PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Goat to Yarn to Goat

From Angora Goat to Mohair Yarn to Amigurumi Goat…

Angora Goat to Mohair Yarn to Amigurumi Goat, by PlanetJune

…this is an an 8-year-long yarn story!

Our story begins in 2009, in Ontario, Canada…

Wellington Fibres angora goats

I visited Wellington Fibres, a small farm that raises Angora goats.

(In case you didn’t know, Angora bunnies produce angora fibre, and Angora goats produce mohair fibre – there’s no such thing as a ‘Mohair Goat’!)

Wellington Fibres angora goats

I enjoyed seeing all the adorable little newborn kids, and toured the mill that processes the mohair fibre into yarn.

Wellington Fibres angora goats

And I left with a skein of unwashed mohair-blend yarn, to make my own amigurumi goat.

Later that year, I washed and dried my yarn…

washing mohair yarn

…and then life happened. I moved halfway around the world, then my commissions list got so backed up that it was years before my Goat design made its way to the top of the list!

Fast forward to 2017 – my Goat commission was happening at last, so it was finally time to use my mohair yarn to make a goat from its own fibre!

I wound my precious yarn, and it looked much too fine, so I doubled it and wound it again. Ooh, it looked so good:

wound mohair yarn

But when I started to crochet, I discovered that the doubled yarn was far too thick – I wanted this goat to be a little kid, not the largest goat in my collection!

I couldn’t think of a clever way to separate the doubled yarn, so I had to unwind it a metre at a time, crochet from one strand, and hand-wind the other strand into a ball.

It was slow going, but it worked, and eventually, I ended up with my little natural-fibre goat:

kid goat from Farmyard Goats crochet pattern by PlanetJune

So now I finally have the goat I dreamed of, 8 years ago and half a world away 🙂

Epilogue: I’ve since discovered the dreaded clothes moths in my house – disaster! My poor little goat and all my other natural fibre amigurumi are having a little vacation in a ziplock bag in the freezer at the moment, in case they’ve been contaminated – it’d be terrible if this story ended in a moth-eaten goat!

If you’d like to make an amigurumi animal from its own fibre (or from any yarn – they always look great in acrylic too, and at least aren’t at risk of moths that way!) do check out my collection of Natural Fibre Amigurumi Patterns 🙂

Comments (5)

all change… again!

I have some huge news to share: I’m going back home to Canada in 6 weeks!

Our South African adventure has given me some amazing experiences and a new viewpoint on the world, but I can’t wait to get back to the welcome safety of my beautiful adopted homeland. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada – I’ll be home soon 🙂

Once Maui, Dave and I arrive back in Waterloo, we’ll be vacationing for a while, and then Dave will be working remotely and I’ll keep PlanetJune ticking over until I have a new office/studio organised and my computer and photographic equipment arrives by sea.

Working out how to manage a massive round-the-world move while keeping PlanetJune running smoothly has been a mammoth task – my business is three times larger than it was the last time I attempted an international move, so I have a lot more to manage! I’ve been doubling up on work all year in preparation for this time, so I’ll still have new patterns ready to release during the months I’m living out of a suitcase and can’t create new designs.

Repatriation is also proving to be a more difficult task than I’d anticipated. For example, I was able to exchange my Ontario driver’s license for a South African one fairly easily, but I now discover that Ontario won’t let me exchange it back again, so I’m going to have to take a new driving test (both theory and road) as soon as I arrive back. Let’s just hope I’m not so jet-lagged that I forget to drive on the right side of the road during the test..!

Everything feels very overwhelming at the moment, and I’m sure I’ll discover plenty more hurdles ahead in the coming months, but I’m full of hope and excitement for 2018 and beyond.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going – please wish me luck!

Comments (16)

teal ribbed sweater

This is sweater #10 of my ‘learn to knit by making a dozen self-designed sweaters’ project. (Here are links to #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 #8 and #9, if you’d like to see my progress.)

teal ribbed sweater

After the success of my most complex design yet, I thought I’d try something a bit simpler, and test out the quality of my notes from an earlier design that I’ve got a lot of use from: my green ribbed cardigan (#5).

