PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for March, 2011

moving plans

You wouldn’t believe how crazy life has been around here for the past few weeks… We had planned to leave for South Africa on March 31st, the same day we close the sale on our house. But fate had other ideas: we’ve had delays with getting our permits and now we’re not going to be able to leave for a couple more weeks.


Our house… for 2 more days

It’s been insanely stressful. I still haven’t recovered from my bronchitis (it’s been well over a month and counting), and trying to find a local pet-friendly hotel where we could stay for over 2 weeks without sending us broke was proving to be an impossible task.

But, eventually, it all worked out for the best! Our lovely buyers have agreed to rent the house back to us until we leave, and the moving company were able to postpone our shipping container, so now we can stay put for 2 more weeks, together with all our furniture and belongings. How amazing is that?! I can’t even begin to describe what a huge relief it is.

From a PlanetJune perspective, I’ve been preparing for the move by buying up yarn to take with me (thanks to everyone who’s donated to my yarn fund!) – now I just have to decide how much I can fit into my suitcase and figure out which colours I’m most likely to need for the next few months until our shipping container arrives in Cape Town… It’s not easy to choose from such a beautiful rainbow of shades:

yarn rainbow by planetjune
A small fraction of the yarn I’ve stockpiled to take with me

But our delayed move has given me a big advantage here too: I now have my photo studio for an additional 2 weeks, which is great news for my patterns. My plan is to get three or four new designs to the point of being completed and photographed while I still have the means to photograph them. Once we’ve moved, I can edit the photos and write up those patterns on my laptop, so there will be some new PlanetJune designs over the next couple of months!

amigurumi wip by planetjune
A few mystery designs in progress

Once those have been published, I’ll start working on a new batch of designs which will have to wait for publication until I have my equipment back and can buy new lamps (with South African voltage) and set up the photo studio again. It’s all a bit complicated, but at least I have a plan now, and I think it’ll work out…

* * *

A quick reminder: if you haven’t yet voted for the 2011 Crochet Awards (aka the Flamies), tomorrow’s the last day to cast your vote. You can vote for me in 3 categories, if you’re so inclined: Best Instructional/Technical Crochet Book, Best Crochet Video (Amateur) and Best Crochet Blog. I’d really appreciate your votes!

Comments (11)

Vote for the 2011 Crochet Awards!

Voting is now live for the 2011 Crochet Award from the Crochet Liberation Front (aka the Flamies) and I’m thrilled to have been nominated in three(!) categories this year:

  • Best Instructional/Technical Crochet Book for my book
  • Best Crochet Video (Amateur) for my YouTube channel
  • Best Crochet Blog for this blog, of course!
CLF Award

Please check out all the nominees and then vote for whoever you feel is most deserving in each category (but I hope that’ll be me!) You’ll get an exclusive free crochet scarf pattern as your reward for voting, and you can leave any categories blank that you don’t have an opinion about.

There’s a wealth of crochet talent out there, and I’m very happy to be part of such a fantastic community. Please show your support for crochet by casting your vote for your favorite crochet designs, books, hooks, designers and companies!

Last chance!

A final reminder that TODAY is the last day to buy from the Eyes, Tools and Accessories and Signed Books/Bookmarks sections of my shop before I close those sections down so I can prepare for my move abroad. If you still need any of the items pictured below, today’s the final day to purchase them!

physical items sold in the PlanetJune shop
Today’s your last chance to pick up any of these pictured products…

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shutting up shop

…well, part of it, anyway.

Last chance to buy…

Due to my impending move to South Africa, I’ll be closing the Eyes, Tools and Accessories and Signed Books/Bookmarks sections of my shop on March 16th (next Wednesday). So, if you’ve been waiting to buy anything from those sections, don’t delay! I won’t have time to restock anything that sells out, so I suggest you order as soon as possible. There’s already been a rush of orders from my mailing list subscribers, and some items have already sold out.

physical items sold in the PlanetJune shop
It’s your last chance to pick up any of these products pictured…

What does this include?

And remember, everything (except the eyes and noses) is a PlanetJune exclusive – you won’t be able to find them anywhere after March 16th!

Pattern orders:

As I’m sure you know, my shop is fully automated with instant downloads once you’ve paid for your patterns, so there’ll be no disruption in service at all! It’s only physical items that will be affected by my move.

In the future…

I do intend to resume shipping once I’m settled in South Africa, but that won’t be for a few months – I need to wait for all our boxes (including my supplies!) to arrive before I can even think about setting up again. And, of course, shipping to the US and Canada will be more expensive and slower after my move. (As far as I can tell, shipping to other countries won’t be much affected by my change of country.) None of this is set in stone yet, though, so I strongly encourage you to buy any non-pattern items you need from me on or before next Wednesday.

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chinchilla crochet pattern

It’s been a while since I had a new pattern ready – all the move preparations are keeping me crazily busy. But a commission request came in a few weeks ago for a chinchilla crochet pattern, and I just couldn’t resist making such a cute ball of fluff!

