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Archive for PlanetJune Stories

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda’s Toasty Turtle

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Belinda from Australia. Belinda first contacted me when she’d made her turtle beach blanket and wanted some advice on the turtles, then she stayed in touch with her progress on the baby turtles, and her clever idea for a matching turtle heat pack. I knew you’d love to see this project too, and to hear about how she came up with this idea and made it happen!

Over to Belinda:


Between gifts for my children and other family members, I rarely make things for myself, but when I saw a friend’s Turtle Beach blanket, I loved it so much that I made one for myself.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I crocheted the blanket and turtles with 8-ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. While mostly made while waiting at school pick up and in doctors’ surgeries, I also crocheted the blanket at every beach I went to, including Peterborough in Victoria, Penguin in Tasmania, and Geographe Bay in Western Australia. I used June’s technique of attaching the baby turtles with buttons so they can, and do, move around.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

Once the blanket and baby turtles were complete, I realised they needed a companion. I hoped to make a cushion, so I bought the AquaAmi and Simple-Shell Sea Turtle patterns.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

The turtle pattern didn’t prove big enough for a cushion, so I made a heat pack! The shell, head, legs and tail are crocheted with 10-ply cotton held double, and a 5.5 mm hook. To make sure the heat would be close to the surface, I crocheted the tummy with one strand of yarn and a 7 mm hook. Other than that, I did not make any changes to the pattern.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I sewed a little canvas shape and filled it with wheat, then put it against the tummy side, packed polyester stuffing between it and the upper shell, then attached the head. I used plastic backed eyes. It’s been in the microwave quite a few times and seems no worse for wear.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I usually use a heat pack when I have a sore tummy and am feeling a bit sorry for myself. Having a warm, friendly turtle looking after me is lovely at a moment when I need that extra bit of care.

PlanetJune Stories: Belinda's Toasty Turtle and Blanket

I love June’s patterns, and I love my toasty turtle!


(Back to me, June, again!)

I love your idea, Belinda! It’s such a good idea to make the turtle into a heat pack – I’d never have thought of that, but I think I might need to make one for myself now – a warm cuddly turtle to soothe a sore tummy sounds very appealing 🙂

(And isn’t that long narrow blanket the perfect shape for lying on the sofa? This entire project is very cozy and snuggly!)

Thank you so much, Belinda, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Belinda a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

PS – If you’d like to make your own turtle beach blanket and/or toasty turtle, here are the links to all the PlanetJune crochet patterns Belinda used:


Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!

Comments (5)

PlanetJune Stories: Maureen’s Armadillo

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Maureen Carter, a crochet enthusiast from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. Last year, Maureen tagged me on Facebook with this picture of an incredibly colourful armadillo she had crocheted using my pattern and based on a child’s drawing:

Maureen's crocheted armadillo with Isabella's armadillo drawing

…and I just had to reach out to her to find out more about the story behind this incredible project!

Over to Maureen:


I learned how to crochet when I was 12 years old but have only been doing amigurumi in the last 4 years. I used to make mostly slippers, hats, mittens, blankets, scarves, sweaters, ponchos. Now I do a lot of amigurumi as well. It is a lot of fun seeing all the little parts come to life as a stuffed animal. My crochet teacher always said, “Make joy with your crochet.” Amigurumi always brings joy to those that receive the finished projects.

I have relatives in California who were involved with helping support and promote an online fundraiser by the Dominican Sisters Vision of Hope, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support several Catholic schools in the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco-Oakland California area. One of my sisters invited me to participate in the online auction.

One of the features of the auction was artwork made and donated by students in the schools supported by the auction. I was very taken with a colorful drawing called “Oaxacan Armadillo” by a first grade student, Isabella. I placed a bid for her drawing in the auction and was so happy to be the successful bidder.

“Oaxacan Armadillo” by Isabella

When the framed artwork arrived at my home I came up with the idea that this artwork could be transformed into an amigurumi replica that I could send as a surprise to Isabella. I looked for armadillo crochet patterns and decided that I could work with June’s pattern as the base, but incorporate the colors and designs from Isabella’s drawing.

I have followed June’s work and often watched her tutorials and lessons on how to do certain stitches and techniques. I was happy to find her pattern which was a great help to bring this drawing to life. June’s armadillo design was the perfect one to use as my base, especially since the armor shell is made as a separate piece that attaches after it’s all done.

