Mochimochi Land News
Put on your Sherlock hats, it’s time again for mystery kits!
These are three all new tiny designs that may not return again for a while. And through September 30th you can get them for free! Here’s how:
• Order 2 kits or books (or one of each) from the Mochimochi Shop, and you’ll receive one randomly selected mystery kit with your order. (No need to add the kit to your cart!)
• Order 4 kits or books (or some combination thereof), and you’ll receive TWO mystery kits.
• Order 6 kits/books, and all will be revealed!
Like all tiny mochi kits, these come with a pattern and enough yarn (Cascade Heritage, a wool/nylon blend) and stuffing to make 2 or 3 itty-bitty creatures. You’ll need a set of size 1 double-pointed needles (which you can also now purchase from the Mochimochi Shop).
Would you like a hint? Well, we’ve got a human-like creature, a machine-like creature, and a beast-like creature in the mix this time. We’d also love your help keeping the mystery fun by not discussing the kits you receive online until October.
You know you love a good mystery!
I’ve updated the 1″ tiny woodland pin-back buttons in fun colors! The new look strikes me as very Wes Anderson for some reason, which was a happy surprise when the shipment arrived in the mail.
They’re $5 for a 4-pack in the shop.
And speaking of buttons, I’ve been randomly including a rare naked gnome button free with some of the physical orders I’m shipping out. (Other physical orders are receiving the traditional clothed gnome button.)
I’ve got about 80 left, and I’ll keep sending them out while supplies last!
I guess I’m a day late since July 15th is suddenly a big date for sales, but anyway—we’re bringing back our summer sale and it’s bigger than ever! And it lasts all the way through the end of July!
Through July 31st, take 20% off EVERYTHING in the Mochimochi Shop (including patterns, kits, books, hand-knitted mochis, and more) with the code SUMMERSQUEE.
It’s a great chance to pick up projects you’ve had your eye on for a while, or check out some stuff that you didn’t even know was in the shop. (It’s gotten to be a really bieg shop in recent years, after all.)
By the way, this sale does not apply to purchases made in the Mochimochi Land Ravelry store, but if you buy a patterns here and would like to have them in your Ravelry library, just get in touch and I’ll be happy to do that.
I hope you’re all having a great summer so far!
Move over tiny sheep, there’s a new tiny fiber animal in Mochimochi Land! (Just kidding, sheep, you can stay.)
Tiny alpaca have arrived in pattern form just in time for Easter or your springtime celebration of choice!
Just how tiny are tiny alpaca?
This pattern incorporates short rows (using the wrap & turn method) to get that perfectly alpaca shape, plus an inside-out technique for a purl-tastic coat with no purling required. Other techniques include I-cord and picking up stitches. All that, and you can still finish in a couple of hours!
Short rows can be an intimidating prospect if you’ve never tried them before, but they really are very simple. The Purl Bee has a clear tutorial, which might be where I learned it to begin with myself.
I find that the hardest part of short rows is just keeping track of where you are, and not losing count. This isn’t such a big deal with a small project like tiny alpaca—just don’t stop partway through doing a set of short rows to check your email, like I did. You will lose track!
As with the tiny sheep, I felt that the stakes were high with this pattern, because knitters know an alpaca when they see one. And even though short rows are pretty easy to do, I don’t totally know what I’m doing when I incorporate them in a design, so it took a few tries before I got it right. My imperfect practice alpaca:
Neck is too thick and bowed on the bottom one, neck is too skinny and weak on the top one. (But they’re beautiful in their own unique legless way, of course!)
The one thing I was certain of when I designed these guys was that I wanted to use alpaca yarn to make them. My LYS Windy Knitty came through with fingering-weight Titus by baa ram ewe, which worked great in combination with Cascade Heritage for the face and legs. Titus is not an inexpensive yarn, but if you’re really into alpaca you can make 40 or 50 alpaca with one skein, so that’s a bargain. And of course, any basic fingering-weight yarn will work great for this pattern—and you don’t even have to use fingering-weight yarn, for that matter. All tiny patterns can scale up!
I’m hoping we’ll have an animation starring tiny alpaca one of these days. For now, you can purchase the pattern as a PDF download from the Mochimochi Shop!
I’ve mentioned it here and there, but now it’s time for the official announcement: My next book comes out June 9th!
Adventures in Mochimochi Land will contain 25 knitting patterns for all-new mochis, most of them of the teeny-tiny persuasion. But there’s a lot more to this book than patterns—it’s also a storybook with three fantastical tales from Mochimochi Land! Your guide through the adventures is an explorer named Ichigo, a mochi who actually talks.
Say hello, Ichigo!
I met Ichigo at the farmer’s market, where he was trying to steal a single strawberry for his lunch (because no one would sell him just one). After chatting over a basket of berries, I found out that he had seen more of Mochimochi Land than just about anybody else. He promises that everything he says is true, which is a probably an exaggeration, but at least it makes for good stories. (I’ll be sharing some sneak peeks of the stories here soon!)
Ichigo couldn’t make a book completely on his own, of course, which is how I found myself making storyboards for the first time about a year ago.
But I’d like to back up a bit and tell you how this book came about.
When I was a kid, there were lots of things I wanted to be when I grew up (science museum director and lady who rides the elephants in the circus, to name a couple), but as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to write storybooks. I wanted to create worlds and draw people into them, and make everything up as I went. By time I graduated from high school, I was pretty sure this was not achievable, I guess because I’d never met anyone who wrote books or created worlds. So I studied Japanese instead, which seemed cool too.
Japan and exposure to the world of art and design lead me to make Mochimochi Land, my big passion for the last eight years. But even as I was building this world in knitting, and writing books of patterns, I still didn’t really think I could make a storybook—fiction publishing just seemed like such a different (and much more competitive) world from crafts. It was my luck that my editor, Caitlin Harpin, was open to the idea of a nontraditional craft book when I brought it up, and she and the rest of the team at Potter Craft worked hard to make it happen.
I hadn’t really expected everyone to go along with it, so I was surprised that all of a sudden I was writing a storybook. It was my own adventure in Mochimochi Land! And it was way harder than I had expected: Not only did I have to come up with the stories, but I also had to invent all-new characters for them that could work as patterns, and I had to figure out what the whole thing would look like from start to finish too. That’s what storyboards are for.
Nobody taught me to make a storyboard, or how to write a story, or how to design a toy and write a knitting pattern, for that matter. But often that’s the best way to learn how to do something—by just doing it. And that process shouldn’t stop when we’re grownups. I had a lot of help in making this book, and for everyone involved it was something new, which is scary but exciting and definitely worth the stress and hard work.
I hope that this book will be a fun read for all of you, kids and adults alike. I also hope that the patterns and DIY spirit that I’ve tried to infuse in it will inspire you to try something new and make worlds and stories of your own!
Adventures in Mochimochi Land is now available for preorder from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and from Powells, among other places. Signed copies are also available for preorder from me in the Mochimochi Shop. Or if you have a local bookstore or yarn store that you support, please ask them if they’ll carry it!
More previews and other fun book stuff are coming soon!