The Saddest Toilet

Exciting things are being knitted this week, but not things I can share quite yet. So instead I give you the the saddest toilet I’ve ever seen.

toilettrash

Such an indignity, to be thrown out next to the box that your replacement came in! Flushie is appalled.

Since moving to Chicago I’ve noticed that some fascinating scenes happen in the alleys. You never know what lurks behind the tidy houses in my picturesque neighborhood…

Classes at Natural Stitches in Pittsburgh Sept 20 & 21

I’m headed to Pittsburgh next month for a weekend of knitting, photographing, and designing, thanks to the awesome people at Natural Stitches!

naturalstitches14_1

This will be my second visit to Pittsburgh, which I fell in love with during a brief visit in spring of last year. I’m excited to return—this time I hope to actually try the pierogies!

In addition to the classes (which should be super chill and fun (no expertise in photography or design needed!), there will also be a little meet & greet on Friday, September 19th. I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully meeting lots more PA knitters.

Check out the Natural Stitches website for more info and to sign up for a class or two!

Shop Talk: Shipping

shoptalk9

Shipping is a topic that I’ve been wanting to cover here for a while now, but I’ve put it off because there is just so much to say, and I also don’t have a broad knowledge of all the different options—I just found what works for me. But just sharing that much could be helpful to someone who doesn’t know where to begin, right? So today I’m sharing everything I know about shipping.

More >

Hearts for Play Africa

My friend Kristen (owner of the awesome plush/vinyl toy store Schmancy in Seattle) has started a multicraftual effort to support a new children’s museum that’s being planned for Johannesburg, South Africa. Read on to find out how you can help!

hearts_playafrica

Here is Kristen’s call to knitters, crocheters, and sewers:

My friend Gretchen is currently in the works to build the very first children’s museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is not only the first children’s museum in S. Africa but the first in Africa. The museum is to open on June 16th, 2016, 40 years after numerous children were brutally killed after protesting against the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974. It’s an absolutely amazing project and I am so proud of her. Not long ago she was filmed in my apartment for a documentary about this undertaking. So much of her conversation was so inspiring, while also heartbreaking and sad. She described one woman having a hard time balancing life as a single mother saying she “just wanted more time for love”.
Seeing as South Africa prides itself on being a Rainbow Nation, an idea came to me while she was talking. I thought how amazing would it be if I could get people from around the globe to mail her hearts. 3″- 4″ hearts, in all the colors of the rainbow, that could be hung from the ceiling of the museum in garlands. After the installation they could be sold in the gift store to help raise money for the museum OR be given to the children that visit.

If you’d like to knit up some hearts for this cause, my free pattern for hearts would be great for this—just use a bulky yarn to get the larger size that is requested.

Visit Kristen’s original blog post for the details on sending your hearts, plus additional patterns for crocheted and sewn hearts.

Play is a really important concept to me, so I love this opportunity to contribute and help make Play Africa a success!

Soupy in a Mustache

It’s finally happened: Soupy has given in to the facial hair trend.

soupy_mustache

I especially love this photo because Soupy’s whiskers are also prominently sticking out, giving him the effect of a double mustache. How dapper!

The anthropomorphic mustache is from the Chicago-based plush company Shawnimals.

Tiny Chicken Knitting at Sifu

No, we didn’t teach tiny chickens how to knit (although I would love to see someone try!). Yesterday a nice group joined me for a class on knitting tiny chickens at Chicago’s Sifu Design Studio. Here are the fowl results!

sifu_chickens2

It turns out that chickens can be cute in any color—even purple! It was also interesting to me to revisit this pattern, which I designed back in 2010, and which I hadn’t knitted myself since 2011, when Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi was published.

Prior to the class was a casual trunk show/ book signing during Sifu’s Sunday brunch get-together. It was a nice way to wrap up the Chicago Yarn Crawl.

sifu_chickens1

Thank you to Sifu and to everyone who came! Everybody else can get the tiny chicken pattern here.

New Favorite Podcast: Mom on Pop

As I’ve mentioned off and on here, I listen to lots of podcasts while I’m knitting—I’ve found it’s the perfect way to be entertained and keep my eyes on tiny stitches at the same time. (They’re also great to listen to while cooking, cleaning, power walking… anything that doesn’t require too much thinking.) And today I’m especially excited to spread the word about my newest favorite podcast, because it’s made by two of my favorite people, my husband, John, and my mother-in-law, Bonney!

momonpop

Mom on Pop is the title of the podcast, and it’s produced by The A.V. Club, the arts & entertainment website where John works. On it John and Bonney chat about anything pop culture-related that they’re currently into, like iPhone games, TV shows, and stuff they found on Netflix. The cheeky title is perfect for their mother-and-son banter, and I can attest that it’s just like listening in on one of their everyday conversations, which are highly amusing to me, and I think almost as amusing to those who don’t know them personally.

If you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, you already know Bonney as the owner of the world’s biggest yarn stash.

bonney_stashshot1

She’s still unchallenged in the title!

There’s not much yarn talk on the podcast, but they do occasionally mention me in passing, which is cool and weird.

You can subscribe to Mom on Pop via iTunes or find it on the A.V. Club website.

Our Squee-Worthy Summer Sale is back!

summerofsquee14

Through August 31st, all mochi-making goodies in the Mochimochi Shop are on sale: Books are 15% off, and all kits and PDF patterns are 20% off. Just enter the code SUMMEROFSQUEE in your cart before checking out.

This is our last big sale of the year, so take advantage of the deals and end your summer with a squee!