Category: 10 Years of Mochimochi Land

10th Anniversary of Gnomes vs Snowmen

Ten years ago today, the gnomes and snowmen of Mochimochi Land faced off in an epic battle. Snow heads rolled. Gnomes were squashed flat. Santa’s sleigh was commandeered for aerial snowball drops. It was not pretty, but it was pretty cute.

These events took place for a few weeks at the wonderful gallery hanahou (RIP!) in NYC in 2011, thanks to Koko Nakano and her team, but they live on in our memories. And in some photos!

Continue reading “10th Anniversary of Gnomes vs Snowmen”

Knitting Mochimochi is 10!

Right after I posted that look back at Greetings from Mochimochi the other day, I realized that this anniversary also meant that my first book, Knitting Mochimochi, is also ten years old this year!

Creating my first book was a ton of work and a ton of fun, especially the Tulsa photo shoots with Brandi Simons.

Confused Moose: This photo shoot involved getting little knitted birds wet—fun!

Tiny Pencil: Second professional manicure in my life for this photo! (The first was for prom.)

Baby Gators: This is still one of my all-time favorite Mochimochi Land photos… Actually several from this book are all-time favorites!

Here’s me with my sister, Leah, during the first photo shoot for the muff. We decided to reshoot it later with two models instead of one, but I’m glad Brandi thought to snap this picture of Leah and me.

The cutie in the middle is a high school senior now! Myself and fellow model Mike Simons (Brandi’s husband) haven’t aged a bit.

Posing Cuter Polluters in a big chunky necklace I got a thrift store in Tulsa while I was there.

I have a lot of photos of Brandi flat on the ground, trying to get the perfect angle. She’s such a professional!

And she’s a wonderful mother!

So many photos in this book (and other books) were shot in Brandi’s girls’ playroom. It got the best light! Incidentally, my kids’ room also gets the best light in the house we live in now, so I occasionally sneak in to take pictures there too.

I learned so much in the process about designing, writing, editing, and photography. And the feeling of holding a copy in my hands for the first time was one of those big life experiences that I’ll remember forever.

My style has changed a bit since 2010, but I still love so many of the patterns in this book, and I’m happy that people are still knitting from it. You can find it on a lot of websites (also as an ebook), and I keep a stock of signed copies here.

Greetings from Mochimochi 10 year anniversary

Greetings from Mochimochi was ten years ago this month!

Ten years ago I brought Mochimochi Land into the real life for the first time at gallery hanahou in NYC. Putting together Greetings from Mochimochi got me exploring a big interconnected world of knitted weirdness, and my subsequent installations at venues like Vogue Knitting LIVE were based on this first one. And it had a working model train!

I couldn’t be more grateful to KOKO Art Agency for making this magic happen and helping inspire so much Mochimochi Land fun in the past ten years.

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 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.


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!