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Meet Kate’s Kitten, New Pattern in Knitty!

Back in 2005, a cat wearing burgundy pants appeared in the young online knitting magazine Knitty and sparked a knitted toy revolution. Designed by Jess Hutchison, Kate was beautiful in her simplicity, and she gave me something to study when I started thinking about designing toys of my own.

As 2017 marks 10 years of Mochimochi Land AND 15 years of Knitty, I jumped on the chance to revisit Kate and make a version of my own. So I’m thrilled to introduce Kate’s Kitten, a mini mochi-fied version of the classic tail-free cat! The pattern is in the current issue of Knitty, along with many other exciting projects.

Not only did Knitty inspire me when I first started designing, but they also gave Mochimochi Land a boost when my Woodins were included in the Fall 2007 issue. I still love this design.

If you’re a Knitty fan, you should become a patron!

Special Little Snowflakes

The 2017 holiday pattern is here! Special Little Snowflakes celebrate how we’re all a bit alike and also unique at the same time. Knit them for all the special creatures in your life!

This pattern automatically comes FREE with any purchase of $5 or more from the Mochimochi Shop through January 1st! No need to add it to your cart—a link to download the pattern will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase.

This is a seamless, intermediate-level pattern that incorporates stranded color knitting. Special Little Snowflakes knit up fast for ornaments, garlands, and more, for perfect little last-minute hand-knitted gifts!

10 Years of Mochimochi Land: All the Boos

Mochimochi Land has now been a thing for 10 whole years! While I’m taking care of a newborn and not getting much knitting done for a little while, I thought I’d share some highlights from a decade of Mochimochi Land.

It’s October! A good time to pay tribute to my all-time most popular knitting pattern, Boo the Bat!

Boo debuted in fall of 2008, so this little funny creature has been on the scene for a whole nine years now, and it tickles me that Boos continue to pop up on the internet on a monthly basis.

As of this posting, there are 1,130 Boos listed on Ravelry, which means there are at least a few thousand more hanging out somewhere. Here are a few new kids on the block, via Ravelry.

Top row:
SpringPeeper’s Bitty Bat, tzipporahfeiga’s Boo, knitjvf70’s Brown Bat, eLoomator’s Boo Bats
Middle row:
schicken’s Boo, LateClematis’ Hi said the little leather-winged bat, Jayannell’s Rosita, Elly22’s Bats
Bottom row:
mimulus’ CutieBoo, co314’s Batty-nuggets, Practicalmagic’s Boo the Bat, Serine23’s Batty

I always love seeing how diverse they all are! The personality knitters can pack into one small bat represents to me the beauty of all handmade toys.

And because we’re looking back at 10 years of Mochimochi Land, here are some notable Boos from previous years.

Top row (from left to right):
lazydayartifacts’ Boo the Bat, BreiKonijn’s Boo the Bat 4, okate’s 2014 Ornament Swap, Kristysnowedin’s 2,Bats
Middle row:
gizmonic’s Boo the Bat, wojostitches’ Bats!, mimulus’ Baby boo, knittergoddss’ Boo the Bat
Bottom row:
ljsheppard’s Boo, Azashenya’s CCW 9, Triestina’s Boo Bat, Aelys’ Boo the Bat

Top row (from left to right):
MarleenS’s Vleermuisje, laulaula’s Boo the W, roblingt’s Trevor, LiddyLee’s Boo the Bat, bioniclaura’s Bats About You
Middle row:
SlpBeauty’s I Didn’t Know They Did it All with Rubber Bands!, Prana451’s Batty!, tinypurrs’ Pink Moon Bat, blueangelfish83’s Bat mobile, angrymeerkat’s Halloween wreath
Bottom row:
ClarkMelissa’s Boo the Bat, Julia123’s Boo-tiful Sparkles, SlpBeauty’s Boo!, ginskye’s Bat 1 and Bat 2, kerroknits’ Boo the Bat

Left to right, top to bottom: Boos by aranyita, PurpleIrisCrafts, CrochetAmy, iamkashi, Fios, kendraja, MissSophie, minkey, sleeplessnscandia, RueDeekins, okate, ImpEmberStar

If you haven’t knitted a Boo, it’s a pretty simple project that should take only a day or two to finish. The wings (which include a variation generously contributed by Carissa Browning) button up for those times when your bat is feeling shy, then can open wide for your bat to say BOO!

The pattern for Boo the Bat is available as a PDF download in my shop here and also in the Mochimochi Ravelry Store.

10 Years of Mochimochi Land: Tiny Knitting

Mochimochi Land has now been a thing for 10 whole years! While I’m taking care of a newborn and not getting much knitting done for a little while, I thought I’d share some highlights from a decade of Mochimochi Land.

