Abstract Mochi Madness

Remember the colorful mochis I was knitting for a new art piece that’s going up in the Lion Brand Studio in August? I’ve continued knitting them in whenever I find some time—between other projects, when I watch TV, or go to knitting groups. I think their numbers are really climbing, although I don’t have an exact count right now because some are still in Berlin from being in my last show. (They were playing the part of asteroids on the 26-foot-long asteroid belt.) Soon, I’ll have to figure out exactly what I want to do with them!

It’s interesting how my eyes find patterns in the colors when I just dump them out of the bag I keep them in and let them fall randomly.


For the piece, which will be more or less two-dimensional and will hang on a wall, I’ll make sure they all have noses and are all face up (though their bodies will be oriented in all different directions), but how to arrange them? I originally planned to keep it as a big random bunch, although lately I like the idea of shaping the mass into a longer curve that has some movement.


There’s a big part of me that wants to add some really big mochis to the crowd, and have them be performing some action like eating the smaller ones or something. But I kind of want to challenge myself to keep it abstract.

I hope to add many more mochis in the next few months; with enough of them, some could act as a base layer, and others could kind of float on top. I think this would add a lot of depth and interest. (I tried a bit of that in the photo below, but I don’t think it really comes through in the image.)


Here’s another quick arrangement, this time by size, with the biggest in the middle and the smallest on the outside.


Even though this now feels like a pretty silly project that I took on, knitting hundreds of these little guys one by one, it also feels like I’m stretching my brain in a good way to figure out something to do with them that is worth the time that I’ve put into making them. I have about two and a half more months to make up my mind.

I should also mention that this knitting madness is made possible by the generosity of Koigu, who contributed lots of their beautiful brightly-colored yarn!

12 thoughts on “Abstract Mochi Madness

  1. if you find you need more… i bet a lot of us knitters out here in mochimochi-fanland would be willing to add to the mochimadness!

  2. Thank you, Emily! I’ve thought about trying to recruit some knitters for projects like this in the future. On the one hand, it’s cool to say that I did it all myself, and I think that the time that went into making it becomes part of the finished piece, but a piece that was made my many different hands would also have its own meanings and could be really amazing… definitely something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

  3. How about using them as residents of a bounce house? Could be an art installation, and have various of them suspended in mid-air

  4. I love the movement of the slightly curved piece. In your previous show it would be like having an entire comet created from mochi.

    Or maybe a logo built from the small pieces that make up the group (or at least some mochi).

  5. I dunno, to go against everything you wrote, I kind of like the random dump out pattern in the first shot best. It’s got an organic quality that’s pretty unattainable once you start rearranging them. Though some light shaping or dumping them out in a motion could be cool. I also kinda love that they’re not all facing upright. The eyes and noses pointing in all directions makes it seem like they’re too round to sit up straight. Which is way more adorable.

  6. I like leaving some negative space between them, as in the first photo. Then you can see some of their individual features and quirks.

  7. I’m torn… I absolutely love the randomness and they do look waaaay cute when they’re piled together, but there’s something quite beautiful about the circle of them where the bigger ones are in the centre, and they get smaller outwards. Even the comet kinda shape is adorable, as it looks like they’re all trying to get somewhere and working together to do it! C.U.T.E.

    I’m not help at all! x

  8. I love it Master Knitter! It is a little funny though. I became a follower just about two months ago after I went through my stash of books and yarn looking for inspiration. I came across your book and then Googled you and found this site. That is when came up with a diabolical plan of 100’s of mini Gnomes placed randomly around the world. Because everyone needs some Gnome lovin’. Funny to me to see that you have a similar idea for a display. Tee Hee! Thank you for the continued inspiration! I am super stoked for the new book!

  9. anna… i am the same way about wanting to do things myself… but when i saw the beaded exhibit by liza lou here in kc, and found out that she asked people at a community center for their help… it was cool to get the sense that it was empowering for everyone who worked on the project. here’s a link to the beaded kitchen … it was a crazy installation! http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/001422.php

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