Win Funky Tote Bags and More from Bonney’s Yarn Stash

We really never know what’s going to emerge from my mother-in-law Bonney’s epic yarn stash. In recent years she’s dug up some fun and unusual treasures as prizes for our annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest, and this year is no exception!

Bonney was on the ball a couple of months back when sent me three tote bags covered with very trippy illustrations, including a girl holding a sheep (that’s how they made it into her stash).


We were mystified about why these bags existed and where they came from, but today when I was getting them out again I noticed the words TEAM MACHO at the top.


I remember Team Macho—they’re an art collective in Toronto! I’m quite fan but haven’t kept up with them recent years, although I did blog about them here waaay back in 2007. So these bags are even cooler than I’d thought, and they’re going to the top three winners in our photo category.

PLUS we’ve got vintage pattern collections to give away, and also lego pencil boxes for some reason? Bonney says they would make great needle cases, and I can’t argue with that. Thank you for the prizes, Bonney!


So add these to the Franklin Habit illustrations, the Australian Homespun subscriptions, the Knit Picks gift certificates (and more), AND Mochimochi Land gift certificates, and that’s pretty sweet incentive to enter your photos and videos in our contest! (Plus we always add in more goodies as surprise prizes at the end.)

The deadline for entries is December 1st—see the full contest details here!

Six Little Lions

Update: I’ve had some inquiries about whether I’ll make a pattern for these guys. Maybe someday! Let me know in the comments if you’d like that.

We now have six little lions to greet our baby when he comes next month!


I’m happy that I was able to come up with six mane variations. But making variations on a simple theme is one of my favorite things to do, so this has been a fun project. (If anyone is still wondering, these guys are about the size of a softball—not choking hazards like all my other tiny projects!)

Today is actually my 10th anniversary—10 years married to my best friend is a pretty good life, and now seems like a perfect time to be adding a third to our family. Just a little more than a month to go!

Win a Dolores Sketch by Franklin Habit

I’m so excited to announce a BONUS prize that we have in store for two winners in our photo + video contest: The top photo category winner and the video category winner will each receive a Dolores the Sheep sketch by none other than Franklin Habit!


Many of you are familiar with designer, teacher, author, and illustrator Franklin Habit. I first met him at Vogue Knitting LIVE many years ago, and as far as I know he is the busiest teacher in the knitting world. (You can take his classes at the upcoming VK LIVE in NYC in January.) His sassy sheep Dolores is a knitting celebrity in her own right ever since she showed up unannounced in 2006 and has been appearing in Franklin’s books and columns ever since. (She’s even got her own Twitter account.)

Franklin will supply the top photo and video winners with a Dolores sketch of their own, similar (but maybe not identical to) those pictured above. Thank you Franklin!!

The deadline for contest entries is December 1st—plenty of time left to make a cute photo or video with your mochis. Check out the full contest details here.

Win a Year’s Subscription to Australian Homespun Magazine

Last week I blogged some inspiration for this year’s Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest, and for the next couple of weeks I’d like to provide some motivation to go along with that inspiration. We’re talking prizes!

For this 9th annual contest, I wanted to have a new sponsor for some extra-special prizes, and I was thrilled when my first choice for that, Australian Homespun Magazine, agreed to step up.


If you haven’t heard of it, Australian Homespun is a beautiful monthly magazine (available in both print and digital form) that features 10 craft projects in every issue ranging from knit and crochet to embroidery, sewing, and quilting. I first heard about the magazine when they contacted me last year about featuring some of my tiny mochis, and when they sent me the finished issue I was charmed enough to blog about it.

From the start I was impressed by the way that Homespun at once honors tradition in crafting and brings new and daring ideas to its readers. For example, the September 2015 issue included a cute crochet hot dog scarf from Twinkie Chan (one of my personal favorite craft artists)…


And the October issue featured a lovely bird embroidery from Tasmania-based designer Bobbie Watts.


You can check out photos of all of their patterns and projects on the Homespun website.

Each issue also includes features and interviews with designers and artists and loads of inspiration and ideas to bring into your own work, like the tiny crafts feature that my tiny sewing machine was included in last year.


They also have great downloadable local crafty shopping guides on their website, which would be fabulous if you ever find yourself planning a vacation to Australia or New Zealand.

I’m thrilled that Australian Homespun is giving away THREE one-year print subscriptions to our contest winners, to the first and second-place winners in our photo category and to the top winner in our video category. (Like all of our prizes, they’re available to anyone in the world, so that’s a lot of international shipping that they’re also probably springing for.) Thank you Homespun!

The deadline for entries in our is coming up on December 1st! See full contest details.

Inspiration from Winners Past

I hope many of you are planning to enter the 9th Annual Photo + Video Contest? You’ve got three and a half weeks! That’s plenty of time to make some mochis and get creative with them, but the season is only going to get busier, so the sooner the better I say. Plus, I’ve got a REALLY exciting new addition to our prizes, which I will be announcing soon—stay tuned for that…

To help get the inspiration flowing, let’s take a look back at some of the winners from our previous contests. You’ll see that there are endless ways to make some magic with knitted toys.

First, because our video category is still new, I wanted to share last year’s winner again: By a Thread by juleenbean.

Stop-motion animation is a favorite of mine, and it can be as simple as taking a series of photos and putting them together in a program like iMovie. But a video doesn’t have to mean animation—check out Suzy’s Advice Gnome for a great example of how to use live action in a creative way in a video.

Back to photos, one of my all-time favorite photo contest winners was Giant Squid Love by Jill Watt from our 2013 contest.


I actually interviewed Jill and her sister Lorna earlier this year—they’re such fun and original yarn artists, so check that out to find out more about their large-scale collaborations.

We didn’t hold a photo series contest this year because we did the back page contest instead, but in previous years I asked you to tell a story using a series of photos, and we got the coolest entries! One of my favorites was Breaking Cat by Woollenwilderness. You need to check out the blog post with all the winners to see the whole series, but here’s one of my favorite scenes from the story.

No other option than to deal catnip


And finally, I love to look back at the winners from our very first photo contest in 2007. First place went to Mochimochi Land Scene by jenifleur.


This one still blows my mind!

So as you can see, we’ve had all sorts of styles and sensibilities represented in our contests. Aside from the prizes we have to entice you with from Knit Picks, Australian Homespun magazine, and more, I think the contests are a great opportunity to express yourself and challenge your imagination to do something with knitting beyond the ordinary.

Check out the guidelines for this year’s contest. And then be sure to enter!

Four Little Lions


I now have four out of six little lions done, with about six more weeks of pregnancy to go. The end is in sight!

I’m either going to hang these on a circular mobile structure (like the one Joan used for the “Lighthearted Lovers” mobile or else use twigs wrapped in colorful yarn a la The Wooly Woods. Probably six lions is too many to hang from the mobile, but I like the balance of colors, and maybe baby will want one or two to play with anyway.

We may have a ton of practical things to buy and a whole house to move to before the big event, but at least the cute stuff is coming along nicely!

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.


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!


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


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
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.


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!