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Archive for Crochet

free pattern: Fuzzy Hedgehog

Ready for some cuteness? Fuzzy Hedgehog is a simple and adorable pattern that makes the most of a novelty textured yarn such as eyelash or fur! From realistic shades to bright and colourful options, there are no wrong choices to make – any novelty yarn looks good as hedgehog spines.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

With just two pieces to stitch together, you’ll be able to whip up the sweetest little hedgehog buddy in no time, sized to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. The ears are crocheted as you go, so all you need to do is stitch the head to the body and you’re done.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Please don’t be scared of eyelash-type yarn – with a simple pattern like this, it’s fine if you skip or add a stitch here or there! Using your start-of-round stitch marker means you can add a quick increase or decrease to get back to the right number of stitches at the end of each round, so no harm done – nobody will ever know! And the effect is absolutely perfect for hedgehog spines.

Fuzzy Hedgehog crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As I like to reward people who choose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of the Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern also includes additional instructional photos and my bonus ‘About Fuzzy Patterns’ PDF, which compiles all my tips on working with fuzzy yarns. As always, the pattern is free for you to use online, 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 with the bonuses.

Go to the free Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern >>

Or jump straight to donate:

Order the Fuzzy Hedgehog pattern >>

Not ready to make one yet? Add this pattern to your Ravelry queue:


Join Team PlanetJune for the Ravellenic Games!

If you’re new to the Ravellenic Games, the idea is to challenge yourself by starting and finishing project(s) during the timeframe of a certain summer 2021 global sports event (July 23 – August 8). It’s just for fun, like a CAL but you get to choose your own projects, and you’ll be awarded virtual medals for projects you complete. Join Team PlanetJune and you can crochet anything PlanetJune during this timeframe – including a Fuzzy Hedgehog for the ‘Toy Toss’ event – and your teammates will cheer you on as you race to the finish!

Ravellenic Games 2021 - Team PlanetJune

For more info on how this all works, see the Team PlanetJune FAQ, or ask in the Team PJ thread on ravelry – my amazing co-Captains and I are standing by and waiting to help.

Please join us in the PlanetJune group on Ravelry and post to the Team PlanetJune thread to register as part of the team! The games begin on Friday (but latecomers are welcome too). I hope to see you there – it’ll be fun for us to all crochet together this summer 🙂

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Badger crochet pattern

Don’t miss the launch discount, at the end of this post!

That’s right, it’s taken a while but I have a new pattern for you! It’s a Badger crochet pattern and I’m so happy to have finally brought this idea in my head to life! Badgers have such a distinctive shape with their stocky grey bodies, black and white striped faces, tiny ears, and cute upturned noses…

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Looking back through my notes, I first started planning this design in March 2014… that’s over 7 years ago! So if I haven’t made your favourite animal yet, don’t think that means it’ll never get made – sometimes it just takes a while for the inspiration and available time to coincide…

Badger Fun Facts

  • Badgers are members of the weasel family, Mustelidae.
  • The variety of badger I’ve made for my pattern is the European badger, arguably the best-known and most beloved badger. You’ll find lots of European badgers as characters in classic children’s books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Wind in the Willows – and of course, as the Hufflepuff emblem in the Harry Potter books!
  • Other types of badger around the world include the American badger, the honey badger from Africa, and various Asian badgers. They all look somewhat similar, but aren’t very closely related.
  • Badgers are masters of digging. They dig for food and live in family groups underground in burrows called setts.
  • They are largely nocturnal and eat a variety of food including worms, fruit and eggs. European Badgers can eat hundreds of earthworms per night!

About the Pattern

As always, the pattern includes full instructions and detailed step-by-step photographs for assembly and all special techniques used, so you can follow along and make a perfect badger.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

You can’t have a badger without those unmistakable black and white face stripes, but there are only 12 rounds of follow-carefully colour changes, and the pattern includes lots of tips – specific to this pattern – to make the colour changing easier and ensure you’ll get a beautifully tidy result.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

After you’ve finished the colourwork on the head and chest, it’s all plain sailing and you’ll be able to enjoy watching the rounded body of your badger take shape as you crochet! The head and body is all worked as one piece and there are only 3 pieces (plus the tiny ears) to sew onto the body, so the final finishing stage is quick and simple.

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Colourwork Magic!

