Time-Lapse Video of Animation Setup

We made a stop-motion animation yesterday—coming soon! Maureen had the foresight to shoot a time-lapse video as we were setting up and beginning to animate.

This was just the start of our production—about three hours of animating followed. Many more nails were bitten along the way. But I think it’s going to turn out cute!

Free Pattern: Tiny Rose

This is an intermediate-level knitting pattern for everyone to enjoy. Please check out the Mochimochi Shop for more patterns that you’ll love!

You can download a PDF version of this pattern on the Vogue Knitting LIVE website.

tinyrose1

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you know what would really make your sweetheart swoon? That’s right, a tiny anthropomorphic plant made of yarn. This itty-bitty rose knits up in an hour or less, so you can dole out the love all over the office or make a mini bouquet for your one and only.

Techniques included I-cord and knitting in the round on double-pointed needles. Fingering-weight yarn is recommended, but just about any yarn with corresponding needle size will work great.

More >

Happy Groundhog Day

Godfrey’s prediction is… pretty obvious.

godfrey2015

And if you’re snowed in on this Groundhog Day, perhaps you should spend your snow day knitting a Godfrey of your own!

Hello 2015 Pattern Sale Ends Tomorrow

hello2015

Just a flashy reminder that tomorrow (Saturday, 1/31) is the last day to take 20% off all PDF patterns in the Mochimochi Shop with the code HELLO2015.

Two Fave New Apps: Monument Valley and Petting Zoo

It’s been a long time since I talked about something besides knitting on this blog, so let me tell you about two apps that have been making my iPhone fun lately!

The first is the puzzle game Monument Valley, which is an all-around beautiful experience. You play a silent little princess navigating a surreal landscape of Escher-like towers and blocks that work in mysterious ways.

monumentvalley

The mechanics of it reminded me a little bit of the game Fez, but Monument Valley differs greatly in its approachability and ease: the puzzles start without the delay of a boring tutorial, and build in difficulty to something challenging but not frustratingly so. It’s a game that I think has a calming effect on most people, which is something I always appreciate my phone doing. Really, I enjoyed Monument Valley so much that I didn’t want to “waste” it by playing it while waiting in line at the grocery store. I played it at the end of the day when I could let myself get drawn in by its strange little world.

The other app I’m digging lately was recommended to me by Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon Knitting, of all people.

pettingzoo1

It’s called Petting Zoo, and it’s an “interactive picture book” by Christoph Niemann, the illustrator responsible for some amazing features on the New York Times website, among other things. I suppose the primary audience for this app is young children, but I’m not ashamed to say that I find it delightful as an adult. Its simple concept: line drawings of animals that you poke and prod to make them respond in amusingly elastic ways. The actions start with simple concepts, like “pet the stretchy dog”, then get gradually more surreal and unexpected. (The melting panda is a favorite of mine.)

pettingzoo2

I’m enjoying this app so much that I’ve been using it sparingly, trying to delay the end (which I haven’t seen yet) as long as possible. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my 3-year-old niece the next time I see her, but in the meantime I’m happy to enjoy it as a 33-year-old.

Both of these apps cost money, but are extremely worth it. Oh, and why am I talking to Kay Gardiner about apps? Because I was telling her I was thinking about making one. How fun would that be???

Bonnie’s Rainbow of Frogs

If you’ve been visiting this blog for a long time, you know what these colorful tiny frogs are all about!

tinyfrog_bonnie1

For the past four years, Bonnie of Catharticink has made it a tradition to knit a hand-dyed spectrum of tiny mochis in the colder months—she started with a torrent of snowmen, then followed that with a zipper of Santas, a cloud of bats, and a bunch of birds.

tinyfrog_bonnie4

So every year now when it starts getting cold, I start wondering if another brightly-hued herd is on its way to help cheer things up. As you can see, Bonnie really came through with this flotilla of frog gins. They even appear to be forming molecules!

tinyfrog_bonnie2

Or they can just be a high-fiber froggie snack.

tinyfrog_bonnie3

Bonnie’s beautifully shot groupings have really been a big inspiration to me over the past few years. In fact, I’m working on some soft sculptures right this moment that are heavily inspired by what she has done with this annual series. (More on that a bit later.)

I spotted Bonnie’s frogs in the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group, which is where I find a lot of the knits that I share here. If you’ve taken photos of your toys made from Mochimochi Land patterns, please share them in the group!

Bat Buddies for Biodiversity

This is making my week: The Biodiversity Research Institute, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Maine, that conducts research and promotes awareness about wildlife conservation, is raising funds by selling hand-knitted bats made from my Boo the Bat pattern!

boo_batbuddies

Because they are scientifically-minded people, BRI’s Bat Buddies are available as three different species: Northern Long-eared bat, Red bat, and the Gray bat. Let’s learn more about them with the descriptions provided on their website!

Northern Long-eared Bat

The Northern Long-eared bat is a medium-sized bat distinguished by its long ears. Medium to dark brown fur covers its back while its underside is tawny to pale-brown. This species is one that is most impacted the White-nose Syndrome and has recently been proposed for listing as an endangered species.

Gray Bat

The Gray bat is a small bat with grayish-brown fur. It is approximately 5 inches long with a wingspan of 11-13 inches. Gray bats live in caves year round with only rare occurrences outside of caves. They are a federally endangered species mainly due to human disturbance and habitat loss. However, the gray bat population has also been affected by White-nose Syndrome.

Red Bat

The Red bat is a medium-sized bat, about 4-5 inches long, with reddish-orange fur. Adult males are more brightly colored, while females and juveniles are more grayish. The fur of both sexes may be tipped white, giving this bat a frosty appearance. They are known as a “tree bat” and can usually be found roosting in the foliage of trees and shrubs. Like other tree bats, they will migrate from the northern part of its range to the southern part of its range for the winter. The Red bat is not currently listed as endangered or threatened.

The Bat Buddies are available for $20 each and are knitted to order by Catherine of Laughing Lab Designs. I hope they prove a popular item!

I love it when knitters use my patterns to raise funds for a good cause. If you have a fundraising project like this that you’d like to do, just get in touch at info [at] mochimochiland [dot] com.

Group Show: WonderWomen at University of Minnesota

As it happens, I have work in another group show that starts with a W this month!

wonderwomen1

WonderWomen, at the University of Minnesota’s Katherine E. Nash Gallery, is a show of works by female artists who are influenced by comics and other pop culture. I sent them some animations from the past year and this assortment of tiny mochis.

wonderwomen3

But I’m burying the lede here: I’m in a group show that also contains work by Alison Bechdel! Along with others whose work I admire, and others whose work I look forward to exploring. Here’s a closer look at the show information:

wonderwomen2

WonderWomen
January 20 – February 14, 2015
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
405 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455