Armadillo crochet pattern by PlanetJune The PlanetJune Armadillo crochet pattern

I made each leg a different color with 3 toes, and made the ears and eyes and facial expression to match Isabella’s drawing as closely as possible. The color I added to the armor was achieved partly by crocheting in stripes, then I made small appliques and sewed them on and did some surface crochet to get the shapes and colors that were used in the drawing.

Maureen's crocheted armadillo

It took me 2-3 weeks working intermittently to recreate the armadillo. I also had a color copy of the drawing made up to send with the crocheted armadillo. I mailed it to Isabella in the care of her school principal. It was presented to her at school.

Isabella with her armadillo drawing and Maureen's crocheted armadillo

I sent a note thanking her for making the beautiful colorful drawing and sharing it with the fundraiser for her school. I encouraged her to continue to have fun making beautiful things using her imagination and talent. I told her that when I see it on my fireplace mantle every day, it brings me joy.

I recently received a note back from Isabella and her mother. Isabella’s handwritten note says:

Dear Ms. Maureen,
Thank you for my armadillo. I really like it. I like how it looks exactly like my drawing and it turned out very colorful. It is very special to me.
Love, Isabella

Isabella's note

Her mom also sent a beautiful note thanking me for making the armadillo for Isabella, which she named “Alice.”

Isabella's mom's note

I loved Isabella’s artwork right away the first moment I saw it. I felt compelled to do something to express how much I admired her work and that I hope she continues to enjoy drawing and making things. I thought I could do it justice as a crocheted stuffed animal that she might like, so I gave it a try. It was a happy and moving experience for both of us.


(Back to me, June, again!)

I love everything about this story – it’s such a fun project, and isn’t the story behind it fantastic?! Both Maureen and Isabella are wonderfully creative, and I’m so happy my armadillo pattern contributed to their collaboration.

Part of the joy I find in having a clean and simple design style is seeing how people choose to adapt, embellish and modify my PlanetJune patterns – and I’m sure you’ll agree that Maureen’s armadillo is a prime example of that creativity.

Thank you so much, Maureen, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Maureen a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!


Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!

Comments (8)

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge

Today’s PlanetJune Story shows how easily you can brighten someone’s day with crochet. When Nancy Smith, the chairman for the Crochet Guild of America’s Chapter Challenge, contacted me in February to ask for permission for the CGOA to use my Love Hearts pattern as a way for their members to give back to their communities, I never dreamt it would lead to such an amazing result!

Let’s hear from Nancy:


The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) is a national organization of local crochet guilds located in almost all 50 states of USA. CGOA also hosts a national conference called Chain Link held in different locations each summer that includes classes of various skills, stitches, and techniques, a Design Contest, a fashion show and banquet, and a ‘Meet and Greet’ to possibly sell your designs to publishers, yarn companies and/or magazines. There is also a Masters Program which tests your skills in all aspects of crochet from stitches to gauge to finishing techniques. Be brave! Check it out!

Each year, CGOA challenges the chapters to give back to their local communities by participating in the CGOA Chapter Challenge which selects a project for all interested chapters to make.

Each project is selected with a particular need in mind. Past years have included chemo hats, preemie blankets, squares for afghans, and scarves. This year was a bit different since a lot of places were not accepting physical items due to COVID-19 protocols. But June Gilbank of Planet June came to our rescue by allowing us to use her Love Hearts pattern for the Challenge.

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love Hearts

The hearts could be distributed as a group project if there were places near each chapter that were accepting items, along with individual members passing them out to total strangers, family, friends, neighbors, hospitals workers, doctor offices, fire houses, etc.

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love Hearts

At first, members were kind of skeptical about the project, but some that handed the hearts out individually reported the results/reactions back to their chapters, and the interest really took off. The smiles and reactions from the recipients were well worth the work!

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love Hearts

There were 12,798 hearts made for this Challenge! Besides being individually handed out, hearts were disbursed to an entire elementary school, to Meals on Wheels, to assisted living centers, nursing homes, animal shelters, special education centers, teachers for Teacher Appreciation Day, church meetings, and being attached to future donation projects each chapter makes.

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love Hearts

June’s pattern was fast and easy to make, and the chapters were told to use whatever yarns and hook sizes they wanted, which created a variety of sizes and colors besides the three sizes June has in the pattern.

