There’s been lots of customization fun with the entries in the Donationware CAL this month – take a look at the roundup below to see all the entries (and don’t forget to keep reading to the end for the October CAL details…)
I’ve now been running my commissions model for 18 months. Thanks to your pledges, I’ve designed 10 lovely new animal patterns so far:
…and everything’s going swimmingly! Or, it would be, if I hadn’t unexpectedly been offered a crochet book deal I couldn’t refuse, a couple of months ago…
My process, whether for writing a new book or developing a new design, is always thorough and meticulous. Everything I do goes through research, planning, testing, refining and editing until I’m satisfied that it’s exactly the way I want it to be, and the best end product I can create. That’s just how I work – it’s time-intensive, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. And while, in an ideal world, I’d take a year or longer to write my book in leisure while continuing PlanetJune business as usual, the reality is that the book has to be completed before the end of 2013.
I can’t not put my best effort into this book (just as I can’t not put my best effort into anything else I do), so I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend the commissions process until January 2014. If you’re paying for a commissioned design, you want 100% June effort going into that design, not whatever dregs of energy I can muster in rare moments when I’m not concentrating on the book! And dregs are all I could offer for the remainder of this year. I’m not willing to do that, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want me to either…
All existing commissioned designs will remain in the waiting list until January. (Nobody has paid for anything they haven’t received, so I’m not breaking any promises – I just hope you’ll be okay with waiting a little longer for your designs to be completed.)
If you’re unhappy and want to cancel any pledges, just let me know and I’ll do it – no questions asked!
When I start back to work in the new year, I’ll email all pledgers to check they’re still happy with their pledges before I start sending any invoices.
I’m sorry if this disappoints you (I’m disappointed too), but, unless I figure out a way to clone myself, we’ll all just have to accept that there aren’t enough June hours to go around, and things will take longer than we’d like. Thanks for your understanding…
I am looking forward to picking up the commissions again next year, though – next in line is another African animal (meerkat!) followed by the camel (I’ve already bought real camel yarn for that one), so there’s lots to anticipate for 2014!
I’m working hard on my new book, and, although I can’t really show you anything at this stage, I can say that it’s going very well so far:
My trusty spiral-bound notebook (and my new virtual equivalent, Evernote) are full of my crochet knowledge and tips, ready to be shared with you next year!
I’ve added to my photography and lighting setup and I’ve created the ultimate crochet tutorial photo studio, so you can expect excellent quality photos in this book (and it’ll make editing photos much easier for me in future too).
I have a box of beautiful yarn (sneak peek of some of it to the right) waiting for me to crochet it into lovely things. I’ve already crocheted 14 skeins from it into secret projects…
It’s very exciting to see things starting to take shape after all the preparation and planning I’ve done over the past couple of months, but there’s still a long way to go. I’ll be spending all my time for the rest of the year writing, designing, crocheting, photographing – okay, that’s not much different from my usual work, but as I’m not working for myself, I don’t have the luxury of setting my own schedule.
Unlike my self-published work, book deadlines aren’t arbitrary and can’t be pushed back; I’m one cog in a machine that includes editors, designers, indexers, printers and more, and they’ll need time to work their magic after I’ve finished my part in the process. So, for me, everything else will be taking a back seat from now until I complete my author review in December and hand this baby off so the publishing magic can begin…
Review and Win contest
For the first time in the 3.5 years I’ve been running my monthly free pattern contest, there were no reviews left in my shop last month, so that means there’s no winner in the August ‘Review and Win’ contest. That’s good news for you though, because I’ll roll the prize over to this month, so I’ll be drawing 2 winners (of a free pattern of your choice) from the reviews left in the PlanetJune shop in September!
To be entered, just go to the page of the item you wish to review in my shop, click the Reviews tab and click write a review. If you’ve enjoyed any PlanetJune patterns and haven’t yet reviewed them in my shop, this would be a good time to do so… 😉
And now it’s time to play catch-up; I didn’t have time for a monthly update post last month, so I’m drawing the July ‘Review and Win’ winner today. And the winner is… Sarah M, with her review of my AmiDogs Chihuahua pattern:
What a great pattern! This was my first time doing color changes in an amigurumi pattern. Following June’s pattern directions and her online tutorials regarding color changes, it was so easy! Plus, it looks great. The directions on the pattern were very clear and easy to follow. I have made a handful of amigurumi animals before, but I would not consider myself an expert. I felt very confident following this pattern. The finished product looks just like the pictures! I particularly appreciate the detail regarding how to place the legs, tail, head, muzzle, and eyes. With that many pieces, it was nice to not have to debate how and where to attach everything. I also used June’s invisible join method for a superior looking finished dog. Can’t say enough about it!
Thanks, Sarah, and congrats! I’ll email you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize 🙂
The CAL is already in full swing! I think the fact that these patterns are all fast and easy means we’re going to see lots of entries this month, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all. Please join us by making any of these patterns (including my brand new Twisted Chain Bangle):
It’s time for a new Donationware addition to my PlanetJune Accessories range of crochet patterns! I’m very happy to present the Twisted Chain Bangle:
Transform a metal or plastic bangle from cheap fashion jewellery to a stylish and unique accessory. The twisted design looks intricate but it’s a deceptively simple technique, so you can whip up an armful of bangles in next to no time. Crochet chunky bangles for a quick casual look or as perfect gifts for girls, or use finer bangles and crochet thread to make jewellery elegant enough for any occasion.
This pattern is seriously addictive – it’s such a simple concept, but you can really mix it up by choosing different sizes of hooks and yarn or crochet thread, and even different-sized bangles to start with. I couldn’t stop trying different hook and yarn sizes to see what the results would be – and they all turned out pretty!
My 3 smaller bangles are made with the new KnitPicks Curio crochet thread – it comes in a wide range of colours and I chose 3 beautifully subtle shades that look understated and elegant. Then I decided to get a bit more summery and made 2 chunkier bangles for the summer days I hope will come soon to the Southern hemisphere! These are made with Patons Grace in fresh aqua and lime shades.
I have small wrists, so those are about as chunky as I’m willing to go for bangles for myself, but you could use thicker yarn and/or a larger bangle to make a real statement piece, and the bonus there is that as your hook and yarn get larger, your bangles become much faster to crochet! My delicate dark purple bangle took a while to complete, but the aqua and lime ones only took minutes to crochet…
As I like to reward people who chose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of this pattern includes some bonuses: additional tips and advice, even more helpful photos, and specific options for all the variations you see in my sample bangles! As always, the pattern is free for you to use, and you need only donate if you’d like to thank me for my time in creating it, or if you’d like the easy-to-print PDF version.
I hope you enjoy my Twisted Chain Bangle pattern – have fun with it!