PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for December, 2011

Accessories CAL roundup 2

Today I have one final 2011 crochet-along roundup from the PlanetJune ravelry group members to share with you, as November’s Accessories CAL was given an extension to give people more time to complete their projects (you can see the first roundup photos here).

Keep reading for details of the January CAL at the end of this post, but first, as promised, here’s the second roundup of PlanetJune Accessories projects made for the Accessories CAL…

(As usual, I’m crediting the participants by their Ravelry usernames, so you can look them up on Ravelry if you want more details.)

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
Enphra’s Climbing Eyelets Triangular Shawl turned out beautifully!

Here’s a great example of how different yarns can completely alter the look of a project – the following 2 projects are both the Lacy Bobbles Cowl, but made with very different variegated yarns:

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
Kid mohair/silk blend (with colours by the inimitable Kaffe Fassett) crocheted by my aunt. The mohair gives a fluffy effect and helps the colours to blend together.

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
klopferli’s cowl uses a wool/nylon blend, which gives great stitch definition.

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
CrochetChrisie’s Diamond Lattice Neckwarmer looks perfect with her winter coat 🙂

My Lip Balm holder pattern has been really popular this Christmas! A special mention goes out to Jana (saudistitcher) who crocheted an amazing 25 of them to give to all the teachers at her school, but didn’t have time to share a photo of them with us before going home to spend Christmas with her family 🙂

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
Ami Paint Set made into a decorative photo frame, by Fatals-attraction

PlanetJune Accessories CAL PlanetJune Accessories CAL
Scalloped Scarves by theMarkofSMB and CrochetChrisie

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
…and another by klopferli

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
BanuyeGharbi’s Plumeria pins

PlanetJune Accessories CAL
BanuyeGharbi’s pretty gift set includes Plumeria pin, Gift Box and Lip Balm Holder

I never get tired of seeing what people have made from my patterns! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them too. If you’re inspired by these photos to make any of these designs for yourself, to give as gifts, or even to sell, you’ll find all the PlanetJune Accessories patterns in my shop.

January CAL

By popular demand, we’ll be continuing with monthly PlanetJune crochet-alongs in 2012, with a vote to decide each month’s theme. The theme for the January CAL is AquaAmi. This includes all the patterns in the Aquatic Animals section of my shop (or you can get creative and modify any of my other patterns to fit the theme).

AquaAmi Crochet-Along at PlanetJune

If you’d like to join in, you’ll find the AquaAmi CAL thread in the PlanetJune Ravelry group from tomorrow. We hope you’ll join us there for some CAL fun.

And that’s it from me for 2011 – Happy New Year, everyone!

Comments (5)

Christmas CAL 2011 roundup

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. What better way to celebrate than by looking through the wonderful projects made for the 2011 PlanetJune Christmas Crochet-Along? Thank you to everyone who joined in; as always it’s so much fun to see what you’ve made!

(For speed, I’m just giving credit with participants’ Ravelry usernames.) Let’s take a look:

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
AKmtnnymph made this clever Santa-themed Gift Box

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
theMarkofSMB used my Christmas Trees, PocketAmi Christmas, and Yeti and Bigfoot patterns to create this set of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ characters

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Fatals-attraction made this lovely group of Christmas Trees

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
arbitrarily’s PocketAmi set

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Enphra made a set of 3 Gift Boxes embellished with ribbon roses

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
crochet-girl made some PocketAmi (with the Elf adapted into Santa)…

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
…and more PocketAmi by crochet-girl!

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
BanuyeGharbi made these two Gift Boxes but will be re-working the pink one at a tighter gauge so it holds its shape as well as the lovely blue one does!

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
jukatca made this sweet display of a Christmas Tree and Gift Box (and a collection of all my non-crocheted poinsettia tutorials!)

