Yarnify Interview and Trunk Show

On Saturday I had the pleasure of being remotely interviewed by Anna of Yarnify! a wonderful local yarn store in Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood.

I had such a good time chatting with Anna, who was a wonderful host. And Yarnify! is also currently hosting a Mochimochi Land trunk show!

Visit their website to order my kits and support a local Chicago business!

The occasion for all this delightfulness was the virtual Chicago Yarn Crawl, which is ongoing through August 2nd with events at many local yarn stores.

Make your tiny gnome a tiny mask!

Mask up your tiny gnome today!

Tiny gnome (in this book, included in this pattern collection download, and available as a kit, clothed or gnaked)
Small bit of felt
A couple feet of fingering-weight yarn

Small tapestry needle or large sewing needle

Step 1
Cut a little rectangle of felt, wide enough to span the top of your gnome’s beard and long enough to cover all but the tip of the beard.

Step 2
Cut two pieces of yarn, each about 8” (20cm) long.

Step 3
Thread one piece of yarn onto the needle and insert it into one corner of the front of the felt. (The “front” is whichever side you decide it to be.) On the back of the felt, insert the needle through the surface along the long side, not fully poking through to the front of the felt. Then bring the needle back up through to the front of the felt in the other corner on the long side.

Repeat with the other piece of yarn on the other long side of the felt.

Back view:

Front view:

Step 4
Place the mask onto your gnome, and wrap the yarn ties around his or her head. Holding two pieces of yarn together on each side, tie the two sides together in a square knot (right over left, then left over right). Tie your knot pretty tight against the gnome, so the mask will be nice and snug.

Step 5
Adjust the mask placement, and trim the ends of the ties short.

Now you may take your gnome out in public!

Announcing the 2020 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest

Update: We have a new prize to announce! Each winner will receive the ebook SpillyJane Knits Mittens from the always clever indie designer SpillyJane

The 2020 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest is now officially open for entries!

This year’s theme: Escape into Mochimochi Land!
We want this summer’s photo contest to be a refreshing departure from the world, and there’s no better way to escape than through stories! Use your knitted friends from Mochimochi Land to tell a story through a series of photos or a video. (We’re using “story” very loosely here—it can just mean that something HAPPENS.) We’re looking for cuteness, humor, creativity, and escapism. Enter through your favorite social media platform (see below for details). Deadline is August 31st!

Winners will receive generous gift cards to some of our favorite small yarn stores (all capable of shipping internationally), plus “goodie bag” packages with lots of surprises.


This contest is open to knitters worldwide who are 18 years or older.* To be eligible, your photo series or video must contain at least one knitted toy made from a Mochimochi Land pattern. This can be a pattern from the Mochimochi Shop, a pattern from one of the Mochimochi books by Anna, or one of the free patterns on the Mochimochi Blog. The pattern may be modified, but not beyond recognition from the original design. (The use of Photoshop is OK, and other toys/characters, including other knitted toys, are welcome to appear in your photos or video too!)


There are 3 categories to enter: Photo Series, Short Video, and Super Short Video.

PHOTO SERIES is a series of 3-10 photos. You could think of this as a short sequence showing unfolding action or emotion, or as a kind of “comic book” format for storytelling, with or without dialog.

SHORT VIDEO is a video that’s at least 20 seconds long, and up to 2 minutes long. It can be puppetry or stop-motion animation. Make a Mochimochi movie! Please avoid making this merely a slideshow of photos.

SUPER SHORT VIDEO is a video or animated GIF that under 20 seconds long. It can be puppetry or stop-motion animation, but no slideshows for super-short videos. Please avoid making this merely slideshow of photos.

Note that we’re looking for humor, cuteness, and originality—not necessarily the most professional-looking photos and videos. We want everyone to enter!

IMPORTANT: We may share/repost any photos or videos entered into the contest on social media, the Mochimochi Land newsletter, or on the Mochimochi Land website, but only with credit and only in relation to promoting the contest (no commercial use).

How to enter

PHOTO SERIES: There are four ways to enter a photo series. Please choose just one platform, and enter up to three series of 3-10 photos in each series.

1) Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #mochiphotocontest20. Post the photos together in one post if possible, or title and number each photo in the captions if posting separately.

