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!

Kendra’s Hugs Seeks a Squoze

We finish up our run of honorable-mention videos with this one by Kendra, whose Hugs is looking for his long-lost Squoze.

Thank you again to everyone who entered our photo + video contest this year!

Elisabeth and Niklas Show us How to Catch a Thwicked

Elisabeth knitted the creatures and her 13-year-old son, Niklas, created the video.

Such a fun project for a mother-and-son team!

Heather’s Silent Zombie Flick

Heather treats us to a silent film featuring some pretty grisly tiny zombies!

In her description on YouTube, Heather says that she “tried out the Stopmo app for the first time today.” Pretty awesome for the first try! It seems like she’s referring to this app, which looks like a great option for anyone who’s interested in playing around with stop motion.

Phia’s Frozen Outtakes

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas or/and a happy Hanukkah! We are lucky enough to be spending the last few days of 2014 in John’s hometown in New Hampshire.

While we wait for the new year, how about a few more videos from the 8th Annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest? Although the contest has ended, our admiration for these great entries goes on!

Like this cute and funny stop-motion video by Phia:

See, even Disney productions have their bloopers!

Merry Christmas!

(Note: no penguins were harmed in the making of this video, even though the penguins in Mochimochi Land taste like licorice, which is one of the walruses’ favorite candy flavors.)

Michelle’s Mochi Christmas

This video by Michelle has the mochis at their most festive!