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
yaney used variegated yarn for her Gift Box

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
PocketAmi by esmerelda62

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Lightblue made black-tipped Reindeer Antlers

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
CrochetChrisie’s Gift Box is topped with my felt poinsettia

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Very effective use of rainbow-coloured yarn from klopferli

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Candy Canes by theMarkofSMB

And now for a big pile of Poinsettias, Christmas Puddings, Candy Canes and Christmas Trees:

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
theMarkofSMB and Fatals-attraction

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
crochet-girl and BiologyJAP

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
rhianoran and mistyyarn

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
theMarkofSMB and Foxtrot400

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Fatals-attraction and petrOlly

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
Fatals-attraction and rastakt

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011 PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2011
CrochetChrisie and petrOlly

Wonderful work by everyone! I always love seeing all the projects together like this 🙂

If you missed out on the CAL fun, don’t despair: the next CAL starts on January 1st, and there’s still time to vote on the new theme here (you’ll need to be a member of Ravelry but it’s free to join).


And now to the winners! I made a list of all the eligible projects and used to draw 2:
First prize ($10 gift certificate) goes to Fatals-attraction – congratulations Linda!
Second prize (free pattern) goes to theMarkofSMB – congratulations Monica!
Runner-up prizes go to everyone else 🙂

I’ll email Ravelry message the winners with their prize details (and the runner-up prize discount codes to all the other CAL participants) within the next couple of days, but now it’s time to spend a quiet summer Christmas afternoon at home in the sunshine with my little family – I hope you’re enjoying your day too!

Comments (5)

Cape Town wildlife VII

This is the seventh post in my monthly series on the fascinating nature I encounter here in South Africa.

This is the harbour at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

cape fur seals

Here you can find shops, restaurants, boat trips… and something else.

cape fur seals

Have you spotted it yet? Let’s try a close-up:

cape fur seals

It’s a big pile of Cape Fur Seals!

When we first saw them, I thought they were sea lions: I’ve known for years that the way to tell seals from sea lions is that sea lions have visible ear flaps whereas seals just have ear holes…. It turns out that’s not quite true, but I had to do some research to find this out.

cape fur seals
Sweet dreams, little seal. Hang on, that’s an ear I spy…

Time for a very quick science lesson! Pinnipeds (“fin-footed” mammals) are split into 3 groups: Odobenidae (walrus), Otariidae (eared seals), and Phocidae (earless seals). The earless seals are what’s known as ‘true’ seals, but the eared seals category includes both sea lions and fur seals.

So what you should really remember is that the lack of ears is the way to tell true seals from sea lions (and fur seals). Not quite as memorable, is it?!

cape fur seals

I think it’s a shame they aren’t called ‘fur sea lions’ instead of ‘fur seals’: these Cape Fur Seals look like furry versions of their sea lion cousins, and nothing like seals! Either way though, they are cuuuuute…

cape fur seals

cape fur seals

cape fur seals

Now there is a bit of a sad side to this story, and it’s the fault of stupid humans. When you look closely at these lovely seals, you start to notice something a bit strange. Many of them have deep cuts on their shoulders:

cape fur seals

These poor seals swim through plastic bands, fishing line, and other litter, and can’t free themselves. As the seal grows, the noose grows tighter and cuts into the seal, and can eventually kill it. I’m sure you don’t drop litter, but if you’re ever tempted to, and think it doesn’t really matter, look at these pictures and know that it does.

cape fur seals

The poor seal above has a pile of litter and fish bones stuck to its noose. And when I zoomed in on the happy pile of seals from the start of this post, look what I found: the tiniest baby already has a noose around its neck! I try to post only happy things here, but I can’t gloss over this – it’s a truly horrific situation.

cape fur seals

Thankfully, the local Aquarium is trying to help: they send divers out under the docks, to sneak up on the seals while they sunbathe and try to cut off the nooses, and have built a seal platform to help them contain injured seals while they break off the nooses with a long hook. But of course the only solution would be for everyone to stop littering in the first place.

