PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for December, 2012

Accessory-Along CAL roundup

Time for the final CAL roundup of the year! The Accessory-Along was started in October, but we decided to extend it until now, so CALers could make lots of Christmas presents. I designed 2 new donationware patterns for this CAL: the Frosty Windows Scarf and Chunky Moebius Cowl – you’ll see lots of both of those below!

For details of the next CAL, which starts tomorrow, keep reading to the end of this post. And now to the roundup of beautiful projects made from my PlanetJune Accessories patterns:

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Christmas CAL 2012 roundup

Happy Christmas! Let’s celebrate with a look at the results of the 2012 PlanetJune Christmas Crochet-Along. Thank you to everyone who joined in; as always it’s so much fun to see what you’ve made. My contribution to this CAL was a thread crocheted poinsettia:

thread crochet poinsettia by planetjune

And now get ready to have your day brightened with an explosion of colourful Christmas crochet:

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Dino-Mania CAL roundup

This extended 6-week CAL theme was Dino-Mania including my 9 original dinosaur patterns and the 9 new expansion pack patterns:

18 amigurumi dinosaur crochet patterns by planetjune

Those are my 18 dinos; now take a look at the Dino-Mania CAL roundup – it’s an explosion of colour! I hope you’ll love seeing all these dinosaurs together as much as I do…

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thread crochet poinsettia

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that I have a tradition of crafting a new poinsettia every year, to mark the holidays. Here’s the collection to date:

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

Although you can’t tell from these individual photos (and I don’t have them all to hand to take a group shot), there’s one sore thumb in my poinsettia group: the crocheted poinsettia. It wasn’t until after I’d made it that I decided to start this collection, so it doesn’t match in colour or size. All the others are 2-3″ diameter; the crocheted version much larger, at about 6″ across!

I decided to rectify that this year, and scale down my crocheted Poinsettia pattern by using thread and a small hook instead of the worsted weight yarn specified in the original pattern. I like #8 perle cotton because it’s available in many colours, so easy to find appropriate shades, but it’s too fine for me to crochet with – I get hand pain when I try to crochet with very fine yarns and tiny hooks. This time I determined to be sensible – it’s so important to listen to your body and stop when it hurts, before you reach the point of doing real damage…

And here’s the result: the 2012 PlanetJune Poinsettia is a thread crochet poinsettia. If you’d like to make one too, just follow the Small Poinsettia instructions in my pattern and use crochet thread and a small hook.

thread crochet poinsettia by planetjune

For this poinsettia, I used 2 strands of #8 perle cotton held together, and a B (2.25mm) hook, which gave me the perfect sized poinsettia (2.75″) to fit in with the rest of my collection. I limited myself to a maximum of 2 leaves per day, with only minimal discomfort as a result. And now I’ve proved I can do thread crochet again, provided I keep it to just a few minutes at a time 🙂

There’s still time to make your own small poinsettia before Christmas: with only 12 leaves instead of 18, it’s much faster than the standard large version, and it still looks good. You can find all my Poinsettia designs as PDFs in my shop, or use the links above for the free online versions.

And that makes 7 poinsettias! I wonder which craft I’ll try for next year’s design…

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free pattern: Chunky Moebius Cowl

Dear Readers, this is my Christmas present to you: a super-fast free crochet pattern that might just be the solution to all the last-minute gifts still remaining on your list! Just look at all the variety you can create using this one simple pattern:

PlanetJune Accessories Chunky Moebius Cowl crochet pattern

Based on a Möbius strip, the Chunky Moebius Cowl is worked in one continuous spiral from the centre outwards – an ingenious construction that makes it very fast and simple to crochet once you’ve made and joined the foundation row.

Although I didn’t have anyone else available to model for my photos, this pattern is most definitely suitable for men too (in a suitably non-fluffy yarn; see the green version below for an example) – the stitch pattern has a simple but bold texture and the cowl is easily customized to fit any size – men, women, or children.

PlanetJune Accessories Chunky Moebius Cowl crochet pattern

My top 3 reasons to love this unisex pattern:

  1. Quick and easy: With simple stitches and no turning or seaming, this pattern is amazingly fast to work up using a large crochet hook and bulky yarn. I can make one in under half an hour, so I’m pretty sure even the slowest crocheter can whip one up in couple of hours or less!
  2. Infinitely versatile: I’m calling this pattern a cowl, but I could just as easily have called it a neckwarmer, infinity scarf, headband, earwarmer… The pattern is easy to customize to any length and width.
  3. Stashbusting: One cowl only takes one skein of yarn or less, so it’s a perfect way to use a single skein of bulky yarn or to use up some of that novelty or textured yarn you have lurking about! Or, hold 2 strands of a finer yarn together to make your own custom colour-blend (as I did in my red/purple version below).

PlanetJune Accessories Chunky Moebius Cowl crochet pattern
Looks good in any yarn! L-R: fluffy #6 super-bulky yarn; normal plied #5 bulky yarn; 2 strands of #3 light (DK) yarn held together; soft textured #5 bulky yarn.

I hope you’ll enjoy this pattern!

Go to Chunky Moebius Cowl pattern >>

Crochet-Along with us…

If you’d like to make one (or more – it’s pretty addictive once you’ve made one and seen how easily it comes together!) please join the PlanetJune Accessories Crochet-Along and show us what you make, by posting to the Accessory-Along CAL thread in the PlanetJune Ravelry group.

The CAL runs until the end of the month, so perfect timing for those mad-dash-to-the-finish gifts you may or may not need to make – and if, for some reason, this cowl doesn’t grab you, you might like one of my other donationware scarf patterns that are also pretty fast to work up (although nothing beats this cowl for speed!):

frosty windows scarf crochet pattern by planetjune scalloped scarf crochet pattern by planetjune
Frosty Windows Scarf and Scalloped Scarf

Comments (2)

December update

Christmas CAL and Contest

I can’t believe it’s that time again already! I hope you’ll take part in this year’s PlanetJune Christmas CAL; it’s turned into an annual tradition. I now have 9 seasonal patterns to choose from (several of which are free/donationware), there’ll be prizes for all participants, and you can browse through the lovely roundup post on Christmas Day when you’re stuffed full of food and feeling too lazy to do anything else!

You’ll find all these patterns in the Holiday & Seasonal category in my shop.

  • 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.

Whip up some of the popular new pine cones – or any other of my seasonal designs – snap a quick photo, and join in by posting it to the Christmas CAL 2012 thread in my Ravelry group – I hope we’ll see you there!

Review and Win contest

November’s ‘Review and Win’ winner is Diane G, with her review of my Farmyard Pigs:

Farmyard Pigs amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If you are wondering if you’ll be able to do this, you can. I’ve been crocheting for less than a week, and he turned out amazing.
The directions are simple, straight forward, and for someone very new to crocheting, I had no questions at all.

What I really like about him is how closely he resembles an actual farm pig. Most of the crochet patterns you find are for a more cartoon-y look. Personally, I prefer realistic.

The price is great and I’m looking forward to trying alternate colors on him next. I think he’d make a great gift for any pig lover!

Congrats Diane – I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize 🙂

Other News

My crochet video tutorials are on hold until next year, as my hands are currently in no state to be filmed in HD (or at all) after my recent eczema fiacso. I was also hoping to take most of December off, as I did last year (to rest and rejuvenate, and plan for the coming year), but I lost a lot of November to illness so I need to keep going just a little bit longer so I can get one last quick-to-crochet pattern to you in time for your last-minute Christmas gift-making. I can feel myself slowing down though – my batteries are going to need some serious recharging after this last push!


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    June Gilbank

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