PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

bonus Canadian flag crochet pattern!

I was planning to use my Maple Leaf pattern as the basis for a crocheted Canadian flag in time for next Canada Day, but, well, I couldn’t wait that long, so here it is!

Canadian Flag crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I designed my flag background to exactly fit the large Maple Leaf pattern as part of a perfectly proportioned Canadian flag.

It’s made with linked stitches so the background is smooth and has no holes, and you can either stitch or glue the Maple Leaf in place. It works up as about 9.5″ (24cm) wide by 4.75″ (12cm) tall using worsted weight yarn, but you can resize both leaf and flag if you want to make a larger or smaller flag.

The flag is perfect to hang as decoration as it is, or you can also use it as a component, for example:

  • Make several flags and string them together into bunting or a garland
  • Make a second single-coloured flag and crochet the two together around the edges, adding stuffing before you close the last side, to make a mini decorative pillow
  • Combine multiple flags, offset between single-coloured flag-shaped rectangles, into an afghan, cushion cover, or anything else you want to make!

And here’s the best news: the Canadian Flag (Background) pattern is now an absolutely free bonus PDF with the purchase of the Maple Leaf Collection pattern! (If you’ve already bought the Maple Leaf Collection, log back into your PlanetJune account and you’ll see the new PDF file available in your order for you to download too.)

Canadian Flag crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If you haven’t bought it yet, you can pick up the Maple Leaf Collection (with free bonus Canadian Flag) pattern from my shop here 🙂

If you don’t have a Canadian connection, the maple leaves (in autumnal shades) make perfect Thanksgiving decorations.

And, if you are Canadian, I hope you’ll enjoy the bonus flag pattern too!

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PlanetJune Accessories 2018 Shawl Collection

Note: Don’t miss the launch discounts, at the end of this post!

I’m delighted to reveal my 2018 PlanetJune Accessories shawls and wraps crochet pattern collection – it’s been over a year in the making!

PlanetJune Accessories 2018 Shawl crochet pattern collection

My 2018 collection comprises three different shawl shapes, all very versatile: as well as making them in the same size and similar yarn to my samples, you can use pretty much any yarn weight and customize them to any size, if you prefer.

To demonstrate this, I’ve made two very different samples for each pattern, so you can see what I’m talking about! Let’s take a look…

Half-Hexagon Shawl

The Half-Hexagon shawl wraps you in a crocheted hug without any excess fabric, and drapes almost like an elegant cardigan. The lacy pattern is simple enough to take advantage of a yarn with long colour changes, or use the optional contrast-colour version of the border to give a standout finish if you’re working in a single colour. Worked from the centre top, you can just keep crocheting until the shawl is the size you want and then add the decorative border.

Half Hexagon Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For the main sample above, I used Loops & Threads Woolike (acrylic/nylon super fine) yarn in Teal Lake, with the contrast-colour border in Gray, which I think makes such an elegant finishing touch.

For my second sample, I used Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball (cotton/acrylic light DKish) yarn – as the name suggests, you really can make an entire shawl from one ball of this yarn, which comes in some lovely colourways! I used the delicious Community Coral colourway, and I think it turned out beautifully:

Half Hexagon Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Diamond Lace Wrap

Wear this lovely wrap as a rectangular shawl to show off the stunning diamond pattern to the full, or as a lacy scarf. Choose your favourite solid or semi-solid colour and watch the alternating solid and lacy diamonds appear as you crochet. The pattern includes full instructions to make a shawl as deep as you want, or whip up a narrower scarf/wrap in a fraction of the time with equally eye-catching results!

Diamond Lace Wrap crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For the main sample above, I used most of a 100g hank of Natural Dye Studio Angel 2-ply lace (baby alpaca with a touch of silk and cahmere) in Heather, and it’s so light and floaty.

For my second sample, I was lucky enough to try a new test colourway for up-and-coming indie dyer Incyanity (her shop will be opening for business soon, but you can follow her on Instagram in the meantime!) This wonderful tonal teal shade in merino/nylon fingering weight really made the stitch pattern in my scarf-sized version pop:

Diamond Lace Wrap crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Sweetheart Lace Shawl

Sweetheart Lace Shawl is a triangular shawl with an elegant curve along the top edge so it hugs your neck and won’t fall off your shoulders. Using only basic stitches, the lace grows from the centre top so you can keep crocheting until the shawl is the size you want, then add the picot border as the finishing touch.

Sweetheart Lace Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For the main sample above, I used Carlton Silky Aran yarn (DK acrylic microfibre) in a delicious raspberry shade.

For my second sample, I used Incyanity’s Amethyst Sky colourway in merino/silk fingering – isn’t this just gorgeous? The stitch pattern in this shawl is lacy enough to take advantage of those ever-changing sky blues and purples without being obscured.

Sweetheart Lace Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune


So, what do you think of my new designs? Do you have a favourite in the collection? I truly can’t decide! If you can’t either, I’ll make your choice easier with some discount prices…

Links and Launch Discounts

Links to buy: You can buy the new shawl patterns individually from my shop:

…or as part of a Custom Set of any 3 PlanetJune Accessories patterns for a special price.

