PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for September, 2009

craft crochet along panda

I decided to join the CRAFT Crochet-Along to make a Fuzzy Panda Amigurumi this month. I thought it would be interesting to put the results of my brushed crochet experiment into action, plus I could connect with more crocheters, and maybe it would be be relaxing to make someone else’s pattern for a change!

CRAFT Crochet-Along

Me being me, I couldn’t resist tweaking the pattern in a couple of places. Here are my changes, in case you’d like to make a panda like mine:

  1. I’m sensitive to wool, so I used acrylic yarns: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice for the white and Red Heart Soft for the black
  2. I spaced out the increase and decrease rounds on the head to make it a more rounded and less boxy shape
  3. I added a few extra rounds on the body and limbs to make them longer
  4. I used solid black animal eyes with a white felt ring behind to make the eyes stand out from the black eye patches and give him that slightly worried expression
  5. I changed the position of the eyes, the shape of the nose, and skipped the mouth altogether

And here’s my result:

Crochet-Along Fuzzy Panda by planetjune
Click through for larger pic at Flickr

It was a fun diversion to make the panda, and I think it definitively proves that you can brush acrylic yarn, so don’t be scared to try it for yourself 🙂

The Crochet Along is still going if you’d like to join up and make your own panda! You can check out the pandas everyone’s been making in their Flickr pool.

Comments (14)

my book: Paper Chains & Garlands

FINALLY! I can give you a sneak preview of my papercraft book, Paper Chains and Garlands. After months of waiting, it’s wonderful to see how my projects, text and illustrations have been transformed into a thing of beauty… And it’s not only a book, it’s a kit!

Paper Chains & Garlands by June Gilbank (planetjune)
Front of box

Paper Chains & Garlands by June Gilbank (planetjune)
Back of box with pictures of all the projects down the left hand side

For those of you without a magnifying glass, the back of the box reads:

Paper chains and garlands make everything more festive! Turn your next celebration into a creatively crafted occation to remember. Create delightful decorations on themes that range from the seasonal (snowflakes, autumn leaves, cherry blossoms) to the decorative (pleated flowers, pinwheels, elephants). The illustrated instruction book by expert crafter June Gilbank shows you how to fold, cut, unfurl, and string chains and garlands like a pro. With tips on how to cut simple paper dolls as well as elegant Chinese lanterns, Paper Chains and Garlands is the perfect craft kit for expert crafters as well as beginners.

Paper Chains & Garlands by June Gilbank (planetjune)
Inside the box: the book, 4 rolls of paper chain paper and 10 sheets of double-sided garland paper

The book has full illustrated instructions for all 14 projects and includes full-size templates.

Paper Chains & Garlands by June Gilbank (planetjune)
Inside the box: the book, 4 rolls of paper chain paper and 10 sheets of double-sided garland paper

Drawing all the step-by-step illustrations took me sooo long, but I’m really happy with how clear and colourful it all looks. The inside of the book isn’t all purple, by the way – the instructions and illustrations for each project match the colours in the actual project – it’s so pretty!

Paper Chains & Garlands will be available in Barnes and Noble stores and from from September 30th 2009 – that’s just over a week from now!

I was hoping to be able to sell signed copies from my shop, but sadly due to the box being over 2cm thick, Canada Post would charge me $8 (Canada), $9 (US) and $16 (International) just to ship the book, which I doubt any of you guys would be willing to pay for a $10 book, right?! 🙁

I think it’s a really cute kit and I hope it’ll do well. Now I just have to wait until the 30th and see what people think of it!

Comments (16)

gecko crochet pattern

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have already had a sneak peek at this guy:

crocheted gecko amigurumi by planetjune

He’s a gecko, a type of smallish lizard found in warm to tropical climates. Leopard geckos, the type you’ll see most often kept as a pet, have tiny claws on their feet, but most other gecko species have toe pads that let them climb up vertical walls!

