Tiny Gnomes Love Halloween

The gnomes put a lot of work into their Halloween costumes this year! Even though some of them got the holiday a little wrong, I thought they were all worth sharing.

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What are YOUR tiny gnomes going to be for Halloween this year?

Pumpkin Butts

Saturday’s tiny pumpkin knitting class at the Harold Washington Library was lots of fun, with a great group of knitters. And after just two hours we ended up with this adorable harvest!

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When I posted this photo on Facebook, my favorite comment was from Cindy here.

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Hence the title of this blog post.

This was actually my last scheduled event for 2015, and with the baby due at the end of the year, I have NOTHING yet scheduled for 2016. It’s a strange feeling, but maybe a little nice to think about a break (I have plenty of work to do behind the scenes of course, too), and I’m sure I’ll be back out in the world before too terribly long.

Back on the subject of tiny pumpkins, Halloween is just a few days away now, isn’t it?! It’s definitely not too late for spooky little knits, so here’s a handy list of links to Halloween mochi patterns:

Candy Corn (free!)
Tiny Pumpkin
Tiny Terrors (vampire, werewolf, mad scientist, and two-headed dude)
Tiny Zombie
Thwickeds
Gobbledyghost
Boo the Bat

Also, this morning I had the nice surprise of finding my tiny terrors at the top of this BuzzFeed roundup of spooky knitting patterns by Claire de Louraille.

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The list includes quite a few adorable things I hadn’t seen before (like those cool ghost hats!), so check it out for more ideas and patterns!

Announcing the 2015 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winners!

UPDATE: Announcing our Honorable Mentions!

UPDATE: We’ve added exciting prizes from Franklin Habit and world’s largest yarn stash owner Bonney Teti!

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Get your needles ready and your cameras charged: It’s now officially time to enter the 9th Annual Mochimochi Photo Contest!

Once again, we’re looking for the cutest, funniest, most interesting photos and videos of Mochimochi Land toys. There are two easy ways to enter: For photos, upload your images to the Mochimochi Friends group on Flickr by Tuesday, December 1st. For videos, post your entry to a publicly viewable website (like YouTube or Vimeo) and email us a link at info@mochimochiland.com by December 1st.

Winners will receive awesome prizes from our generous sponsors Knit Picks and Australian Homespun, gift certificates to the Mochimochi Shop, and more!

Eligibility

This contest is open to knitters worldwide. To be eligible, your photo or video must contain at least one knitted toy made from a Mochimochi Land pattern. This can be a pattern from the Mochimochi Shop, a pattern from one of the Mochimochi books by Anna Hrachovec, or one of the free patterns on the Mochimochi Blog. The pattern may be modified, but not beyond recognition from the original design. (The use of Photoshop is OK, and other characters, including other knitted toys, are welcome to appear in your photo or video too!)

Note that we’re looking for humor, cuteness, and originality—not necessarily the most professional-looking photos and videos. We want everyone to enter!

How to enter

PHOTOS: Simply upload your photo(s) to the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group. If you don’t have a Flickr account, it is free and easy to register (though we recommend signing up as soon as possible, because it may take a little time for your account to be approved for sharing photos in a group). You can enter as many photos as you want, within reason. (A series of photos is great, but each photo will be judged individually.)

All photos uploaded since the December 1st deadline of the 2014 photo contest last year—with the exception of those entered in our summer “Back Page Contest”—are already entered in this year’s contest!

VIDEOS: First, upload your video to any public video sharing site (like YouTube or Vimeo). Then email us at info@mochimochiland.com with with subject line VIDEO ENTRY, and include a link to your video. Please do not send the video as an attachment. The length of your video can be anywhere from 30 seconds to around 3 minutes long. You can enter as many videos as you like, within reason.

Deadline

The last day to enter the contest is December 1st, 2015. We’ll announce the semi-finalist photos shortly thereafter here on the blog, then everyone will be able to vote for their favorites! So be sure to check the blog in December.

Like last year, the video entries will be judged by us instead of popular vote, but we’ll be sharing many of our favorite entries after the contest is over for everyone to enjoy.

Prizes!

The first place photo prize will include a $50 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a 12-month print subscription to Australian Homespun magazine, a $20 gift certificate to the Mochimochi Shop, and more surprise goodies.

Second place photo prize will include a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a 12-month print subscription to Australian Homespun, a $10 gift certificate to Mochimochi Land, and more surprises.

Third place photo prize will include a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a $10 gift certificate to Mochimochi Land, and more.

The winner of the video category will receive a 12-month print subscription to Australian Homespun magazine and this fun Giant Toys Kit from Knit Picks.

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Thank you to Knit Picks and Australian Homespun for these generous prizes!

Needles ready? Cameras set? GO!

2015 Boo Harvest

It’s time once again to collect some of the best Boos added to Ravelry in the past year. These cuties were made from my pattern for Boo the Bat, which I originally released way back in 2008 and continues to be one of my most popular patterns.