But, to celebrate the launch, I have three special offers, for one week only:

  • Buy one of the new shawl patterns and save 10% (code: SHAWL1)
  • Buy two and save 17% on each (code: SHAWL2)
  • Buy all three and save 25% on each (code: SHAWL3)

Just add the shawl(s) to your shopping cart, and enter the appropriate code in the Discount box at checkout to receive your automatic discount! Valid until next Tuesday, 6 November 2018.

(Please note: you must have all the shawls you’ve chosen in your shopping cart at once for the discount codes to work. Not valid on the Custom Set – but the SHAWL3 code gives you a better discount than the Custom Set anyway!)

Crochet-Along

If you’re making one of these shawls this year, please join us for the Accessories CAL in the PlanetJune Ravelry group and let us know right away which shawl you’re planning to make first and what yarn you’ll be using! I can’t wait to see which colours you choose…

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PJ Accessories Shawls and Wraps update

In preparation for the launch of my upcoming 2018 PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern collection of shawls, I decided to revisit my older shawl and wrap pattern photos. When I published my first collections of PJ Accessories patterns in 2010-2012, I didn’t have a mannequin, and the old photos (with me modelling the shawls) don’t really show my designs at their best!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve washed and reblocked all my older design samples, and photographed them all on my mannequin. And here’s the result – all the PlanetJune Accessories shawl and wrap patterns to date, with three styling ideas for each one:

PlanetJune Accessories Shawl and Wrap crochet patterns (2010-2017)

Ahhhh! Don’t they look good?! I’m thrilled with how much more clearly the new photography shows my designs, and how much more cohesive the range now looks.

If you’d like to see any of these shawls and wraps in more detail, click here to see all my shawl and wrap patterns. Or, if one in particular has caught your eye, here are the direct links to all the pattern pages (clockwise from top left in the above image):

* patterns with updated photography

All these patterns (and many more other accessories) are available as part of my Custom Set of any 3 PlanetJune Accessories patterns for a special price. Click here to mix-and-match your bargain set now!

PlanetJune Accessories crochet patterns - new covers

(By the way, only the covers of the patterns pictured above have changed, but, if you’ve already bought any of these patterns and would like the latest version with the updated cover photos, you can of course re-download the new versions from your PlanetJune account.)

Sneak Peek Time…

Next week I’ll be adding my 2018 collection to the PJ Accessories range – here’s a quick teaser to whet your appetite for the new additions:

PlanetJune Accessories 2018 Shawl crochet pattern collection (teaser pic)

The new shawl collection will include three different shawl shapes, and they’re all very versatile: as well as making them in the same size and similar yarn to my samples, you’ll be able to choose to use pretty much any yarn weight and customize them to any size, if you prefer.

Check back next week, or make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter to get a reminder so you don’t miss the launch discount for the new collection 😀

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Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern

Autumn has always been my favourite season, and it’s long been a goal of mine to design leaf patterns to celebrate the changing season and beautiful colours of fall. It’s taken forever to get the shape and internal structure right, but I’m so delighted with the result of my first autumn leaf designs – here’s the glorious Maple Leaf Collection!

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My new Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern includes realistically shaped and sized leaves in two styles, Large (red leaf, below left) and Small (golden leaf, below right):

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Small leaf is fast and sweet and easy to complete:

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Large leaf takes slightly longer to make but it has more clearly defined structure and angles (and it looks just like the leaf from the Canadian flag!):

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For both leaf styles, I developed techniques to give the perfect shape and structure while using only combinations of the most basic crochet stitches. The Maple Leaf Collection pattern includes:

  • General instructions with photos to help you understand the construction of the leaves
  • One easy-to-print single page (per leaf style) including all the written instructions and the complete stitch diagram
  • Separate appendices for right- and left-handers (including row-by-row photos and stitch diagrams for each leaf, and step-by-step photos for the special combination stitches used)
  • Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

    For me, maple leaves are the epitome of the changing seasons, and you can make them in any shade of red, orange, yellow, brown or green. The more different shades you make, the more realistic your leaves will look. A single leaf takes under 10 yards of yarn, so you can raid your stash and use up those scraps!

    These leaves are totally addictive – once you’ve got up to speed, you’ll be able to whip up a perfectly-shaped maple leaf in minutes.

    Use a single crocheted maple leaf as an appliqué on a hat or sweater, glue it onto a greetings card, add a pin back and make a maple leaf brooch. Crochet lots of leaves in a variety of colours and scatter them on your mantelpiece or Thanskgiving table, or group them together into a beautiful fall garland or wreath.

    And they’re just so realistic!

    Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

    Can’t wait to get started? I don’t blame you! Click here to pick up the pattern right now 🙂

    Or, if you’re not ready to get started just yet, add the Maple Leaf Collection to your Ravelry queue or favourites so you don’t forget about it:


    a selection of Fall-themed PlanetJune crochet patterns

    And I hope you’ll be joining us in the PlanetJune Ravelry group for our Fall CAL?

