Huge & Huggable Mochimochi Preview: Roland the Roly Poly

Do you know what today is?? Today is the day that I’m sharing the first of three sneak peeks from my upcoming book Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!

It was tough to choose what to show you, but I can’t say no to this guy: Roland the Roly Poly!

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Roland is done with a life of hiding under rocks and is ready to let it all hang out. In fact, he’s hanging out in my parents’ backyard! (There are many perks to having your photographer live across the street from your parents.)

This guy is hands-down one of my favorite jumbo mochis from the book. There’s just something about all his legs, and the ridges on his shell, that make him extra squishy and huggable! He knits up quickly using Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn.

As you can see in this project, the bigger size of the toys in this book meant that I could incorporate many design elements that were new to me. I loved figuring out how to get the ridges on Roland’s shell just right and how to give his body that stylish curve.

Speaking of curves, even this free-spirited roly poly lets instinct get the best of him sometimes…

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The great photography is by the brilliant Brandi Simons, who has done the photos for all of my books. We had even more fun with the photography for this book than previously— the scale of the projects meant that we could really place the toys in the world and their mere presence made for hilarious images.

Another reason that I wanted to share Roland with you all is because I’m fascinated by the distribution of roly polys, or pill bugs, and what people call them. I grew up playing with them in Oklahoma, but my husband, who’s from New Hampshire, had never seen one in his life until recently!

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So I’d like to conduct an informal poll:

1. Do you know what this creature is?
2. If so, what do you call it?
3. Where do you live?

Let us know in the comments!

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Huge & Huggable Mochimochi comes out on October 15th! The book contains 20 all-new patterns for supersized knitted toys with equally big personalities. You can preorder a signed copy right now, and it’s also available for preorder at Amazon. Or buy it from your local yarn store on the 15th!

Jumbo Gnome Reads a Book

My first copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi has arrived! Before I could take a look, though, somebody snatched it out of my hands.

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Jumbo Gnome isn’t much of a reader, but this book is right up his alley. He’s actually the guy who inspired the whole idea to write a book of really big toy patterns, so I let him have it for a while.

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He gives it 4 out of 5 stars, but only because he thought he should have been asked for a quote to go on the back cover. What an ego this guy has!

Myself, I’m excited for the 20 all-new, super-sized patterns and the fun photography by Brandi Simons. The release date is October 15th, but in the meantime I’ll have some sneak previews soon, along with out first-ever pre-sale of this book!

Mix n Match Madness

Thank you, everyone, for your happy comments and emails upon the launch of Super-Scary Mochimochi! I can’t believe that this is my third book of knitting patterns—how lucky am I that this is what I get to do?!

The book was really a team effort, involving everyone from my editor Betty Wong to my photographer Brandi Simons to the professor who let us have a photo shoot in this chemistry lab, Robert Sheaff. And a whole group of testers helped make sure the patterns were clear and usable—a vital element in the book’s success!

Thinking about the testers for this book reminds me of the fun monsters I saw from them when they were testing the “Mix n Match” section…

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This part of the book includes five body shapes to choose from and a menu of deliciously weird body parts to cobble together any way you please. The guys above look something like this when you take them all apart.

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When I was writing the book, I asked some of my testers to each knit one of these monsters. Because we were on a tight schedule, the simplest way to do it was to have them each knit one of the monsters I had made, putting the same parts together that I had, but I was still wowed to see the wildly different resulting monsters.

This is Marianne’s squash monster. He doesn’t want to be made into a pie!

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Jenna’s colorful tall monster has a tattoo!

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And Kelly made a cute and huggable robot monster.

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I love how they’re all so different from the originals just by using different colors and eyes… imagine the possible combinations that will happen when knitters start mixing up body parts and inventing some of their own!

Thank you to Marianne, Jenna, Kelly, Denise, Jennifer, Jenny, Jessica, Joan, Kari, Kristen, Lisa, Marilyn, Mary, Marti, Rikke, and also Bonney for contributing their testing help for this book. It couldn’t have happened without you guys!