Looong Gnome!

Project Gnome Diplomacy

Update: Check out all the arriving gnomes on Instagram!

Earlier this week I shared the giant gnome that I’m working on for an upcoming art show in Seoul. Now I have an announcement about a group project for the same show that I hope all of you will take part in!

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Mochimochi Land is going to Korea in May, and we want YOUR tiny gnomes to be our ambassadors! In the spirit of craft and community, these gnomes will be unique creations gathered together in a delightfully diverse group of beards and hats for the public to see and be inspired by. They will be part of an art project for a Mochimochi Land show (running late May to late June) at Everyday Mooonday, a gallery in Seoul dedicated to character art.

Why gnomes? Gnomes are big players in Mochimochi Land—some even say that they’re the glue that holds Mochimochi Land together. And while gnomes are familiar characters to us in the West, they’re relatively unknown in Asia, so we want to introduce the idea of the gnome, which to us represents tradition, mystery, and playfulness. (Just like knitting!)

How you can participate:
• Knit or crochet or needle felt ANY gnome (see pattern links below) under 4” (10cm) tall
• Mail your gnome(s) to: Mochimochi Land, 4918 N Oakley Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60625
NOTE: Your gnome(s) MUST arrive by April 21st, 2015. Gnomes that arrive after this date may not be included in the project and will not be returned.
• If you’re in the Chicagoland area, stop by the Gnome Creation Station at YarnCon (April 18-19, 2015) – patterns, needles, yarn and stuffing will be provided!

Please Gnote: Your Gnome will not be returned to you, so be sure you have said a proper goodbye before sending him on his journey!

Gnome-approved patterns:
• Tiny gnome from Tiny Mochis Collection 3 (Pattern also appears in the Tiny Gnome Kit and Teeny Tiny Mochimochi) Get $3 off the pattern collection with code GNOMEDIPLOMACY through April 15th
Crochet Amigurumi Gnome (free)
Knitted Pocket Gnome (free)
Knitted Traveling Gnome (free)
Simply a Gnome (free)

There’s a prize!
Each gnome mailed in will be entered in a grand prize drawing for a “box of fun” from Seoul! (Please enclose your email address in the package to be entered.)

Check back for more information about the show and inside peeks at the preparation for it!

Project Giant Gnome

The other day a big box arrived straight from Lion Brand!

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In the big box was big squishy yarn in a combination of colors that suggest a gnome. A very large gnome.

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I can’t resist a big crazy project that pushes my knitting in new directions, so this week I find myself knitting the biggest gnome I’ve ever attempted—really, the biggest anything I’ve ever attempted. Motivating me is the gnome’s destination: a solo show this May at Everyday Mooonday gallery in Seoul, South Korea! (Official show information coming soon.)

I may have knitted some unusual things, but there’s something about knitting the biggest thing ever that has me feeling like I’m in over my head. Luckily, the nice people at Lion Brand offer really thick yarn in perfect gnomey colors, so I can maximize my giant gnome knitting time, and they were even cool enough to sponsor the yarn for this project. Thank you Lion Brand!

The yarns I’m using with a size 10.5US (6.5mm) needle:
Pants: Hometown USA in Las Vegas Gold 170
Shirt: Hometown USA in Charlotte Blue 107 and Forth Worth Blue 109
Face and hands: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Blossom 103
Hat: Hometown USA in Cincinnati Red 113
Beard: Hometown USA in Houston Cream 098

This was going to be a blog post just about planning the project and getting the yarn, but I can’t lie—I started knitting on Friday, and I’m happy to say it’s going more quickly than I had expected.

Here’s my minimal sketch and vague numbers (The only kind of numbers I’m really comfortable working with).

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The cast on.

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Giant gnome pants, stuffed with all the soft things that were in reach of my desk.

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And the shirt is now happening.

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I think Jumbo Gnome is not entirely convinced that this is going to work out as we’ve planned. Try trusting me, Jumbo Gnome! (But yes, it’s constantly at the back of my mind that I’m doing something wrong and I’ll have to rip it all out and start again.)