CGOA and its’ chapters send a big THANK YOU to June for so generously allowing us to use her pattern!

For more information about CGOA, and possibly starting your own local chapter, here are the links:

Nancy Smith
CGOA Chapter Challenge Chairman


A few more photos, shared with permission from the participating chapters:

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsNew York City Crochet Guild, Manhattan NY

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsNorthern Illinois Crochet Guild, Rolling Meadows (a suburb of Chicago) IL

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsHappily Hooked on Crochet Guild, Danbury CT

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsThe Happy Hookers, Atlanta GA

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsNorthern Kentucky Crochet Guild, Burlington KY

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsEbenezer Angelic Crocheters, Washington DC

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsCrocheters of the Lakes, Lake County IL

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsNew Mexico Crochet Guild, Albuquerque NM

PlanetJune Stories: CGOA Chapter Challenge - Love HeartsCrochet Twin Cities, Minneapolis/St Paul MN

And here’s the video of the Challenge results:


(Back to me, June, again!)

Well over twelve thousand crocheted hearts – isn’t that incredible! Congratulations to all the participating CGOA chapters – your generosity and kindness has touched so many deserving people. I’m honoured that my Love Hearts pattern continues to be used in such meaningful ways.

Thank you so much, Nancy, for sharing your report – and for choosing to use my pattern for such a successful Chapter Challenge 🙂
Please leave Nancy and the CGOA members a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re feeling inspired to bring some smiles to your community with crocheted hearts, you can find my Love Hearts crochet pattern here. 🙂

Comments (10)

PlanetJune Stories: Dorte’s Fishbowl

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Dorte Jensen in Denmark, who used a selection of my crochet patterns to create this gorgeous realistic fishbowl!

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

I’ll let Dorte explain how this project came to be:


My husband saw your tropical fish patterns and said that they were so cute and that he wanted these fish made for his birthday. I don’t remember when the idea came for me to use a real fishbowl for them.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

My plan required some plants for the bottom of the bowl. I had seen your succulent collection 1 and 2 and I really wanted to crochet them but had never found the time for them. I realized that I could use those plants for the fishbowl. I also came up with my own idea for a plant that the red fish could hide in.

Dorte's improvised crocheted aquatic plant

I didn’t have “earth” to sew the plants onto so they would stand up straight. I made a white circle to sew them onto that I could hide beneath the stones in the bottom of the bowl.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

I suspended the fish using fishing line – I thought that would be most invisible. Then some dots of glue on the edge of the fishbowl to keep the line and the fish in place. I used a line across the fishbowl so the clownfish could hang in the middle of the bowl.

Dorte's crocheted fishbowl made from PlanetJune patterns

Finally I just want to say that both the fish and the plants were so much fun to crochet, and your crochet tutorials have taught me a lot. It is always a great pleasure to follow your great, well-explained and well constructed patterns.


(Back to me, June, again!)

Thank you so much, Dorte! Isn’t this a fabulous project? Beautifully crocheted, and using the large glass fishbowl with real stones in the bottom was an effective way to add to the realism of this display.

I think the succulents and her clever plant design look perfect in there too. I was surprised to see how well my succulent patterns stand in for corals and aquatic plants (and yes, in case you’re wondering, I do have some real coral patterns planned for some point in the future too…)

I hope these beautiful colourful fish have brightened your day (and maybe even inspired you to make a crocheted aquarium of your own?) Please leave Dorte a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re looking for the PlanetJune patterns featured above, you can find all my Tropical Fish and Succulent crochet patterns in my shop 🙂

Tropical Fish crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Cactus and Succulent crochet patterns by PlanetJune

Comments (10)

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids

Today’s PlanetJune Story is a follow-up from last month’s story of 10-year old Seth and his crocheted dinosaurs. Seth’s mom Amy and brother Benjamin have contributed this month, to tell us about their family’s crochet time, and Amy shares her tips for teaching kids to crochet.

I think she knows what she’s talking about – the crochet force is strong in this family 😉

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
Benjamin, Seth and Amy crocheting together!

And now over to Amy and Benjamin:


Amy’s Story

I learned to crochet twenty years ago, but after making one baby blanket, I quit. I didn’t like the tedium of doing the same stitch endlessly back and forth.

