Awesome Things

Yoshi’s Wooly World Concept Art

If my Twitter feed is any indication, knitters and crocheters are pretty psyched about Yoshi’s Wooly World, the new game Nintendo just announced that’s coming out in 2015.

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Adorable, right?

This is the second yarn-themed Nintendo game in recent years (Kirby’s Epic Yarn came out in 2010), so I take this as a good sign that knitting and crochet still have a solid pop culture presence, and there is plenty of crossover between gaming and crafting. Awesome!

Just a few days after I first heard about Yoshi’s Wooly World, a couple of nice people on on Twitter let me know that a little piece of Mochimochi Land made an appearance in Nintendo’s public announcement about the game. When discussing the game’s development, the Nintendo presenter showed this image, among others.

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They added yarny Yoshis to Gnomes vs Snowmen! The photo looks like it came from my display at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago last year, so someone must have taken it from the event’s website.

I don’t have any more information than that, but I just had to share this fun discovery! It’s very cool to think that my art may have had some small influence on how the game designers envisioned the wooly world of Yoshi. I’m looking forward to playing the game next year!

Petit Lapin Love

If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been working on a new book (look for it in 2015!). I turned in the manuscript on Monday, and as much as I enjoy writing books, it felt like the last day of school. Freedom!

I celebrated by visiting Rotofugi, a designer toy store and gallery here in Chicago, where I was excited to find an exhibition of works by mr clement, one of my favorite artists and vinyl toy designers.

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mr clement is most well known for his rabbit character Petit Lapin, who appears in most of the pieces in the show. Lapin’s simple design makes him easy to fall in love with, but what I most love is the way his minimalism cuts both ways—it hides a darker side that peeks through in many of mr clement’s paintings and sculptures.

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Many of the paintings were sold, but I was really tempted by those that hadn’t. The show is up through June 14th, so I guess there’s still time!

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I also had the pleasure of hearing mr clement speak at last year’s Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin. It was fascinating how much the artist resembled his character in his modesty and shyness. Check out the show if you’re in Chicago! (You can also see all the pieces from the show on the Rotofugi website.)

Things Learned on the Set

Week one of my book photo shoot has been quite a whirlwind of knitting and photography and some strange decision making! Some of the things I’ve learned in the past 7 days:

• Sometimes the best thing to do is iron the wall.

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• Pipe cleaners have really come a long way since I was a kid, and I seriously have a whole new respect for them.

• In a pinch, a ball of yarn can be a pretty great reflector holder.

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• My dad is a hero. (But I already knew that.)

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• My photographer is a hero. (I knew that too!)

• Wrapping a plastic ferris wheel in yarn is harder than it sounds.

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• Even the cutest toys have to get ugly sometimes. For the sake of art.

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• It’s probably best not to start out a photo shoot with the most difficult shot in the entire book.

There’s plenty more work to do and I’m sure lots more to learn along the way. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for behind-the-scenes updates as we enter week two of the photo shoot!

Vintage View-Master Magic

Happy Friday, everyone! If you’re wondering where my Shop Talk posts went, I’m putting the series on hold for a bit while my design and knitting work is insane for the next few weeks. It will definitely return later with more tips and stories from my work as a designer!

Today I have wonderful vintage cuteness to share. Earlier this week, while I was in the middle of knitting dozens of characters and props for an upcoming photo shoot, I got some unexpected inspiration from the blog of Lance Cardinal, a set designer whose finely detailed models always blow me away. He had scanned TONS of vintage (1960s-’80s) View-Master reels featuring the coolest 3-D scenes of popular cartoons.

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Maybe I saw some of these as a kid, but either way I’m blown away by the style and level of detail in the carefully constructed scenes. Lance actually scanned each slide, so the complete stories are on his website. He’s also got a post with several photos taken on the sets of these stories.

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These are so amazing to me, I have to share more.

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OK, some are cuter than others. But I love the knitting in that one!

Seeing all these cool slides on Lance’s blog led me to find the a website called View-Master World, which introduced me to tons more weird vintage Vew-Master goodness, including this scene in which Barbie is climbing a pyramid in Egypt.

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This might sound kooky, but all of this was just the inspiration I needed this week. Back to knitting!

Sweet Sweet Roving

On Sunday I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: buy lovely cotton candy clouds of wool roving!

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I got these at from Esther’s Place at YarnCon, the Chicago indie yarn gathering that I didn’t even know existed until a couple of weeks ago.

Honestly, I’m always so tempted by the roving when I go to yarn shows that it was probably just a matter of time before I bought some for no reason, but happily I have a reason—a tiny bit of needle felting that I’m incorporating into a little project (that has to remain a bit mysterious for now).

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I’ve only tried needle felting once before, when I took a workshop with Moxie a few years back. It’s a craft that I admire more than I practice, but I do have to say that I love the portability of it, and stabbing things over and over again with a needle is one of the best stress relievers I’ve experienced.

I would love to find ways to incorporate more roving into my life. Maybe there should be a roving fight at the next TNNA—like a pillow fight, but with big colorful clouds of fluffy wool flying everywhere. Who’s in?