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Reindeer / Caribou crochet pattern

Just in time for the holiday season, and in honour of the PlanetJune Reindeer Games, allow me to present my latest design: the Reindeer/Caribou!

Reindeer Caribou crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I’ve had a realistic reindeer on my list of ideas for the past few years, but, with the PlanetJune Reindeer Games CAL in full swing, this seemed like the perfect time to bring my idea to life. There are dozens of cartoony reindeer amigurumi patterns out there, but I’ve never seen one that actually looks like a real-life caribou!

Reindeer/Caribou Fun Facts

  • Reindeer/Caribou are found in cold Northern climates around the world: Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia.
  • Why two names? Although they are the same species, they are called Caribou in Canada and Alaska and Reindeer in Europe.
  • In winter, their soft hoof pads retract to keep their feet warm and expose the sharp hoof rims, which let them dig through the snow to find their favourite food: reindeer lichen!
  • They are the only deer species where the females have antlers as well as the males.
  • And an extra fun fact for Christmas: Male reindeer shed their antlers before Christmas, while females don’t shed theirs until spring… That means, as all Santa’s reindeer have antlers, they must all be female! 😀

About the Pattern

I’ve tried to capture the essence of the Caribou in this pattern – long body, short legs, wide hooves, tiny tail, shoulder hump, colouring, and, of course, the spectacular antlers (more on those in a bit!)

Reindeer Caribou crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I’ve included two versions in this pattern – as well as a realistic Caribou, with just a couple of modifications (larger eyes and a red nose), you can make your very own adorable Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

Reindeer Caribou crochet pattern by PlanetJune

The most exciting part of this pattern has to be the antlers – each antler is all crocheted together, with no sewing involved! They are a little fiddly because they’re so thin, but I’ve explained it all step-by-step in the pattern, so take it slowly and you’ll end up with stunning realistically-shaped reindeer antlers.

Note: I do recommend you check out my Narrow Pointed Tubes tutorial (also linked in the pattern) if you’re not used to making narrow tubes or turning them right-side out – if you watch my video, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you make the branches of the antlers!

Reindeer Caribou crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Buy Now

Ready to get started? Pick up my Reindeer/Caribou crochet pattern  from my shop right now. Or, if you’re not ready to make it just yet, add it to your Ravelry queue or favourites so you don’t forget about it:

Reindeer Caribou crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I really hope you’ll enjoy this pattern, whether you want to make Rudolph as a Christmas gift for a special someone, a realistic Caribou, or some amigurumi Reindeer as holiday décor!

And, if you’re a Ravelry user, I do hope you’ll join us for the PlanetJune Reindeer Games – this crochet-along runs until the end of the year, and I’m hoping we’ll see enough amigurumi reindeer to have a full team to pull Santa’s sleigh this year. 🙂

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Join the Reindeer Games crochet-along!

Team PlanetJune had such a blast with the Ravellenic Games last summer, we decided that our Christmas crochet-along this year will be a Team PlanetJune special event!

PlanetJune Reindeer Games 2021

The first annual PlanetJune Reindeer Games begins on Monday November 1st, and I hope you’ll join us 🙂

Crochet anything PlanetJune as part of the PlanetJune Reindeer Games 2021 (Monday, Nov 1 – Friday, Dec 31). This is a Team PlanetJune event, hosted in the PlanetJune Ravelry group, with a similar concept to the Ravellenic Games: the idea is to challenge yourself by starting and finishing crochet project(s) before the end of the year.

It’s just for fun, like a CAL but you get to choose your projects – anything PlanetJune, including projects from my books – and earn virtual awards! During the Games, we all cheer each other on to complete our chosen projects. Our team captains will award you with your Reindeer Village medals and Antlers as you complete your project(s).