I decided to make a pullover version, with just a couple of modifications: I added a couple of inches more length (the green one was slightly shorter than I’d have liked as I was working with the constraint of only having 4 balls of yarn!), adding a little more ease so the extra length wouldn’t be too tight over my hips, and modifying the positions of the rib stripes so the side seams would continue the stitch pattern flawlessly.

Other than that, and making a pullover with a single front instead of two half-fronts for the cardigan, I followed my previous notes exactly. I used the same yarn in a different shade and assumed my gauge would be the same (it was!) instead of swatching again.

teal ribbed sweater

To make the neckband, I again followed the style of my cardigan’s neckband. I overlapped the neckband at the point of the V instead of trying to make a mitred corner in pattern. Although it’s a little bulkier this way, it looks neat, and I stitched down the excess fabric on the inside so it doesn’t get in the way.

teal ribbed sweater

It’s good to know I can follow my own notes if I want to remake any of these sweaters, and it was refreshing to work from a pattern (of sorts) and not have to make design decisions and size calculations at every step.

But now I only need 2 more sweaters to complete this project (wow – I’m so close now!) so no more laziness; for the next sweater it’s time to tackle the one big design element I’ve never even tried to date: cables…

Comments (4)

Farmyard Goats crochet pattern

It’s here! My final commissioned pattern, Farmyard Goats, is now available to purchase!

Farmyard Goats amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Farmyard Goats is a mix-and-match pattern that lets you choose the options you want, to make many different types of goat:

  • Ears – floppy, upright, or none?
  • Horns – long and curved, shorter, tiny nubs, or none?
  • Beard, or no beard?
  • Contrast-coloured horns and hooves, or not?

Farmyard Goats amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

You choose! Make any of my three pictured options in any colour(s), or assemble your own custom goat from all the included options – it’s up to you. 

Fun Fact: It can sometimes be tricky to tell a sheep from a goat, especially as some breeds of sheep are smooth-coated, and some goats are fluffy. Here’s the trick: if the tail points up, it’s a goat! Sheep tails always point downwards.

Meet the Goats

Farmyard Goats amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My billy goat has upright ears, long horns, and a beard.

I invented a fun new technique to make the curved horns – it’s almost magical how it works, and yet it’s super-simple to achieve! I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

To me, this is the definitive goat, but I know that’s not the case for many people, so I decided to include other options in the pattern, so you can make lots of different goats…

Farmyard Goats amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My little kid goat has upright ears, short horn nubs, and no beard.

He’s a bit smaller than the other goats because, although I used the same pattern and hook size, I used mohair [goat!] blend yarn that was slightly finer than the worsted weight yarn recommended for the pattern, and 9mm eyes.

Farmyard Goats amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

My Nubian goat has floppy ears, no horns, and no beard.

But, of course, you can make a Nubian with any length horns and/or a beard, just by mixing and matching the pattern elements – this is a very versatile pattern 🙂

Ready to Crochet?

If you were one of the commissioners of this pattern, or had early access through the crochet-along, I hope you’ve been enjoying the pattern over the past few weeks!

If you’ve been waiting for the goat pattern, you can pick it up from my shop right now – and then join our Farmyard CAL in the PlanetJune Ravelry group 🙂

Or, if you’re not ready to buy just yet, please add my Farmyard Goats to your queue or favourites on Ravelry, so you don’t forget about it:

I hope you’ll enjoy my Farmyard Goats pattern! Which type of goat is your favourite?


Tutorial: Attaching Legs Evenly on a Standing Amigurumi Animal

Stitching the various pieces of an amigurumi together is arguably one of the least enjoyable parts of amigurumi-making. I have a wealth of knowledge gleaned from making hundreds of amigurumi, and I’d like to share those tips with you, to make your amigurumi assembly less frustrating!

Today I’m going to share my tips on how to best attach the legs evenly on a standing 4-legged amigurumi animal, so the joins look neat and the animal can stand straight with all four feet touching the ground.

For more tips to make your amigurumi look even better, check out the new Perfect Finish category on my crochet tutorials page!

