Mochimochi Photo Contest

Win Knit Picks Gift Certificates or a Giant Toy Kit

It’s time to talk about our super special returning sponsor for our annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest: Knit Picks! Knit Picks is everyone’s favorite online yarn retailer, and they’ve been enthusiastically sponsoring our photo contest for years.

They offer so many different products on their website, including all manner of delicious yarns, that’s it’s hard to know where to begin with them. Myself, I regularly use their yarn swift and ball winder—in combination with the bobbin winder that my dad constructed, these help me make alllll the tiny mochi kits you see in my shop. I also have a big stash of their fingering-weight Palette yarn that I use for many Mochimochi Land projects, including all the colorful little concentric gnomes that were part of The Gnome Genome Project show earlier this year in Seoul.


The colors that Palette comes in leave nothing out, and I personally love the wooly feel of this yarn. Soupy is also a fan.


In the non-wooly category is their acrylic Brava yarn, which is super soft and comes in three different weights. I used a lot of the bulky variety for the projects in my 2013 book Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, including this squeezable Capybara Caravan.


Speaking of which, Knit Picks has a new prize for the winner of the video category this year: a Giant Toy Kit that includes a copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi along with skeins of Brava to make those capybaras, Lupe the Piñata, and more!


For the top three winners in our photo category, Knit Picks is offering gift certificates: $50 to the top winner and $10 each to the second and third place winners. And if you live outside of the US or Canada, don’t worry—we’ll make sure you can use those gift certificates, so this is also a rare opportunity to get Knit Picks goodies in other parts of the world.

So a big thank you goes to Knit Picks once again this year for being such a great contest sponsor. By the way, they’re having a big sale right at this moment, so now’s a great time to stop over at their website as you brainstorm your photo and video entries.

The deadline for our contest is December 1st—see full contest details here!

Win Funky Tote Bags and More from Bonney’s Yarn Stash

We really never know what’s going to emerge from my mother-in-law Bonney’s epic yarn stash. In recent years she’s dug up some fun and unusual treasures as prizes for our annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest, and this year is no exception!

Bonney was on the ball a couple of months back when sent me three tote bags covered with very trippy illustrations, including a girl holding a sheep (that’s how they made it into her stash).


We were mystified about why these bags existed and where they came from, but today when I was getting them out again I noticed the words TEAM MACHO at the top.


I remember Team Macho—they’re an art collective in Toronto! I’m quite fan but haven’t kept up with them recent years, although I did blog about them here waaay back in 2007. So these bags are even cooler than I’d thought, and they’re going to the top three winners in our photo category.

PLUS we’ve got vintage pattern collections to give away, and also lego pencil boxes for some reason? Bonney says they would make great needle cases, and I can’t argue with that. Thank you for the prizes, Bonney!


So add these to the Franklin Habit illustrations, the Australian Homespun subscriptions, the Knit Picks gift certificates (and more), AND Mochimochi Land gift certificates, and that’s pretty sweet incentive to enter your photos and videos in our contest! (Plus we always add in more goodies as surprise prizes at the end.)

The deadline for entries is December 1st—see the full contest details here!

Win a Dolores Sketch by Franklin Habit

I’m so excited to announce a BONUS prize that we have in store for two winners in our photo + video contest: The top photo category winner and the video category winner will each receive a Dolores the Sheep sketch by none other than Franklin Habit!


Many of you are familiar with designer, teacher, author, and illustrator Franklin Habit. I first met him at Vogue Knitting LIVE many years ago, and as far as I know he is the busiest teacher in the knitting world. (You can take his classes at the upcoming VK LIVE in NYC in January.) His sassy sheep Dolores is a knitting celebrity in her own right ever since she showed up unannounced in 2006 and has been appearing in Franklin’s books and columns ever since. (She’s even got her own Twitter account.)

Franklin will supply the top photo and video winners with a Dolores sketch of their own, similar (but maybe not identical to) those pictured above. Thank you Franklin!!

