre blanket; flat appliqué turtles

You can also add the seafoam to my Classic Blue (above, left) or Teal Ombré (above, right) Turtle Beach blankets, so if you haven’t bought the Ribbed Ripple pattern too, you might like to think about grabbing it now!

For your minimum $2 donation you’ll get the Puffy Seafoam add-on – including the video links – and also an optional edging you can use if you’d like to square off the edges of your finished blanket, to turn it into a rectangle or use as a base to add any fancy crocheted edging. These options work with any of my Turtle Beach blanket patterns.

Turtle Beach Collection crochet patterns by PlanetJune3D seafoam, squared-off edging

Pattern-Exclusive Videos: Good Idea?

This project was an experiment for me in two ways:

  1. To see if I can make a ‘quick’ video that doesn’t take hours of my time to produce and edit (the answer to that is no!)
  2. To see how well this idea of making bonus pattern-exclusive video content works – and that’s where you come in…

Please watch the video and let me know what you think!

  • Is the video demo a valuable addition to a pattern?
  • Is it useful to have the video link on the same page, so it’s right there as soon as you get stuck?
  • Would you like to see more patterns with private video tutorials for any tricky bits?

Please email me or comment below with your feedback!

What’s Next

I hope you’ll enjoy the new video! It’s a novel method with a lovely 3D result, and I think the video will really help you to visualize what you’ll be doing as you crochet the seafoam, and how it comes together.

If this ‘pattern-exclusive video’ idea is popular, I’ll start keeping an eye on my customer support requests for any other common questions that would benefit from a quick video tutorial, and then update the relevant pattern with the link once I’ve made the private video.

Tip: From now on, I’ll notify you of any pattern updates in my monthly newsletter, so if you don’t already subscribe, please sign up to make sure you know about any bonus content and improvements I’ve added for the patterns you own!

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Relaxing Crafts: Finger Knitting with Loop Yarn

Have you seen this novelty loop yarn in stores? It’s designed to be finger-knit with no tools – you just pull one loop through the next.

finger knitting with loop yarn

Working straight gives you a standard knitted fabric, and crossing pairs of loops before you ‘knit’ them lets you make pretty stitch patterns.

finger knitting with loop yarn

I picked up a bargain bundle of this Bernat Blanket Alize Blanket EZ from the yarn factory outlet store as part of my quest to find relaxing crafts to try. (And yes, this is the wrong time of year to be making a cozy blanket, but I have air conditioning, so it’s not that bizarre…)

Choosing a Pattern

Once you know what you’re doing, you can probably adapt many knitting patterns for this type of yarn, but I’d recommend starting out by choosing a pattern that’s designed especially for loop yarn.

I chose my favourite pattern, Yarnspirations’ Diamond Lattice Blanket, and looked up other projects on Ravelry to see what other people thought of it. Based on the feedback of a few other ravelers, I started by forming a starting chain so the bottom of the blanket would match the cast-off edge, and pulled up a row of plain knit stitches in the back bumps of the chain before beginning the lattice pattern, to give a straighter bottom edge.

This pattern says it’s rated as ‘experienced’ skill level, and I agree with that assessment. I wouldn’t jump into this as your first loop knitting project like I did unless you really like a challenge. (Luckily, I do!)

finger knitting with loop yarn

As others had noted in their project notes, the pattern is extremely wordy and not clear to follow. I decided to just ignore the pattern directions after the first row, and figure it out myself based on watching where the slanted crossed stitches should go next. I got a bit confused at the edges at first, but apart from that it was fairly straightforward, thanks to my experience with crossed stitches in knitting. Again, I wouldn’t recommend this specific pattern unless you’re familiar with loop knitting and/or regular knitting with crossed stitches.

Loop Knitting: The Process

Loop knitting is actually a little more difficult than I’d imagined it would be:

  • As you never turn the work, you work left to right for one row and right to left for the next, so each hand has to do different things on odd and even rows.
  • It’s definitely a two-handed craft – crossing loops with one hand while finding the next loop of the working yarn with the other keeps you on your toes!

finger knitting with loop yarnCrossing a pair of stitches

Upsides

Although the in-progress project looks like a knitter’s nightmare – just like you’ve dropped all your stitches off the needles! – the textured yarn holds the loops in place well, so the stitches are fairly secure. It even takes a bit of effort to frog these stitches if you make a mistake, so stitches unravelling by mistake doesn’t seem to be a problem.

finger knitting with loop yarn

The yarn is very soft and feels nice to work with (if you’re familiar with plush chenille super bulky blanket yarns, it’s like a looped version of an extra thick one). As each stitch is large, it works up quickly and the resulting fabric is extremely thick and plush – I’d never use this yarn and technique to make anything other than a cozy blanket.

