Anna

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Posts by Anna

Interview in the Chicago Tribune

Here’s something that feels a bit surreal: My face got printed really big in the Chicago Tribune yesterday!

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The paper interviewed me about how Mochimochi Land came to be and a bit about my other interests. I have Beth at SoHo Publishing to thank for the Tribune taking notice of my work, because they found me through her press release about Vogue Knitting LIVE—which is this weekend in Chicago!

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It took me a while to work up the nerve to actually read how my words came out in print. I think I come across OK, but for the record I don’t spend all my time reading snooty magazines!

The article and an accompanying video are also online on the Tribune website.

Creepy Peepers

I think it’s been established that I prefer basic black when it comes to eyes. I like how big black eyes are cute, but also can be mysterious and even creepy—you can almost read whatever you like into them. But when I was designing the Thwickeds, which were partly inspired by Jenny Harada’s plushes (who all have kooky eyes), I briefly considered a couple of different options…

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Spooky black won the day, but there are so many cool eyes out there (I went to 6060 on Etsy to get mine), I’m going to have to start incorporating them into my art projects, if not my pattern designs.

Do you give your toys funky eyes of one kind or another? I’d love to see examples!

Typoqween’s Halloween Goodie Bags

Look what’s popped up in the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group! Cute little Halloween-themed gift bags by Typoqween.

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The patterns for candy corn, heart, and Baby Gator are available for free right here on the Mochimochi Blog. The pattern for the Bitty Witch is in Super-Scary Mochimochi, which is half off this month! The tiny pumpkin and bat patterns can be found in the Tiny Fall Collection download. The adorable vampire seems to be a modified pattern (perhaps my free Knit Kid pattern?), and I can’t account for those cute bags, but if somebody knows where to find the pattern, please let us know in the comments.

Someone’s clearly going to have a happy Halloween!

Barnabé the Mouse

Update: My friend Jeremy Wheeler found that this guy may be what’s called a Pluffs Doll!

One of the cool things about our Chicago apartment (which still feels new to me, even though we’ve been here almost a year) is a lovely built-in glass cabinet in the dining room. It would be the perfect place to display our china, of which we have none, so instead I’m filling it with plush toys. (The “dining room” also sees a lot of yarn winding and very little dining.) There’s even extra room for more plushes than I currently have! So on Saturday I let myself acquire a new one from the Ravenswood Antique Mart.

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Don’t you love his fun colors and mischievous expression? After much consideration, I’ve decided to call him Barnabé. His tag tells me that he was made in Japan, he’s filled with excelsior (aka wood shavings), and he was imported by a company called Illfelder Importing Co. I did a search for the importer and turned up this 2011 photo from 23rd Street in NYC!

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One of the best things about this blue mouse was his price: less than $5, if you can believe it. So this was a cheap toy when it was made, and now it’s still a cheap toy, but also awesome and vintage. I might just have to start collecting these big time to help fill out my plush cabinet!

Introducing the Thwickeds

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Time to unearth that fur yarn you’ve been saving since 2002—the Thwickeds are here! Cute, cuddly, and pure evil, these wooly weirdos have emerged from the darkest corner of Mochimochi Land just in time for Halloween. We can’t guarantee your safety if you knit them*, but we can guarantee a quick and fun project with very hairy results.

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Techniques include knitting in the round on double-pointed needles, I-cord, and mattress stitch. You’ll need less than one skein each of novelty fur yarn (Romance by Lion Brand is highly recommended!), worsted-weight yarn in 3 colors (one of which should match your fur yarn), and double-pointed needles in size 8 (5.0mm) and 5 (3.75mm).

The pattern is now available as a PDF download for just $5 in the Mochimochi Shop.

*Mochimochi Land is not responsible for any deaths, injuries, or public embarrassment that result from knitting these creatures.