    The new maple leaves will be the perfect addition to my pine cones, pumpkins, acorns, mushrooms and other Fall bounty crochet patterns, don’t you think?

    I can’t wait to see the warm colours of autumn reflected in our decorative crochet this season, so please add your photos to our CAL gallery – especially your maple leaves!

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Extreme Crochet: Giant Rug

I’ve been enjoying my extreme amigurumi experiments (more to come on that subject later…) but I thought, for completeness, I should also try using my massive 25mm (1 inch) crochet hook in the way it was intended!

Chunky Elegance Rug Trio crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My Chunky Elegance Rug Trio pattern was designed to be crocheted with an N US/10mm hook and two strands of bulky yarn (#5) or a single strand of super bulky (#6). How would it fare on a super-sized scale?

I decided to try to make the small rug from my pattern (above, left) – the size of the original is only 20″ (50cm) in diameter.

Experiment 1: Jumbo Yarn

extreme crochet experiments

Jumbo (#7) is the recommended yarn size for a hook this large. The term “jumbo yarn” currently covers anything heavier than a super bulky, and some recommend a much smaller 19mm hook instead of my 25mm. I only had one ball of Bernat Blanket Big yarn, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a complete rug from it, but it’d be enough of a sample to do some calculations and see how a rug made from jumbo yarn would look…

I didn’t get too far; 300g of my jumbo yarn only works out as 32 yards (29m), and that’s not much when one double crochet stitch is 4″ tall! I’d completed Rnd 2 and got halfway through Rnd 3 when my yarn ran out, but this gave me plenty of data.

extreme crochet experiments

The partial rug was soft, thick and squishy – I think it’d make a lovely rug (although I suspect the chenille-style yarn would flatten down like a plush carpet does with time and use).

extreme crochet experiments

Based on my sample, completing the small rug from the trio would need 13 balls of yarn, and the finished rug would be 66″ (1.7m) diameter.

(The large rug from the same pattern would take around 40 balls of yarn and would be twice that size!)

Experiment 2: Three Strands of Super Bulky Yarn

From my Extreme Whale experiments, I know that 6 strands of the super bulky (#6) Bernat Blanket yarn is roughly equivalent to a single strand of Bernat Blanket Big. I tested my hook with fewer strands and discovered that 3 strands of super bulky looks pretty good with my giant hook.

extreme crochet experiments

For this experiment, I tried to find 3 cakes of Bernat Blanket Stripes that all started in the same position in the colourway, so I could hold all three cakes together at once and they’d all change colour at about the same time.

I modified the first round by replacing half the double crochet stitches with chains, as cramming all those dcs into a ring with such huge yarn made a bit of a bump in the middle, and then I followed the pattern as written from Rnd 2.

extreme crochet experiments

My stitches were nicely defined, and one double crochet stitch measured about 2.5″ tall – still pretty huge!

Then, after a few rounds, I could see that I had a major problem: as my yarn is much finer – compared with the hook – than intended for this pattern, my rug was starting to ruffle instead of lying flat. Disaster!

Usually, you’d fix a problem like this by switching to a smaller crochet hook, but my next largest hook was less than half the size, plus the whole point was to use my extreme hook, so I had to try something else. By pinching up the excess fabric until the rug would lie flat, I saw that I could fix the problem by restarting my rug with only 6 repeats instead of 8. Doing this does change the look of the pattern slightly, but that’s infinitely better than a rug that won’t lie flat…

extreme crochet rug

It took just under 4 balls of yarn (1132g) to complete the ‘small’ rug like this, which works out as a total of 830yds (760m) of yarn, held tripled.

And the finished size is 48″ (122cm) in diameter – almost 2.5 times the size of the original small rug!

extreme crochet rug

I was a bit worried that, with the variegated yarn, the colours might all pool together in clumps, but they seem to have spaced themselves out quite nicely around the rug.

It’s large enough to use as a throw over the back of my futon (and I think it looks quite good like this!)

extreme crochet rug

I calculated how much more yarn I’d need to continue with the pattern and make the large size rug: a total of 13 cakes of yarn (300g each), and the finished rug would weigh 3.8kg (8lbs) and measure 8ft (2.4m) in diameter!

extreme crochet rug

On balance, I think I’ll stick with my ‘small’ rug – it’s big enough for me 😉

I really enjoyed making this project! It works up so quickly when you use a big hook and yarn, and that’s very satisfying. Making a 4-foot rug with only 11 rounds of crochet is amazingly quick.

Wrangling the three balls of yarn was the hardest part. If you want to try extreme crochet with multiple strands of yarn, I think the key is to have plenty of space to set all your yarn out, so it doesn’t tangle, and pulling the yarn end from the centre of each ball (so they don’t roll around as you crochet). Or (probably a better idea): use the right size of yarn for your hook to begin with, so you don’t have to hold multiple strands together!

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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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