2) Post your photos to the Mochimochi Land Facebook page with the hashtag #mochiphotocontest20. Post the photos together in one album.

3) Post your photos on Twitter with the hashtag #mochiphotocontest20. Post the photos in a thread in order (preferably numbered), or post separately with a title and number as a caption for each.

4) If you can’t or don’t wish to use social media to enter (understandable if your accounts are private), you can send your photos as an email attachment to with the subject PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY.

SHORT VIDEOS (20 seconds to 2 minutes long) and SUPER SHORT VIDEOS (under 20 seconds): Enter up to 3 videos in each category. Here’s how to enter a video.

1) Post your video to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #mochiphotocontest20. (Make sure your post is PUBLIC.)

2) Post to GIPHY (if it’s a GIF) or a video site like YouTube or Vimeo. After posting your video, please email a link to the video to with the subject line VIDEO CONTEST ENTRY. Please do NOT send the video as an attachment.


The last day to enter the contest is August 31st, 2020. We’ll announce the finalists shortly thereafter here on the blog.


We’ll pick one top winner in each of the three categories. Each winner will receive a $100 gift card to one of our favorite yarn stores: Gather Here in Cambridge, MA, Knitty City in NYC, or Yarnify in Chicago. The gift cards will be usable online, of course!

Like many local yarn stores right now, these three are working to help their communities while also working hard just to stay in business—and these three are very special to me personally.

Photo credit: David Trudell
Each winner will receive the ebook SpillyJane Knits Mittens from the always clever indie designer SpillyJane

Needles ready? Cameras set? Take us away to Mochimochi Land!

* “Family” entries involving creative kids are welcome!

Some Not-Crappy News

7/31/20 Update: $1,660 raised for Chicago food pantries to date!
The portion you helped raise in July (just over $200) went to MASK (Mothers Against Senseless Killing) for their August baby supplies pantry drive. Thank you!

🐦 First, thanks to your Bluebirds of Crappiness pattern purchases, we raised another $430 for Chicago food pantries in June. That makes a total of $1,455 raised in two months! I’m dividing this month’s proceeds between Care for Real and I Grow Chicago. ⁣⁣
🐦 And second, now people who don’t knit can purchase a Bluebird of Crappiness made by me! Each bluebird will have its own unique colors and hairdo. Half of the proceeds from sales of these knitted bluebirds will go to Chicago pantries.

Thank you for helping us support our Chicago community!

What the World Needs Now*

This year, for World Wide Knit in Public Day, I’m revisiting an old classic.❤️ One of the very first knitted things that I designed (way back in 2007!) was a simple heart. I’ve just updated the pattern with new circular knitting instructions to accompany the original flat instructions. This new version of quick little Hearts is now available as a free download

These little hearts really are quick to make (especially the circular version)—I made this garland in under 3 hours! (I can’t compete with my kids’ paintings for eye-catching-ness, but still I’m happy to contribute to our colorful street window.)

Credit goes to Stacey at Knit Picks for prompting me to revisit this pattern! And thanks to Marilyn for tech editing, and Amanda, Dorien, Deb, Lalie, Linda, and Bonney for testing the new version!

Happy World Wide Knit in Public Day! Please wear a mask, give yourself space, and be safe. ❤️
* People working toward a more equitable, less police-centric, anti-racist, anti-transphobic society. And a vaccine, would be very nice! Also: love.

You’ve raised $1025 with Bluebirds of Crappiness

These Bluebirds of Crappiness are showing extra plumage because, thanks to your pattern purchases, we raised $1025 in May for Chicago food pantries!

I made an initial donation of $825 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository after the first week of sales, then followed up with $200 more at the end of the month. The ongoing anti-racism protests have motivated me to match that second chunk with a donation to My Block, My Hood, My City‘s Business Relief Fund, which is helping Black-owned businesses that have suffered damage in the recent looting in our city (largely done by out-of-state people unrelated to peaceful protests).⁣

All proceeds from pattern sales of Bluebirds of Crappiness are still going to Chicago-area food pantries. You can find the pattern in the Mochimochi Shop or on Ravelry.

I’m also thinking about selling some hand-knitted bluebirds for those who don’t knit… I’ll post about it here if I decide to do that. For now, I still have a big list of people in my life to knit them for as the crappiness continues!