When we gave my son Seth a crochet kit for Christmas last year, I knew I would have to learn in order to help him. We spent two days straight of crocheting, unpicking, recrocheting, counting, and celebrating anytime we miraculously had the correct number of stitches at the end of a round. We laugh at Seth’s lion now, crocheted wrong-side out with messy seams, but we love him for the victory he represents.

Before too long, I was in love with crocheting as much as Seth was. I started making critters in random colors to use up whatever yarn I had. Making amigurumi was much more enjoyable than the boring baby blanket of my youth.

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
Amy’s horses

By April, my oldest son wanted to learn to crochet as well, and my youngest two sons wanted me to teach them how to chain.

Now, a neighbor comes over weekly for a crochet party, and several neighborhood kids have asked us to teach them. For me, crocheting began as an attempt to help my son and use up a few random balls of yarn. Crochet has become a full-blown hobby, not just for myself, but for my children and our friends too.

Benjamin’s Story

Hi, I’m Benjamin, age twelve, and I love to crochet!

When my brother started crocheting, I saw the cute little animals he made and wanted to make some too! He and my mom taught me how. Then one day, my mom bought the horse pattern from PlanetJune, and made two cute little horses for my grandma. When I saw the finished result, I wanted to make my own horse, modeled after Black Beauty from the book.

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
Benjamin with his Black Beauty – good work, Benjamin!

Recently, I showed some of my critters to a neighbor and she wanted to buy one from me. She said she wanted a sloth, but it was tricky to find a good pattern until I looked at PlanetJune’s sloth. I loved the cute face markings, and the ability to hang! It was so cute I almost didn’t want to part with it!

I think my favorite part of PlanetJune is the tutorials. The tutorial about sewing pieces of animals together really helped my critters go from good to excellent! I have also helped some people learn how to crochet, and the magic ring tutorial helps them remember how to do it when they get home!

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
Benjamin with his Black Beauty and Sloth, and Seth with some of his AmiCats

Amy’s tips for teaching kids how to crochet

  1. Watch the tutorials on PlanetJune. There are tons of tutorials out there, but you may as well start with the best.
  2. Choose a pattern your child really wants to make… the motivation is crucial. My boys especially like PlanetJune patterns because they are realistic, and I like them because they have pictures and very clear instructions so that the kids can easily follow them. If you are going to spend the time making a critter, you want to be very sure that the pattern is a good one. June has also been super helpful and responded quickly whenever we have had a question. [June: I’m so happy to hear that, Amy!]
  3. Don’t be afraid to do the hard parts for your children when they are starting out. You won’t cripple them. When Seth started, I usually did the magic ring and the first few rounds for him. When he would get too overwhelmed or if we had to undo stitches, I would fix what was broken. This kept his enthusiasm high, and before I knew it, he surprised me by making his first magic ring. I don’t think I have crocheted anything for him since, even bobble stitches, picots and back post single crochet.

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
Even Amy’s youngest sons are learning how to chain

Amy and sons’ life lessons learned from crochet

  1. Everyone has a different way of doing things. It’s okay to do what you like, and let others do what they like.
  2. Mixing our own creativity with what we learn from others is fun!
  3. Patience and work are necessary to create something you like. Innovation and flexibility are too, because mom won’t buy a whole skein of yarn for just a few stitches. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
  4. Self-compassion is important, especially when your item doesn’t look like the picture in the pattern.
  5. Most things don’t look exactly like the picture, but they can still look fantastic in their own way.
  6. Taking the time to fix a mistake, even very painful ones, is worth the effort.
  7. Mom can help fix a lot of mistakes, and it is okay to ask for help.
  8. Step away and take a deep breath (or many) before trying to fix any mistakes. A calm brain is much more effective at problem solving.
  9. Everyone makes mistakes and has to try again sometimes… even mom.
  10. Everyone has something to offer the world… even kids.

PlanetJune Stories: crochet with kids
It’s a happy family that crochets together…


(Back to me, June, again!)

Amy has shared such good advice here – and those life lessons also apply to much more than just crocheting with kids! I hope this may motivate some of you to see if your kids (or other children you know) might like to have a go at our favourite hobby..? Even crocheting a simple chain from a colourful yarn can provide hours of fun, plus it builds hand-eye coordination and dexterity, and encourages creativity.

