Another Great VK LIVE

I just had the best weekend at the 5th Anniversary Vogue Knitting LIVE! It seems strange to return to NYC and spend the entire three days in Times Square, but I loved every minute of it (except for the black ice on Sunday—whoa that was a weird way to start the day). So much fiber excitement, so many familiar faces and friendly new ones too!

And this year, Mochimochi Land was back in classic form.

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I brought back elements from the display that I showed at the first VK LIVE (which itself had been a modified form of my 2010 show Greetings from Mochimochi), and added new scenes and characters. Setup on Friday was an intense seven hours of arranging, pinning, and stitching, but maybe there’s nothing I love more than to dump out a big pile of mochis and figure out what they’re all going to do with (and to) each other.

See more after the jump! More >

Je Suis Charlie / Ahmed

I want to live in a world where making art can’t get you killed. Perhaps there isn’t a more appropriate response to last week’s attacks in Paris than to make more art, and I’m grateful for the cartoonists and others who have done so.

That includes Circé, a knitter and designer living in France, who made this pencil from one my patterns.

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And Lorna of Knits for Life, who shared this yarn bombing on Facebook the other day.

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When I was a freshman in college, one of the first classes that I took was named “Offensive Art.” I thought the name was kind of dumb, because who cares if there are still people out there who are offended by art? Then we learned about the Taliban and how they were destroying ancient Buddhist art in Afghanistan, and that answered my question.

I know that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was, at its roots, about more than art. But I also believe that art and other freedoms of expression are the way forward for us all.

Rebecca’s Legs the Penguin

Speaking of Vogue Knitting LIVE, Rebecca took my toy design class at the October VK LIVE in Chicago, and she just sent me an update about her new toy, which is finished!

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This is Legs the Penguin. Isn’t he funny? And good news: Rebecca is sharing him as a free pattern on her website ChemKnits!

Legs isn’t the first toy that Rebecca has designed—in fact, she has quite a lot of patterns to her name. I hope the VK LIVE workshop opened up some new ideas for her. I also love how Rebecca is an actual biochemist, and still she chooses to spend her spare time designing a googly-eyed penguin with extra long legs.

If anyone else from that design class is reading this: you are all late with your homework! But really, I’m always interested in talking about toy design. There are just so many different approaches to it, and the possibilities are endless. If you’ve thought about designing a toy before but haven’t actually done it yet, why not get started today? Just start somewhere and see how it goes!

See you at VK LIVE NYC

For the fifth year in a row, Mochimochi Land is coming to Vogue Knitting LIVE in NYC!

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That’s right, next weekend’s event is the 5th anniversary show, and I believe it will be my 9th overall VK LIVE. How time has flown since that first show!

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For this VK LIVE, I’m actually going to reprise the Mochimochi landscape that I brought to that first show. Mochimochi Land is getting packed up to be shipped out right now, in fact! This year’s display will be updated with many newer characters getting up to cute and strange mischief, including a sneak preview of what’s in store from my forthcoming book.

And here’s an idea I thought would be fun: this year you can be a part of Mochimochi Land by adding your own tiny mochis! Bring a creature (about 2″ or smaller) that you’ve made from a Mochimochi Land pattern, and add it to the scene.*

Also, we’re bringing back the Sunday hunt! This year we’re celebrating 5 years of VK LIVE with tiny balloons.

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Ten tiny balloons will be hidden around the marketplace on Sunday, and everyone who finds one wins a copy of Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi!

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I’ll also be signing books, and tiny kits will be 2 for $20. So I hope to see many familiar faces and many new ones next weekend—find me in the 6th floor art gallery!

Vogue Knitting LIVE NYC
January 16 – 18
New York Marriott Marquis
1535 Broadway, NYC

* You can either take your mochi home at the end of the day/weekend, or just donate it to us (we can’t ship it back to you after the event is over). Also, don’t bring one that is too precious to you, as there’s always a small chance that it could escape into the world!

