PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for February, 2009

swimming in yarn

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know that I just discovered I live a one-hour drive away from the yarn-lovers paradise (aka the Bernat/Patons yarn factory outlet), and, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s a big sale there this week – eek!

I headed out there this morning, through what should have been a lovely drive through farmland and Mennonite country (spoiled only by the dreary skies and insistent rain). I got there 10 mins before opening time, and there were already 2 cars ahead of me. By the time the doors opened, there were about 7 more cars waiting – I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes a yarn bargain.

Yarn Factory Outlet store
It’s more exciting on the inside!

yarn store
The yarn without ball bands is sold by the ounce… at a crazily low price

yarn store
Amazing deals on bagged yarn – with an extra buy 3 get 1 free on the bags

I spent over an hour in there – it was just so difficult trying to decide what to buy, when everything was at such great prices. My only slight disappointment was that Bernat Satin was at regular store prices – otherwise I would have spent a lot more. In the end I managed to limit myself to this little lot:

my haul of yarn

That’s 24 x Bernat Bamboo, 10 x Patons Cha-Cha, 5 x Patons Divine, 3 x Bernat Cool Crochet. And all for under $40 (Canadian) INCLUDING tax. That’s less than $1 per ball, and about a fifth of the regular prices!

Ahh, I just love a bargain – it was definitely worth the trip. I hope I haven’t inspired too much yarn envy… What do you think of my haul?

Comments (14)

oh no! more lemmings

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that post title!

I am amazed by the response to my Lemmings, particularly on Craftster (7000 views and rising!). I’m glad I’m not the only one with fond memories of these guys! If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can play a port of the original Lemmings game online here or here (but don’t blame me if you don’t get any work done today – it is very addictive).

crocheted lemmings by planetjune

I’ve been getting questions about how I made all the accessories. I’m afraid I only improvised them, so I can’t give you a real pattern for any of them. But I can give you some hints:

Umbrella To avoid having colour changes showing through, I made 6 triangles (3 red, 3 white) and then stitched them together into the umbrella shape, with a little hole in the centre for the handle to poke through. The handle is just a thin crocheted tube with a wire inside (the same wire goes right through the lemming to the ground to make the lemming float).
Backpack I made a crocheted tube, flattened it and stitched across the bottom. The straps are just chains crocheted with 2 strands of yarn held together.
Blocks To make each block, I crocheted a square then folded it in half and single crocheted around the edges. It was too floppy with only 1 layer of crochet.
Pickaxe Crocheted around floral wires. The wire from the handle goes into the arms to keep it securely attached.
Blocker’s hands I made the arms a little differently for the blocker, in two pieces:
  • Hand: 5 sc in magic ring, sc in each st around for 2 more rows.
  • Arm: ch 6, form into a ring, sc in each st around for 5 rows.
  • Flatten hand.
  • Stitch hand onto one end of arm tube before stuffing arm.

Oh, and I used Patons Cha-Cha in Reggae for the hair, but I know Fun Fur have a few green shades too.

Happy Lemming making!

Comments (12)


Okay, I can’t spin out the suspense any longer – I have to show you what I’ve made… It seems like there are a lot of Mario or PacMan inspired crafts going on at the moment, but I can’t imagine why nobody has thought to make these before: amigurumi Lemmings!

Gamers of the ’90s probably remember the classic Lemmings video game franchise – those hapless green-haired troops who followed each other in a line and would walk straight off a cliff to their doom if you didn’t create a path to safety for them. It was an original and engaging puzzle/strategy game with really cute music. I used to love playing it on my cousins’ Amiga, and later the tiny black-and-white version on my original GameBoy.

The way to play the game was to assign skills to some of the many lemmings in order to help as many as possible to safely navigate their surroundings and make it through each level. There were 9 different skills:

  1. Walker: The basic model lemming. Walks and walks until he hits a wall or falls off a cliff
  2. Blocker: Stops other lemmings from passing
  3. Miner: Digs a tunnel with his trusty pickaxe
  4. Floater: Falls from any height without damage thanks to his handy umbrella
  5. Builder: Builds a bridge using the boards he carries in his backpack

There were also Digger, Climber, Basher & Bomber lemmings, but I didn’t make those because they didn’t have any interesting props.

crocheted lemmings by planetjune
Please click through to see the full-size image – it looks so much better that way!

I crocheted all the Lemmings using my free Mop Top Mascots pattern, and I improvised their accessories to make them into the appropriate lemming. I crocheted around floral wire to make the pickaxe and umbrella handle, and I made a little stand for Builder’s bridge out of black polymer clay (a crocheted bridge isn’t stiff enough to support a lemming!). I also made a stand out of floral wire for Floater (you can see the base of it in the group shot), so he really does hang in the air.

crocheted lemmings by planetjune
Click through to see the full-size image

It was such a fun project. My favourite parts to make were the umbrella and the builder’s backpack – tiny accessories are just so cute!