The deadline for contest entries is December 1st—plenty of time left to make a cute photo or video with your mochis. Check out the full contest details here.

Win a Year’s Subscription to Australian Homespun Magazine

Last week I blogged some inspiration for this year’s Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest, and for the next couple of weeks I’d like to provide some motivation to go along with that inspiration. We’re talking prizes!

For this 9th annual contest, I wanted to have a new sponsor for some extra-special prizes, and I was thrilled when my first choice for that, Australian Homespun Magazine, agreed to step up.


If you haven’t heard of it, Australian Homespun is a beautiful monthly magazine (available in both print and digital form) that features 10 craft projects in every issue ranging from knit and crochet to embroidery, sewing, and quilting. I first heard about the magazine when they contacted me last year about featuring some of my tiny mochis, and when they sent me the finished issue I was charmed enough to blog about it.

From the start I was impressed by the way that Homespun at once honors tradition in crafting and brings new and daring ideas to its readers. For example, the September 2015 issue included a cute crochet hot dog scarf from Twinkie Chan (one of my personal favorite craft artists)…


And the October issue featured a lovely bird embroidery from Tasmania-based designer Bobbie Watts.


You can check out photos of all of their patterns and projects on the Homespun website.

Each issue also includes features and interviews with designers and artists and loads of inspiration and ideas to bring into your own work, like the tiny crafts feature that my tiny sewing machine was included in last year.


They also have great downloadable local crafty shopping guides on their website, which would be fabulous if you ever find yourself planning a vacation to Australia or New Zealand.

I’m thrilled that Australian Homespun is giving away THREE one-year print subscriptions to our contest winners, to the first and second-place winners in our photo category and to the top winner in our video category. (Like all of our prizes, they’re available to anyone in the world, so that’s a lot of international shipping that they’re also probably springing for.) Thank you Homespun!

The deadline for entries in our is coming up on December 1st! See full contest details.

Inspiration from Winners Past

I hope many of you are planning to enter the 9th Annual Photo + Video Contest? You’ve got three and a half weeks! That’s plenty of time to make some mochis and get creative with them, but the season is only going to get busier, so the sooner the better I say. Plus, I’ve got a REALLY exciting new addition to our prizes, which I will be announcing soon—stay tuned for that…

To help get the inspiration flowing, let’s take a look back at some of the winners from our previous contests. You’ll see that there are endless ways to make some magic with knitted toys.

First, because our video category is still new, I wanted to share last year’s winner again: By a Thread by juleenbean.

Stop-motion animation is a favorite of mine, and it can be as simple as taking a series of photos and putting them together in a program like iMovie. But a video doesn’t have to mean animation—check out Suzy’s Advice Gnome for a great example of how to use live action in a creative way in a video.

Back to photos, one of my all-time favorite photo contest winners was Giant Squid Love by Jill Watt from our 2013 contest.


I actually interviewed Jill and her sister Lorna earlier this year—they’re such fun and original yarn artists, so check that out to find out more about their large-scale collaborations.

We didn’t hold a photo series contest this year because we did the back page contest instead, but in previous years I asked you to tell a story using a series of photos, and we got the coolest entries! One of my favorites was Breaking Cat by Woollenwilderness. You need to check out the blog post with all the winners to see the whole series, but here’s one of my favorite scenes from the story.

No other option than to deal catnip


And finally, I love to look back at the winners from our very first photo contest in 2007. First place went to Mochimochi Land Scene by jenifleur.


This one still blows my mind!

So as you can see, we’ve had all sorts of styles and sensibilities represented in our contests. Aside from the prizes we have to entice you with from Knit Picks, Australian Homespun magazine, and more, I think the contests are a great opportunity to express yourself and challenge your imagination to do something with knitting beyond the ordinary.

Check out the guidelines for this year’s contest. And then be sure to enter!