Category: Free Patterns

Let’s Knit a Ball Pit!

ANOTHER UPDATE! We have a printable flyer now available—you can download it via the Ravelry pattern page. This is an easy offline way to spread the word to your crafting communities. And we do thank you for helping spread the word!

UPDATE! Check out a chat with me and Tanya Weaver of AFCAids with the ladies of Cheers to Ewe on their Facebook Live show!

UPDATE! I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve arranged to donate all of the balls to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS after Vogue Knitting LIVE. And we have a new sponsor to thank for helping make this project possible: the lovely yarn shop Cheers To Ewe! located in Huntersville, NC!

I said in my last post that it would be fun to do a big crazy group project, so…

Mochimochi Land is going to Vogue Knitting LIVE in NYC this January, and we want to make a splash with a whole ball pit full of knitted mochimochi balls!

After Vogue Knitting LIVE, the balls will be donated to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, who will send them to kids in Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. (More on that here!)

To make this squishy cuddly fun possible, we need YOUR help: Please join us in knitting hundreds of colorful character balls! Follow the pattern below (there’s a circular and a flat version) to make as many balls as you can contribute, and mail them to this address by January 3rd, 2019:

Mochimochi Land
4044 N Lincoln Ave
Ste 407
Chicago, IL 60618-3038

If your package comes from somewhere outside the US, we want to thank you for your extra effort, so please include your email address for a discount code to the Mochimochi Shop!

(If you’re coming to Vogue Knitting LIVE NYC in person, you can also just bring your character balls with you!)

A big thank-you to our sponsor, Cheers To Ewe!

Things you’ll need

Yarn: Use any weight of colorful yarn! It can be variegated or have a funky texture or whatever, but we do want to keep it bright and happy. You’ll need less than 10 yards of yarn for one ball. (This is a great project for using up yarn scraps!) You’ll also need a small amount of contrasting-color yarn for eyes.

Needles: Use a needle that is small enough so that stuffing won’t show through the gaps between the stitches. (We recommend using size 5 US (3.75mm) needles with worsted-weight yarn, for example.)

Stuffing: We recommend polyester fiberfill, but stuffing can be anything lightweight, including yarn scraps.

You’ll also need a tapestry needle and scissors.

Please read!

• We want characters! Please make your ball into a character by embroidering eyes onto it! Don’t worry about doing it perfectly—wonky stitching just adds to your ball’s uniqueness and specialness.
• You can add details like arms, legs, hair, ears, etc by adding embellishments like I-cords. Make sure this is all attached—characters should have no loose parts, and nothing so big or dangly that it would tangle up our ball-pit fun.
• We want the ball pit to be totally soft, so no hard components, please. (No plastic eyes.)
• Crocheters are welcome to participate! There are several free ball patterns on Ravelry, like this one.
• We’re unable to return submissions once they’re incorporated into the ball pit, so your characters will be taking up permanent residence in Mochimochi Land. Make sure you say a proper goodbye before sending them off!
Please tag your character balls with #knitballpit —I’ll also be sharing submissions and updates and other fun stuff using that hashtag.

You can DOWNLOAD the pattern here: download now

Mochimochi Ball (circular version)

Cast on 6 stitches and distribute them onto a circular needle or 3 double-pointed needles to work in a round.
Rnd 1: [Kfb] 6 times (12 sts).
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: [Kfb] 12 times (24 sts).
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: [Kfb, k3] 6 times (30 sts).
Rnds 6-16: Knit (11 rnds).
Rnd 17: [K2tog, k3] 6 times (24 sts).
Rnd 18: Knit.
Rnd 19: [K2tog] 12 times (12 sts).
Rnd 20: Knit.
Stuff the piece.
Rnd 21: [K2tog] 6 times (6 sts).
Break the yarn and draw it tightly through the stitches with a tapestry needle.
Weave in the loose ends.

With a contrasting color yarn, embroider eyes and any other features you like (a nose! a smile! some hair!).

Mochimochi Ball (flat version)

Cast on 8 stitches onto one needle using the backward loop method.
Row 1: k1, [kfb] 6 times, k1 (14 sts).
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K1, [kfb] 12 times, k1 (26 sts).
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: K1, [kfb, k3] 6 times, k1 (32 sts).
Rows 6-16: Beginning with a purl stitch, work 11 rows of stockinette stitch.
Row 17: K1, [k2tog, k3] 6 times, k1 (26 sts).
Row 18: Purl.
Row 19: K1, [k2tog] 12 times, k1 (14 sts).
Row 20: Purl.
Row 21: [K2tog] 7 times (7 sts).
Break the yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches (15cm). and draw it tightly through the stitches, from right to left on the knit side of the piece, with a tapestry needle.

