Suzy’s Advice Gnome

Today we’re featuring more video entries from our recent photo + video contest! I’m happy that we added this category—we discovered that many of you are already making really fun videos, and we also heard from several people that it was their first time to make an animation (or any kind of video at all). Yay for trying new things!

We’ll be featuring a few videos today, a few tomorrow, and probably a few between Christmas and the new year. Although these didn’t win in the photo/video contest, we’re nevertheless excited about them and eager to share them here!

Our first video of the day comes with a little explanation from the knitter:

The story behind my video is that I started knitting Teeny Tiny Mochimochi for my daughter who started her first year of college at the University of Vermont – 10 hours away from home in Maryland. I sent her off to school with gnomes wearing UVM colors of green and gold. I made one with a loop at the end of his hat and she carries him with her everyday along with her school ID.

Worried that I hadn’t also sent her off with every important bit of motherly advice for being off on her own, I started texting her. I quickly realized that she wasn’t any more interested in my helpful reminders long distance than she had been in person. That’s when the Advice Gnome arrived on the scene.

Who can resist the sage advice of a tiny Gnome? The Advice Gnome starting sending her regular reminders, words of wisdom and messages of love. While I am sure she hasn’t always heeded his advice, I know that she has at least heard him out.

What a fun way to give practical advice to one you love!

Kally A Conjures a Thwicked

Kally A works some kitchen magic in this cleverly made stop-motion video, which she entered in our just-wrapped photo + video contest.

This was one of our favorite entries in the whole contest! The story continues in Kally A’s Part II video.

2014 Nickelodeon Holiday IDs

In early November I had the pleasure of knitting characters and props for Nickelodeon for the second year in a row! (This is the project that took over my life and my desk for a couple of weeks.) The resulting animated IDs are now airing on the network during commercial breaks, so you’ll probably catch one if you tune in this month.

Here’s a reel of all the new IDs.

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

I didn’t participate in the animating process this time, but of course the Nick promotions team did an excellent job without me.

The guys you see in the first two animations are SwaySway and Buhdeuce from the show Breadwinners, which is about ducks who deliver bread in a flying rocket van. They’re your typical tiny mochi size.


The biggest challenge among all the little characters and props was the arcade that the Breadwinners play. It had to have structure, some design details, and also a way for the screen to change colors as if it’s switching on. And it had to be pretty small, so that tiny SwaySway and tiny Buhdeuce could walk up to it and play it. It was a little bit helpful that I had designed a knitted arcade earlier this year, so I knew what kind of shaping I wanted to get, but Quarters would be skyscraper-sized to these characters.

My first version was really tiny and was close to the shape I wanted, but it lacked the structure that it needed (since it was just filled with stuffing).


So for my next version, I started by putting together a styrofoam base that was bigger and more or less arcade-shaped.


It’s a bit big for tiny SwaySway, but close enough to the right scale for the purposes of a cute stop-motion animation.

Then I did some measuring and swatching, then some more measuring and swatching. Once I had measured and swatched enough, I proceeded to knit the covering flat so that I could seam it onto the styrofoam. An interesting moment was trying to shave down the styrofoam just the right amount while the knitted covering was on so that there would be enough room for the screen to lie flat. It was finished in an evening, because it had to be!


(I couldn’t stomach the thought of more duplicate stitch for a few days after!)

So that’s a little look into the process that went into my portion of this project.

Since working with Nick two years in a row and also picking up a few other commercial projects in the meantime, I’m happy to find that I indeed love working with someone else’s creative vision and also creating my interpretation of existing characters. I hope I get to do more!

Big thank-yous go to Matthew Duntemann at Nick and to my agent Koko for making this project happen.

If you’d like to see more, you can find last year’s animations (which include more Mochimochi Land creatures) here.

And just in case anyone is wondering, unfortunately I can’t make patterns available for any of the Nick characters or props. (Although you’re welcome to use my versions as inspiration for your own personal-use projects!)

Winners of the 2014 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest

The results are in! We are so excited to announce the winners of the 8th Annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest today! If you entered at all, of course, you’re a winner in the game of life, because you went out of your way to use your creativity to make something beautiful (or cute and silly) and share it with the world. As Mochimochi Land grows and changes, it’s the original ideas that you all put into it that are the single biggest source of inspiration to me. Thank you!

Big thanks are also in order for our sponsors, Knit Picks and Milk+Honey, for providing super prizes this year. And thank you to my lovely mother-in-law, Bonney, for opening up her stash for additional prizes!