Santa and all 9 reindeer have set up their stalls in the Reindeer Games Village – have a virtual wander around and choose which you’ll visit first:

PlanetJune Reindeer Games Village awards

  • Santa’s Toy Shop – toys
  • Rudolph’s Gingerbread House – home/décor
  • Dasher’s Scarf Stand – scarves
  • Dancer’s Winter Wear – hats and mitts
  • Prancer’s WIPs Wrapping – any project started before the Games
  • Vixen’s Shawl Stall – shawls and wraps
  • Comet’s Closet – sweaters and other garments
  • Cupid’s Cowl Corner – cowls and neckwarmers
  • Donner’s Blanket Bazaar – blankets and afghans
  • Blitzen’s Bag Bonanza – bags and purses

You’ll receive the medal for the stall you ‘visited’ once you’ve finish your project! And you can also receive bonus Antler awards for your projects:

PlanetJune Reindeer Games Antler awards

  • Santa’s Helper – showing team spirit
  • Angel – charity project
  • Carolling – crochet in public
  • Cookie Decorator – colourwork
  • Deck the Halls – embellishments
  • Heirloom – using a PJ pattern you’ve owned for more than 3 months
  • Ice Sculptor – techniques: cables, lace or Tunisian
  • Snowman – modifying the base pattern
  • Master Wrapper – complete 3 WIP projects
  • Super Elf – complete any 3 projects
  • Bah! Humbug! – complete a project on Christmas Eve
  • Fireworks – complete a project on New Year’s Eve
  • Have a Cookie – a special antler for those of us who try our best but don’t quite get to the finish line

Whether you’re crocheting your favourite PlanetJune patterns as Christmas gifts, items to sell at craft fairs or online, toys for charity, or projects for yourself, we’re ready to encourage you to complete your goals and to celebrate your successes with you!

And, even if you think you may not have time to complete a project, you’re very welcome to join the team for the community spirit and friendly chat. There’s something about PlanetJune that attracts the kindest and most supportive people, and, if you enjoy PlanetJune patterns, you’re already part of our community – do come over and say hello!

Team PlanetJune in the Rav Games 2021

To give you an idea of what to expect, in the Ravellenic Games last summer, Team PlanetJune completed 54 projects, and enjoyed 56 pages of chat! Here’s a roundup of all the wonderful PlanetJune projects that we completed in just 2 weeks:

Ravellenic Games 2021 - Team PlanetJune crochet projectsRavellenic Games 2021 - Team PlanetJune crochet projectsRavellenic Games 2021 - Team PlanetJune crochet projects

Isn’t it lovely to see the variety of projects and be inspired by what other people are making? I expect the project mix will look somewhat different for the Reindeer Games, with more Christmas decorations and warm accessories – but who knows! You’ll have to join in to find out…

Join us for the Reindeer Games!

PlanetJune Reindeer Games 2021

While the Ravellenic Games is a fast-paced sprint, the Reindeer Games is more of a gentle stroll together towards the holidays. The rules are relaxed, the timeline is extended, and having fun and supporting each other is the main goal.

If that sounds good to you, please hop over to the PlanetJune group on Ravelry, and leave a message saying “I’m in!” in the Reindeer Games thread. We look forward to welcoming you into our virtual Reindeer Games Village. 🙂

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Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns

I’ve revamped my incredibly popular Turtle Beach blanket design into two new patterns, showcasing two different designs and two different colour schemes that you can mix and match: cool and calm true blues or tropical teals, in the classic colourblock design or my new ombré version.

Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns (Classic Blue and Teal Ombre versions) by PlanetJune
Left: Classic Blue Turtle Beach blanket; Right: Teal Ombré Turtle Beach blanket

The more I look at them, the more undecided I am about which Turtle Beach blanket I like best – how about you?

Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns (Classic Blue and Teal Ombre versions) by PlanetJune

Here’s the Classic Blue Version:

Turtle Beach blanket crochet pattern (Classic Blue version) by PlanetJune

And the Teal Ombré Version:

Turtle Beach blanket crochet pattern (Teal Ombre version) by PlanetJune

Just look at that rippling wave effect!

The good news is you don’t have to choose; you can make either colour scheme in either style, or one of each! And, as well as selling the patterns separately, I’ve bundled them into a Turtle Beach Blanket multipack, including both the Classic Blue and Teal Ombré blanket patterns.

About the Patterns

I’ve packed these patterns full of information – each one includes complete row by row crochet instructions for the 8 most common classic afghan sizes, ranging from a small baby blanket through to a king size afghan. For each afghan size, the yardage for each colour is also provided, so you’ll be able to order all your yarn at once and know you have enough.

Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns (Classic Blue and Teal Ombre versions) by PlanetJune

Blanket/Afghan sizes included:

  • Baby (approx 24×32″, 60x80cm)
  • Lapghan/crib (approx 36×48″, 90x120cm)
  • Toddler (approx 40×48″, 100x120cm)
  • Throw (approx 48×60″, 120x150cm)
  • Twin (approx 60×85″, 150x215cm)
  • Full/double (approx 74×85″, 190x215cm)
  • Queen (approx 80×90″, 200x230cm)
  • King (approx 96×90″, 245x230cm)

Choosing Yarns

For this pattern I’ve used light worsted weight yarns (medium #4 weight), specifically Red Heart Soft and Bernat Satin. You don’t need to use exactly the same yarn as me – the most important factors are to find colours that you like and that work well together, and that are readily available to you!

As worsted weight yarns can vary considerably in thickness and sheen, I also recommend that you try to choose yarns that are similar to each other if you can’t find all the shades you need within one brand and line of yarn. See my worsted weight yarn comparison for examples and my recommendations for which yarns can be mixed and matched.


The Turtle Beach Collection

With the release of these patterns, I’ve also taken the opportunity to revamp all my other related patterns into a full Turtle Beach Crochet Pattern Collection. You can mix and match patterns within the collection to make your own custom blanket:

  • Mix and match colour schemes and stripe patterns with the Classic Blue and Teal Ombré blankets.
  • Add custom details (an edging and puffy 3D seafoam effect) with the Ribbed Ripple/Turtle Beach donationware blanket pattern.
  • Add any combination of the original 3D stuffed baby sea turtles, the new flat appliqué turtles, and puffy or flat starfish.

Turtle Beach Collection crochet patterns by PlanetJune
Left: Classic Blue blanket; stuffed 3D turtles
Right: Teal Ombre blanket; flat appliqué turtles

Turtle Beach Collection crochet patterns by PlanetJune
Clockwise from top left: 3D seafoam, puffy starfish, flat starfish, squared-off edging

Turtle Beach Collection Deals!

You can explore the details of all the patterns in the Turtle Beach Collection here, but here’s a rundown of just the new deals:

  • I’ve bundled both new blanket patterns into a Turtle Beach Blanket multipack, including both the Classic Blue and Teal Ombre blanket patterns.
    Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns (Classic Blue and Teal Ombre versions) by PlanetJune
  • Baby Sea Turtle Collection now includes a full bonus pattern for a Swimming Turtle to stitch to your blanket. (If you’ve already bought this pattern, you can download it again from your PlanetJune account and you’ll automatically get the latest version.)
    Swimming Turtle - part of the Baby Sea Turtle Collection crochet pattern by PlanetJune
  • You can also now buy a multipack of all 8 baby sea turtle patterns (turtle, hatching turtle, swimming turtle, turtle egg, with all four options in both 3D and flat versions).
    Baby Sea Turtle Collection & Appliques - 8 crochet patterns by PlanetJune
  • And, if you already donated more than the average amount of $3.50 for the original Ribbed Ripple/Turtle Beach blanket pattern, and you’d like to buy the new blanket pattern(s), I can issue you with a credit for the additional amount you paid (over $3.50), to put towards the new Classic Blue version. ETA: For the rest of October 2021 only, even if you donated under $3.50, I’ll still send you a discount code!To get your discount, just email me with the following details:
    1. The order number for your original donation (you can find this in your PlanetJune account or your confirmation email)
    2. Which option you’d like to apply your credit to:
      • Turtle Beach Blanket (Classic Blue Version)
      • Turtle Beach Blanket multipack (includes both the Classic Blue and Teal Ombre blanket patterns)

    I’ll send you a discount code, or, if you’ve already ordered the new patterns, let me know and I’ll send you a gift certificate for you to use later!


Phew! That was a lot of info to get through! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing all the options in this post, and that you’ll have fun choosing your favourite options from the Turtle Beach Collection. Once you’ve selected your blanket size, colourway and stripe pattern, flat and/or stuffed turtles, and any of the other optional extras, you’ll be able to mix-and-match to make a gorgeous one-of-a-kind blanket.

Turtle Beach blanket crochet patterns (Classic Blue and Teal Ombre versions) by PlanetJune

I’d love to see your finished blankets (or anything else you’ve made from my patterns) – please do share photos with me! I’m @PlanetJune everywhere (on ravelry and social media) or you can email me – I always love to hear from you 🙂

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worsted weight yarn comparison: huge update!

I published my original worsted weight yarn comparison almost a decade ago, as a way to show that, even though two yarns are both labelled as 100% acrylic and worsted weight, they may be too different (in terms of thickness, softness and/or shininess) to mix within the same project and get a good result.

