Tiny Chicken Knitting at Sifu

No, we didn’t teach tiny chickens how to knit (although I would love to see someone try!). Yesterday a nice group joined me for a class on knitting tiny chickens at Chicago’s Sifu Design Studio. Here are the fowl results!

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It turns out that chickens can be cute in any color—even purple! It was also interesting to me to revisit this pattern, which I designed back in 2010, and which I hadn’t knitted myself since 2011, when Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi was published.

Prior to the class was a casual trunk show/ book signing during Sifu’s Sunday brunch get-together. It was a nice way to wrap up the Chicago Yarn Crawl.

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Thank you to Sifu and to everyone who came! Everybody else can get the tiny chicken pattern here.

New Favorite Podcast: Mom on Pop

As I’ve mentioned off and on here, I listen to lots of podcasts while I’m knitting—I’ve found it’s the perfect way to be entertained and keep my eyes on tiny stitches at the same time. (They’re also great to listen to while cooking, cleaning, power walking… anything that doesn’t require too much thinking.) And today I’m especially excited to spread the word about my newest favorite podcast, because it’s made by two of my favorite people, my husband, John, and my mother-in-law, Bonney!

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Mom on Pop is the title of the podcast, and it’s produced by The A.V. Club, the arts & entertainment website where John works. On it John and Bonney chat about anything pop culture-related that they’re currently into, like iPhone games, TV shows, and stuff they found on Netflix. The cheeky title is perfect for their mother-and-son banter, and I can attest that it’s just like listening in on one of their everyday conversations, which are highly amusing to me, and I think almost as amusing to those who don’t know them personally.

If you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, you already know Bonney as the owner of the world’s biggest yarn stash.

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She’s still unchallenged in the title!

There’s not much yarn talk on the podcast, but they do occasionally mention me in passing, which is cool and weird.

You can subscribe to Mom on Pop via iTunes or find it on the A.V. Club website.

Our Squee-Worthy Summer Sale is back!

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Through August 31st, all mochi-making goodies in the Mochimochi Shop are on sale: Books are 15% off, and all kits and PDF patterns are 20% off. Just enter the code SUMMEROFSQUEE in your cart before checking out.

This is our last big sale of the year, so take advantage of the deals and end your summer with a squee!

The Bulletin Board

As of Friday, I’m the proud owner of a new bulletin board!

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This is actually my first-ever bulletin board. I was getting tired of all the loose papers and other small things that I’m constantly shifting around on my desk (for like the past six years), and recently it dawned on me that I could mount all of this flotsam vertically on the wall. Obviously that hasn’t happened in full yet, but I’m mighty pleased with my progress. I have the notion that people with bulletin boards get stuff done and are never far from new inspiration, so there are a lot of high hopes contained in this piece of cork and wood.

Also, I’m not so experienced with drilling holes into walls, so getting this baby up was an exercise in using power tools. It turns out that drilling through drywall makes me feel like a real can-do lady.

We have tons more stuff that we still need to put on our walls—it’s been 9 months since we moved, so it seems like about time to get on that—but at least this is a start!

Pogo’s Alice

I was listening to the podcast Sideshow (made by Sean Rameswaram of Studio 360) on my run/walk this morning, and the topic was the artist Pogo, who makes remixes using clips from animations and TV shows. I found the clip they played of his “Alice” remix to be totally mesmerizing, so even though it’s nearly five years old, I wanted to share it for a little Monday inspiration/chill-out.

This is the first time I’ve been really captivated by something featured on Sideshow, but it’s still a pretty new podcast, so maybe it’s still coming into its own. For now, I’m a much bigger fan of TLDR, another internet-themed podcast that came out of WNYC’s On The Media. I do love this trend of public radio podcast spinoffs!

Peace

A couple months back my sister gave me this 1960s-era peace symbol magnet that she received at an event organized by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. It has an interesting story to go along with it, and with all the heartbreaking conflict going on in the world in recent days (and months, and forever) it seems like as appropriate a time as ever to share it.

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The following was printed on a card that came with the magnet.

After being released from an internment camp for Japanese Americans, Chiyoko and Goro Otagiri returned to Japan in 1947 to found the Otagiri Mercantile Co, which later produced these colorful, hopeful hand-made peace symbols as part of their housewares and giftware products. The symbols were shipped to San Francisco and then taken to showrooms in Los Angeles and Dallas. In 2011 a member of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship discovered 23 shipping crates of the peace symbols in the estate of the Dallas showroom manager. Coming from the only nation to have experienced nuclear weapons to the only nation to have used them, the peace symbols had never been opened.

Rediscovered unopened vintage products are always fascinating (especially when they’re from Japan), and this one is especially enigmatic to me since it was produced at a time when WWII was still in the very recent past, in a country that experienced some of the worst events of the war. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with it yet—it seems like a waste to just stick on my fridge—so it’ll stay on my desk for now, its bright orange color never letting me ignore it for too long.

You can learn more about the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, which was originally started in the 1940s as an organization that gave support to conscientious objectors to World War II, on their website.

Last Day For Free Mystery Kits

What’s on my needles right now? It’s a tiny mystery!

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Today (July 31) is the LAST DAY to get a free mystery kit with purchase of any two kits or books from the Mochimochi Shop. There are three mystery designs available—so, order four kits/books to receive two of them, and order six kits/books to get all three. These are sent automatically with orders—no need to add anything to your cart.

And as I’ve mentioned before, if you’ve already received a mystery kit and would like to get one or both of the other designs, just shoot me an email (at info [at] mochimochiland [dot] com) and let me know which one you already have so you don’t get a duplicate.

The mystery designs will be revealed later this year (probably October) when the patterns are officially available in my shop. From what I’ve seen poking around social media, those who have gotten the mystery kits share my excitement about them—yay!

Rebecca’s Hungry Pooh Bear Bag

This long-armed Pooh is having quite a time trying to get at that honey!

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Rebecca modified the Totes Adorbs pattern from Huge & Huggable Mochimochi to make her wearable Bear of Very Little Brain. So clever!

Seeing Rebecca’s Pooh prompted me to look up some quotes from Winnie-the-Pooh, and I was reminded of just how many wonderful turns of phrase are contained in A.A. Milne’s slender book. One of my favorites:

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

I’m giving away a free pattern to anyone whose Huge & Huggable mochis I share here on the blog this summer. Add your photos to our Flickr group to get in on that!