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Pika crochet pattern

Pika pika! No, it’s not a Pokemon, but an adorable real-life animal…

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

Have you ever heard of a pika before today? Pikas are super-cute and special little creatures – let me tell you a bit about them so you can judge for yourself:

Pika Fun Facts

  • It may look a little like a giant hamster, but the pika is the smallest member of the rabbit family (lagomorphs) that also includes rabbits and hares.
  • Pikas are about 6-8″ (15-20cm) long, and live in rocky alpine areas in the west of North America and in Central Asia.
  • They are nicknamed conies, rock rabbits, boulder bunnies, or whistling hares (for their high-pitched alarm calls).
  • Pikas do not hibernate, so they need to stockpile food for the winter. Every summer, each pika collects and dries out a huge haystack made from grasses and plant stems. The haystack is many times larger than the pika, but it transports the whole thing into its den before the winter comes, a mouthful at a time.
  • Their name should apparently be pronounced PYE-ka, but I’ve heard it said both ways in wildlife documentaries, and PEE-ka is so much cuter, so I’m going with that pronunciation!

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

As pikas are related to rabbits, I realised I could design an expansion pack for the Baby Bunnies pattern, so you can turn it into an adorable Pika without having to buy another complete pattern!

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune

Pika crochet pattern by PlanetJune

What is an Expansion Pack?

Expansion Packs by PlanetJune

  • An Expansion Pack is an add-on to an existing PlanetJune pattern.
  • The Expansion Pack lets you modify or add to the original pattern to create something else.
  • You cannot use the Expansion Pack alone – you must also purchase the original pattern in order to be able to complete the pictured items in the Expansion Pack pattern.

Purchase Options

Okay, you have several bundle options here, so I’ll go through them all for you:

Pika crochet pattern (Baby Bunnies Expansion Pack) by PlanetJune - purchase options

  1. If you already have Baby Bunnies, you can buy the Pika Expansion Pack for only $3 individually from the shop.
  2. If you haven’t yet bought Baby Bunnies, you can buy the multipack of Baby Bunnies & Pika, and save 50c on the pair!
  3. Or, you can buy the triple pack of Baby Bunnies 1, Baby Bunnies 2 & Pika, and save $1.50 on the individual prices!

Has that confused you? Don’t worry! Check out all these options, together with their prices, right here 🙂

Launch Discount

Now, if you’ve already bought Baby Bunnies (or Baby Bunnies 1 & 2), you won’t be able to save that 50c (or $1.50). But, for 7 days only, add the Pika Expansion Pack pattern to your shopping cart, together with anything else (totalling $5 or more), then use the code PIKAPIKA at checkout and you’ll still get your discount! (Valid until next Friday: 20th March 2020.)

Note: If you don’t need anything else right now, this also applies to Gift Certificate purchases, so you can pick up a $5 gift certificate now, get your discount, and have $5 in your PlanetJune account ready for your next purchase, or to send to a crocheting friend!


If you’re not ready to make your Pika just yet, don’t forget to heart and queue it on Ravelry so you don’t forget about it:

Pika: 

Baby Bunnies:

Baby Bunnies 2:

What do you think? Don’t you need to add a cute little pika or two to your life?!

Comments (5)

fixing a dog sweater with crochet

Today is the 3-week anniversary of adopting my adorable dog Maggie, and I’m more sure than ever that we made the right decision! I’m so happy I found such a special little lamb – she’s so small and sweet, and she loves me so much. And she’s such a clever girl – our training is progressing well, and she’s learning new things practically every day!

We’ve been visiting all the local pet stores to look for small toys and training treats and other essentials:

maggie dog

Now, it’s pretty cold in Canada and Maggie doesn’t have a lot of fur, so getting a sweater immediately was crucial. I bought her this cute little argyle sweater in her favourite colours – pink and grey – and doesn’t she look adorable in it?!

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

But, less than a week after buying it, it looked more like this:

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

Not only was it coming apart at the seams, but the knitting was actually unravelling at the exposed edges:

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

This is the first and last time I buy a dog sweater – now I know how a dog sweater works and have this well-fitting example to take measurements from, I’ll be able to crochet or knit all her sweaters in future (yay!)

But, I wasn’t about to let this cute sweater go to waste quite so soon. I found a perfect pink baby yarn in my stash (I knew I’d find a use for it one day!), grabbed a crochet hook, and got to work.