Downsides

I discovered a major problem with using this kind of yarn: as you never turn the work, you don’t see the back until you’ve finished (or stop and flip it over). That wouldn’t be a problem, except that it’s very easy to skip a loop in your working yarn without noticing, so you keep going blissfully along with no problem until the end of your session when you fold up your work and see this:

finger knitting with loop yarnNoooo!

A big loop on the back of the work! The only solutions at this point are:

  • Cut the loop off (which should be just as safe as starting a new ball of looped yarn – there’s just a tiny nub of plain yarn at the end of each ball – but that would leave two extra tiny nubs in your work).
  • Cut the loop in half and weave in each of the resulting ends (again, it’s safe to do this, but I’m not sure how well the ends would stay hidden over time).
  • Undo alllll the way back to the loop and redo it properly.

Can you guess which one I did?! That’s right, I frogged back to fix the mistake whenever I realised that I’d done it again, sometimes unravelling 5 or 6 entire rows, so I could fix the problem – ugh.

And here’s the other problem with this yarn: the fluffy chenille is very ‘grabby’ – when you’ve pulled a loop through another loop, they tend to hold in place. This is obviously a good thing when you have a whole row of loose loops to work with, but it does mean that unravelling takes almost as long as knitting the loops in the first place!

Adding a New Ball of Yarn

I couldn’t find any info on how to add the next ball of yarn, so my solution was to hold the last loop of the old ball and the first loop of the new ball together. Then, on the next row, all I had to do was to remember to pass the new loop through both the loops below.

Tip: As there are free loops all over the place, it’s easy to miss the doubled loop, so I clipped a locking stitch marker around both loops so I could easily spot them again as I worked the next row.

The Result

My finished blanket is 43×57″, which is a nice size for a sofa throw. (It did confuse me though, as the pattern claims the blanket is 56″ wide, not 43″ – I think that must be a mistake in the pattern instructions, as that’s a huge discrepancy.)

loop knitted lattice blanketIsn’t it pretty?

Although it’s far too hot to even contemplate needing a thick cozy blanket at the moment, I know I’ll enjoy using mine when the cooler weather arrives. It’s very soft, has a good weight to it, and I love that lattice stitch pattern.

loop knitted lattice blanket

A couple more angles…

loop knitted lattice blanketHere’s the texture of the back of the blanket.

loop knitted lattice blanketAnd here are the top and bottom edges – they did end up matching nicely.

And, most importantly: it’s passed the Maggie test! She curled straight up on it on my lap and went to sleep – that’s high praise from my discerning girl. 😉

loop knitted lattice blanket

Relaxing Verdict

Loop knitting is definitely a relaxing craft if you’re following a simple repetitive pattern. Once you’ve completed the first row, it’s very easy to form knit stitches by pulling the next loop from the working yarn through the next loop of the row below. I found it to be mostly relaxing once I got used to my more challenging stitch pattern, and if you chose a more straightforward stitch pattern, it would be very relaxing!

Finger knitting with pre-looped yarn means you don’t need to worry about tension – the size of each loop is fixed, so you know you’ll get a nice even result without any effort to control it. But it does give rise to the problem of accidentally leaving a loop on the back of your work – that’s one thing that would never happen with knitting or crochet, or even finger knitting, where you always control the flow of yarn.

Immersing your fingers directly in the soft cozy yarn to create a blanket makes a nice change from holding a hook or needles, but my overall verdict is that looped yarn is a bit of a novelty with limited applications. It’s fun to try, and the results can be lovely – I’m very happy with my chunky blanket! – but I don’t see loop knitting becoming the ‘next big thing’ in fibre arts. What do you think?

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free pattern: Amigurumi Beach Ball

Amigurumi Beach Ball is a fun no-sew pattern for summer – or for any time of year!

  • Make a play ball for the kids, a set of juggling balls, or a stress ball to play with at your desk.
  • Make it interactive by adding a squeaker, rattle or bell when you stuff it.
  • Stuff it with plastic pellets to make your ball into a bean bag or hacky sack.

Amigurumi Beach Ball crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For this pattern, crisp colour changes are essential, and I’ve come up with a special new technique (a variant of my invisible increase) that makes the colour changes look extra neat at the increase points, plus I’ve included lots of tips for dealing with the yarn as you go – there’s no cutting or knot-tying required!

