He (they?) was made by Señora Monkeybutt (one of the better web handles I’ve seen!), and I’m glad I followed this photo to Ms. Monkeybutt’s photo stream, which is full of delightful stuff.
You too can knit a two-headed monster with endless variations with the “Mix n Match” menu of body parts in Super-Scary Mochimochi. I’d love to see more crazy Mix n Match variations pop up in our Mochimochi Friends Flickr group this month, so let’s make it fun: the maker of each monster that I feature this month will get a free Gobbledyghost PDF pattern!
Let’s see your wildest wooliest weirdos!
I think it’s time I introduced this this guy.
He’s been a member of the family since I was a little kid, when my aunt Ruth Ann sent him for Christmas and I ran screaming from him. I was too creeped out by this furry creature with wild eyes and sharp teeth to believe that he had really been handmade for me, so he was kind of adopted by the whole family like an unpleasant but well-mannered pet. Most recently I found him waiting for me on the bed when I visited my parents two weeks ago.
Of course now I think it’s pretty awesome that I had an aunt who made a toy for me, especially since I’ve made a career of doing just that. Sadly my aunt Ruth Ann passed away before I even took up knitting, but I love that she shared her creativity with me early on, even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time. And now I get to make toys for my own niece—although I’m trying my best not to scare her with them!
What was the first handmade toy that someone gave you? I’d love to hear your stories!
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a master class on toy design at NYC’s Lion Brand Yarn Studio on October 27th!
This is the first time that I’ve taught this class, and I’m so looking forward to the opportunity to share my passion and design experience in this way. It’s one thing to teach techniques, but designing is one of my favorite things that I get to do, and I think toys are a great place to start for anyone who wants to try their hand at it.
The three-hour class will be more about planning than hands-on knitting, but I hope to get everyone off to a sure start to creating their own knitted toy. We’ll cover everything from sketching to shaping and incorporating various knitting techniques, to (if time allows) pattern writing and promotion.
Here’s the official class description:
Design a knitted doll, animal, or other character that is all your own! Anna Hrachovec will share the inspiration and process behind the hundreds of mochis that she’s designed over the years, and she will help you get started turning your sketch into a plan and a pattern. Emphasis will be on three-dimensional designs using simple geometry and a variety of techniques.
Visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio website for full information and to sign up!
And if you’re in the NYC area, don’t forget to come to my talk and book signing at the Studio on October 24th!
This troupe of sweet garden fairies made by The Happy Cupcake look perfectly pleased with their porcine parade!
According to her Ravelry project page, Ms. Cupcake modified the Tiny Bride pattern from Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi to make her little fairies, and their ride appears to be from the Pigs with Wigs pattern in Knitting Mochimochi.
I love how each fairy is rocking her own flowery style!
You may remember that this knitter was also one of the winners in our Fine Feathered Photo Contest earlier this year—her knitting chickens were inspired!
And speaking of photo contests, I’ve been working on getting sponsors for our big contest coming up soon. We’re mixing it up a bit with the prizes, and I can’t wait to reveal them! The official announcement about that is coming later in October, so stay tuned…
On Sunday I got to visit friends in Oklahoma City—amazingly, it was my first visit there in about 12 years, even though I make trips to Oklahoma often. It was wonderful to experience the new vitality the city seems to have, and the highlight of the day was visiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art for the first time. My timing was perfect, because they currently have an incredibly fun large-scale puppet installation by Wayne White, the former puppet artist for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. (I also blogged about him earlier this year.)
White’s site-specific exhibit is titled “Halo Amok,” an anagram of Oklahoma, and it’s unmistakably him: kooky, over-the-top, and crazy fun. The three cubist puppets—three cowboys straddling bucking horses and a bull—were made on-site out of plywood, cardboard, and other rough materials.
Visitors are encouraged to pull on ropes and turn wheels to make the kinetic sculptures buck and sway, which they do with much clattering and noise. It was a delight to see in person, and I could almost feel the creative energy rub off on me.
Here’s a terrible video I took of one of the puppets in motion: Halo Amok
Even the flyer that White created for the exhibit is an exciting work of art to me.
Almost equally interesting to me was the fact that directly facing this noisy, joyful installation is the museum’s ongoing exhibit of blown glass by Dale Chihuli. The Chihuli works have their own sense of whimsy and large-scale wonder, but the rooms were darkened and quiet and definitely hands-off.
I’m not the hugest Chihuli fan, but I don’t think anyone can help but be captivated by the way that the candy-colored glass seems to have grown organically on the spot into Alice in Wonderland-like environments. And the large collection at OKCMOA is something to see.
My new dream is to live in a world that exists somewhere between the artistic sensibilities of these two masters.
“Halo Amok” is only up through October 6th—if you live anywhere near OKC, you must go, now!
It’s time for another sneak preview from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!
My new book contains patterns for all kinds of unusual objects and characters to knit, but I simply must show you another squeezable silly animal project: Capybara Caravan!
If you’re not already familiar with them, capybaras are like giant guinea pigs that live in South America. I promise they are totally real and not something I made up! When I was in high school my family took a trip to Brazil, and we encountered one of these guys crossing the road one day. He or she looked a lot like this:
So that was the inspiration behind my creamsicle-colored family of capybaras crossing the road.
As always, my photographer Brandi Simons went to great efforts to get the photos: we snuck out to a crosswalk in the neighborhood at 6:30 one morning to take advantage of the pretty light from the rising sun.
Of course, shooting in the middle of the road on a weekday morning meant moving out of the way of an increasing number of cars, including the school bus!
Mama Capybara is reminding her babies to eat all their carrots and to play nice with the other rodents.
As you can see, the baby capybaras are pretty compact—I made sure to include smaller versions of some the huge toys in the book, so that there are plenty of options for quicker projects too.
Huge & Huggable Mochimochi comes out on October 15th! The book contains 20 all-new patterns for supersized knitted toys with equally big personalities. You can preorder a signed copy right now, and it’s also available for preorder at Amazon. Or buy it from your local yarn store on the 15th!
It’s overcast here in Oklahoma today, so it seems appropriate to share Amanda’s unusually fuzzy Rainycloud…
That’s right, it’s raining cats and dogs!
Sometimes the cutest projects happen when you combine multiple mochis into one. Amanda’s cloud reminds me of this adorable cupid scene made by Joan, which I shared here last year:
I love these guys!
Check out other knitters’ fun mochimochi mods and add your own in our Flickr group!
If you’re a regular reader of the Mochimochi Blog, you may have occasionally seen comments made by someone named “Gritty Lou.” She never gives herself away, but that’s my mom! (My dad, meanwhile, comments as “Dad.”)
I would be happy to let my mom go on commenting anonymously, but I just have to blow her cover because of something that she wrote in the comments to my post last week about Roland the Roly Poly. Inspired by the fun names for “roly poly” shared by commenters in other countries, she composed a poem.
Hey, chuggy pig, slater, bichos de conta,
All over the world you do what you wanta.
Cloporte, dango mushi, ole potato bug,
At just a touch you roll up and give yourself a hug.
Whether bicho bola, sow bug, pill bug or woodlouse
I find you in my garden, on the porch and in the house!
But how can I complain when the kids find such delight
In watching roly polys become so round and tight.
Huge & Huggable Mochimochi (which Roland appears in) is dedicated to my parents, and I think you can see why they inspire me so much!