You’ll often see photos of amigurumi designs with colourwork that only show you one side of the completed item, because the colourwork on the other side looks much worse. There’s a good reason for that – amigurumi stitches don’t stack exactly on top of each other, so there’s a built-in slant, which makes symmetrical colourwork essentially impossible.

I’ve been working for years on techniques to make paired vertical or slanting stripes at various angles for my amigurumi (and I still haven’t mastered every effect I’m looking for – there’s lots more research for me to do for future designs!) but I never release a design without getting everything to match as closely as I can.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, are close-ups of both sides of my badger’s head and chest, so you can see how the colourwork looks good, with smooth black face stripes with matching angles and no awkward jagged transitions, from either side 🙂

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune
Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Just follow the pattern and you’ll be able to achieve the same effect!

Buy Now & Launch Discount

Ready to get started? Pick up my Badger 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:

And for one week only, you can take an extra 50c off the price: add the Badger pattern to your shopping cart, and enter the discount code TRUFFLEHUNTER at checkout! (Offer ends Tuesday 6 July, 2021.)


Badgers play an essential part in popular culture, and their real-life counterparts are just adorable. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing one in real life, but I always enjoy watching them on wildlife documentaries, and now I can see a (crocheted) badger whenever I want!

Badger crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I really hope you’ll enjoy my Badger pattern. Don’t forget to share photos with me when you’ve made one:

…I always love to hear from you, and to see what you’ve been making from my patterns. 🙂

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Scaling Amigurumi: a crochet investigation

I’m often asked how to scale one of my amigurumi patterns up or down by a specific amount. It’s hard to answer that without relevant data, so that means it’s time for another crochet experiment – yay!

Want to skip straight to the results? Jump down to the Amigurumi Size Conversion Table.


Method

I made 8 versions of my Tiny Whale pattern, ranging from the largest 25mm hook I own down to the smallest hook I felt I could manage (0.9mm), and choosing the most appropriate yarn size for each hook.

resizing amigurumi by scaling up and down, by planetjune

Of course, it’s possible to crochet outside this range – massive 40mm hooks exist (or you can crochet using your whole hand instead of a hook!), and some talented people are able to crochet with sewing thread and a 0.4mm hook – but I had to set some limits for my experiment…

The three dark blue whales in my photos mark these limits: largest, smallest, and the standard size (made with worsted weight yarn and a US E/3.5mm hook).

I’ve named all eight sizes so we have something to refer to throughout this post, from largest to smallest (and top to bottom in the photo above):

  1. Extreme Amigurumi
  2. Giant Amigurumi
  3. Mini Giant Amigurumi
  4. Large Amigurumi
  5. Standard Amigurumi – regular amigurumi!
  6. Small Amigurumi
  7. Mini Amigurumi
  8. Micro Amigurumi

The difference in scale is incredible – one stitch of an Extreme Amigurumi whale is larger than an entire Micro Amigurumi whale!

resizing amigurumi by scaling up and down, by planetjune

And here’s a top-down photo of all 8 sizes (this is a single photo so the scale is exact; the only editing I did was to add the pink spiral for clarity):

resizing amigurumi by scaling up and down, by planetjune

Look for the three dark blue whales to see the differences in size between the Standard size and the Micro (smallest) and Extreme (largest).  Isn’t that something?!


Calculations

Time to quantify those differences. To get an idea of the scale change, I took four measurements from each of my whales:

  1. the average width of one stitch (sampled over several stitches for higher accuracy)
  2. the average height of one round (sampled over several rounds for higher accuracy)
  3. the overall length of the whale
  4. the width of the whale at its widest part

Then, for each whale, I compared each measurement with the same measurement on my standard sized whale (made with worsted weight yarn and a US E/3.5mm hook). I used the average of the four comparisons, rounded to a nice number, to give me an approximate overall scale factor for each amigurumi size.

There’s a lot of variability here – not only in the numbers I measured from my samples and the accuracy of my measurements, but in the difference between specific yarn and hook combinations and the individual crocheting style of each crocheter – so a rough conversion factor is the best we’re going to get.

My scale factor is not intended to be an accurate number, but a rough idea of the size difference you can expect from scaling up or down.


