Category: Mochimochi Friends

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!

LYS Love: Gather Here

The Cambridge sewing studio and yarn store Gather Here were nice enough to send me some photos of their Mochimochi Land kits on display!

You can take my word for it: This store alone is a great excuse for a trip to the Boston area. It’s been too long since I visited myself, but I hope to return before too long. I need to meet these fat little unicorns in person!

If you live far away like I do, you can still shop online and support them! They deserve your support.

And if your local yarn store isn’t carrying Mochimochi Land kits, why not suggest they get in touch?

Not Your Granny’s Walker

Lorak on Ravelry got in touch recently with a project and story that made me smile.

Her friend Sadie is a rad 9-year-old girl living with cerebral palsy who uses a walker to get around. Sadie happens to be an inventor, and she tricked out her walker with a set of rotating wheels that allow her to climb curbs.

walker_sadie2

As a little gift for Sadie, Lorak mochi-fied her and gave her a walker using the pattern from my Tiny People 3 collection. Mochi Sadie doesn’t have wheels, but she’s super cool nonetheless!

walker_sadie

Read more about Sadie in this Boston Globe article.

Kathleen’s Snail Mail

Kathleen was slow to send birthday wishes to her sister, so she came up with an extra charming use for a tiny knit snail!
tinysnail_katbetty

Here’s the explanation she shared on Ravelry about the project:

I don’t like shopping for greeting cards because I can never find the right one or even one that I sort of like. I usually try to figure something out. My sister’s and her husband’s birthdays are in March, and I’m super late with my acknowledgment of their big days, so I figured that a 3-D card was in order. I think I need to make more of these. :)

To make the snail stay upright on the card, I had to sew him on. After I mounted the white cardstock onto the orange cardstock, I made two set of parallel holes with an x-acto knife, making sure they were well under the snail. Then using the body color yarn, I went up through the bottom of the card and stitched the snail to it using the holes. I tied a bow with the ends of the sewing yarn on the underside of the card in case the recipient wants to easily remove the snail. (That’s what my sister did!)

I love that people are constantly coming up with creative new things to do with tiny mochis! Stay tuned for a new contest that’s all about highlighting fun new ideas.

By the way, the tiny snail pattern is free, right here: Snails and Slugs

Projet Gnome

If you’ve taken a look at our Flickr group recently, you’ve been greeted with tiny gnomes traveling to all sorts of places—from the shore,

projetgnome1

to a temple,

projetgnome2

to a rock concert,

projetgnome4

to the Biosphere in Montreal (NOT Epcot, as I originally thought!),

projetgnome3

to Chicago,

projetgnome5

to Austria!

projetgnome6

These jet-setting gnomes were all shared by Estelle, who clearly took an epic journey with her gnome companions. In fact, there were so many traveling gnomes, as I was scrolling through the photos I was wondering just what was up…. So I got in touch with Estelle, who lives in Quebec, and I learned that this is a whole project with many different contributors!

This is what she had to say about Projet Gnome:

Last year I went on a 3 month backpacking trip with my sister to New-Zealand, Thailand and India. A few weeks before we left I was looking for ideas for small gifts to make for our future hosts, and I stumbled upon your website. I just fell in love with the gnomes and thought I’ll knit one for myself and take pictures of him at different places we go. (A bit like in the movie Amelie with Audrey Tautou)
Then I knitted a lady friend for Mr Gnome, then some more gnomes, and I started giving them to people I met on my trip so they make them travel and take pictures.
I kept on knitting gnomes when I came back home and gave them to fellow travellers. In a way I got to keep on travelling a bit this way! So far I might have knit about 30 gnomes and they travelled to more than 15 countries, thanks to the wonderful travellers/photographers/artists who took part in the Gnome Project.
For me, this is really about sharing, creating, and finding beauty and fun in small things.

How fun! Of course, Estelle’s project reminds me of Project Gnome Diplomacy, which many of you participated in last year, when I brought more than 300 of your gnomes to Seoul to be handed out to people who visited the gallery where they were displayed. I love that the gnome is a symbol of adventure and friendship that so many people recognize and want to take part in.

Anyone can join Projet Gnome by knitting a gnome and taking it on a trip, and there’s even a Facebook group for the intrepid gnomes and their escorts. I just joined myself!

You can find the tiny gnome pattern in Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi, in the Tiny Gnome Kit, and in Tiny Mochis Collection 3.