Thank you so much, Amy, Benjamin (and Seth), for sharing your story with us today. Aren’t they an inspiring and talented family?
Please leave them a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re looking for the PlanetJune patterns featured above, here are the links to the patterns in my shop: Horse, Sloth, AmiCats 🙂

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PlanetJune Stories: Seth’s Dinosaurs

Today’s PlanetJune Story is very special – it’s from Seth, one of my youngest customers at only 10 years old! Seth, with a little assistance from mom Amy, has become quite the amigurumi prodigy, and I think you’ll be impressed by his story, and his beautifully crocheted dinosaurs.

And now over to Seth:


Hi, I’m Seth from Utah! I am ten years old and love to crochet.

PlanetJune Stories: 10 year old Seth and his crocheted dinosaurs

Two years ago my cousin crocheted a pink jellyfish for me. I loved the animals she made and I wanted to make some for myself. I learned how to chain and single crochet, so that I could make a snake.

Last year for Christmas, I got a kit to crochet safari animals. My first lion took me two days straight to finish, but now I can crochet a dinosaur in only five or six hours. I have almost 100 crocheted critters plus three crocheted pet nets to hang them from my bunk bed.

PlanetJune Stories: 10 year old Seth and his crocheted dinosaurs

Crocheted animals are fun to make and are super cute and squishy. I love showing my animals to people and they sometimes want to start crocheting too. (The “crochet bug” is very contagious!)

I also love dinosaurs! I love the dinosaur patterns from PlanetJune because they are so fun to crochet and so realistic. I got my first dinosaur pattern for my birthday in July and loved it. The sewing tutorials on PlanetJune helped my dinosaurs to look really good. After I made dinosaurs for myself, I crocheted a few more to sell so I could buy even more dinosaur patterns.

PlanetJune Stories: 10 year old Seth and his crocheted dinosaurs

I have had a lot of fun and learned lots while building my dinosaur collection. So far I have crocheted all 18 PlanetJune dinosaurs and created two of my own – Barosaurus and Deinosuchus – using my own ideas and pieces of June’s patterns!

PlanetJune Stories: 10 year old Seth and his crocheted dinosaurs


(Back to me, June, again!)

Seth, I’m so impressed with your skill and passion for making amigurumi animals – and that you’re starting on designing your own creations too! You clearly have a talent for this, and I’m so happy to see how much you enjoy my patterns!

(I’ve asked Seth’s mom, Amy, to share her perspective and tips on teaching kids to crochet in the next PlanetJune Story, so look out for that soon, especially if you’d like to encourage and support your own children on their own crochet journey!)

Thank you so much, Seth, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Seth a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re feeling inspired to crochet dinosaurs too, you can find all the PlanetJune Dinosaur crochet patterns here in my shop. 🙂

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PlanetJune Stories: Domino Joyce

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Dr Domino Joyce, an evolutionary biologist by day and crocheter by night, who found a novel way to use amigurumi to educate children (and adults) about evolution!

I’ll let Domino explain:


history of life interactive crocheted exhibit

I’m an evolutionary biologist at the University of Hull, UK and I’ve wanted to learn to crochet for ages. Last year, when I was on maternity leave, I taught myself with YouTube videos, and I started making toys while my baby son slept on me. I became a little addicted to it and found some amazing patterns representing the diversity of life, but the PlanetJune site quickly became my favourite place because the animals are so much more realistic than many designs, and the patterns are amazingly clear and well designed.

Every year at Hull University, we have a Science Festival, and I began to formulate a way to combine science communication with my new crochet addiction. I thought I would make a poster containing a timeline of the history of earth, and use the toys to illustrate when particular things evolved. The PlanetJune dinosaur sets proved particularly inspiring for this!

history of life interactive crocheted exhibit

I made a tabletop timeline poster, as well as backdrop posters with links to the patterns, and have made these available (here) for anyone who wants to download and print their own.