With the knit side facing out, use the tail you left on the piece to stitch together the seam. Use mattress stitch, making vertical stitches on the outside of the piece. Stuff the piece before finishing the seam. Then pull the yarn tightly to make the seam disappear.

Weave in the loose ends.

With a contrasting color yarn, embroider eyes and any other features you like (a nose! a smile! some hair!).

We can’t wait to receive all your squishy happy mochimochi balls!

Free Pattern: Good Luck Clover

Make your own luck with this squeezable little four-leaf clover! It’s about the size of a quarter when made with fingering-weight yarn. If you enjoy this pattern, please visit the Mochimochi Shop for more.

(Want to knit a tiny leprechaun? Get the tiny gnome pattern, take some tips from this post, and do some color swapping! The tiny rainbow pattern is in my book Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi.)

Continue reading “Free Pattern: Good Luck Clover”

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!

Free Pattern: Tiny Pussy Hat

tinygranny_pussyhat

Granny’s going to a march this weekend! Here’s a simple pattern for you to knit as a good luck charm for you or for someone you’re supporting:

Cast on 20 sts, distribute onto 3 DPNs.
Work one round in [K1, p1] rib.
Knit 4 rnds.
Next rnd: [Kfb] twice, k6, [kfb] 4 times, k6, [kfb] twice (28 sts).
Divide the sts onto 2 DPNs, and bind off with kitchener stitch.

The hat should fit tiny mochis like the granny, Knit Kit and Purl Girl, and more!

This hat was inspired, of course, by the #pussyhatproject.

Free Pattern: FellowSheep

fellowsheep

An advanced-beginner pattern so quick, you can knit sheep by the herdful!

Tag your sheep #FELLOWSHEEP (literally and online), then set them free to bring fluffy happiness—and happy fluffiness—to those who find them.

If you’ll be in NYC the weekend of January 13-15th, you can join me in knitting as many FellowSheep as possible at Vogue Knitting LIVE!

Continue reading “Free Pattern: FellowSheep”

How to Knit a Tiny Patriotic Gnome while also Making Potato Salad

patriotgnome1

Step 1
Buy the ingredients for Martha Stewart’s All-American Potato Salad.

Step 2
Knit a tiny bald gnome. (When you switch to the face color in the tiny gnome pattern, decrease by 8 stitches as instructed, then knit 6 more rounds. Then stuff and [k2tog] 8 times to finish off.)

patriotgnome3

This guy is made with worsted-weight yarn and size 5 DPNs for a slightly bigger tiny gnome.

Step 3
Boil the potatoes

patriotgnome2

Step 4
While the potatoes are boiling, follow this pattern to make your gnome a tiny Uncle Sam hat:

With white, cast on 4 stitches onto one DPN.
Rnd 1 (work as I-cord): [Kfb] 4 times (8 sts).
Distribute the stitches onto 3 DPNs.
Rnd 2: [Kfb, k1] 4 times (12 sts).
Rnds 3-6: Purl (4 rnds).
Switch to blue.
Rnds 7 and 8: Purl.
Bind off the stitches, and turn the piece inside-out, so that the purl stitches are on the inside.

patriotgnome4

Work brim
With white, pick up and knit 12 stitches along the bound-off edge.
Rnd 1: [Kfb] 12 times (24 sts).
Bind off loosely.
Weave in the loose ends.

With red, embroider vertical stripes on the white area at 2-stitch intervals.
With white, embroider dots along the middle of the blue area at 1-1/2-stitch intervals.

Stuff the hat lightly and stitch to your bald gnome’s head.

patriotgnome6

You can also stitch this hat to any other tiny mochis to make them instant patriots!

Step 5
Talk your patriotic gnome into helping you finish making the potato salad according to the recipe, because it’s the patriotic thing to do this weekend. (If necessary, promise him that he can lick the bowl when you’re done.)

patriotgnome5

Step 6
Have a Happy 4th! And don’t forget to enter your own mods of Mochimochi Land patterns in the Mochi Mod Contest by July 5th!

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Free Pattern: Carnie Zebra

This is an intermediate-level BONUS pattern from Adventures in Mochimochi Land, now available from book sellers everywhere. (Signed copies are available from the Mochimochi Shop!)

carniezebra1

Carnivalville couldn’t keep running without the help of its hard-working animal carnies. Carnie monkeys take the tickets, carnie elephants sell balloons, and carnie zebras climb way up high to check the soundness of all the tents. (They’re also known to sneak naps while they’re up there.)

adventurespre3a

A few people have asked me for the zebra’s pattern since his debut in Adventures in Mochimochi Land, so I’m happy to share it here.

Continue reading “Free Pattern: Carnie Zebra”