Group Show: White Monsters At Everyday Mooonday in Seoul

I’m thrilled to be a part of “White Monsters,” a group show opening tomorrow (January 9th) at Everyday Mooonday in Seoul.

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The theme of the show is self-explanatory, and I’m in extremely good character-artist company!

My own white monster is named Big Thwicked in Thwhite (Thwilla).

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Thwilla is of course an extra-large thwicked, so she’s extra cute and cuddly, and also extra evil. She gets her rainbow colors from all the candy creatures that she eats in Mochimochi Land.

Please check this show out if you happen to be in Seoul!

White Monsters
January 1 – February 22, 2015
Everyday Mooonday
9-17 Songpadong, Songpagu,
Seoul, Korea

Hello 2015 Pattern Sale

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Our January pattern sale is back! Through January 31st, take 20% off all PDF patterns in the Mochimochi Shop with the code HELLO2015.

This is a good time to pick up any patterns you might have missed last year, like Quarters, Thwickeds, Farfalla, or the Tiny People 2 patterns.

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And maybe a good time to discover some classic Mochimochi Land designs, like Tiny Mochis Collection 4, Godfrey the Groundhog, the Uh-Ohs, or Sleepy Snake & Mischievous Mouse.

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It’s all of 3 degrees in Chicago today, and probably a good day for knitting where you are too!

Happy 2015

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Happy 2015, year of the sheep! I’m taking that as an auspicious sign for all of us.

2014 was overall pretty good, but I also think I spent a lot of it stressed out, either because I had taken on too much or because I wasn’t as busy as I wanted to be and was feeling weird about that. It was also our first full year living in Chicago, and getting settled in a new place just takes time, I’ve discovered. This year I’m resolving to focus more on things that I’m truly excited about and not worry so much about doing everything possible. That might mean a little less blogging here, but I still have plenty of exciting things in mind for 2015. Including:

Vogue Knitting LIVE in NYC in less than two weeks! (More on that soon.)

– An exciting participatory art project

– A new book! (Which you can already preorder if you are so inclined.)

– Obviously, a new tiny sheep pattern! (Coming soon.)

I think it’s going to be a really good year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we all do with it!

2014 Mochimochi Highlights

As another busy year of Mochimochi Land comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the fun stuff that happened!

In January, I shared some inspirations and began a series of posts about my work and business.

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In February I shared some progress on my design for an arcade mochi, the Ann Arbor District Library started offering Mochimochi Land patterns as digital downloads to their cardholders, we got to see ice-skating giant squids

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…and two lumberjacks fell in love.

March was kind of unremarkable, but April brought inspiration in the form of View-Master dioramas.

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In May I interviewed Julie Lindsey of Happy Go Lucky Yarn, my photographer Brandi Simons ironed a wall, Super-Scary Mochimochi got published in Korean, and I came out with the pattern for my arcade machine—now known as Quarters!

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June started with the winners of our springtime photo series contest, the world got a knitted flying narwhal with an Italian name, and some tiny gnomes ended up in Nintendo concept art.

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In July I learned how to make pom-poms and the gnomes had a firecracker that was extremely slow to go off.

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We saw Soupy try out a mustache in August.

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In September I got busy wrapping a branch in yarn, you all came up with silly captions for tiny woodland creatures, and I set some gnomes free in NYC.

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In October the Chicago Tribune discovered Mochimochi Land, people hunted for pumpkins at VK LIVE, and an unexpected guest won the costume contest at the Halloween party.

I shared a mochi-fied Don Quixote in November, Soupy showed us how to make a cat bed in 4 easy steps, and we wondered what this bag from my Mother-in-law’s yarn stash was all about.

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December started with hat-wearing walruses, you all did some amazing things for our annual photo + video contest, and for the second year in a row, mochis could be seen on Nickelodeon all month long!

Anna Hrachovec for Nickelodeon: Holiday 2014 IDs from Anna Hrachovec on Vimeo.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we squeezed in some singing walruses just in time for Christmas.

I’d say that was a pretty good year in weird knitted toys. Thank you all so much for being a part of it! Here’s to another magical year together in 2015!