Retro-game geek June signing off… Please leave me a comment if you like my Lemmings!

ETA: Just to make it clear, if you’d like to make your own lemmings, the basic lemming body uses my Mop Top Mascots pattern, and you can improvise your own accessories for them!

ETA: Bowing to pressure, I’ve added details for how I made the accessories in the next post

ETA: If you are interested in commissioning any lemmings from me, please see this post! I can no longer take commissions – please see my FAQ for a possible alternative option.

Comments (50)

mop top mascots

I thought it was about time I gave my favourite readers another gift, so here it is: a fun new donationware pattern…

Mop Top Mascots crochet pattern by planetjune

I’ve called these guys Mop Top Mascots for obvious reasons. They stand about 4″ tall, and the real joy of them is that they are so easy to make, and easy to customize. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make them in your team colours
  • Make a messenger carrying a mini envelope with a message for someone special inside
  • Stick a felt logo on their chests to advertise anything you want
  • Make them in bold colours to bring back memories of Fraggle Rock!

Mop Top Mascots crochet pattern by planetjune

It’s also a great way to use up scraps of fun fur or other novelty yarns, and there’s only a few metres of eyelash yarn, so even those of you who are grinding your teeth at the mere mention of the fuzzy stuff should be able to manage this one! And don’t forget my Fuzzy Yarn Tips if you need a little assistance.

I took the customization a little further, so stay tuned for the results of that in a separate post (coming shortly – if you’re a gamer, you may have already guessed what I made…) UPDATED: My Lemming collection has been revealed ūüôā

And now on to the pattern: Mop Top Mascots.

Comments (6)

pattern catalogue

Last week, I had a request for my catalogue, but, um, I don’t have a catalogue… I thought it would be interesting to try putting together a simple one as a PDF file. Sometimes it’s handy to see everything on one page (or 5 in this case – I couldn’t fit everything onto 1 page without making them ridiculously small!)

planetjune pattern catalogue

I thought some of you might be interested to flick through it too. It always comes as a surprise when I see exactly how many patterns I have (42 in the catalogue, and I haven’t even included all the free patterns). Of course I have new patterns in the works right now, so it won’t stay current for long, but I’ll keep updating it so if you ever click my ‘Pattern Catalogue’ link here, in the sidebar, or in the shop, you’ll always see the latest version.

Hopefully someone will find this useful!

Comments (5)

animal paper models

This post was originally published on my old papercraft site, Folding Trees.


Hitachi Japan¬†have¬†created some endangered species animal paper models. I thought I’d try their sea turtle model so I could give you a quick review.

The colours printed less vibrantly than shown on the website, although I accidentally printed it¬†onto¬†cheap paper using my printer’s economy¬†settings, so that’s probably why! The model only has 2 pieces (head and body) and printed onto 1 sheet of paper. Although the key is written in Japanese, you really don’t need instructions (and see my previous tutorial on this type of paper model if you need more assistance). Cut around the solid lines, fold the dotted lines, glue the tabs¬†– it was very straightforward and I’m impressed with the result of such a simple design:


So cute!

If you like animals, don’t forget to check out the other models in the series too.

Comments (4)

how to: invisible decrease

Remember in the ‘early days’ of making amigurumi, when we didn’t know about the Magic Ring? Remember what an aha! moment it was when you figured out how to do it, and how we’ve never looked back since?

Today I have what I think will be the next aha! moment for amigurumi makers: the invisible decrease. I’m showing it here because nobody I have spoken to knows how to do it (or even that it exists!), and it really does make a difference to the finish of your pieces.

Let’s briefly look at other options for decreasing in single crochet:

  • skipping stitches: leaves gaps in your work where the stuffing can show through
  • sc2tog (sc decrease): leaves a slight bump and a longer bar visible in the stitch

amigurumi decrease problems
L: skipped stitches (arrow marks hole);
R: sc2tog (arrow marks obtrusive ‘line’ made by bar of stitch)

The invisible decrease (invdec) method is different; as good as its name, it’s practically invisible, even if you know what you’re looking for! The reason for this is that it groups the previous stitches together at its base, so the stitch itself looks identical to a regular single crochet.

amigurumi invisible decrease
L: the invdec (marked with arrow) looks just like the other stitches in the row;
R: the result is smooth and even

See? It’s like magic! Now click through to the Invisible Decrease tutorial…

Comments (9)

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