Results: Amigurumi Size Conversion Table

resizing amigurumi by scaling up and down, by planetjune
Pictured above are the main amigurumi sizes with the hooks used to crochet them (L-R): Micro, Mini, Small, Standard, Large, Mini Giant, Giant, Extreme

In the table below, for each amigurumi size I’ve given the yarn weight and hook you’ll need to make that size, and its approximate scale factor compared with standard amigurumi (the row marked in bold in the table below).

Amigurumi Size Yarn Hook1 Scale Factor
Micro2 crochet thread #30;
pearl cotton #12
0.9mm (14) 30%
Mini crochet thread #20;
pearl cotton #8
1.4mm (8) 40%
Small sport (#2) – DK (#3) 2.25-2.75mm
(B-C)
80%
Standard worsted (#4) 3.5mm (E) 100%
Large 2 strands worsted (#4);
1 strand bulky (#5)
5mm (H) 150%
Mini Giant super bulky (#6) 8mm (L) 240%
Giant 2 strands super bulky (#6);
1 strand jumbo (#7)4
15mm (P/Q-19) 360%
Extreme3 6 strands super bulky #6;
1 strand jumbo (#7)4
25mm 650%
Notes:
  1. As hook size names can vary between brands, I’ve given the mm size first, followed by the common (US) size name. The best hook size for you will vary depending on the exact yarn you choose and how tightly you crochet – the hook sizes given here are good starting points, but you should choose an appropriate hook for your project, no matter the scale of the amigurumi:
    • If your stitches stretch open too much and the stuffing is clearly visible, reduce the hook size.
    • If you cannot insert the hook into your previous stitches, increase the hook size.
  2. Micro Amigurumi refers to any extremely small amigurumi, so you may also find ‘micro amigurumi’ made with sewing thread and a 0.4-0.6mm hook – those could be much smaller than the sample I measured, so the scale factor would also be smaller.
  3. Extreme Amigurumi refers to any extremely large amigurumi, so you may also find ‘extreme amigurumi’ made with unplied roving and a 40mm hook (or hand-crocheted with no hook) – those could be much larger than the sample I measured, so the scale factor would also be larger.
  4. Jumbo #7 weight is a catch-all term for any yarn thicker than super bulky, so these yarns can range widely in weight, with recommended hook sizes of between 15mm and 40mm! For Giant Amigurumi, you’ll need a jumbo yarn that recommends using a 15-19mm hook; for Extreme Amigurumi you’ll need a jumbo yarn that recommends using at least a 25mm hook.

How to Use the Size Conversion Table

Note: There are many factors that affect the exact size of an amigurumi. As you can see from my worsted weight yarn comparison, even using the same hook and pattern with different worsted weight yarns can result in a remarkable range in size. (And that doesn’t account for other factors: the differences between our hook styles; how tall we each draw up our loops; our tension…)

So please be aware that the scale factor in my table is only a rough estimate. This isn’t an exact science; crochet is handmade, after all!

Reading the Scale Factor

I’ve given the scale factor as a percentage difference from standard size (100%), so, for example, 650% (for Extreme Amigurumi) means the amigurumi will be 6.5 times larger than standard (650/100).

How Large will my Amigurumi Be?

To find out roughly how large your amigurumi will be at a different scale, look at the standard size in the pattern, and find the scale factor that corresponds to the hook and yarn you want to use.

final size = [starting size] x [scale factor] / 100

So, for a 4″ long standard amigurumi, converting it to Extreme Amigurumi scale (650%) means:

final size = 4 x 650 / 100 = 26″

Resizing To a Specific Size

To find your scale factor, look at the standard size in the pattern, and the size you want your amigurumi to be.

scale factor (%) = [desired size] / [starting size] x 100

So, for a 6″ tall amigurumi that you’d like to reduce to 3″ tall:

scale factor = 3 / 6 x 100 = 50%

Then find the closest scale factor from my table to find the hook and yarn you should use.

Resizing in Between the Options

If you’d like to go for a scale in between two of my options, look at the closest size option on either side and choose a yarn weight and hook size that lie in between the two.

Example 1: Half Size (50%)
From the table, you can see that Mini Amigurumi is 40% and Small Amigurumi is 80%, so you’ll want to choose yarn and hook sizes between those listed for those two sizes, i.e. a yarn weight in between size 20 crochet thread and sport (#2) yarn, and a hook size between 1.4 and 2.25mm.

