PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for November, 2014

Balancing business and health

One of the biggest challenges of a one-person business is there’s nobody else who can keep things going when you can’t. Taking a couple of sick days here and there isn’t a problem, but managing chronic health conditions is a challenge I haven’t found a solution for. I’ve battled to keep going through serious eczema breakouts, 8 months of knee pain, and now 2 months of viral bronchitis.

For the past few months, I’ve been working on a huge project: my first amigurumi ebook, featuring a collection of 6 brand new patterns. My goal was to complete the project by the end of October, in plenty of time for people to make the patterns as gifts for Christmas, but I’ve had to keep moving the deadline as the virus persisted and I just couldn’t get myself back up to speed.

And yesterday was the last straw: my garden sanctuary was invaded again by burglars (there’s nothing of value in my garden, so they hopped over to next door and stole their copper water pipes, leaving their garden full of gushing water). I feel violated and it’s brought all those post-burglary fears back. I’m at the absolute end of my energy reserve: I’m still sick, my knee is in constant pain, and now this…

I have no more strength left to draw on to push through this latest obstacle. There’s just no way I can complete my ebook at the moment to a standard I’d be happy with, and it’s become obvious that I’m not going to get over this virus unless I set my work completely aside and focus on me. I need to retreat from everything and get myself properly healthy – this endless struggle is just too much.

So I’ve decided I have to put PlanetJune on minimum operations for the rest of the year. Luckily, I’ve got my business to the point where it almost runs itself – my daily administration is very minimal now I’ve streamlined the shop to make ordering and downloading automatic and easy for everyone, and my FAQs and crochet help pages have the answer to almost every question you may have. If you need further assistance, our community in the PlanetJune Ravelry group is always ready to provide friendly help. And I’ll still be around, if there’s anything you need from me personally – I’m not abandoning you!

In the new year, I’ll return as a (hopefully) much happier and healthier June, ready to dazzle you with my new pattern collection! And, in the meantime, it’s time to let PlanetJune run itself as much as possible, while I rest and read and knit and breathe, and let my body and mind heal. I really need this. Thanks for understanding.

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how to: Brushed Amigurumi

I’ve discussed the technique of brushing crochet several times before: I experimented with different yarns; I showed you how to convert my Fuzzy Friends patterns to brushed patterns; I told you about different brush options; and I’ve included more specific details of how to brush crochet within each of my patterns that uses the technique.

There’s lots of great information there, but having it all scattered around over several pages isn’t ideal, so I’ve combined the salient points from all my previous brushed crochet posts into a comprehensive tutorial: a guide to Brushed Amigurumi.

how to: brushed amigurumi by planetjune

You can now also find this tutorial in my Master List of crochet tutorials – your one-stop shop for help if you have any amigurumi questions! – and I hope you find it useful if you’re new to brushed crochet, or have questions about the technique.

PS – If you write your own crochet patterns and would like to link to this info in your pattern, please feel free. As with all my tutorials, you’ll find the easy-to-type shortlink – in this case, www.planetjune.com/brush – at the top of the tutorial page, for your linking convenience. 🙂

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November update

I’m a little giddy with anticipation right now, as I’ve almost reached the end of a design process that’s been eluding me for a very a long time. My upcoming collection of animal designs has taken several years and over a dozen prototypes to reach the point where I’m truly satisfied with the shape and construction, and I’m hoping to have the resulting patterns complete and ready to reveal in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to show them to you!

In the meantime, here’s the latest PlanetJune news:

Christmas CAL

Now November is here, it’s time to begin my annual Christmas CAL. We’re doing things a bit differently this year: not only will the CAL include all the classic PlanetJune Christmas patterns pictured below – perfect for your seasonal decorating – but you can also enter with any PlanetJune design that you’re making as a Christmas present. We’ll cheer you along between now and Christmas as you crochet your handmade gifts – fun!

PlanetJune Christmas CAL 2014
You’ll find the links to all my Christmas crochet patterns here

If you’re planning to make any PlanetJune designs as Christmas decorations or gifts, please join us in the PlanetJune ravelry group and share what you’re making…

Crochet Tools Hiatus

I’ve reluctantly decided I have to temporarily close the Crochet Tools section of my shop (where I sell Detail Stuffing Tools, Stitch Markers, Amigurumi Essentials Kits, and free bookmarks) until the new year.

The postal strike in South Africa is still ongoing, and I can’t hazard a guess as to how long your order will take to reach you – the post office workers only shrug when I ask, and I’ve just discovered there are packages I shipped in September that haven’t yet reached their destination. This obviously isn’t acceptable, and I anticipate the delays will only get worse as the strike lengthens and as we approach the busy Christmas season, when delivery times are always longer than usual.

As I have no other way to ship small packets at reasonable cost to you, I see no alternative but to suspend shipping until the strike is resolved, the backlog is cleared, and the Christmas rush is over. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this causes. If you’d like to be notified when PlanetJune crochet tools are available to ship again, please sign up for the one-off notification email.

Fall CAL Report

My ever-popular Pumpkin was the most popular entry in the Fall CAL, with lots of giant and multi-coloured varieties popping up as well as the classic orange. Here’s a sampling of the CAL entries (click the pic to see them all on Ravelry):

PlanetJune Fall CAL 2014 - sample of entries

Review and Win contest

You’re automatically entered in the next monthly draw every time you write a review for a PlanetJune pattern you’ve enjoyed – and you’ll also be helping future customers make an informed decision about patterns they are considering buying.

Primroses crochet pattern by PlanetJune

October’s winner is Becky G‘s review of my colourful Primroses:

I decided to crochet the entire four plant pot and it looks so pretty. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure it out but the directions are easy to follow and looks life like when finished I would definitely recommend this pattern. I love it!

Congratulations, Becky – I’ve emailed you to find out which pattern you’d like as your prize! And thanks to everyone who takes a minute to leave a review in my shop for a pattern they’ve enjoyed – I (and other would-be customers) appreciate every one…

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  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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