I wouldn’t have been able to sustain Mochimochi Land over ten years without finding big new challenges to help my work stretch and grow. In 2009, I had just finished writing my first book of knitting patterns, Knitting Mochimochi, and I was looking for something new to do in my realm of knitted toys. The big new thing, I decided, was quick and small, and so my month of knitting tiny things began.

The first tiny thing was a tiny knitted brain. I love designing toys, and there’s something so satisfying about coming up with a concept, sketching it, and knitting it in a couple hours’ time. I posted a photo of the brain to my blog, and soon I was hearing requests for other tiny things from knitters and non-knitters alike. So I decided to knit a tiny thing a day for a month. That proved to be so addictive that I continued the challenge on a weekly basis for two entire years!

That’s a lot of tiny knitting. And when I was ready for a (tiny) break and no longer made a new miniature every week, I still continued knitting tiny stuff frequently. It turns out that just about everything you can think of is fun to knit in miniature. And when I think about it, it seems like I’ve tried to knit just about everything: an umbrella, a traffic cone, a helicopter, a computer, a raincloud, a Trump…

But there will always be new tiny things to knit. And I’m tickled when I see things that other knitters have come up with—just check out the entries from these past photo contests!

You can see more of the tiny stuff that I’ve knitted over the years here. Some of the tinys made their way into a book of patterns, and even more patterns are available for purchase and for free.

10 Years of Mochimochi Land: Gnomes vs. Snowmen

Mochimochi Land has now been a thing for 10 whole years! While I’m taking care of a newborn and not getting much knitting done for a little while, I thought I’d share some highlights from a decade of Mochimochi Land.

In 2011 the character art organization Pictoplasma asked me if I would like to be a part of their gallery walk for their upcoming NYC conference. My friends at gallery hanahou (which has since closed, sadly) graciously let me use their space, so about 5 months later the epic battle between gnomes and snowmen commenced!

The idea for this little knitted art exhibit began to germinate when I watched a documentary on British history that featured the Bayeux Tapestry, a truly epic weaving that tells the story of the 11th Century Norman invasion of Britain from start to finish in a linear fashion.

I remember watching that documentary and falling in love with this mode of tactile storytelling, and thinking to myself that it would be interesting to pit two much-beloved characters against each other, in ways both playful and also somewhat violent, and see how people felt about that.

There was a lot of knitting involved.

And a lot of mess in our small Brooklyn apartment.

Once I had about a 100 each of gnomes and snowmen (with knitting help for the snowmen provided by some awesome local knitters), I got to put together the scenes, which was great fun.

And it was the biggest thrill to have people show up at the opening and experience the cutest battle ever in Mochimochi Land!

If you missed it in the gallery, you may have seen a smaller version of Gnomes vs Snowmen at one of the Vogue Knitting LIVE shows over the past few years.

You can see more photos from the battle at my personal website.

10 Years of Mochimochi Land: Woodins

Mochimochi Land has now been a thing for 10 whole years! While I’m taking care of a newborn and not getting much knitting done for a little while, I thought I’d share some highlights from a decade of Mochimochi Land.

Way back in 2007, some mysterious creatures made their web debut on Knitty.com. They’re a bit hard to spot at first, but take a look at the right edge of the banner…

The Woodins wasn’t my first knitting pattern, but, appearing in one of the most popular knitting websites, it was the first design that many people saw from me. It was all a dream come true, because I was already a fan of Knitty and I designed this pattern because I had heard from Amy Singer herself about submitting to her online magazine.

woodinsknitty

Seeing this photo again takes me back to living in NYC. The photo was taken in Central Park by my friend and coworker Makiko Sasanuma.

These little guys and their hollow spooky log home were inspired by the wordless characters in Miyazaki Hayao’s animations (like Totoro). As with many of my designs, I think, my time spent studying in Japan comes through in a big way. I also enjoyed coming up with the “freeform” knitting and purling technique that makes the bark on the log. Sometimes it pays to just make stuff up and see how it goes.

This is also a project that knitters have done some really fun stuff with—you can check out more than 200 such projects on Ravelry!

Speaking of Knitty, you can now become a patron of theirs!

Baby Eve

Our baby decided to arrive on the day of the eclipse!

She did not see what all the fuss was about.

Thanks to everyone who has sent their happy wishes to us! We’re enjoying our new little girl very much.

Things will be a bit quieter here than usual for the next few months, but I’m around and will be checking email and filling orders as they come. I’ll also share the finished mobile once it’s in a proper hanging position!