(While I remember, if you’re interested in commissioning a pattern design from me, everything is on hold for the time being – I’m not accepting any new commissions until I’m settled in South Africa and ready to devote all my attention back to PlanetJune. Currently, I have no idea when that will be – I’ll let you know when I’ve reached that point…)

Okay, and now onto the chinchilla!

amigurumi chinchilla by planetjune

He’s an extra-large amigurumi, and close to life-sized at 8″ long, not including the tail (which adds another 5″). I wanted him to be fluffy, but without using any novelty yarns, so I brushed his body and tail to give more of a fluffy look. I’ve also included pattern options for only brushing the tail, or not brushing at all – even the smooth version looks pretty cute, I think!

amigurumi chinchilla by planetjune

A note about brushing: I like to brush just a little, to give a fluffy look but still make it very obvious that the ami is crocheted. If you preferred, you could keep brushing for a lot longer to make it look really fluffy and obscure the stitches much more than I have with my chinchilla, although this will also mask the shaping a bit more. But if mine isn’t fluffy enough for you, don’t let that stop you from buying the pattern and making an extra-fluffy one!

amigurumi chinchilla by planetjune

If you’d like to crochet your own chinchilla, the Chinchilla crochet pattern is now available for purchase in my shop.

Hope you like him!

Comments (16)

Easter CAL and contest!

I’ve been getting requests for another crochetalong, and who am I to turn down requests, so here goes: I hereby announce the PlanetJune Easter CAL!

Easter Crochetalong and Contest at PlanetJune

After the success of the Christmas CAL (see roundups 1 and 2), I’ve decided to use the same model for this one, with several patterns to choose from, and prizes for all participants. As not everyone celebrates Easter, I’m including some more generic spring-themed patterns too, so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone.

The PlanetJune Easter CAL & Contest

PlanetJune Easter-themed crochet patterns

Clockwise from top left: Easter Eggs, Daffodils, Fuzzy Bunny & Chick, Fuzzy Lamb, PocketAmi Easter

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make one of my Easter-themed patterns. There’s no CAL discount this time, but the Daffodils pattern is Donationware, so you can pay whatever you can afford for that, or even just use it for free if cashflow is a bit tight.
  2. Show us what you’ve made! Post it to your blog, or to ravelry, flickr, facebook, or anywhere else you like to show your work.
  3. Enter the Easter CAL contest. Read this part carefully: to enter the contest, send an email to CAL@planetjune.com with a link to where you’ve posted about your project. If you don’t have anywhere that you post to online, you can still enter: just email a photo of your completed project to me.
  4. Bonus entries. Make more than one of my patterns and you’ll get an entry for each one!

The prizes:

  • First prize: a $10 gift certificate to spend on anything in the PlanetJune store
  • Second prize: a free pattern of your choice from the PlanetJune store
  • Runner-up prizes: I’ll send a discount code to all participants, to use against their next order from the PlanetJune store.

The rules:

  • The PlanetJune Easter CAL (& contest) will run from today until April 22nd 2011.
  • Enter by crocheting any of my Easter-themed patterns, as shown above.
  • Post your completed projects online and email the link to CAL@planetjune.com, or email a photo of the completed project to CAL@planetjune.com.
  • If you complete several patterns, send me one email per project so you’ll get more entries!
  • If you’ve already started your spring/Easter projects this year, you may enter them, but please keep to the spirit of the CAL and only submit projects you’ve made for this season.
  • First and second prize winners will be drawn randomly from all eligible entries; all participants will receive the runner-up prize.
  • All photos will be posted here on Easter Day (April 24th) in a grand CAL roundup!

Easter Crochetalong and Contest at PlanetJune
Grab this button for your blog!

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PlanetJune Stories: Heather Hoover

Today’s PlanetJune Story is from Heather Hoover of Grove City, OH, who turned her love of crocheting into a business called The Yarnyard, by selling her impressive collection of amigurumi at craft shows. Please note: Heather’s kind words are all her own! I blushed when I read them – but not as much as I smiled when I saw this photo of her table at the craft show, laden with so many familiar designs:

PlanetJune stories
I know – there are too many to make out! Check out the close-ups below once you’ve read Heather’s story….

Heather writes:

After about a year of making Amigurumi for my children, I considered the idea of making them to sell at a local craft show. I didn’t want to use just any kind of free pattern available. I wanted good quality patterns that looked both realistic and cute. I also needed to find a designer that would be willing to allow the crafted product to be sold. I quickly began losing hope in my newfound dream because so many designers would not allow selling of the finished products. I was angry! It wasn’t like I wanted to steal designs or take credit for them. I simply wanted to enjoy the hobby of crafting Amigurumi and make a little extra cash at the same time.