I’ll continue to blog my progress on this, so check back soon for updates.

There is a lot of other stuff going into this show, including a project that I hope you all will participate in—stay tuned for that announcement next!

Pass the Sheep

Remember that game Pass The Pigs? Maureen, my animator and kit fairy, discovered that you can pass the tiny sheep too!

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I love it when mochis having multiple weird uses. What else can tiny sheep do, I wonder??

Sheila’s “Think Spring” Bunnies

Sheila (QueenofSheeba on Ravelry) is a knitter who frequently embodies the Mochimochi spirit by spreading little bits of happiness wherever she goes. For her latest project, the happiness comes in the form of tiny bunnies with messages of spring for the embattled citizens of New England, who have been dealing with unprecedented amounts of snow recently.

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Here’s what Sheila says in her project description on Ravelry:

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Much like the rest of the Northeast my little patch of Maine has been inundated with snow and it just keeps coming! All you hear is “No more snow!” “Please make it stop!” “U-N-C-L-E ALREADY!!!” That’s just me! Hehehe. Of course I am hearing the same desperate cries everywhere I go SO, I decided to start the “Think Spring” movement. Maybe, juuuuuust maybe, if enough of us thing positive thoughts spring will come about sooner. As I said, things are getting desperate!

The big batch of bunnies goes to the folks at the local library. The others will randomly be given to those in need-hehehe. I figure it can’t hurt and might make folks smile in between the snowflakes…

Sure, little knitted bunnies in plastic eggs are silly, but I have no doubt that they are just what some people need right now. There’s a whole Tiny Bunny Movement based on this idea, in fact! Check out their Ravelry group, and use my free pattern to scatter little bunny-snapped seeds of happiness yourself.

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Mochimochi Land is Coming to VK LIVE Pasadena

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Exciting news: Mochimochi Land will be coming to Vogue Knitting LIVE in Pasadena in April!

The mochis and I will be in the art gallery (in or near the marketplace) all weekend long April 17-19 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Stop by to say hi and see a piece of Mochimochi Land in person—including a sneak preview of some of the creatures from my next book! And if you like, you can also bring a tiny mochi (3″ tall or smaller) to come live in Mochimochi Land.

I’ll be there hanging out, knitting, and selling my books and a selection of kits.

Plus! On Sunday there will be a hunt for tiny roses all through the marketplace.

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Of course, I hope tiny roses will be all over the place (knit yours from my free pattern and wear it proudly!), but everyone who finds a tiny Pasadena rose with a special tag will win a copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi.

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VK LIVE offers so much more—check out all the classes and other goings-on at their website.

I’ll see you and your roses in Pasadena!

Eep! Tiny Sheep!

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Happy Chinese New Year—it’s now officially the year of the sheep!

To celebrate, why not turn your yarn back into itty-bitty sheepies? The pattern is now available in two forms, as a PDF download and as a giftable kit that makes two sheep.

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The inspiration behind this design is pretty obvious—I can’t count the number of requests that I’ve gotten for this high-fiber animal over the years. But I’m kind of glad that I waited until this year to make it, because my tiny designing skills have come a long way, and I wanted to get this one just right!

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The techniques that the pattern uses are your standard tiny mochi techniques—knitting in the round on double-pointed needles, I-cord, and picking up stitches (just for the tail). But I added a new technique: brushing, a tip I picked up from June of PlanetJune.

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I recommend using a 100% wool yarn to help get your sheep the fuzziest they can be. For the samples in the photos, I used a combination of Cascade 220 Fingering, Knit Picks Palette, and Cascade Heritage yarns (for the faces and legs).

And if you’ve got wool scrap yarn, this pattern is perfect for using up leftover bits—just use a larger needle size to scale it up.

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Happy shepherding!

Happy Baa-lentine’s Day

When love is in the air in Mochimochi Land, the results come quickly. May love blossom all around you this weekend!

Animation made with help from Maureen Boyle.

(A pattern for the tiny rose is available for free, and the sheep pattern is coming soon!)