I passed the yarn end through all the loose knitted loops I could see, to prevent further runs, and then single crocheted over the last couple of knitted rows to bind all the loose ends in place. I added a ch 1 between each sc to add a little stretch to my new edging, which makes the edging look very slightly ruffled, but it worked like a charm:

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

In a few minutes, the sweater was saved! The new leg edgings don’t show much in use, but occasionally you can see a flash of pink crochet, and it looks pretty stylish, and not obviously like a repair.

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

The yarn colour matches incredibly well, and, most importantly, Maggie is happy to have her sweater back so she can stay cosy while we’re exploring the neighbourhood!

fixing an unravelling dog sweater with crochet

This just goes to show how most mass-market clothes pale in comparison to the care and quality of handmade. I doubt I’ll be knitting argyle sweaters for Maggie, but I’m sure she’ll be equally happy with single-coloured handmade sweaters in future, don’t you think? 🙂

Comments (14)

free pattern: Crocheted Wreath Base

Use this stuffed crocheted ring as a base for a crocheted wreath, candle ring, or other round decoration (e.g. a centrepiece). You can make the ring in any size depending on the desired size of your decorative piece, and choose yarn colours to match your decor and the theme of the components you’ll be covering it with.

crocheted wreath base crochet pattern by planetjune

Yes, this is the base pattern I used to make my Christmas Decor Collection wreath and candle ring!

The basic online version of the pattern is available free for you to view online. As I like to reward people who chose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of this pattern also includes special bonus content:

  • Tips on choosing yarn colours for your wreath base
  • The exact recipes and layout diagrams for my Christmas wreath and candle ring, if you’d like to copy mine exactly!

As always though, the basic 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.

Have fun with this pattern throughout the year – it’s not just for Christmas if you make it in a different colour and adorn it with different crocheted pieces!

Please don’t forget to share photos of the wreaths/centrepieces you make with this pattern, and tag me @planetjune so I’ll get to enjoy them too 🙂

Go to the Crocheted Wreath Base pattern >>

Comments (1)

Christmas Decor Collection crochet patterns

I can’t believe there are only 2 weeks left until Christmas! So now’s the perfect time to crochet up some fast and beautiful realistic ornaments and decorations, or go all out with a fabulous seasonal wreath – and my new collection has you covered, whichever you prefer…

Christmas Decor Collection crochet patterns by June Gilbank (made into a seasonal wreath)

I hope you’re as excited by this as I am?! It’s my new Christmas Decor crochet pattern collection!

Christmas Decor Sets 1-4 crochet patterns by June Gilbank

This collection includes four new seasonal pattern sets (although I’d advise you to consider picking up the complete collection!) Each Christmas Decor set includes one leafy nature pattern and one decorative pattern. The nature patterns are all realistic life-sized designs, worked in as few pieces as possible to minimise finishing. The coordinating decorative patterns will finish your arrangements with pops of fun and stylish seasonal colour.

You’ll get so much value from these patterns – each one can be used in multiple ways and you’ll be using them in your holiday decor for years to come!

  • Use individual components as Christmas tree ornaments, a pin/brooch/accessory, place settings, a personal touch on a wrapped gift, etc.
  • The components from each of the 4 pattern sets can be mixed-and-matched to assemble into a garland/swag, wreath, candle ring, etc.

Now, let’s take a look at each of the designs…

Set 1

Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Holly Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Candles

Holly: You can use this pattern to make a single holly leaf, or a triple leaf cluster (all worked continuously, as a single piece). The finishing touch is the cluster of red berries, which are, again, all worked as a single piece

Candles: This candle design includes two widths so you can make a narrow taper candle or a chunky pillar candle. Both patterns include instructions for adapting the height.

Set 2

Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Mistletoe Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Mini Baubles

Mistletoe: You can use this pattern to make a small four-leaf sprig of mistletoe, or a multi-leaf bunch (all worked continuously, as a single piece). The finishing touch is the cluster of white berries, which are, again, all worked as a single piece.

Mini Baubles: A trio of tiny baubles (small, smaller and smallest!) – make them in any colour to match your decor. You can use these mini baubles individually, or use the included instructions to assemble them in groups as a cluster or hanging ornament.

Set 3

Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Ivy Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Bow

Ivy: You can use this pattern to make a single realistic ivy leaf, or a strand of ivy (all worked continuously, as a single piece). You can hang your ivy strands horizontally or vertically, or lay them out flat. Making two strands in two shades of green and twining them together looks even more realistic.

Bow: A beautifully-shaped realistic ribbon bow. It’s made from only 3 pieces and you’ll love the clever assembly process!

