PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Archive for September, 2018

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern

Autumn has always been my favourite season, and it’s long been a goal of mine to design leaf patterns to celebrate the changing season and beautiful colours of fall. It’s taken forever to get the shape and internal structure right, but I’m so delighted with the result of my first autumn leaf designs – here’s the glorious Maple Leaf Collection!

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My new Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern includes realistically shaped and sized leaves in two styles, Large (red leaf, below left) and Small (golden leaf, below right):

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Small leaf is fast and sweet and easy to complete:

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The Large leaf takes slightly longer to make but it has more clearly defined structure and angles (and it looks just like the leaf from the Canadian flag!):

Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

For both leaf styles, I developed techniques to give the perfect shape and structure while using only combinations of the most basic crochet stitches. The Maple Leaf Collection pattern includes:

  • General instructions with photos to help you understand the construction of the leaves
  • One easy-to-print single page (per leaf style) including all the written instructions and the complete stitch diagram
  • Separate appendices for right- and left-handers (including row-by-row photos and stitch diagrams for each leaf, and step-by-step photos for the special combination stitches used)
  • Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

    For me, maple leaves are the epitome of the changing seasons, and you can make them in any shade of red, orange, yellow, brown or green. The more different shades you make, the more realistic your leaves will look. A single leaf takes under 10 yards of yarn, so you can raid your stash and use up those scraps!

    These leaves are totally addictive – once you’ve got up to speed, you’ll be able to whip up a perfectly-shaped maple leaf in minutes.

    Use a single crocheted maple leaf as an appliqué on a hat or sweater, glue it onto a greetings card, add a pin back and make a maple leaf brooch. Crochet lots of leaves in a variety of colours and scatter them on your mantelpiece or Thanskgiving table, or group them together into a beautiful fall garland or wreath.

    And they’re just so realistic!

    Maple Leaf Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune

    Can’t wait to get started? I don’t blame you! Click here to pick up the pattern right now 🙂

    Or, if you’re not ready to get started just yet, add the Maple Leaf Collection to your Ravelry queue or favourites so you don’t forget about it:

    a selection of Fall-themed PlanetJune crochet patterns

    And I hope you’ll be joining us in the PlanetJune Ravelry group for our Fall CAL?

    The new maple leaves will be the perfect addition to my pine cones, pumpkins, acorns, mushrooms and other Fall bounty crochet patterns, don’t you think?

    I can’t wait to see the warm colours of autumn reflected in our decorative crochet this season, so please add your photos to our CAL gallery – especially your maple leaves!

Comments (4)

Extreme Crochet: Giant Rug

I’ve been enjoying my extreme amigurumi experiments (more to come on that subject later…) but I thought, for completeness, I should also try using my massive 25mm (1 inch) crochet hook in the way it was intended!

Chunky Elegance Rug Trio crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My Chunky Elegance Rug Trio pattern was designed to be crocheted with an N US/10mm hook and two strands of bulky yarn (#5) or a single strand of super bulky (#6). How would it fare on a super-sized scale?

I decided to try to make the small rug from my pattern (above, left) – the size of the original is only 20″ (50cm) in diameter.

Experiment 1: Jumbo Yarn

extreme crochet experiments

Jumbo (#7) is the recommended yarn size for a hook this large. The term “jumbo yarn” currently covers anything heavier than a super bulky, and some recommend a much smaller 19mm hook instead of my 25mm. I only had one ball of Bernat Blanket Big yarn, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a complete rug from it, but it’d be enough of a sample to do some calculations and see how a rug made from jumbo yarn would look…

I didn’t get too far; 300g of my jumbo yarn only works out as 32 yards (29m), and that’s not much when one double crochet stitch is 4″ tall! I’d completed Rnd 2 and got halfway through Rnd 3 when my yarn ran out, but this gave me plenty of data.

extreme crochet experiments

The partial rug was soft, thick and squishy – I think it’d make a lovely rug (although I suspect the chenille-style yarn would flatten down like a plush carpet does with time and use).

extreme crochet experiments

Based on my sample, completing the small rug from the trio would need 13 balls of yarn, and the finished rug would be 66″ (1.7m) diameter.

(The large rug from the same pattern would take around 40 balls of yarn and would be twice that size!)

Experiment 2: Three Strands of Super Bulky Yarn

From my Extreme Whale experiments, I know that 6 strands of the super bulky (#6) Bernat Blanket yarn is roughly equivalent to a single strand of Bernat Blanket Big. I tested my hook with fewer strands and discovered that 3 strands of super bulky looks pretty good with my giant hook.

extreme crochet experiments

For this experiment, I tried to find 3 cakes of Bernat Blanket Stripes that all started in the same position in the colourway, so I could hold all three cakes together at once and they’d all change colour at about the same time.

