Back Page Contest Winner

It was very hard to choose a winner of our Back Page Contest—so many of you found clever ways to use the 2-dimensional landscape page from Adventures in Mochimochi Land. (I knew you guys would come through big time!)

So John and I had a big debate about it last night, and we finally settled on…

Gummy Bear Photo Bomb by Tara!

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We loved the way that this image plays with the idea of a photo itself, and it has so much energy and humor.

Congratulations, Tara! You win this awesome collection of books from Potter Craft and Potter Style.

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I’ll be contacting you via Flickr for your mailing address.

Of course, we were smitten with lots of other photo entries, so here are some highly deserved honorable mentions.

One way to get a kite out of a tree by KnitWit685

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Travel Agent Squidy by Michelle

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The Photo Shoot by juleenbean

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Photographer Eddie by Salla Ahola

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(We liked the caption to this one: Nature photography proved to be too challenging for Eddie. The birds were just flying around and posing behind his back.

Big thanks again to everyone who entered this contest. We’ll have our big annual photo + video contest coming up in a couple of months (with even more awesome crafty prizes), so please stay tuned for that!

Free Pattern: Carnie Zebra

This is an intermediate-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, now available from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

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Carnivalville couldn’t keep running without the help of its hard-working animal carnies. Carnie monkeys take the tickets, carnie elephants sell balloons, and carnie zebras climb way up high to check the soundness of all the tents. (They’re also known to sneak naps while they’re up there.)

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A few people have asked me for the zebra’s pattern since his debut in Adventures in Mochimochi Land, so I’m happy to share it here.

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Free Pattern: Sand Pennies

This is a beginning-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, now available from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

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We hold on to summer days at the beach with little treasures gathered there, but this little knit is perfect for those of us whose feet are stuck under a desk instead of in the sand this summer. In Adventures in Mochimochi Land, the Soggy Sea is scattered with these lovely little sand pennies. Use them to carry for good luck, or to embellish your knitted aquarium!

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Free Pattern: Tiny Nosey Fish

This is an intermediate-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, now available from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

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There are many fish in the sea, including some really funny looking ones! In Adventures in Mochimochi Land, a certain species of long-snouted fish can be seen sniffing out the fishiest candidate in an muddy debate and following their noses when casting votes in the underwater election.

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Combine with the other sea creatures from the book (plus tiny fish and mermaids from Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi), to fill out your knitted aquarium! (You do have a knitted aquarium, right?)

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Sarah’s Tiny Dolphin and Crab

I was excited to see the first projects from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, a tiny Bubbles the Dolphin and Gary the Crab, pop up in our Flickr group this morning! True to character, Gary is giving Bubbles a tiny pinch on the nose.

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For being the first person to add a project from the book to our group, Sarahknits gets a fun little present, a Personal Happiness Labbit!

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Our photo and video contest is coming back in the fall, so go ahead and start adding your photos of Mochimochi knits to our Flickr group, and they will all be automatically entered.

More Adventurous Projects

Thank you for a wonderful book release last week! I’ve been eagerly checking Ravelry and Facebook and Twitter to see the new Adventure mochis that you’re posting online. (Please also share them in the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group!)

Today I have some projects to share made by Joan Foster, a good friend of Mochimochi Land who’s been doing very creative things with my patterns over the years. (She’s really motivated me to up my game when it comes to dioramas and the like.) While I’m a firm believer of toys existing for their own sake—or rather, existing to be played with, or to be admired for their cuteness, or to be assembled into fantastical scenes—I know that more practical-minded people out there want toys that do practical things, or at least functional and specific things. And I totally get that!

With this functional angle in mind, I asked Joan to create some non-narrative projects using the creatures from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, and she came up with three really fun ideas.

Idea #1: Assemble a chess set!

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Most tiny mochis can make for fun game pieces, and you can really get creative in choosing the roles that they will play in a game of chess, along with color coordinating them all for teams. This set is composed of the magically delicious characters found in Sweet City: mallow bunnies are the pawns (they’re so easily gobbled up, after all); mini microwaves make good bishops (zapping right through those diagonal squares); Biscuit is the queen for her heroic role in “The Hungry Donut”; and ferocious gum-gum bears are the kings. (Or maybe it’s the other way around for the kings and queens?)

For pieces that aren’t so capable of standing up on their own, you can stitch them to buttons to use as stable bases.

Idea #2: Make a mobile!

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There’s something about a handmade mobile that’s just irresistibly adorable, and the projects in each of the stories in Adventures give you automatic themes to choose from. Of course, the skyward setting of “The Lighthearted Lovers” is perfect for this project.

Wrap a floral wreath with yarn for a hanging structure, center the action around a carnival tent, then have fun adding balloons and clouds and rainbow birds. (Joan knitted the blimp from the story in fingering-weight yarn instead of worsted to make it a perfect size for a tiny elephant perch.)

Idea #3: Party decorations and favors!

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An “under the sea” birthday has certainly been done before, but adding hand-knit sea creatures to the festivities might make the occasion a bit more memorable. I think most kids (or adults) wouldn’t turn down a mini dolphin, crab, or puffer fish as a party favor, and the treasure chest and the joyful oyster, two more projects from “The Underwater Election,” can even hold goodies to give out.

Huge thanks to Joan for coming up with the concepts and executing these adorable ideas!

Knit Picks Podcast Interview

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m a big podcast listener. (I even write about them for The A.V. Club’s Podmass feature.) So it’s exciting in a surreal way to be a guest on a podcast, as I recently was for the Knit Picks Podcast, hosted by Holly Klein.

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I use Knit Picks yarn for soooo many projects (including lots of the patterns in Adventures in Mochimochi Land), so it was a pleasure to do this!

Holly asked me about how Mochimochi Land came to be, and all about my new book. The theme of the episode is cute stuff, so after my interview Holly talks to listeners about the cutest knitting projects they’ve tackled.

Thanks to Holly for having me on!

Free Pattern: Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is a beginning-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, available June 9th from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

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Sometimes the simplest knits are the most scrumptious. In “The Hungry Donut,” a story from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, chocolate chip cookies serve as wheels on a truck and also as a platform from which a tiny baker seeks to save the world.

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They can become so much more with some imagination… or just cute cookies for play food fun!

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