PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for September, 2007

healthy muffins

Mmmm, muffins. What’s not to love about a muffin? Delicious, convenient, and… did I mention delicious?

Of course, a regular muffin usually contains between 10 and 25g of fat, which takes the edge off the pleasure of eating it. Low fat muffin recipes are a lot healthier (e.g. my Quaker Low Fat Banana Muffin Mix contains 1.5g fat per muffin) but tend to be a bit light and unsatisfying, and lack the moist, heavy goodness of a regular muffin.

I have a solution to make a healthy muffin that really does taste good! Mix your low fat muffin ingredients as directed in your recipe or mix packet, then add some magic ingredients (quantities below are for 12 muffins; if you are making a different number, adjust these amounts accordingly):

1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup fruit or chocolate chips (e.g. I like to use raisins or fresh blueberries)

Add these to your mix, then spoon it into your muffin pans and bake as directed. (You may need to add 1-2 mins to the regular cooking time.)

Et voila…

low fat muffins
Mmmmm, fresh banana raisin muffins… Are you hungry yet?

Comments (2)

sewing machine blues

I feel sad and stupid. A little over a year ago, I spent $100 and bought a proper sewing machine. It was a Singer, so I thought it would be a good investment and would last me for a decade or two.

Within days, it went wrong. The needle jammed down inside the machine and wouldn’t come up again. When I took it to the repair centre (luckily it was under warranty) the repairman said that the timing was off and Singer didn’t bother to tune them properly in the factory before selling them! He fixed it up, and it worked perfectly after that.

Fast forward to today… I finally have a chance to start on a new sewing project, and sit down at the machine. Clunk. I know that noise. It’s the timing again. The needle either jams in the down position, or goes through the fabric and then hits something and gets stopped before it gets to the bottom.

Of course, the warranty has now expired, and the repair centre tell me it’s going to cost about $40 to fix. But they also warned me that the machine is not a very good one and that whenever I try to sew anything heavy (jeans etc) it’s liable to happen again..!

So now what do I do? Spend the $40 and hope it lasts a while longer before it breaks again? Or give up on it and have to spend even more money for yet another new machine? I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go for a new one, but I’m going to do a lot of research this time before handing any money over.

And my project? Looks like I’ll have to put that on hold until I can find a sewing machine that works 🙁

Comments (34)

more guinea pigs

Look who I found in my garden today…

crocheted guinea pigs

These two are heading off to the US for a trade with Jen.

crocheted guinea pigs

And a quick reminder for anyone who wants to crochet their own guinea pigs, you can pick up the Fuzzy Guinea Pig pattern from my store.

Comments (13)

theft update

I have a partial victory! Although I have no control over how many hundreds or thousands of people have already downloaded my patterns without paying, I have contacted the websites where my stolen work had been uploaded, and, in both cases, the pattern has now been removed. Yay!

Of course, I have no idea how many other sites that I’m not aware of also have copies of my patterns on display – I have tried googling and only found the two that are no longer available, so fingers crossed this may be it for now.

Thank you to everyone who has commented – either on the blog or by e-mail – with sympathy and suggestions. I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else. (Incidentally, the thief who targeted me obviously didn’t care about my copyright notices which are printed at the bottom of each page of all my patterns – they were still present in the ripped-off copies!)

I don’t have a photo to go with this post, so I thought I’d show off some of the fuzzies from the PlanetJune flickr group:

ClinkscalesArts has made this lovely bear (from the Fuzzy Bear pattern):
Gretchen - crochet bear with a pretty little dress

Capps83 made this monkey for a lucky co-worker (from the Fuzzy Monkeys pattern):
Fuzzy Monkey

Hildeguard based her Inspector Mole on the Mini Fuzzies Woodland Creatures pattern – love that magnifying glass!

I’d love to see what else you’ve been making from my patterns – please feel free to show off your creations by uploading them to my Flickr group!

Comments (3)

open letter to a thief

To the person who has been stealing my crochet patterns and posting them online: I am not a large corporation who can easily absorb a little petty theft. I am not making millions from my patterns. I work hard to produce quality patterns for the enjoyment of the crafting community and I charge a small amount as compensation for my hard work.

I was shocked and hurt when a member of the Crochetville community drew this to my attention this morning (thanks Maria!). One of the things I love most about the online craft community (bloggers, forum users, etsy shoppers, etc) is the culture of inspiration, and sharing ideas and techniques, that enriches us all. I have created lots of free tutorials and I always offer my customers any advice or help they need via e-mail. So to discover that one of my customers has betrayed me like this hurts even more.

crochet pattern
My patterns are protected by copyright… or are they??

To all my lovely honest customers and online friends: Thank you for your comments and your custom! Your appreciation of my work makes all this worthwhile, and I’m not going to let one bad apple spoil everything for me. If you see any of my patterns illegally floating around the internet, please do let me know so I can try to stop them from spreading.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to combat this kind of thievery?

Comments (10)

magic ring for amigurumi

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns:

The question I get asked most often is how to make a magic ring to begin an amigurumi.

What is this ‘Magic Ring’, anyway?

A magic ring is a way to begin crocheting in the round by crocheting over an adjustable loop and then pulling the loop tight. The advantage of the magic ring method (below, right) is that, unlike the regular “chain 2, x single crochet in 2nd chain from hook” method (below, left), there is no hole left in the middle of your starting round.

magic ring vs traditional method
L: ch2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in each st around.
R: magic ring, ch 1, 6 sc in magic ring, 2 sc in each st around.

How do I make a Magic Ring?

Choose your preferred learning method! I have video and step-by-step photo tutorials, all for right- and left-handers. Continue to:

Comments (22)

fuzzy guinea pig available

The Fuzzy Guinea Pig pattern is now available! You can order it directly from and the pdf will be e-mailed to you.

Fuzzy Guinea Pig crochet pattern by June Gilbank

Now you can make your own realistic guinea pigs! The pattern includes options to make long haired or short haired guinea pigs, and single-coloured or dual-coloured guinea pigs. Enjoy!

Comments (10)

free pattern: amigurumi acorn

I’m pleased to announce that I am Co-Editor of the new Crochet Along group blog. The first crochetalong theme is amigurumi, so if you’re interested in crochet or amigurumi, why not head over there to find resources on how to get started and a great list of free patterns you can try!

Crochet Along

To whet your appetite, here’s a little free pattern that I’ve designed for you: a PlanetJune original crochet pattern for an amigurumi acorn with a removable cup!

amigurumi acorns by planetjune
Amigurumi Acorns – looks like the one on the right was picked before he was ripe!

amigurumi acorns by planetjune
The cup on both acorns is removable

>> Continue to the Amigurumi Acorn free pattern instructions >>

Why not join the Crochet Along and make some acorns of your own? Or you can make any other amigurumi you want – we have lots of free pattern links to get you started!

Comments (19)

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