Amigurumi Beach Ball crochet pattern by PlanetJune

This pattern is great for using up scraps of brightly-coloured yarn! You can choose any 6 colours of yarn for this pattern, and the main colour you choose will also be the colour of the top and bottom circles on the beach ball. I made my main beach ball (above) in light worsted weight yarns (Bernat Satin and Red Heart Soft) with an E US/3.5mm hook, using ‘classic beach ball’ saturated colours.

I also made a second beach ball (below, left) from Patons Grace, a sport weight mercerized cotton, with a C US/2.75mm hook and whatever colours I happened to have in my stash. This gave me a slightly smaller ball (2.5″ vs 2.75″), and I love how it looks in the cotton too!

Both balls are a great size for playing with, juggling, etc.

Amigurumi Beach Ball crochet pattern by PlanetJune

And can I just mention that I designed this pattern very carefully, so the bottom of the ball looks just as good as the top! Look:

Amigurumi Beach Ball crochet pattern by PlanetJuneYep, these are the bottoms of the balls! They look good from all sides 🙂

As I like to reward people who choose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of the Amigurumi Beach Ball pattern also includes additional tips and photos that you’ll only find in the PDF version (including instructions for how to fix any too-tight stitches on your finished ball), and the crochet instructions are all included on one printer-friendly page, so you can save paper and ink by printing only that page.

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 Amigurumi Beach Ball pattern >>

Or jump straight to donate:

Order the Amigurumi Beach Ball pattern >>

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


Summer Fun CAL

If you’re about to make a beach ball, why not join a relaxed PlanetJune crochetalong (CAL) while you make it? The rules of the Summer Fun CAL are simple: make any PlanetJune pattern in July or August 2022, and share photos of what you’re making!

Summer Fun 2022 CAL - all crochet patterns by PlanetJuneHere’s a selection of quick and/or summery PlanetJune patterns to give you some ideas…

If you want to join in with the community and see what everyone else is making, come and hang out in the Summer Fun CAL thread in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry or the #crochetalongs channel on the PlanetJune Discord server.

You can also join in by posting your pics on your social media, and remember to tag me (@planetjune) so I can see what you’ve been making!


I hope to see lots of Beach Balls in different colourways and yarns this summer – this is going to be fun 🙂

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PlanetJune Stories: Belinda’s Toasty Turtle

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Belinda from Australia. Belinda first contacted me when she’d made her turtle beach blanket and wanted some advice on the turtles, then she stayed in touch with her progress on the baby turtles, and her clever idea for a matching turtle heat pack. I knew you’d love to see this project too, and to hear about how she came up with this idea and made it happen!

Over to Belinda:


Between gifts for my children and other family members, I rarely make things for myself, but when I saw a friend’s Turtle Beach blanket, I loved it so much that I made one for myself.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I crocheted the blanket and turtles with 8-ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. While mostly made while waiting at school pick up and in doctors’ surgeries, I also crocheted the blanket at every beach I went to, including Peterborough in Victoria, Penguin in Tasmania, and Geographe Bay in Western Australia. I used June’s technique of attaching the baby turtles with buttons so they can, and do, move around.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

Once the blanket and baby turtles were complete, I realised they needed a companion. I hoped to make a cushion, so I bought the AquaAmi and Simple-Shell Sea Turtle patterns.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

The turtle pattern didn’t prove big enough for a cushion, so I made a heat pack! The shell, head, legs and tail are crocheted with 10-ply cotton held double, and a 5.5 mm hook. To make sure the heat would be close to the surface, I crocheted the tummy with one strand of yarn and a 7 mm hook. Other than that, I did not make any changes to the pattern.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I sewed a little canvas shape and filled it with wheat, then put it against the tummy side, packed polyester stuffing between it and the upper shell, then attached the head. I used plastic backed eyes. It’s been in the microwave quite a few times and seems no worse for wear.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I usually use a heat pack when I have a sore tummy and am feeling a bit sorry for myself. Having a warm, friendly turtle looking after me is lovely at a moment when I need that extra bit of care.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I love June’s patterns, and I love my toasty turtle!


(Back to me, June, again!)

I love your idea, Belinda! It’s such a good idea to make the turtle into a heat pack – I’d never have thought of that, but I think I might need to make one for myself now – a warm cuddly turtle to soothe a sore tummy sounds very appealing 🙂

(And isn’t that long narrow blanket the perfect shape for lying on the sofa? This entire project is very cozy and snuggly!)

Thank you so much, Belinda, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Belinda a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

PS – If you’d like to make your own turtle beach blanket and/or toasty turtle, here are the links to all the PlanetJune crochet patterns Belinda used:


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!