Since then I’ve had many requests for an update including more common and modern yarns, so we could all use it as a lookup table to find suitable matches. With more local craft stores closing and the trend towards online shopping, it’s becoming more difficult to just go into a shop and compare yarns directly, so I decided to go for it and create a useful resource for all of us!

I asked my Ravelry group members to send me samples of worsted weight acrylics from their stashes, and they really came through for me – I had dozens of different yarns to compare! A huge thanks goes to ravelers SilentSilence, MagicalAmigurumi, JEMCCreations, somelady42 and abjCrochet for their help with this project. 🙂

worsted weight yarn samples

I sorted and labelled all the samples, then I realised I had a daunting task ahead of me: trying to figure out how to categorize and catalogue these samples in a way that would a) be useful and b) let me add to the results in future…

Can We Just Calculate the Thickness?

With my wide range of samples, I was hoping to discover a trend that we could use to determine yarn similarities in future without having to compare specific yarns side by side. I hoped to come up with some numbers so you could just look up the details of a yarn online and then do the calculation to figure out for yourself whether it should be a lighter or heavier worsted weight yarn.

Using the weight and yardage info from the ball band of each yarn, I calculated the weight per metre of each of my yarn samples in the hope that this would give an indication of the thickness of the yarn. While this may work for broader differences between yarn weights (e.g. a fingering weight yarn would definitely weigh less per metre than a bulky weight yarn!), within the worsted weight category I found absolutely no correlation between the nominal length per gram according to the ball band and the actual thickness of the yarns.

So no, we definitely can’t use the information on the ball band as a way to compare different worsted weight acrylic yarns.

My Testing Methods

I had an idea that winding bobbins with the yarns may be a good way to compare yarns without crocheting a sample with each, so I tested my theory by carefully winding bobbins with leftover yarn from the exact same balls I crocheted my original samples from, way back in 2012! (Luckily I never throw anything away…)

And here are the results! First, the original samples:

worsted weight acrylic yarns

And secondly, the bobbins:

worsted weight acrylic yarns

Each of my bobbins is wound in exactly the same way, with the same number of wraps. I’ve arranged my yarn bobbins in the same colour order as the size order from my crocheted samples, and you can see that there are clear height differences in the yarn wound onto the bobbins that correspond to the size difference I found in the crocheted samples. So this seems like a good indicator of yarn weight.

But that’s not the only factor; the best chance of getting a good match between yarns seems to be by visual and tactile comparison, so I’ve looked at, touched and compared samples of each yarn side by side to assess their thickness, sheen and texture.

Categories

As with my original comparison, I’ve split the yarns by two measures:

Weight: I’ve named my categories the same as before:

  • light worsted weight
  • worsted weight
  • heavy worsted weight

Appearance and Texture: In my original comparison, I called these sheen, slight sheen and no sheen. I’ve clarified the category headings now:

  • soft and shiny
  • slightly soft/shiny
  • sturdy and matte

Here’s an example from each of the categories (I’ve chosen samples that vary in both weight and appearance/texture):

worsted weight acrylic yarns - differences

Left: light worsted weight; soft and shiny
Middle: worsted weight; slightly soft/shiny
Right: heavy worsted weight; sturdy and matte

Hopefully you can see the differences! Between the left and right samples there’s a huge difference in both thickness and appearance, and the middle sample lies somewhere between the two in both measures.

So, I’ve ended up with 9 different categories: for each of the three weights, there are three appearance/texture options.

Results

With over 40 samples wound, labelled and categorized, I’m finally ready to share the results with you!

worsted weight acrylic yarns

I’ve published the results in a table here: Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison. The blog isn’t the best format to display them in, so, I’ve also compiled them into a 3×3 table in a downloadable PDF file, with weight across the top and appearance/texture down the side. This is a free download that you can grab from my shop for no charge 🙂

Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison - a free 2 page PDF file by PlanetJune

I’ll keep both versions updated as and when I receive new yarns to include. (And, if you have a worsted weight acrylic yarn you’d like me to add to the list, please scroll to the ‘What’s Missing’ section at the bottom of the Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison webpage for details of how you can send me a sample!)

I hope you find this resource useful! And don’t forget to download the PDF version from my shop now – no charge, no catch – it’s my gift to you 🙂

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