I modified the first round by replacing half the double crochet stitches with chains, as cramming all those dcs into a ring with such huge yarn made a bit of a bump in the middle, and then I followed the pattern as written from Rnd 2.

extreme crochet experiments

My stitches were nicely defined, and one double crochet stitch measured about 2.5″ tall – still pretty huge!

Then, after a few rounds, I could see that I had a major problem: as my yarn is much finer – compared with the hook – than intended for this pattern, my rug was starting to ruffle instead of lying flat. Disaster!

Usually, you’d fix a problem like this by switching to a smaller crochet hook, but my next largest hook was less than half the size, plus the whole point was to use my extreme hook, so I had to try something else. By pinching up the excess fabric until the rug would lie flat, I saw that I could fix the problem by restarting my rug with only 6 repeats instead of 8. Doing this does change the look of the pattern slightly, but that’s infinitely better than a rug that won’t lie flat…

extreme crochet rug

It took just under 4 balls of yarn (1132g) to complete the ‘small’ rug like this, which works out as a total of 830yds (760m) of yarn, held tripled.

And the finished size is 48″ (122cm) in diameter – almost 2.5 times the size of the original small rug!

extreme crochet rug

I was a bit worried that, with the variegated yarn, the colours might all pool together in clumps, but they seem to have spaced themselves out quite nicely around the rug.

It’s large enough to use as a throw over the back of my futon (and I think it looks quite good like this!)

extreme crochet rug

I calculated how much more yarn I’d need to continue with the pattern and make the large size rug: a total of 13 cakes of yarn (300g each), and the finished rug would weigh 3.8kg (8lbs) and measure 8ft (2.4m) in diameter!

extreme crochet rug

On balance, I think I’ll stick with my ‘small’ rug – it’s big enough for me 😉

I really enjoyed making this project! It works up so quickly when you use a big hook and yarn, and that’s very satisfying. Making a 4-foot rug with only 11 rounds of crochet is amazingly quick.

Wrangling the three balls of yarn was the hardest part. If you want to try extreme crochet with multiple strands of yarn, I think the key is to have plenty of space to set all your yarn out, so it doesn’t tangle, and pulling the yarn end from the centre of each ball (so they don’t roll around as you crochet). Or (probably a better idea): use the right size of yarn for your hook to begin with, so you don’t have to hold multiple strands together!

Comments (2)

BotaniCAL roundup

The BotaniCAL crochet-along ran from May throughout the summer, and we’ve ended up with so many gorgeous crocheted potted plants, and a few lovely flowers and fruit etc too! My cactus and succulent patterns were by far the most popular options – I’m happy to say that the succulent trend is showing no sign of fading. 🙂


All the entries are highlight-worthy, but I thought I’d share the impressive achievements of some of the most prolific CALers:

PlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entries
Monica (MagicalAmigurumi) made all 26 of my individual cacti and succulents – wow! (I bet making the pots got a bit boring by the end…) I hope they’re selling well for you, Monica 🙂

PlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entries
Dagrider made a massive succulent planter including all 16 succulents! Don’t they look so realistic, all together like that?

PlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entriesPlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entries

Alicia (aaBrink, left) and Susanna (sujavo, right) both made fabulous succulent wreaths. I love how they took the same concept and ended up with completely different (and equally lovely!) results, by choosing different colour palettes and arrangements for their succulents.

PlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entries
And Judy (jukatca) made all 6 cactus and succulent gardens. ‘Planted’ in real pots and sitting on her windowsill, don’t they look great?

PlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entriesPlanetJune BotaniCAL crochetalong entries

And last but not least (except in size), Michelle (MichelleBogart) loves to make miniature amigurumi with a tiny hook and crochet thread – just look at her mini Pansies and African Violets (with a spool of sewing thread for scale)! Now that’s impressive.

Enjoy the BotaniCAL Gallery

I’ve really enjoyed watching all the plants popping up in this CAL and seeing the creativity in terms of colours, arrangements, scale, etc – there’s obviously a lot you can do with a crocheted pot plant pattern!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated – you can enjoy the full BotaniCAL gallery of projects here on Ravelry 🙂

BotaniCAL participants, it’s not too late to add your missing projects:

  1. Make a Ravelry project for your item
  2. Mark it as finished
  3. Add a photo
  4. Add the CAL tag PJCALMay18

(see the CAL FAQ for instructions on how to do those things)

…and your project will automatically appear in the BotaniCAL gallery!

Pick up a Plant Pattern

The CAL may be over, but you can crochet your own PlanetJune potted plants whenever you want! Here are a few links:

Join Us!

If this looks like fun, the next PlanetJune CAL will be starting shortly and we’d love to welcome you as a participant! PlanetJune crochet-alongs are a low stress way to try PlanetJune patterns as part of our friendly encouraging online community. There are usually small and/or free pattern options if you’re short on time or money, and we’ll offer you any help and encouragement you need, no matter your crochet skill level!

Join us in the PlanetJune Ravelry group and look out for the next CAL announcement there, coming soon 🙂

Comments (3)

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