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Crochet Tools – last chance!

This is your last call to order from my Crochet Tools shop before it closes tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

If you’re reading this after June 15th, click here to sign up to be notified next time the shop opens!

Below, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what I have on offer this time – the classic PlanetJune tools plus exclusive new products! I only open the tool shop once or twice a year*, so if anything catches your eye, please don’t wait – get your order in now before the shop closes…

(And if you’ve already placed an order but want to grab something else while you have the chance, I’d be happy to combine your orders and refund you for the second shipping charge – just let me know!)


Detail Stuffing Tools

The ever-popular PlanetJune-exclusive stuffing tools are back, in all 5 cheerful colours:

Detail Stuffing Tools for Amigurumi and Plush by PlanetJune

The Detail Stuffing Tool lets you get a grip on your stuffing, stuff the tiniest pieces and stuff right into the corners with ease. Don’t miss out on your chance to grab my bestselling tool that’s already an essential for thousands of amigurumi makers!

Detail Stuffing Tool Handles

If you’ve ever wished your stuffing tool was just that little bit longer or stronger, the Detail Stuffing Tool Handle is just what you need! Made from high quality aluminium, the handle is strong, lightweight, rustproof, and will last a lifetime. Note: At their low introductory price, these have been selling like hotcakes!

Crochet Tools by PlanetJune: an aluminium Handle for the Detail Stuffing Tool

The Detail Stuffing Tool Handle is available as a Standard 4″/10cm length (pictured above), an Extra-Long 6″/15cm version, or a value pack of both lengths. They give your tool added strength and longevity, plus over an inch (Standard) or three inches (Extra-Long) of extra length, so you can place your stuffing further into your amigurumi with ease.

PlanetJune Enamel Pins

I’m thrilled to be able to bring my first pin designs to you! PlanetJune Enamel Pins are high quality, wearable and collectable. Pin them to your jacket, your backpack or your project bag, decorate your cork board, or add them to your pin collection.

enamel pins: PlanetJune Logo and Turtle Beach designs

Choose between the stylish PlanetJune Logo pin, a precious baby sea turtle on the Turtle Beach pin, or a value pack including one of each pin!

Vinyl Stickers & FREE Signed Bookmarks

Show your PlanetJune love with a premium vinyl sticker that will stick on any flat surface! Stick it on your notebook, your laptop, your coffee mug, even your car’s bumper…

Crochet Tools by PlanetJune: vinyl stickers and free signed bookmarks

And, by request, here’s another chance to pick up a free signed Collector’s Edition bookmark to go with your collectible copy of my out-of-print first book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi. (And if you don’t own the book but still want a signed bookmark, that’s fine too – I have plenty left, and I’d be happy to sign one for you!) This bookmark is totally free with the purchase of anything else from my Crochet Tools shop, or, if you don’t need anything else, you’ll just pay the cost of a stamped envelope.

More Crochet Tools

Crochet Tools by PlanetJune: extra-strong stitch markers, yarn needles, embroidery and handsewing needles

PlanetJune Stitch Markers are back in extra-strong black plastic with a wider opening, but still with the same rounded tip that won’t snag your yarn, a secure clasp that won’t pop open accidentally, a large enough size (3cm/1.2″) to be able to open and close easily, and a super-cute safety pin shape. Sold in a set of 5.

Needles in Flip-Top Pebble Cases – finally, the perfect way to store your needles so you won’t lose them! The stylish flip-top Pebble container is smooth and flat and easy to slip into your project bag, but large enough not to be mislaid. Each high quality needle slides into its own space in the Pebble, so it’s easy to see if you’ve forgotten to replace it after use. Available in three varieties:

  • The Knitters Pebble (jade) includes 3 large assorted yarn needles for weaving in the yarn ends on your crochet or knitting projects.
  • The Tapestry Pebble (lavender) includes 6 assorted tapestry needles for embroidery (including embroidering faces on your amigurumi!)
  • The Household Pebble (pink) includes 12 assorted general hand sewing needles for emergency repairs or any other sewing projects.

That’s everything! You can find them all on one convenient page in the Crochet Tools shop, so do head over and have a browse – but please be quick, the shop closes tomorrow night. ⏰

* In case you’re wondering why I don’t keep the shop open all the time, this isn’t a marketing ploy – it’s just not logistically possible for me. Canada Post’s only international shipping option is slow, expensive and untracked, so I use a cross-border shipping service instead. It’s faster, cheaper, and includes tracking as standard, but to use that I have to ship all my orders at once, in a single batch. So now you know: there is a good reason!