Set 4

Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Poinsettia Christmas Decor Set 1 crochet pattern by June Gilbank: Bells

Poinsettia: This pattern includes instructions for making a double-layer poinsettia in red or cream, or adding a third layer in dark green (each layer is worked continuously, as a single piece, to minimise assembly).

Bells: A beautifully-shaped bell with an innovative design that’s all worked in one piece – including a tiny crocheted clapper! A pair of bells makes a beautiful ornament.

About the Patterns

  • All techniques used include tips, step-by-step photos, and/or links to my online tutorials.
  • All the flat pieces include charted stitch diagrams in addition to full written instructions, so you can follow the patterns in the way you find easiest.
  • Mix and match the pieces to make your own unique decorations!

Christmas Decor Collection crochet patterns by June Gilbank (several elements made into a candle ring)

If you’d like to make a wreath or candle ring like mine, I’ll also be releasing the pattern and instructions for the crocheted bases for my wreath/ring as a free/donationware pattern next week!

(You can buy a base if you don’t want to crochet one, but if you’d like to, why don’t you get a head start on your wreath/ring by crocheting some of the decor pieces now – you can use my photos as a guide for what to crochet or mix-and-match your own favourite pieces from the Christmas Decor Collection!)

Links & Launch Discount

Ready to get started? You can pick up each set individually from my shop:

But you’ll probably want to take advantage of the special price on the entire collection:

And for this week only, you can take an extra $1 off the collection and get crocheting right away: add the Christmas Decor Collection to your shopping cart, and enter the discount code HOLIDAYS at checkout! (Offer ends Sunday 15 December, 2019.)

I hope you’ll enjoy these seasonal decorations as much as I’ve enjoyed designing them for you! Happy Holidays 🙂

Comments (5)

Customize a Crocheted Accessory Pattern

How to modify the size of an accessory crochet pattern, choose an alternate yarn, and find the right hook for your yarn.

Many accessory patterns – especially shawls, scarves and wraps – are easy to modify: you can use a different weight of yarn and/or make it in a different size. By choosing yarn in a colour and weight you like, you can make a unique accessory from a pattern!

In this post I’ll walk you through the easiest ways to customize a pattern, with examples of the differences you can achieve.


How to Customize a Pattern

Change the Colour

Don’t let yourself be put off from trying a pattern if the sample isn’t in a colour you like – the simplest way to make your accessory unique is to crochet it in your favourite colour (or your recipient’s favourite, if it’s a gift).

Personalizing with colour gives you an original look without modifying the pattern at all, and there are no wrong choices!

shawl comparison: Sweetheart Lace Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune in two different colourways

Look how different – but equally lovely – my Sweetheart Lace Shawl looks in two different colourways.

Resize the Pattern

If you want to make the piece a different size (for example a narrow scarf instead of a rectangular shawl, or a bandanna instead of a triangular shawl), you’ll need to increase or decrease the number of repeats in the pattern so you end up with a larger or smaller piece.

The exact way to do this depends on the shape of the pattern and the way it’s worked. (All PlanetJune Accessories patterns include instructions for how to modify the pattern to make the pattern larger or smaller.)

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

The full-size Cozy Mesh shawl (above) uses the same pattern as the kerchief-style mini shawl (below) – the larger shawl just has more rows!

Cozy Mesh Triangular Shawl, a PlanetJune Accessories crochet pattern by June Gilbank

Substitute a Different Yarn

The thickness, composition and texture of your yarn, together with your crocheting style and tension, will all affect the end result of your piece.

When you’re making an accessory, if you want to use a different weight of yarn, all you need to do is choose a suitable hook for the yarn you’re using, and then modify the pattern so you end up with the correct size.

  • If you choose a finer yarn with a smaller hook, you’ll need more repeats and more rows to reach the same finished size.
  • If you choose a heavier yarn with a larger hook, you’ll need fewer repeats and fewer rows to reach the same finished size.

shawl comparison: Half Hexagon Shawl crochet pattern by PlanetJune in two different yarn weights

These two shawls are both made from my Half Hexagon Shawl pattern. The shawl on the left uses a thicker yarn and larger hook than the shawl on the right, so it needs fewer pattern repeats to end up with the same size shawl.

Change Yarn Weight and Resize

You can make an accessory look even more different by changing both the yarn weight and the finished size of the piece.

shawl comparison: Diamond Lace Wrap crochet pattern by PlanetJune in two different yarn weights and different finished dimensions

Both these wraps are made from my Diamond Lace Wrap pattern. By changing the yarn weight and the finished size, they have a completely different look even though they use the same stitch pattern! The wrap on the right uses fine yarn and a small hook to give a more delicate look, even though this shawl-sized wrap is much larger overall than the scarf-sized wrap on the left with its bolder stitches.