I kept searching and finally happened upon PlanetJune.com. As I looked through the patterns, I felt completely in awe at the design quality, the realistic look of the animals, and the cuteness encompassing them. I didn’t want to get too excited because I felt certain I would run into the same issue of selling the product. I hesitantly searched around the site for the ‘fine print’. Much to my delight, I saw “You may sell items made from my patterns, provided you comply with [my terms]”. Of course, I was happy to follow these terms. A rush of joy burst through me, and I realized I had found my perfect source.

When I bought my first few patterns from June, I expected them to be on the difficult side. I was pleasantly surprised by the easy to follow step-by-step instructions and pictures she included. I started out simple, but could hardly wait to try my hand at the textured yarns that many of June’s high-quality designs suggest. June doesn’t miss a step in her instructions. They are very easy to understand. If you do run into a problem, she offers help through email communication and has posted many of her techniques on PlanetJune.com.

After a year of buying patterns and crafting June’s designs, I had enough product to sell at the craft show. I communicated my plan with June and she gladly sent me a stack of her business cards to share with fellow crafters. I named my business The Yarnyard; created cards, and made it official. The show was a great success. I sold more than half my items and inspired many crafters to pick up their old crochet hooks. I referred them to PlanetJune with the hope that more people can enjoy the art of crochet and all that June has to offer.

I appreciate June’s willingness to share and her dedication to us, as crafters. I believe this is the way it should be in our world of artistic expression. Life is much more fun when we can work together, and that’s exactly what June and I did. I helped boost her business by getting her name out there and she made it possible for me to enjoy my hobby and earn cash at the same time.

Thanks so much, Heather, for sharing your story! Unlike many designers, I’m always happy to allow people to sell the products that they make from my patterns, provided they give me credit as the designer, and never share the pattern with anyone else! The way I see it, if you’ve put the work into making an amigurumi, you deserve to make whatever you can from it. You can buy another pattern from me if you make some money from selling and want to thank me – that way we’ll both benefit!

And now let’s take a better look at some of Heather’s craft show table:

PlanetJune stories
Lots of characters I recognise! Among others, I spot AmiDogs, Dinosaurs, Fuzzy Monkey, Foxes…

PlanetJune stories
Farmyard Pigs, Poison Dart Frog, Mini Fuzzies Hedgehog, Gecko…

PlanetJune stories
Sea Turtle, Fruit Bat, Fuzzy Bears & Seal…

PlanetJune stories
I think this is my favourite pic though – just look at all these Mop Top Mascots! I love the way Heather has displayed them, don’t you?

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!

Comments (4)

March update

Ah, February, where did you go?! I know I haven’t posted much lately; my time has mostly been taken up with the process of selling our house (which we managed in a very stressful 3-week whirlwind of constant cleaning and tidying, and being kicked out of the house on short notice for hours at a time while it was being shown) and trying to get all the paperwork sorted for ourselves and Maui to move abroad.

With all that on my plate, it’s no wonder that I succumbed to the flu last week! I’m over that now, but now suffering with bronchitis instead, and there’s still an incredible amount of tasks we have to accomplish before we pack our bags and set off on our adventure at the end of this month. So, if posts remain light for a while, please bear with me!

I have all sorts of stuff planned for once this move is over with and I have more time to devote to the blog again: new patterns, new crochet videos, and some other surprises. In the meantime, I do have a very cute (if I do say so myself!) new design that I hope to launch in the next week or so, so look out for that 🙂

* * *

Now, with it being March 1st, it’s time for me to draw February’s ‘Review and Win’ contest winner… For February and March, I’m trying to encourage people to review products/patterns that don’t yet have a review in my shop. Each of these ‘first’ reviews get a bonus entry into the drawing. I’ve taken all those bonus entries into account with my drawing, and this month’s lucky winner is Anne R, with her review of my Gossamer Lace Wrap:

Gossamer Lace Wrap by planetjune

I started with the cowl and now am almost done with the wrap just a few rows till I start the finishing rows. I used merino wool in a lace weight. The pattern instructions are easy and complete. Thanks for making it so easy to add an extra repeat I am not a little woman. I like it so much I am waiting on the arrival of some cashmere yarn to make another. Don’t be afraid of this pattern, June has made it so simple to feel like such an artisan and accomplished crafts person. I can highly recommend this pattern.

Congratulations, Anne, I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize!

There are still lots of patterns that don’t have a review in my shop (to get you started, almost all sizes of Clear Eyes, several individual Dinosaur patterns, and almost all the AmiDogs breeds AND sets are currently review-less…), so why don’t you write a review of one of them this month, and get your bonus entry into the March ‘Review and Win’ draw?

* * *

And one last bit of exciting news: the 3rd Annual Crochet Awards (Flamies) nominations have just been announced, and I just discovered that I’ve been nominated in two categories: this blog has been nominated for ‘Best Crochet Blog’ and my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi, has been nominated for ‘Best Instructional/Technical Crochet Book’ – that one makes my heart sing! Voting starts on March 15th (I’ll remind you!) but I’m really happy just to have been nominated 😀

Comments (2)

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    June Gilbank

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