Now for the winners of the photo category!

In third place is the adorable Snow Turtle! by ForeverWrens.


ForeverWrens wins a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a gift bag from Milk+Honey, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, plus a bag and Howdie Doody knitting kit from Bonney Teti’s World’s Biggest Yarn Stash in Wilmot, New Hampshire!

In second place is the incredible Beauty and the Beast by Knit Mermaid.


Knit Mermaid wins a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a gift bag and an additional lotion bar from Milk+Honey, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, plus vintage patterns and kits and more from Bonney!

And our top photo winner is… Fancy Seeing You Here by Molly.


Molly wins a Candy Rainbow Yarn Sampler from Knit Picks, a gift bag and two additional lotion bars from Milk+Honey, a $20 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and a whole slew of vintage patterns and kits and more from Bonney!

And finally, we have a video winner to announce. Let me tell you, we were so excited about the video entries we received (and I will be posting more of them here soon). But one video stood out as a clear winner for its story, its originality, and its execution. It’s By a Thread by juleenbean.

Amazing, right? juleenbean wins everyone’s adoration plus 10 tiny mochi kits!

Congratulations to these very clever knitters! And that wraps up the 2014 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest—thank you again to all who participated!

Feeling inspired? It’s not too early to enter next year’s contest! All photos added to the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group will automatically be entered in the 2015 Mochimochi Photo Contest. And we’ll probably also bring back our springtime photo series contest, so keep an eye out for that in a few months.

Thank You for Voting!

Update: Congratulations to the winners!

Thank you to the 677 people who cast their votes on the Mochimochi Photo Contest finalists! While we’re tabulating the results, let’s have another look at the fantastic finalist photos.

The Dragon Awakes by Emma Heasman-Hunt


Gnome Nirvana by Suzy Gill-Boucher


Fraidysaurus by Patelyne


Chicken Dim Sum by Theresa Tan


Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary by Wooly Brain


Beauty and the Beast by Knit Mermaid


How Many Elephants Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? by ella.millberg


Santa Snow Ride by photographs memories


Teeny Dancers by The Happy Cupcake


Fancy Seeing You Here by Paul Mozell


Snow Turtle! by ForeverWrens


Tiny Bird, Kale Next by Hannah Kaminsky


If Only They Made Them This Big!!! by huey Li


Mochimochi Nudist Gnome by lucytmarshall


Snowmen Just Wanted to Have Some Fun by Joan


Congrats to all of these knitters for making it to the finals! Check back soon for the top three winners and also our exciting video category winner!

Photo Contest ’14: The Big Vote!

Update: Congratulations to the winners!

It’s voting day in Mochimochi Land! After much deliberation, John and I have selected 15 finalists from the hundreds of photos entered in the 8th Annual Mochimochi Photo Contest.

Presenting your top 15 photos!


Which of these, in your opinion, are the cutest, funniest, most original photos of Mochimochi toys? Cast your ballot below! To help make things fair, we’re asking that everyone please vote only one time, but PLEASE VOTE FOR AT LEAST TWO PHOTOS. You can vote for even moreā€”as many as you like!

The poll will be open through this weekend, and we’ll announce the top three winners, along with the top video winner (selected by us), on Tuesday, December 16th. Be sure to return for the results!


Happy Holidays from Nickelodeon + Mochimochi Land!

In 2013 I got to work with Nickelodeon on animated holiday IDs using Mochimochi Land creatures and some mochi-fied Nick characters. I’m happy to say that the animations are back on this month, and there are new ones too! I’ll share more soon, but you can also tune in to Nickelodeon to catch them on air.

Photo Contest ’14: Honorable Mentions

Over the weekend John and I spent a good while looking at all the delightful photos and videos you submitted to the 8th Annual Mochimochi Photo Contest. It’s hard work, but we’re the lucky someones who must do it!

We’re going to do things slightly different than in previous years because of our new video category: today we’re revealing the Honorable Mentions in the photo portion of our contest, and later this week we’ll go straight into voting on the finalists. (No semifinalist round this year). We’ll announce the winning photos and winning video (which John and I will select ourselves) at the same time, then after the winners are announced, we’ll feature the rest of the video entries for everyone to see.

So without further ado, it’s our honor to present the Honorable Mentions! These photos didn’t quite make it into our finalist group, but we were tickled by them nonetheless and we’re exited to feature them here. See the full images close up after the jump!


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