The key message I wanted to get across is that evolution has taken place over a timescale so long, it is hard to visualise. The earth is 4.5 billion years old, but most of the life we know about and see today evolved ‘only’ in the last 540 million years or so. There was a very long period of time when not much happened at all!

history of life interactive crocheted exhibit

This weekend (after a lot of crocheting) the festival took place. It was a big success – we were expecting about 1500-2000 visitors, but received almost 5000. I asked the children who visited my stand to place the crochet dinosaurs on the timeline where they thought they should go, and nearly all of them put them right at the beginning of the line, and were amazed when I told them the correct place was much closer to “NOW” than they thought.

history of life interactive crocheted exhibit

I was able to talk them through the history of (some!) life using the various organisms I had made, including a crochet Mary Anning and Charles Darwin representing Homo sapiens. My favourite part used the Emperor Penguin to convey the idea that birds are simply dinosaurs that survived and carried on evolving.

history of life interactive crocheted exhibit

The toys worked really well to draw children and adults in to the stand to find out what it was about, and I think I convinced a few of the adults they should try crocheting, as well as inspiring a few who already crochet to try some of these patterns!

But most of all, I hope I helped both children and adults to understand the history of life on earth a little more clearly.


(Back to me, June, again!)

Based on your account and photos, I’m sure you accomplished that mission, Domino! Congratulations on such a successful event, and for coming up with such a great idea for a fun, interactive learning experience.

One of the things that makes me really proud as a designer of realistic animal and plant patterns is when professional scientists who study the organisms I reproduce in crochet are fans of my work – it’s high praise indeed whenever I hear from botanists, paleontologists, marine biologists (and now evolutionary biologists!) etc who appreciate my designs. And I’m so happy that my patterns could play a part in Domino’s Science Festival exhibit – it’s lovely to think that, even though I’m no longer working in the field of science, I’m still helping in some small way to educate the scientists of the future.

Thank you so much, Domino, for sharing your story with us today 🙂
Please leave Domino a comment if you’ve enjoyed this post!

Do you have a PlanetJune Story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it! Please email your story to june@planetjune.com, together with one or more high quality photos showing what you’ve made from PlanetJune patterns. If I choose your story to feature here on the blog, I’ll send you your choice of pattern from my shop to say thank you!


PS – If you’re feeling inspired to crochet some PlanetJune dinosaurs and penguins too, you can find all the patterns in my shop:

Comments (10)

teaching with PlanetJune patterns

Did you know that you can teach classes using my paid or donationware/free patterns? Well, today I have a PlanetJune Story for you on just that topic, from Beth Graham, a designer and teacher who works and teaches crochet at Shall We Knit? in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. (You can connect with Beth on Ravelry or Facebook.)

Shall We Knit? is a crochet friendly shop featuring rooms of yarns, fiber, books, and inspiration for knitters, crocheters, and spinners. You can contact the store for info on their crochet classes and one-on-one instruction. Sadly, I just missed out on the chance to count them as my own local yarn store, as they relocated to my old home town of Waterloo shortly after I left for South Africa! I’m still a bit sad about that even now; just look at all that pretty yarn…

Shall We Knit?, Waterloo, Ontario
Shall We Knit? photo, borrowed from www.shallweknit.com

Beth taught an Amigurumi Apples class last Saturday, and has kindly offered to share her experience with us. Over to you, Beth:

I offered a successful class at Shall We Knit? featuring June’s Amigurumi Apples pattern. The two-hour project class on beginner amigurumi introduced crocheters to the adjustable loop technique, the formula for creating flat circles using increases and decreases to create 3-D shapes, and June’s ingenious invisible decrease.

amigurumi apples class

Because of the apple’s simple, yet elegant, design, students left the course feeling quite clever, and – even better! – having finished their projects!

amigurumi apples class

Amigurumi Apples is a perfect teaching tool for introducing all these techniques and more, and I highly recommend it to other instructors considering a beginner amigurumi class. (I got permission from June to use the pattern prior to the class and purchased a copy for each student.)

amigurumi apples class

Well done, Beth – it sounds like your class was a great success! I’ve taught classes using a few of my patterns and I know how good it feels to guide new crocheters – or new amigurumists – to complete their first amigurumi. Once they’ve mastered the basic skills, they’ll have the confidence to attempt any amigurumi pattern.

As Beth said, it’s easy to teach with any PlanetJune pattern (paid or donationware) – all you need to do is purchase a copy of the pattern for yourself and one for each of your students. So, if you work in a yarn store or teach crochet classes independently, why not use a PlanetJune pattern for your next class?

Please see my Teaching FAQ for further details, and don’t forget to take a couple of photos of your class – I’d love to share them here!

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