  • As a starting point, I’d try a size 10 or 5 crochet thread, or a super fine (#1) or lace (#0) yarn, and a 1.6-1.8mm hook.

Example 2: Double Size (200%)
From the table, you can see that Large Amigurumi is 150% and Mini Giant Amigurumi is 240%, so you’ll want a yarn weight in between bulky (#5) and super bulky (#6), and a hook size between 5mm (H) and 8mm (L).

  • As a starting point, I’d try holding 3 strands of worsted weight (#4) yarn together, or 1 strand of bulky (#5) and 1 of worsted (#4),  and a 6mm (J) hook.

resizing amigurumi by scaling up and down, by planetjune

So there you have it – a way to make amigurumi in any size from extremely small to extremely large! You can use my table of results as:

  • A starting point for figuring out how big your amigurumi will be when you use a different yarn and hook
  • A reference for the yarn and hook sizes to choose to make an amigurumi of a specific size

I hope you’ll find this conversion table as helpful as I will!


How to Go Giant!

Learn all my upsizing tips and techniques (including patterns for the giant eyes!) in my ebook The Complete Guide to Giant Amigurumi:

The Complete Guide to Giant Amigurumi ebook by June Gilbank - available in right-handed and left-handed versions

This is the perfect guide for all your Mini Giant, Giant and Extreme Amigurumi – every stage of making a super-sized amigurumi is slightly different from what you might expect, and I’ve designed this book as a comprehensive reference guide that covers everything from the absolute basics to tips for fixing problems and making complex amigurumi.


Do you find my tutorials helpful? If so, please consider making a contribution towards my time so I can continue to create clear and concise tutorials for you:

Thank you so much for your support! Now click below for loads more crochet video and photo tutorials (and do let me know what else you’d like me to cover in future tutorials…)

See more helpful PlanetJune crochet tips and technique tutorials

 

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free pattern: Crochet Phone Stand

If you, like me, tend to spend a little too much time on your phone, you’re going to love my new pattern!

I use my phone for so many things these days – working, reading, playing games, video chats, shopping, watching videos – and it gets uncomfortable to hold after a while. To save my hands, I thought it’d be fun to try to recreate the old phone stand I sewed almost a decade ago, but this time in crochet, with dimensions better suited to today’s larger devices.

And look what I came up with! Crochet is the perfect medium for a stand like this: one piece, no sewing, basic stitches and techniques, and it makes a perfect support for a smartphone:

crochet phone stand by planetjune

Isn’t it great?! it’s quick and easy to crochet, and makes a handy addition to any desk or bedside table. With only yarn and a little stuffing, you can make a stand that’s sturdy enough to support any phone (or a small tablet) in portrait or landscape mode.

crochet phone stand by planetjune

This pattern is a blank canvas for any yarn choice: get colourful with a variegated yarn, go for a subtle neutral shade, choose your favourite colour, or match your room decor.

I especially love how my variegated phone stand turned out: the colours pooled into diagonal stripes, and because either side of the stand can be the top, I can flip it over to get a different colour pattern!

crochet phone stand by planetjune

I’d recommend using a cotton yarn for your phone stand as it gives a neat smooth finish, but you can use acrylic if you prefer. This is a great pattern to use those striped or ombre cottons that look lovely in the skein but may not crochet up the way you’d expect! (In case you were about to ask, the specific yarn I used for the above sample is Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stripes in Beach Ball Blue.)

crochet phone stand by planetjune

Amigurumi-style crochet gives this stand enough stiffness to support a mobile device with just regular fibrefill stuffing, which also makes the stand light and portable. You can even comfortably rest it on your tummy so you can watch videos while lying in bed, if you’re so inclined…

As you can see below, the phone stand is also big enough to support my 7″ tablet, which is very handy for video calls or watching YouTube!

crochet phone stand by planetjune

As I like to reward people who choose to donate for my donationware patterns, the PDF version of the Crochet Phone Stand pattern also includes tips for stuffing, additional instructional photos, including left-handed photos, and instructions for resizing the pattern to fit a larger tablet or other device. As always, the pattern is free for you to use online, 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 with the bonuses.

Go to the free Crochet Phone Stand pattern >>

Or jump straight to donate:

Order the Crochet Phone Stand pattern >>

Not ready to make one yet? Add this pattern to your Ravelry queue:

I hope you’ll find this pattern useful!

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