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16 years, 1000 blog posts

16 years ago today, I hit ‘publish’ on my first post to this blog. Short and sweet, I said:

I hope I’ll be inspired to be more creative by keeping track of my crafts here.

I think I succeeded in that hope! Here are just a few of my favourite projects from the past 16 years:

a variety of craft projects by June Gilbank: crochet, punchneedle, papercraft, polymer clay, knittingClockwise from top left: crocheted orangutan and punchneedle embroidery globe, papercraft flowers, polymer clay R2-D2 and BB-8, knitted sweaters

And, 6 years ago, on my 10th blogiversary, I said:

Little did I know that this blog would change my life and my career path, allow me to build a successful business, and help me to meet some of my best friends and inspiring crafters all over the world. PlanetJune (the business, and my career) has all come about as a direct result of starting a little blog as a way to document the things I make, way back in 2006.

That is so true! Thanks in large part to this blog, I stumbled into becoming first a crochet designer, then a full-time self-employed business owner, then a published author, and paid teacher, speaker, YouTuber… Would PlanetJune even exist today if I hadn’t started this blog?! Probably not.

A Thousand Posts in 16 Years

This, today, is my 1000th post. That seems like an impossibly large number, but it’s only an average of 5.2 posts per month (for 192 months)! Right from the start, I vowed to only ever post when I have something to say, so I never followed the typical advice to post on a regular schedule. In my early fast-paced youthful days I’d sometimes post 2 or 3 times a week; these days, it’s more like 2 or 3 times a month, but I’m still here, and still going.

I’ve just looked back to some of those early posts, and my writing style has definitely evolved over the past 600,000 words. (That’s enough words to fill eight 300-page novels – it’s no wonder I’ve developed as a writer…)

My blog has been there through everything with me, slow and steady, chronicling my progress and sharing my creative ideas with you. I’ve made friends from all over the world and bonded over our shared love of crochet, crafting, animals and nature.

wildlife photos by June Gilbank: lion, peacock butterfly

Life can be hard, but when you can make lovely things and appreciate the wonders of nature, it always makes life feel that little bit better, don’t you think?

In today’s fast-paced world of stress and social media, I hope I can provide a little oasis of calm from the overwhelm every now and then, and I’m honoured that you choose to spend a little time with me here.

The Rise and Fall of Craft Blogging

Blogging has changed a lot since I first started in 2006. There was no social media at all back then, and the craft blogosphere and forums were the main ways that crafty types met online, made friends, and shared ideas and projects. People would flock to new blog posts, nobody expected your photos to be professional quality, and you’d get lots of affirming comments whenever you posted. It was, simply, fun!

In 2013, Google Reader (the main way people kept track of blogs they followed) closed down, and blogs were ‘replaced’ by social media. Was this the end for blogs? Who would bother to visit my blog when they could see so much more stuff in one place on Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest..?

Never one to follow the trends, I stuck with blogging anyway, and I’m so glad I did. I have all the usual social accounts (I’m @planetjune everywhere if you want to follow me) but I really like writing: crafting a post slowly, and editing it multiple times before I hit ‘publish’.

Blogging just fits me. It’s slower, more thoughtful, and longer-lasting. Social media is fleeting – if you miss something when I first post it on a social account, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it – but you can browse through my 16 years of blog posts (or choose a category to browse through, or search for something specific) at any time. Or when you google for something, a post I wrote over a decade ago may still be relevant and pop up for you:

Shrinkydinks Rings by PlanetJunee.g. google “shrinkydinks rings” and my tutorial from 2008 is still the first result!

An Oasis of Calm

These days, most of the remaining crochet and craft blogs are jam-packed full of ads. Those ad boxes are the primary source of income for many designers, but isn’t it frustrating when a pattern, tutorial or recipe is constantly interrupted by ads?

I find it so jarring, so I’ve stubbornly stood my ground about keeping PlanetJune ad-free, even though I’m leaving hundreds – maybe thousands – of dollars per month on the table. My goal in life (and business) isn’t to make the most money by any means possible, and it just seems wrong for me to make money at the expense of your comfort… so, I don’t!

I hope you appreciate the refreshing ad-free experience here. 🙂

Thank You!

Although very few people leave comments on blogs any more, that just makes it more of a delight every time someone does leave me a comment. And every now and then I get an email from a reader who’s still out there, reading and appreciating, and sending me their own news in return – that always makes my day.

So, friend, whether you’ve been with me since the early blogosphere days or you just found PlanetJune this year, I’m so happy you’re here, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what comes next!

Cheers! 🥂

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    June Gilbank

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