Still, to end on a positive note, these fur seals do look happy, from what I can see, even the scarred ones. They live in the wild, and can sunbathe and swim and snooze all day…

cape fur seals

cape fur seals

cape fur seals

It’s not such a bad life!


crocheted sea lion and seal pup patterns by planetjune
In case these pics have inspired you to crochet a seal(ion) of your own, my AquaAmi Sea Lion or Fuzzy Seal patterns might fit the bill 🙂

Comments (4)

beaded poinsettia

This is my 6th year of crafting a poinsettia every year, to mark the holidays – it’s my little personal crafty tradition. I try to come up with a different technique every year, and I like to share it with you in case you’d like to make one too, or to whet your appetite for a craft you may not be familiar with and may like to investigate further.

tsumami kanzashi poinsettia by planetjunecrocheted poinsettia by planetjune
polymer clay poinsettia by planetjunepunchneedle poinsettia by planetjune
polymer clay poinsettia by planetjunepunchneedle poinsettia by planetjune

Top (L-R): 2006 kanzashi poinsettia; 2007 crocheted poinsettia 
Middle (L-R) 2008 polymer clay poinsettia; 2009 punchneedle poinsettia
Bottom (L-R) 2010 felt poinsettia; 2011 …?

The 2011 PlanetJune Poinsettia is a 3D beaded design. I used beading wire, seed beads, and the Victorian beading technique to create a 7cm (just under 3″) diameter poinsettia.

Victorian beaded poinsettia by planetjune

Once you’ve mastered the simple Victorian beading technique, it’d be easy to change the look to create different flowers by using different colours of beads, and by altering the number of beads on each row to create differently-shaped petals and leaves.

As an aside, I think this will be my last poinsettia tutorial – I had a few hours of beading fun, and then it took me the best part of 2 days to photograph, write and edit the tutorial (definitely work, not fun, and it took far more time than I had to spare). So, while I hope I’ll be able to continue to create and share my annual holiday poinsettias, I’ll take the pressure off myself by just crafting them for fun in future 🙂

Anyway, I hope you like my 2011 poinsettia design and that you’ll enjoy my final poinsettia tutorial!

Go to the Beaded Poinsettia tutorial >>

Comments (5)

December update

Keep reading for the details of the 2011 Christmas CAL and contest!

How can it be December already?! This is the start of my first southern-hemisphere summer, so it’s very hard to believe it’s December – it’s certainly a big change from Canada! This whole year has been a real struggle for me – moving abroad, months of illness, building a new life in a new country, and growing a business – I’ve had too much on my plate for a long time.

So I’ve decided to pause, and to spend this month catching up with work and life-related tasks that have been stacking up, and winding down so that I can have a proper break at Christmas and relax instead of worrying about all the hundreds of emails I have to answer and everything else that I’ve been setting aside for “when I have time” (i.e. never). Then I’ll be ready to start 2012 fresh, with new goals and a new plan.

Review and Win contest

November’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Kim D, with her Reindeer Antlers review:

PlanetJune Accessories Reindeer Antlers crochet pattern

I searched for THE PERFECT antler and yours are by far, the best out there! The directions are very clear and easy to understand. Having the tutorial pictures is an ENORMOUS bonus and have helped when my brain just got stuck! I was initially intimidated to try making them, but because your directions are so easy to follow, I am currently working on my third set!! Thank you so much for creating the pattern and having it available for purchase in cyberspace!

Congrats Kim (and thanks for the great feedback!) – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize 🙂

To be entered into this month’s draw for a free pattern of your choice, just write a review of any product in my shop – thank you!

* * *

Christmas CAL and contest

December means it’s time for another Christmas Crochet-Along! This year I’m running everything through the PlanetJune Ravelry group – it’s much more fun as you can chat with other crocheters throughout the month, make friends, ask questions, and actually be part of a group. But I’ll still be doing Christmas CAL prizes like last year, so there’s a little extra incentive to join in 😉

This crochet-along runs December 1-24 and you can join in by making any of the PlanetJune Christmas-themed crochet patterns:

PlanetJune Christmas crochet patterns
PlanetJune Christmas crochet patterns
PlanetJune Christmas crochet patterns
Gift Boxes, Reindeer Antlers,
Christmas Trees, Christmas Baubles,
Poinsettia, PocketAmi Christmas,
Christmas Pudding, Candy Cane

The winners will be drawn randomly from all entries (one entry per pattern you crochet), and there’ll be a runner-up prize for all participants – my Christmas present to you!

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.

Please join us! You’ll find the Christmas CAL 2011 thread in the PlanetJune Ravelry group – I hope to see you there!

Comments (3)

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