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As of this posting, 1,060 Boos have been added Ravelry! I have to assume that’s just a fraction of the little knitted bats out in the world, which completely blows my mind. And people are adding new ones all the time—check them all out on the project page, and please add your own if you’ve made one!

You can find the the pattern in the Mochimochi Shop and also on Ravelry.

Top row (from left to right):
lazydayartifacts’ Boo the Bat, BreiKonijn’s Boo the Bat 4, okate’s 2014 Ornament Swap, Kristysnowedin’s 2,Bats

Middle row:
gizmonic’s Boo the Bat, wojostitches’ Bats!, mimulus’ Baby boo, knittergoddss’ Boo the Bat

Bottom row:
ljsheppard’s Boo, Azashenya’s CCW 9, Triestina’s Boo Bat, Aelys’ Boo the Bat

Two Little Lions

Personal project time!

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I now have two little lions done for our little lion on the way. I wanted to make them out of acrylic yarn so they’ll be extra baby proof, and I was also eager to get started, so I’m using colors that I had on hand (a Bernat yarn, I think) that also happen to work great for lions.

I’m planning to make six total, each with a different type of mane. With two down and about 10 weeks to go before baby, I think I’ll achieve my goal with time to spare! (Sometimes it’s nice not to be too ambitious—don’t ask me about baby sweaters!)

I was thinking about it last night, and this is actually the first personal knitting I’ve done in a long time, maybe in a couple of years. It’s so nice to feel motivated to knit something in my extracurricularly. I guess babies make people do strange things…

New Tiny Terrors Patterns are Here!

Just in time for Halloween, some creepy new creatures have crept into Mochimochi Land…

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Tiny Terrors are an itty-bitty vampire, werewolf, mad scientist, and two-headed dude who are out to make you scream! (Or at least squee!)

Like all of my tiny patterns, these guys can be knit up with very little yarn and with plenty of time left over for you to finish your Halloween costume. Perfect for a spooky diorama, a ghoulish garland, or surprises for your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Techniques include knitting in the round on double-pointed needles, I-cord, and a little stranded colorwork. Fingering-weight yarn and size 1 DPNs are recommended, but you can use any weight of yarn and appropriately sized needles. (Scrap yarn works great!)

The downloadable pattern collection is available for $6 from the Mochimochi Shop OR from the Mochimochi Land Ravelry store.

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As you can see, I got to buy lots of my favorite Halloween candies for the photo shoots for these guys. Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of the main image.

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(Yes, I have since eaten each and every one of those pumpkins and the candy corn above.)

As often happens during the testing stage of my patterns, I got to see some fun color variations that I hadn’t thought of. Amanda’s bunch included a mad scientist with some shockingly bright hair…

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Which led me to make some of my own variations, including a tiny vampiress and a three-headed dude.

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Instructions for tiny three heads are now included in the pattern, by the way.

Thanks to Amanda, and also Shama, Yvonne, and Marilyn!

I can’t wait to see what these designs become in the hands of the rest of you…

Knit Tiny Pumpkins at the Chicago Library Oct 24

Free event alert! Come knit tiny pumpkins with me at the Chicago downtown library on October 24th.

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You can bring your own yarn and needles (if you’re new to knitting tiny toys, I recommend worsted-weight yarn and size 5 DPNs), or you can purchase a kit from me containing yarn, needles, and stuffing at the event. I’ll also have my other books available for purchase.

Check out the full information here!

Third Time at Vogue Knitting LIVE Chicago was a Charm

This past weekend was Vogue Knitting LIVE Chicago—my third time to be there! It was a busy weekend of Mochimochi Land assembling, seeing familiar faces in the marketplace, a little lecturing on knitting toys, and handing out prizes to tiny hot dog hunters.

It takes a lot of prep to get ready for one of these events, but Soupy was on it last week, in a literal sort of way.

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This was my first time showing the classic tabletop Mochimochi Land at VK LIVE in Chicago, and it had some exciting additions, including donuts attacking bakers from my new book, Adventures in Mochimochi Land.

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Also new were tiny me, John, and our cats thanks to Joan, one of our favorite mochi makers. You could find the family just beyond the unicorn eaters.

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Speaking of family, here’s my mom! She joined me all weekend and was a great help. We even got her some Malabrigo yarn so she could knit a cowl as she manned the booth with me.

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Mom also helped me hang a new little garland at our table—I think it was a brilliant addition!

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Here are our nine successful hot dog hunters—as usual (for some reason) one of the tiny hotdogs went rogue and wasn’t heard from again!

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These frankfurter finders each won a copy of Adventures in Mochimochi Land or a tiny kit of their choosing.

And finally, Joyce won the weekend as the most savvy mochi knitter, having brought a written list of all the Mochimochi Land patterns that she’s already acquired and didn’t need to get duplicates of.

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Thanks to the Vogue Knitting LIVE team for a great weekend, and thanks to everyone who came out! With the baby coming in December, this will be my last VK LIVE for a little while, but I’m sure you can’t keep me away for too long.