PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for October, 2009

fuzzy to brushed crochet tutorial

I know that some people, especially beginner crocheters, are a little scared of my fuzzy yarn patterns. And now that eyelash and novelty yarns aren’t as easy to find as they once were, I wanted to come up with an alternative to give my old patterns (pictured below) a new lease of life…

fuzzy crochet patterns by planetjune

And here it is: you can make them with regular yarn and brush them to make a fluffy animal like the sweet yellow Fuzzy Bear below!

Fuzzy Bears by planetjune, made with eyelash yarn and acrylic yarn (brushed)

And if that, by itself, isn’t enough information for you, I’ve written a whole tutorial on how to convert Fuzzy patterns to Brushed Crochet patterns. The tutorial also features a discussion on back loops only vs crocheting into both loops, and which side is the ‘right’ side when making amigurumi, so it’s worth checking out!

crocheting amigurumi, working from inside and outside

Continue to the Fuzzy to Brushed Crochet tutorial >>

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free pattern: tiny whale

crocheted tiny whales by planetjune

This little whale is the perfect size to sit in the palm of your hand! But even better than that: he’s crocheted all in one piece, so there’s no sewing involved to make him!

crocheted tiny whales by planetjune

Continue to the Tiny Whale crochet pattern.

Comments (6)

creativ festival report

To my new visitors who are stopping by after meeting me at the Creativ Festival: welcome! Don’t forget to take a look at my shop and my crochet tutorials!

Another Creativ Festival is over. This one went by like a whirlwind for me. I was only there for the Friday, but I left home at 6am to beat the traffic into Toronto, and arrived back home at about 10pm, so it was a pretty long day!

Here’s my table at the A Needle Pulling Thread booth:

planetjune at the creativ festival

It’s hard to see from the picture, but I brought 13 pieces with me this time (L-R: 2 pumpkins, fuzzy monkey, gecko, 2 tiny whales, fruit bat, african violets, stegosaurus, mini fuzzies hedgehog, arctic fox (behind), miniature pinscher, chihuahua). I had to split up my pattern catalogue into two books, as I had too many to fit into just one! I suppose that’s a good problem to have 🙂

One of the highlights of my day was when Silverlotus stopped by to show me the lovely African Violets she had made from my pattern! I had coincidentally brought my own violet along, so I had to grab a photo of them together (mine is on the left) – and didn’t she do a great job, especially considering she’s only been crocheting since February?!

crocheted african violets by planetjune and silverlotus

In the weeks before the show, I spent forever winding yarn and putting together kits for my Whale class:

tiny whale crochet kits by planetjune
You can see my new gecko business card in this pic too!

The class went pretty well. I had 14 students and almost all were beginners. I wish the class had been 2 hours long; sadly, we spent most of the 1.5hrs learning how to crochet, and didn’t have time to complete the whale pattern. I’ve already heard back from two of my students who have since completed their whales, and I hope all my other students will too! (Remember, email me if you have any problems!) If you’d like to make a Tiny Whale of your own, it’ll be a new donationware pattern in the next couple of days 🙂

While I was at the booth, I demonstrated brushed crochet, by converting my Fuzzy Bear pattern into a brushed crochet pattern. I’ll be writing a tutorial on this method shortly, so if you’d like to try some of my fuzzy patterns but have problems using eyelash yarn, this is another method you can use to get a cute fluffy result. Here’s my finished bear, together with the original Fuzzy Bear:

fuzzy bears by planetjune, made with eyelash yarn and brushed crochet

As you can see, I didn’t brush him too much – I liked the sort of threadbare, antique look I got from just generating a bit of fluff. You could, of course, brush for longer and get a fluffier result where the stitches are more obscured.

The show itself was much smaller this year, with less vendors, but that may have worked in my favour. I gave out around 200 business cards and got 36 new names for my mailing list. (I’ll be emailing a new discount code to my entire mailing list later today, to welcome the new members, so sign up now if you’d like to take advantage of that!)

Overall, the show was a big success for me, although it took a lot of preparation, and the day itself was long and tiring. But it’s always worth it: I always enjoy meeting new people, and seeing some familiar faces from previous years! And it’s very cool when people recognise me (or my work, at least) from seeing it online – I’m such a celebrity these days 😉

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A few little things for you today:

Discount on my book

paper chains & garlands - inside the box!

If you haven’t yet got around to buying my new book and kit, Paper Chains & Garlands, I’ve got a sweet deal from Barnes & Noble for you: a discount for 10% off the highest-price item in your online order (only valid until October 19th, so hurry up if you want to take advantage of it!)

