Sarah’s Tiny Dolphin and Crab

I was excited to see the first projects from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, a tiny Bubbles the Dolphin and Gary the Crab, pop up in our Flickr group this morning! True to character, Gary is giving Bubbles a tiny pinch on the nose.

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For being the first person to add a project from the book to our group, Sarahknits gets a fun little present, a Personal Happiness Labbit!

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Our photo and video contest is coming back in the fall, so go ahead and start adding your photos of Mochimochi knits to our Flickr group, and they will all be automatically entered.

More Adventurous Projects

Thank you for a wonderful book release last week! I’ve been eagerly checking Ravelry and Facebook and Twitter to see the new Adventure mochis that you’re posting online. (Please also share them in the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group!)

Today I have some projects to share made by Joan Foster, a good friend of Mochimochi Land who’s been doing very creative things with my patterns over the years. (She’s really motivated me to up my game when it comes to dioramas and the like.) While I’m a firm believer of toys existing for their own sake—or rather, existing to be played with, or to be admired for their cuteness, or to be assembled into fantastical scenes—I know that more practical-minded people out there want toys that do practical things, or at least functional and specific things. And I totally get that!

With this functional angle in mind, I asked Joan to create some non-narrative projects using the creatures from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, and she came up with three really fun ideas.

Idea #1: Assemble a chess set!

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Most tiny mochis can make for fun game pieces, and you can really get creative in choosing the roles that they will play in a game of chess, along with color coordinating them all for teams. This set is composed of the magically delicious characters found in Sweet City: mallow bunnies are the pawns (they’re so easily gobbled up, after all); mini microwaves make good bishops (zapping right through those diagonal squares); Biscuit is the queen for her heroic role in “The Hungry Donut”; and ferocious gum-gum bears are the kings. (Or maybe it’s the other way around for the kings and queens?)

For pieces that aren’t so capable of standing up on their own, you can stitch them to buttons to use as stable bases.

Idea #2: Make a mobile!

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There’s something about a handmade mobile that’s just irresistibly adorable, and the projects in each of the stories in Adventures give you automatic themes to choose from. Of course, the skyward setting of “The Lighthearted Lovers” is perfect for this project.

Wrap a floral wreath with yarn for a hanging structure, center the action around a carnival tent, then have fun adding balloons and clouds and rainbow birds. (Joan knitted the blimp from the story in fingering-weight yarn instead of worsted to make it a perfect size for a tiny elephant perch.)

Idea #3: Party decorations and favors!

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An “under the sea” birthday has certainly been done before, but adding hand-knit sea creatures to the festivities might make the occasion a bit more memorable. I think most kids (or adults) wouldn’t turn down a mini dolphin, crab, or puffer fish as a party favor, and the treasure chest and the joyful oyster, two more projects from “The Underwater Election,” can even hold goodies to give out.

Huge thanks to Joan for coming up with the concepts and executing these adorable ideas!

Knit Picks Podcast Interview

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m a big podcast listener. (I even write about them for The A.V. Club’s Podmass feature.) So it’s exciting in a surreal way to be a guest on a podcast, as I recently was for the Knit Picks Podcast, hosted by Holly Klein.

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I use Knit Picks yarn for soooo many projects (including lots of the patterns in Adventures in Mochimochi Land), so it was a pleasure to do this!

Holly asked me about how Mochimochi Land came to be, and all about my new book. The theme of the episode is cute stuff, so after my interview Holly talks to listeners about the cutest knitting projects they’ve tackled.

Thanks to Holly for having me on!

Adventures in Mochimochi Land is Here!

Today’s the day! Adventures in Mochimochi Land is now in stores everywhere!

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If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen peeks at the three stories the book contains, about a giant donut who tries to eat a city, sea creatures who hold an underwater election, and a balloon who falls in love with a blimp. You can also knit adventures of your own with 25 patterns for the characters and props that appear in the stories.

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Projects include tiny desserts, tiny sea creatures, tiny things in the sky, and much more! (See them all on Ravelry).

The stories are appropriate for all ages, and the projects are recommended for intermediate knitters. (Illustrations and tutorials for beginners are also included.)

So much work went into this book—as I’ve said before, making it was really my own adventure in Mochimochi Land. I couldn’t have done it alone, and I was so lucky to have the help of a brilliant editor, a very resourceful tech editor, a fantastic team of testers, a couple of hardworking sample knitters, and a photographer who did a heroic job. Thank you to Caitlin Harpin, Marilyn Passmore, and Jessica Chace, Joan Foster, Amanda Scruggs, Yvonne Spencer, Joan De Lurio, Rikke Jensen, Linda Sewell, Brent Perrotti, and Brandi Simons.

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Adventures in Mochimochi Land is now available online (in ebook and paperback) from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and from Powells, among other retailers. Signed copies are also available from me in the Mochimochi Shop. (Supplies are limited due to preorders, but I’m getting more soon and they’ll be shipped ASAP.) Or if you have a local bookstore or yarn store that you support, please ask them if they’re carrying it!

Now, let the adventures begin!

Free Pattern: Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is a beginning-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, available June 9th from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

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Sometimes the simplest knits are the most scrumptious. In “The Hungry Donut,” a story from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, chocolate chip cookies serve as wheels on a truck and also as a platform from which a tiny baker seeks to save the world.

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They can become so much more with some imagination… or just cute cookies for play food fun!

More >

More Fun from Seoul

I finally had a chance to go through all my non-gnome photos from our Seoul trip. We sure saw a lot for being in a gallery for most of the week!

OK, I have one gnome photo—this guy snuck into my luggage and couldn’t wait to get some fresh air and see a city on the other side of the world.

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The area we were staying in is called Songpa, which is most famous for Lotte World, a big amusement park with both indoor and outdoor attractions. We didn’t get a chance to visit, but every morning we took a walk around a nearby lake, the middle of which is occupied by an island of Lotte World.

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More >

Book Signing June 14th at Windy Knitty in Chicago

Hey Chicagoland friends, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing a book signing at the lovely yarn shop Windy Knitty on Sunday, June 14th!

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The book is, of course, Adventures in Mochimochi Land, my new combination storybook and pattern book from Potter Craft. Come see samples from the book in person (displayed in fun diorama fashion), enjoy some refreshments, and bring some yarn and a set of double-pointed needles to make an easy project from the book right on the spot! (Any thickness yarn will do—pick a needle size 2-3 sizes smaller than usual for a tight gauge.)

I’ll be at Windy Knitty from 1 to 4pm on June 14th, so stop by anytime to say hi and check out the book. Hope to see you locals there!

Seoul Box of Fun Giveaway Time

It’s time for one lucky contributor to Project Gnome Diplomacy to win a fabulous box of fun from Seoul!

Here’s what’s in store for the winner.

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Highlights include:

— A cute bee + hive magnet set

— A Sticky Monster Lab Smoothy King banana figure

— Weird fox and ogre face peel masks

— Cute tooth-shaped toothbrush holders

— Fun cloth ribbon

— Individually wrapped caramel erasers

— Lotsa stickers and candy!

OK, selection time. I’ve got a big bag of names to draw from, and it’s hard to choose just one…. but… the winner… is…

John, who contributed Lief Gnomenson and his younger brother Sprout! Congratulations, John! I’m emailing you right now for your mailing address.

Big thanks again to all of you who contributed to Project Gnome Diplomacy. As generous gnome makers savvy enough to participate in an online call for gnomes, you are all winners in life. We’ve been talking about the gnomes’ ultimate destiny with Everyday Mooonday (and generating some fun ideas!), and I’ll be sure to share an update on this project as it developes.