PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for October, 2017

Christmas Cactus crochet pattern

I have a gorgeous new addition to my Potted Plants range for you – a Christmas Cactus!

Christmas Cactus crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Christmas Cactus is a popular houseplant also known as Zygocactus, Schlumbergera, and Thanksgiving Cactus. It has flat, segmented stems that resemble leaves, and beautiful bright flowers.

Christmas Cactus crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Christmas (or Thanksgiving) cacti are so named because they usually flower from November to February, but the crocheted variety can stay in bloom all year round! Choose pink, red, white, yellow, orange, or purple yarn for the flowers and buds.

A crocheted Christmas cactus would be perfect as a Thanksgiving or Christmas decoration or gift, or just to brighten the coming winter months…

Christmas Cactus crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My pattern includes detailed instructions so you can replicate my plant and pot exactly, or choose the number and length of stems and the number and arrangement of buds and flowers to make your own customized cactus!

Links to Buy & Launch Discount

Although I always offer discounts for shopping directly from PlanetJune, as it’s my birthday today, I’m offering an additional 10% discount until the end of October. Just enter code BIRTHDAY at checkout by Tuesday, 31st October 2017, and the extra discount will be applied.

Buy the Christmas Cactus pattern here in my shop. Or, if you’re not ready to buy just yet, please heart or queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it:

I hope you’ll enjoy making this lovely plant for yourself, or as a stunning no-maintenance gift that’s sure to be appreciated for its never-ending blooms πŸ™‚

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Goat to Yarn to Goat

From Angora Goat to Mohair Yarn to Amigurumi Goat…

Angora Goat to Mohair Yarn to Amigurumi Goat, by PlanetJune

…this is an an 8-year-long yarn story!


Our story begins in 2009, in Ontario, Canada…

Wellington Fibres angora goats

I visited Wellington Fibres, a small farm that raises Angora goats.

(In case you didn’t know, Angora bunnies produce angora fibre, and Angora goats produce mohair fibre – there’s no such thing as a ‘Mohair Goat’!)

Wellington Fibres angora goats

I enjoyed seeing all the adorable little newborn kids, and toured the mill that processes the mohair fibre into yarn.

Wellington Fibres angora goats

And I left with a skein of unwashed mohair-blend yarn, to make my own amigurumi goat.


Later that year, I washed and dried my yarn…

washing mohair yarn

…and then life happened. I moved halfway around the world, then my commissions list got so backed up that it was years before my Goat design made its way to the top of the list!


Fast forward to 2017 – my Goat commission was happening at last, so it was finally time to use my mohair yarn to make a goat from its own fibre!

I wound my precious yarn, and it looked much too fine, so I doubled it and wound it again. Ooh, it looked so good:

wound mohair yarn

But when I started to crochet, I discovered that the doubled yarn was far too thick – I wanted this goat to be a little kid, not the largest goat in my collection!

I couldn’t think of a clever way to separate the doubled yarn, so I had to unwind it a metre at a time, crochet from one strand, and hand-wind the other strand into a ball.

It was slow going, but it worked, and eventually, I ended up with my little natural-fibre goat:

kid goat from Farmyard Goats crochet pattern by PlanetJune

So now I finally have the goat I dreamed of, 8 years ago and half a world away πŸ™‚


Epilogue: I’ve since discovered the dreaded clothes moths in my house – disaster! My poor little goat and all my other natural fibre amigurumi are having a little vacation in a ziplock bag in the freezer at the moment, in case they’ve been contaminated – it’d be terrible if this story ended in a moth-eaten goat!


If you’d like to make an amigurumi animal from its own fibre (or from any yarn – they always look great in acrylic too, and at least aren’t at risk of moths that way!) do check out my collection of Natural Fibre Amigurumi Patterns πŸ™‚

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all change… again!

I have some huge news to share: I’m going back home to Canada in 6 weeks!

Our South African adventure has given me some amazing experiences and a new viewpoint on the world, but I can’t wait to get back to the welcome safety of my beautiful adopted homeland. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada – I’ll be home soon πŸ™‚

Once Maui, Dave and I arrive back in Waterloo, we’ll be vacationing for a while, and then Dave will be working remotely and I’ll keep PlanetJune ticking over until I have a new office/studio organised and my computer and photographic equipment arrives by sea.

Working out how to manage a massive round-the-world move while keeping PlanetJune running smoothly has been a mammoth task – my business is three times larger than it was the last time I attempted an international move, so I have a lot more to manage! I’ve been doubling up on work all year in preparation for this time, so I’ll still have new patterns ready to release during the months I’m living out of a suitcase and can’t create new designs.

Repatriation is also proving to be a more difficult task than I’d anticipated. For example, I was able to exchange my Ontario driver’s license for a South African one fairly easily, but I now discover that Ontario won’t let me exchange it back again, so I’m going to have to take a new driving test (both theory and road) as soon as I arrive back. Let’s just hope I’m not so jet-lagged that I forget to drive on the right side of the road during the test..!

Everything feels very overwhelming at the moment, and I’m sure I’ll discover plenty more hurdles ahead in the coming months, but I’m full of hope and excitement for 2018 and beyond.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going – please wish me luck!

Comments (16)

teal ribbed sweater

This is sweater #10 of my ‘learn to knit by making a dozen self-designed sweaters’ project. (Here are links to #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 #8 and #9, if you’d like to see my progress.)

teal ribbed sweater

After the success of my most complex design yet, I thought I’d try something a bit simpler, and test out the quality of my notes from an earlier design that I’ve got a lot of use from: my green ribbed cardigan (#5).

I decided to make a pullover version, with just a couple of modifications: I added a couple of inches more length (the green one was slightly shorter than I’d have liked as I was working with the constraint of only having 4 balls of yarn!), adding a little more ease so the extra length wouldn’t be too tight over my hips, and modifying the positions of the rib stripes so the side seams would continue the stitch pattern flawlessly.

Other than that, and making a pullover with a single front instead of two half-fronts for the cardigan, I followed my previous notes exactly. I used the same yarn in a different shade and assumed my gauge would be the same (it was!) instead of swatching again.

teal ribbed sweater

To make the neckband, I again followed the style of my cardigan’s neckband. I overlapped the neckband at the point of the V instead of trying to make a mitred corner in pattern. Although it’s a little bulkier this way, it looks neat, and I stitched down the excess fabric on the inside so it doesn’t get in the way.

teal ribbed sweater

It’s good to know I can follow my own notes if I want to remake any of these sweaters, and it was refreshing to work from a pattern (of sorts) and not have to make design decisions and size calculations at every step.

But now I only need 2 more sweaters to complete this project (wow – I’m so close now!) so no more laziness; for the next sweater it’s time to tackle the one big design element I’ve never even tried to date: cables…

Comments (4)

  • 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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