Swatch to Find Your Hook Size

Swatching to Match Gauge

For almost any crochet pattern apart from amigurumi, the pattern will usually include gauge information: the number of stitches and rows you should have per inch, if you want your piece to end up the same size as the pattern sample.

If you use the same yarn weight as the pattern suggests, and you make a swatch (a sample square using the same stitch as the pattern), you can measure it and compare it with the gauge size given in the pattern.

  • If your gauge is smaller (more stitches per inch), then redo the swatch with a larger hook until your gauge matches that in the pattern.
  • If your gauge is larger (fewer stitches per inch), then redo the swatch with a smaller hook until your gauge matches that in the pattern.

If you don’t match the gauge given in the pattern, your finished piece won’t match the dimensions listed in the pattern.

Is Swatching Necessary?

Yes and no…

  • Are you unconcerned about meeting the designer’s gauge?
  • Are you using a completely different yarn weight?
  • Are you adapting the pattern to give you a different size anyway?

In any of those cases, making a gauge swatch to make sure you match the designer’s gauge isn’t something you need to do.

But, there’s still a very good reason to do at least a bit of swatching, even if you’re making a scarf or shawl where you don’t care if it’s a couple of inches larger or smaller than it’s ‘supposed’ to be…

Test Your Yarn/Hook Combination

With an accessory pattern, the exact size of the finished piece generally isn’t as important as the look and feel. You don’t want to end up with a stiff heavy blanket if you were hoping for a soft, airy shawl!

So, although you may not care about swatching for gauge, it’s still a good idea to swatch to make sure you’ve chosen the right hook size for your project.

Tip: The ‘right’ hook size depends on the exact yarn you’re using, how tightly you crochet, and your personal preference. There’s no right or wrong answer here – if you’re happy, you’ve made the right choice!

No matter which yarn you’re using, I do recommend you try out just a few rows of the pattern and see if it feels too stiff and firm. If so, try going up a hook size or two, and keep experimenting until you find a yarn/hook combination that gives you a nice-feeling fabric, then unravel everything and start again using the hook you liked best.

shawl comparison: Diamond Flowers Scarf Wrap crochet pattern by PlanetJune swatches using different hook sizes
Jamie from my Ravelry group worked up three quick samples of my Diamond Flowers Scarf/Wrap in the same yarn with 3 different hook sizes (I, J, K). You can see how much difference going up or down a hook size can make!

But what is a ‘nice-feeling’ fabric? Here’s how I decide…

3 Rules to Find the ‘Right’ Hook Size

How do you know if you’re happy with your yarn/hook combination?

Here are my rules of thumb that I use to help me choose the perfect hook for a project:

  1. First, I usually go by feel – I wiggle and smush (yes, those are my technical terms!) the swatch to try to see if it’s at all stiff, or soft and drapey. Generally, you’ll want your shawl or scarf to drape cosily against your body, so try to avoid a hook that produces a stiff fabric.
  2. Next, from any options that are large enough to feel nice, I look closely at the stitches to see if the looser ones look messy, and I pick the best option (no stiffness, but stitches are small enough to look neat and tidy). Note: Your stitches will all even up a bit if you choose to block your piece after crocheting, but they should still look reasonably neat at this stage!
  3. Finally, if I can’t choose, the third factor is that you can make a larger piece in less time with a larger hook, so if two hook sizes both feel good, and the stitches look good in close-up, that may be the deciding factor!

It’s not so much about the yarn as it is about the combination of yarn and hook. If your projects turn out too stiff, that means you’re using a hook that’s too small for the yarn you’re using. Everyone crochets differently, so it may be that you crochet very tightly, and always need to use a larger hook to compensate.

It’s worth putting in that bit of extra work before you start, so you don’t end up wasting hours making something you’re not happy with!


Crocheted scarves, shawls and wraps make a lovely holiday gift – and they’re even more special if you personalise them by using your giftee’s favourite colours.

I hope this post has inspired you to consider using your own creativity to customize your next crocheted accessory project with the size and colour you’d prefer!


PlanetJune Accessories crochet patterns - new covers

All the examples in this post were taken from my PlanetJune Accessories pattern collection. Take a look now and see if your next crochet project is waiting for you there – or mix-and-match your own Custom Set of any 3 PlanetJune Accessories patterns for a special price. 🙂

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    June Gilbank

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