1. If They Touch, Pre-Join the Legs

Depending on how wide the legs are and how wide the body is, the legs may meet in the middle. Check your pattern’s cover photos to see if this applies, or test it out by positioning a pair of legs at the correct position beneath the body and seeing if the legs need to touch each other at the top to fit underneath the body.

Tip: If you place the legs too far apart, the feet will tend to splay outwards and the legs won’t support the body. That’s a look you’d probably like to avoid!

If Legs Don’t Meet:

amigurumi animals whose legs are separate at the point where they join the body (patterns by planetjune)
If there’s a space between the tops of the legs (as with the animals pictured above), skip down to Step 2, below.

If Legs Do Meet:

amigurumi animals whose legs touch at the point where they join the body (patterns by planetjune)

If you determine that the pair of legs will meet in the middle (as with the animals pictured above), you can stitch them together first, before attaching them to the body. This helps to attach them evenly and makes it easier to stitch the inner edge of the second leg to the body.

To do this, simply hold the pair of legs together, and stitch the tops together where they touch. (The number of stitches to attach will depend on the diameter of the legs.)

attaching legs evenly on a standing amigurumi animal

Repeat the check for the second pair of legs (remember, the body and leg shaping may mean that one pair of legs meet while the other doesn’t). If they do touch, stitch the pair of legs together as described above.

2. Attaching the First Pair of Legs

I prefer to stitch the front legs to the body first, as it’s easier to position them in relation to the head, to make sure the legs are centred beneath the body.

First, stitch just the middle of the joined pair of legs (or just the inner edge of each separate leg) to the underside of the body (below, left), making sure they are lined up with the head (or other means of recognising the top/bottom of the body).

Stop and check: is the middle of the pair of legs exactly at the bottom of the body (below, right)? If not, pull out your stitches, adjust the leg positions, and try again. Once they are centred, you’ll know that the pair of legs will be joined to the body symmetrically, without having had to pull out many stitches!

attaching legs evenly on a standing amigurumi animal

Next, move to each leg in turn and begin to stitch around the remainder of the open edge, using the Seamless Join technique (below, left). To create the smoothest join, when you reach the outer edge of the leg, try positioning your stitches onto the body slightly further out than usual, so the leg is stretched slightly as you pull each stitch tight.

When you’ve finished, the pair of legs should sit directly beneath the body (below, right).

attaching legs evenly on a standing amigurumi animal

3. Attaching the Second Pair of Legs

Move to the second pair of legs. Turn the animal upside down, and position the pair of back legs so their midpoint is in line with the midpoint of the front legs:

attaching legs evenly on a standing amigurumi animal

Again, stitch just the middle of the joined pair of legs (or just the inner edge of each separate leg, to the body, then pause and test the amigurumi to make sure the second pair is straight in relation to the first.

To do this, stand the amigurumi up on a flat surface and make sure both pairs of legs can sit squarely at the same time:

attaching legs evenly on a standing amigurumi animal

If the back legs are skewed slightly to one side or the other, only one back foot will be able to touch the ground. If this has happened, pull out your stitches, adjust the leg positions, and try again. Checking this now has just saved you from potentially having to undo all the stitches later!

As before, move to each leg in turn and begin to stitch around the remainder of the open edge, using the Seamless Join technique. To create the smoothest join, when you reach the outer edge of the leg, try positioning your stitches onto the body slightly further out than usual, so the leg is stretched slightly as you pull each stitch tight.

Congratulations! Now your amigurumi should have nice looking leg joins, and be able to stand stably on a flat surface, with the legs neatly beneath the body and all four feet making contact with the ground:

Farmyard Goats crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Give it a try on your next four-legged amigurumi and see if my technique makes the task a little less daunting for you! Let me know how it goes…

If you’re looking for my Farmyard Goats pattern, it’ll be going on general release in a couple of weeks. But if you join the Farmyard CAL in the PlanetJune Ravelry group, you can have exclusive early access to the pattern! See the Farmyard CAL thread in the group for full details 🙂


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    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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