My first introduction to a day gecko was in Hawaii last year, where this little guy was living in our room and spent his time climbing up and down the window frame:

Gecko in Hawaii, by June Gilbank

So cute! I’ve had the idea to make a gecko in the back of my mind ever since then. My little Hawaiian buddy was only about 3″ long (a bit small for a crocheted version), but some of the Madagascan species of day gecko reach 9-11″ long. You’re probably familiar with Madagascan geckos from the talking one in those Geico ads 🙂

My crocheted gecko is 10″ long, and, like his cousins, climbs the walls with his special toe pads! Here he is climbing my window:

crocheted amigurumi gecko by planetjune
I think he’s after my origami decorations!

crocheted amigurumi gecko by planetjune
…and climbing back down again

(Okay, he needed a little assistance to stay in place on the window, but isn’t the effect perfect?!)

Gecko is only my 2nd reptile design (after my Sea Turtle) but he was a lot of fun to make. Maybe I should try some other more unusual animals in future – what do you think?

The Gecko pattern is now available to purchase from the shop!

Comments (15)

photos from the zoo

Last week, Dave and I took a ‘research trip’ to the zoo. It was the perfect day to go – the weather was gorgeous but not too hot, and with all the kids back in school, it was practically deserted! I always love to see the animals, and African Lion Safari is very special because you can drive around inside the huge enclosures while the animals roam free. It gives you a chance to get much closer to some amazing animals than you would normally get in a zoo.

I was hoping for some inspiration for new designs, but it turns out I’ve made a lot of the animals already! Let’s take a look:

squirrel monkey photo by June Gilbank

fuzzy monkeys by planetjune

Monkey: check.

ring-tailed lemurs photo by June Gilbank

ring-tailed lemur by planetjune

Ring-tailed lemur: check.

asian elephants photo by June Gilbank

africami elephant by planetjune

Elephant: check.

llamas photo by June Gilbank

alpaca by planetjune

Llama: check. (Well, Alpaca, that’s close enough!)

rhinoceros photo by June Gilbank

africami rhinoceros by planetjune

Rhino: check.

What’s left? How about some of these?

__(‘Read the rest of this entry »’)

Comments (7)

eBook review: Creating a Blog Audience

I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘Sister’ Diane Gilleland, the creator of the popular Craftypod podcast and blog. A few months ago, Diane entered the world of self-publishing via eBooks with her first offering for craft bloggers: Making a Great Blog: A Guide for Creative People. Diane’s latest eBook, Creating a Blog Audience: An Unconventional Marketing Guide is the next in her craft blogger series, and something I thought might be useful for me as I try to reach new customers for PlanetJune…

Creating a Blog Audience, by Diane Gilleland

The first thing I noticed when reading this book is that Diane’s voice really shines through. If you’ve ever listened to Craftypod, you’ll know exactly what to expect – every word is written in Diane’s warm, clear, conversational tone and it’s hard not to imagine her speaking the words on the page directly to you.

As the subtitle of the book suggests, this is indeed “an unconventional marketing guide”. Far from the traditional marketing concept of sending out your message to everyone possible and hoping some of them will listen, Diane focuses on ‘Engagement Marketing’ techniques: engaging with people and, by doing this, starting to build a community of people who are actually interested in what you have to say.

As an established blogger (I’m now into my fourth year of blogging!) I’m fortunate to already have an audience of wonderful readers, and a lot of the material in this book covers things I already do. Having said that, this book provided a new way of thinking about these things, and I’ve been able to identify several areas that I’d like to invest more time in – even things as simple as commenting on others’ blogs (which I’m guilty of not doing often enough, as I usually read posts through Google Reader and don’t take the time to click through to tell people I enjoyed their post or to leave my opinion). And some of Diane’s suggestions were completely new to me – her Gathering Place #5 was something I’d never even considered as a place to meet like-minded people, although it makes total sense. (You’ll have to buy the book to find out which website I’m talking about!)

Diane’s advice is tailored to craft bloggers, so it’s very easy to understand and apply. Diane includes a set of worksheets to help you identify and plan for what will work best for you and your blog, and related links and resources on her website.

If you’re a new or relatively unknown blogger and are trying to build an audience for your blog, you’ll find this book will be absolutely invaluable. If, like me, you already have an audience but are looking for ways to grow and to market your business, you’ll find some tips in here that will help you to increase your audience and build your community. Now I just have to put what I’ve learnt into action!

Creating a Blog Audience by Diane Gilleland is 62 pages long and is available to purchase for $13.50 from Craftypod.