And if you’re doing that, an easy way to find my book is to search for ‘gilbank’ on the B&N site – mine is the first result!

Creativ Festival

The Creativ Festival in Toronto is fast approaching – it’s on next Friday to Sunday (16th-18th)! Due to a scheduling mix-up my class is on the Friday, not the Saturday, and I can’t make it for both days, so I’ll only be there on Friday October 16th. I’m really sorry if you were hoping to see me on the Saturday 🙁

creativ festival brochure cover

If you are coming on Friday 16th, come and see me at A Needle Pulling Thread magazine’s booth; that’s booth #527. I’ll be there with a selection of my creations all day Friday except when I’m teaching, and I’ll have show special discounts on my patterns, plenty of eyes and stitch markers on offer, and a new cute PlanetJune business card for you to pick up!

If you’re interested in learning how to make amigurumi, there are still some spaces left for my class, A Whale of a Crochet, where I’ll be teaching how to make this adorable little ami whale! (And if you can’t make it to the class but like my whale, check back here after the show finishes – it’ll be my next donationware pattern.)

amigurumi whales by planetjune

I hope to see you at the Creativ Festival – I don’t know of any show like it; it’s like heaven for crafters! Bring plenty of money though, because you won’t be able to resist all the tempting craft supplies. I wish I could attend as a customer, although my bank balance is happy I’ll be on duty there instead 🙂

Comments (3)

fruit bat crochet pattern

As if my book release wasn’t enough news for today, I’ve got more to share!

When I was at the zoo looking for inspiration a couple of weeks ago, there was a big cage full of hanging-by-their-feet-fast-asleep flying foxes. I thought I’d take a picture, and just as I got the camera out, this guy woke up and stuck his tongue out at me – what a scamp!

Fruit Bat photo by June Gilbank

Now that kind of cheeky behaviour is just too appealing to ignore, and with Halloween approaching, it gave me a great idea for a new pattern…

Flying foxes, of course, aren’t foxes at all – it’s another name for the fruit bat. Fruit bats are very different to regular bats. Most true bats eat insects and fly using echolocation, whereas fruit bats are gentle creatures that feed on fruit or flower nectar. As you can see from the above photo, they are really cute and furry, with big eyes that help them to see in the dark, and long foxy faces.

Ironically, as fruit bats are typically much larger than other bats, they are often used to represent ‘scary’ vampire bats in horror movies. But there’s really nothing to be afraid of, unless you’re a piece of banana or mango…

crocheted fruit bat by planetjune

My fruit bat is all worked in single crochet (as usual). His wings are worked in rows instead of rounds. Pipe cleaners in his wings let you wrap the wings around his body, but you can easily omit these if making the bat as a toy for young children or pets.

crocheted fruit bat by planetjune

The Fruit Bat pattern is available for only $4.50 from the PlanetJune store.

Now, if you’re looking for some Halloween decorations, here are some ideas:

1. Make a fruit bat all in black with red eyes and dangle him from the ceiling with a string (here’s a faked version I photoshopped!)

scary amigurumi bat by planetjune

2. Or try the classic Halloween PocketAmi: Black Cat, Ghost and Witch – a bargain at only $5 for the set of three patterns!

amigurumi halloween ghost black cat witch crochet by planetjune

3. How about a scary pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern? (Or try the cute or realistic pumpkin varieties). The Pumpkin pattern is free (but donations are much appreciated and will give you a nice printable PDF file in return!)

realistic crocheted pumpkin by planetjune

cute crocheted pumpkin by planetjunespooky crocheted pumpkin by planetjune

Happy Halloween!

crocheted fruit bat by planetjune

Comments (9)

Paper Chains & Garlands is here!

Okay, you know you’re too busy when you forget that your first book was released 2 days ago and miss doing a post on the release date…

My papercraft book and kit, Paper Chains & Garlands, is now here! It’s available to purchase exclusively through Barnes and Noble.

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

I was hoping that I’d be able to sell signed copies through my site, but it turns out that the shipping costs for me to receive author copies from the US make that an impossible dream. So, instead, if you’d like to buy my book, I’d be very grateful if you’d click through from the links on my site, so I can make a tiny commission from your purchase!

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 book: pretty colours, and full instructions & illustrations by me!

I hope you’ll enjoy Paper Chains & Garlands. It’s a sweet little book and kit, and would make a perfect Christmas gift, if you’re thinking that far ahead!

If you’d like to buy it, please click through to Barnes & Noble now. It’s a total bargain at only $9.95, so don’t miss out! Thank you for your support 🙂

Comments (10)

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