Awesome Things

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!

Speaking of Wicked Things

I love this wickedly modified TV Guy, which Bonney spotted in the current issue of Let’s Knit magazine!

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The original pattern can be found in in Knitting Mochimochi.

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!

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.

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!