PlanetJune Craft Blog

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PlanetJune Stories: petrOlly

Today’s PlanetJune Story comes from Aleksandra in Poland, who many of you will be familiar with as petrOlly, one of the much-appreciated moderators from the PlanetJune ravelry group! This is a really wonderful story and I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to read it. Over to you, petrOlly…

My PlanetJune story started as a very spontaneous idea but it turned into a long-term project.Β In November 2012 I learnt about an art contest for 10-12 year olds at the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute. The semi-finals were to be held in the Marine Geology Branch in GdanskΒ in May 2013.

Official logo of the contest
Official logo of the contest “The predatory face of the Earth”
Some of the artworks awarded in the contest
Some of the award-winning artwork from the contest

I’ve known and seen myself as a part of the Institute since I was a kid – my mother has worked there for as long as I can remember, I helped out there on several occasions during my studies, and I’m a huge fan of their Geological Museum in Warsaw.

As the subject of the contest was “The predatory face of the Earth” (Polish: “Drapiezne oblicza Ziemi”), I instantly thought about June’s dinosaurs making a superb addition and an extra prize for the winners.Β All I crocheted between November 2012 and April 2013 was dinosaurs – I ended up making 30 of them, and luckily this was enough for all the kids whose stunning artwork was awarded. Phew!

30 dinosaurs were additional prizes in the contest
Thirty dinosaurs made by petrOlly as additional prizes for the contest
30 dinosaurs were additional prizes in the contest
The thirty dinosaurs
The dinosaurs had little notes with facts attached to them
Each dinosaur included a note with facts about it
The dinosaurs had little notes with facts attached to them
Each dinosaur included a note with facts about it

Although I wasn’t there in person for the ceremony, it was a very exciting day for me as well πŸ™‚

Before the ceremony
Vice-director of the Marine Geology Branch and the dinosaurs minutes before ceremony
The auditorium was full
The auditorium was full – a total of 780 entries were received, including 658 pieces of art!

Later that day I talked on the phone with co-workers at the Institute in GdanskΒ and they told me all about the ceremony. My dinosaurs were a huge hit! People (mostly adults – the kids’ teachers) were asking where they could buy more of the toys as they would like a whole set for the school. And – what was most important for me – the kids loved the dinos as well.

People asked questions about the dinosaurs / More artworks awarded in the contest
Contestants from a school in ElblagΒ and their teacher asking the director of the Marine Geology Branch questions about the dinosaurs / More artwork awarded in the contest

One story touched me especially: a boy came to collect the prize his friend won, and he was sad, as he would have to give the dinosaur away. Luckily, there was one last dino left and he got his own toy, which he received with tears in his eyes.

Listening to this story gave me the most rewarding feeling. I could never have hoped my work would be appreciated that much. For that I have two people to thank: my mother, who taught me how to crochet, and June, for the awesome patterns.

I hope that – if I ever participate in an event like this again – I will be able to make it to the award ceremony πŸ™‚

After the ceremony - participants and the co-workers of the Institute in the foyer
Participants and the co-workers of the Institute in the foyer after the ceremony – notice the great work from previous contests hanging on the walls
After the ceremony - winners and participants in front of Institute's building
Winners and participants after the award ceremony in front of the Institute’s building inΒ Gdansk

You can see all of the award-winning artwork and more photos from the award ceremony here.

(Back to me, June, again!) I love this story on so many levels – not only seeing my designs being enjoyed by petrOlly while she crocheted them and then by the award-winning children, but also that my work is somehow helping in some small way with education, and the children are learning and being encouraged to express that through creativity. Thank you, Aleksandra, for your generosity in giving away all your beautiful dinosaurs, and for sharing such a lovely account of the contest with us today πŸ™‚ Please leave petrOlly 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, 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!

And if petrOlly’s lovely work has inspired you to crochet some dinosaurs too, please join theΒ Reptiles & Amphibians CALΒ – it runs for another month so you have plenty of time to make some lovely dinos of your own πŸ™‚

Reptiles & Amphibians CAL at PlanetJune

You’ll find all these patterns here!


  1. Zuzia (susan) said

    Omg, i’m from Poland. Drapie?ne oblicza Ziemi. My comment is short, I know, but im only teen. πŸ˜‰

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Zuzia, if you are still in school, you can check if your school can participate in next year’s competition – and I recommend a visit to the geological museum if you’ll be in Warsaw (
      And you can try to crochet your own predators πŸ˜‰

      (June, I’ll answer/ translate my answer in Polish, too – I hope you are OK with it?)
      Zuzia, jesli nadal chodzisz do szkoly, mozesz sprawdzic, czy Twoja szkola moze wziac udzial w przyszlorocznym konkursie – polecam tez wizyte w muzeum geologicznym, jesli bedziesz w Warszawie (
      No i mozesz sprobowac wyszydelkowac wlasnego drapieznika πŸ˜‰

  2. Simone said

    I’m so late in responding, and I hope my praise will be received regardless to the late hour.
    It’s so amazing how much work and effort were necessary to make all this possible – the competition, as well as the “additional” prizes. I’m sure most of the children will view their dinosaur as the real prize!

    Lovely, beautiful, and thank you so much for sharing, June and Aleksandra!

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thanks, Simone πŸ™‚ I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  3. Elise said

    What a great story! You are a wonderful person petrOlly! I love your dinos. You are so generous giving away all those dinos! πŸ˜€

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Without the great patterns from June there would be no story and no dinos. All of June’s patterns are inspiring and the ready toys can bring joy to so many people, that’s also great about it πŸ™‚

  4. Alicia Brink said

    what a great job. Ok I’m a little teary after reading about the kid who picked up his friend’s dino prize and ended up getting one too. Inspires me to make more for donations. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Aww, thank you πŸ™‚

  5. AMAZING! I LOVE this story! You are a wonderful person petrOlly! That is a very generous idea, such a touching story! πŸ™‚

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thank you, Monica πŸ™‚
      I am really happy about it, that I actually managed to accomplish this project πŸ™‚

  6. Sietske (Swaentje) said

    Wow! What a lovely story and what a wonderful project!!! You’re phantastic, Aleksandra! (And so are June’s designs, of course.) What a wonderful surprise it must have been to those children to get such a beautiful crocheted dino. Warm applause! πŸ™‚

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thank you, Sietske πŸ™‚
      I hope the long wait was worth it – I teased you long enough not revealing what my “mystery project” is about πŸ˜‰

  7. jamie said

    Inspiring story!

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thanks, Jamie πŸ™‚
      I hope it inspired you and we’ll see some new dinosaurs from you πŸ˜‰

  8. Fabulous story and fabulous dinos!

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thank you, Judy πŸ™‚

  9. Lisa Schwartz said

    Awesome job PetrOlly! It was so sweet of you to think of this idea and go to all the work to put it together. I’m sure the kids absolutely loved your dinosaurs.

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thanks, Lisa πŸ™‚
      From what I heard – yes, the dinosaurs were the highlight of the ceremony πŸ˜‰ It’s a pity I couldn’t make more – other, older kids, who wrote essays etc. didn’t get their “artwork prize” i.e. the dinosaurs…

  10. Chrisie (CrochetChrisie) said

    Wow! I love it! You are so awesome and generous petrOlly! Thanks for sharing your story with us. All of your dinos are great!

    • .: petrOlly :. said

      Thank you, Chrisie πŸ™‚
      It was pure fun and I really enjoyed making the dinosaurs. I admire the different artwork every time I visit my mum at work and am always amazed about the creativity of the kids. The idea of making the dinosaurs as an extra prize came spontaneously to my mind and I am very glad it did πŸ™‚

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