PlanetJune Craft Blog

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the PlanetJune Yarn Fund

My favourite yarns for amigurumi (in no particular order) are:

  • Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice – although it’s not as soft as my other favourites, it has more substance, which makes for really nice shaping on my amigurumi, and oh! the colours! I’ve never seen such a lovely selection of muted colours. All my Dinosaurs are made with Vanna’s.
    crocheted dinosaurs sets 1 and 2
  • Bernat Satin – my first favourite yarn! Although it’s got thinner over the last few years (when you pull it tight, as you do with amigurumi crochet, it really thins down, so it’s hard to avoid leaving some gaps between stitches), I still buy it as it’s dreamily soft and there’s a good selection of neutral colours which is handy for animals, like almost all of my AmiDogs designs.
    Beagle, Boston Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier (crochet amigurumi)
  • Red Heart Soft – similar to Satin, but a touch less soft and just that little bit thicker, which makes for a better-looking amigurumi, with less gaps between stitches. There are some gorgeous saturated colours and greens in the range, but it’s a bit limited for neutrals. I used RH Soft to make the boy and girl designs in my book.
    Amigurumi Girl and Boy

I use these yarns a lot. All the time, in fact. Between the three, I can always find the perfect yarn for any project I dream up. But that makes me very concerned about what I’m going to do for yarn once I get to South Africa… None of my favourite brands are available over there and I don’t think there’s a South African equivalent for the soft acrylics I use for my amigurumi designs. My plan is to buy as much as possible to ship over when we move, because I just don’t know what kind of designs I’m going to dream up next year, so I can’t plan for which colours I’ll need, or how much of each. My best bet is to stockpile the biggest stash I can manage.

Yesterday, my sister commented that she’d like a way to be able to send me money to put towards building my yarn stash, and I thought, hmm, that sounds like a good idea…

So, if you find my website helpful and you’d like to send me something towards stocking up on yarn to take with me so I can keep designing new patterns and creating new tutorials for you when I’m in South Africa, you can now donate to the PlanetJune Yarn Fund:

It’s like a virtual Tip Jar, but with a specific purpose. I’ll spend every cent donated to the PlanetJune Yarn Fund as frugally as possible, taking advantage of Michaels sales and coupons (I’m in Canada, so Michaels is the only option for me here!) to make the funds go as far as I can and hopefully be able to buy up every colour of my three favourite yarns for amigurumi!

Of course, if you already support me by buying my patterns and accessories or donating for my free patterns, that all helps too – thank you! – but any Yarn Fund monies will all be spent on yarn, not sidetracked into paying for food, electricity, etc 🙂

I thank you for all of your support, financial and otherwise, as I go through this scary, exhausting transitional stage before our new African adventure begins. I can’t even begin to imagine what my life will be like in a few months from now!

ETA: Importing yarn to South Africa to use in my new designs has proven to be a major challenge, between high shipping costs, high import tax, a ridiculously poor exchange rate, postal strikes and postal theft. If you’d like to donate towards the PlanetJune Yarn Fund, it’s still operational, and all donations will be gratefully put towards my next yarn restocking adventure. 🙂


  1. stuti said

    Thank you very much for your tips about yarns.
    I appreciate your creative way to get yarn.
    May be in future I can be helpful for your yarn-fund.

  2. Ericka said

    Just wanted to say Thank You!
    I’ve just started with Amurigami and have learned so much from your site…..
    Thanks again so much!

  3. Michelle said

    I moved from the U.S. to South Africa about 6 years ago. Our container took 4 months to reach SA, clear customs and get to our house. Thankfully we brought 2 stuffed suitcases each on the flight over! Swimsuit, frying pan, socks, underwear, coffee mugs… felt very odd to pack such strange stuff together.

    As far as yarn goes, the local shops are small. Our main brand is Elle, made by Saprotex here in SA – We also get some UK brands -Peter Pan by Wendy is soft baby acrylic. You might have trouble with yarn weights, we get “DK” and “8-ply.” Took me forever to figure out what I needed to buy when my pattern called for “worsted weight”! I live on the east side of Johannesburg and have 2 local shops – one is convenient and the other one is a good shop with lots on the shelves.

    For shipping… its expensive to receive things here. You will have to pay 14% VAT plus 20% tax on things imported. So, the shipper might pay $100 to send something to you, then you would have to pay another $100 to collect the package. Your best bet is to de-value items shipped – say 50 cents for a ball of yarn instead of the $4 actually paid, however that presents one problem. If the package is lost and you do claim reimbursement, you will only get 50 cents because that’s what you listed as the value. I haven’t had problems with packages gone missing (read: stolen), but the taxes can hurt if the people sending things to you don’t devalue the things on the customs forms.

    Hope your move goes well! And hope you pack enough yarn to keep your addiction fed with supplemental purchases here in SA.

    • June said

      Thanks so much, Michelle! I hope our boxes won’t take 4 months to arrive! The moving company claims it’ll take about 2 months, but I can imagine there could be delays once it hits South African soil. I plan to pack some yarn in my suitcase and then a couple of boxes full for long-term supplies 😀

      The yarn link you gave is VERY useful – it looks like “aran weight” will be the right stuff for me. What a relief to know I’ll be able to get some sort of worsted weight acrylics in SA (although I have no way of knowing if it’s the nasty scratchy stuff until I get my hands on some in person).

      And I’m horrified about the import taxes and duty – I had no idea it would be so high, but again that’s really useful to know – thank you! If you think of any other tips like this, I’d really love to hear them.

  4. Mireya said

    Im glad that you found creative way to get yarn. I have always been a huge fan of your blog and work. I was wondering could i possibly send you yarn? I dont have much money to contribute to your fund but i do have yarn from my stash that i would love to donate if you like.


    • June said

      Thank you Mireya, that’s very generous of you! I’d love to receive yarn if you have any going spare. As long as it’s not wool yarn (I’m sensitive to wool) I’d be very grateful for any yarn donations! I’ll email my address to you.

      (If anyone else has spare yarn they’d like to send in lieu of a monetary donation, please email me for my mailing address. And THANK YOU!)

  5. Jana said

    Hi, June. You also should check into international shipping companies like my Aramex! I am SURE there is probably some kind of set up like Aramex for South Africa (Hey, they may even BE in SA!) It makes it very easy for me to get yarns and other supplies from the States, even from places that don’t ship internationally! Of course, you WILL be paying more for the yarn! My answer to this is to look for GOOD sales, and free or reduced shipping whenever possible. That way I am only paying Aramex shipping, not both. It’s still more expensive. I your husbands new work going to be paying to ship your belongings there? If so, then DO go for building up that stash! I hate to see what it’s going to cost ME when I leave HERE to go home! I certainly will NOT be leaving MY stash behind! LOL!

    • June said

      That’s a good idea! Unfortunately, I’ve heard that parcels going into South Africa have a habit of going missing – I don’t know how true that is, but I definitely want to take as much yarn as I can with me. We have a fixed quote for a whole shipping container, so I’m sure I can fill all the gaps with yarn! Once I eventually run out, I’ll have to look into forwarding services or friends to send me care packages of yarn 🙂

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