Comments (2)

crochet podcast & alpaca class

Last night I recorded an episode of Mary Beth Temple’s crochet podcast, Getting Loopy. Mary Beth and I chatted about me and my designs, amigurumi in general, and all sorts of other things, including life-size crocheted giraffes! You can listen to the podcast here – and as incentive to listen there’s a contest in there to win 2 of my patterns of your choice!

Getting Loopy listeners, here are some of the links I mentioned:

In other news, I’m teaching another online class at Crochetville, starting this Friday, September 11th. This time I’ll be showing you step by step how to make my amigurumi Alpacas:

amigurumi alpacas by planetjune

Registration is now open, if you’d like to sign up and get the benefit of my expertise – it’s going to be fun!

Comments (2)

red fox and arctic fox patterns

Remember my Red Fox from last week? I decided to make him a cousin in a white brushed yarn, to be an Arctic Fox, and now I’ve completed both patterns. Two different foxes with very different appearances – which is your favourite?

crocheted fluffy arctic fox by planetjune

Arctic Fox is a great project to try if you’re intrigued by the idea of brushed crochet. Brushing the finished crocheted pieces gives a realistic fur effect, and because it’s all done in one colour, that’s one less thing to worry about 🙂 Full instructions are given in the pattern – all you need is a wire pet brush or a mohair brush, and you’re guaranteed to get a cute fluffy result! And the pattern also works with regular yarn, if you don’t want to try the brushing technique.

crocheted red fox by planetjune

Red Fox has a totally different appeal, combining 3 colours with that distinctive shape to make a realistic amigurumi fox with a cunning glint in his eye!

It’s amazing that you can achieve such different effects with just a crochet hook, some yarn and the single crochet stitch! I really do love crochet…

fox crochet patterns by planetjune

The patterns are for sale in the shop for $4.50 each. If you’d like to try both types of fox, I’ve made a fox multipack including both patterns for only $7.

Happy crocheting!

Comments (10)

lemming invasion!

My lemmings pattern continues to take over the world 🙂 Here’s another commission I just finished, (currently on their way to Italy):

crocheted lemmings by planetjune

And this is just too cool not to share: JS left me a comment on my original lemmings post to tell me about a project planned and executed to perfection by the craft club at the Helsinki University of Technology. The girls in the club spent five months secretly crocheting about 200 (yes! two hundred!) lemmings based on my pattern, and then strategically arranged them – walking, building, climbing, floating, etc – all around the IT building.

Here are some waiting to be arranged:

planetjune lemmings crocheted by HUT students
(image source)

And some action shots:

planetjune lemmings crocheted by HUT students
planetjune lemmings crocheted by HUT students
(image source)

Isn’t that the coolest thing ever?! Congratulations to everyone involved in the epic project – it looks amazing. I’d love to walk through a building and see tiny lemmings popping up everywhere I looked!

If you’d like to make your own lemmings, the basic Mop Top Mascots pattern is free (donationware). If you leave a donation, the PDF version also includes hints for how to adapt the Mop Tops into the various lemmings 🙂 Thank you to those who have donated already – I really appreciate your support!

Comments (12)

« Previous entries
  • Quick Links: Crochet

    navigation: arrow

    buy crochet patterns and accessories from my online store

    Everyday Crochet, and the Idiot's Guides to Crochet and Amigurumi by June Gilbank

    Crochet video tutorials and step-by-step photo tutorials

    Free PlanetJune crochet patterns

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Quick Links: Crafts

    navigation: arrow

    Punchneedle Embroidery information, ebook & patterns

    Papercraft ebook & tutorials

    Free PlanetJune craft projects & tutorials

  • Blog Post Categories

  • Blog Archives

  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

    If you'd like to get in touch, you can contact me here.
    crocheted Canadian flag by PlanetJune
  • Support PlanetJune!

    Want to say thanks? You can send me money in seconds at or send me a donation through my shop.

    Or simply click through from my links before you shop at Amazon, Etsy, KnitPicks, LoveCrafts or, and I'll make a small commission on your purchase, at no cost to you! Start here:

    ♥ Support PlanetJune ♥

    Tip: This link is also in the footer of every page!

    Thank you so much for your support!

Back to top