Category: Mochimochi Friends

Mochimochi Friends: Keitha’s Monster Boo

Sometimes a knitter goes so above and beyond with a project, they deserve to be called a hero. Keitha Brannick certainly earns the distinction with this colorful colony of Boos! Then she went REALLY big and knitted an enormous Boo for her front door to delight the neighborhood with. He’s a full 15″ tall with a 29″ wingspan! She had some yarn left over, so she also improvised a giant purple spider, as you do.

I asked Keitha if she would share a bit about how she made her big Boo. Here’s what she had to say:

It was very easy to scale him up. I didn’t have a specific size in mind, just big. I found a bulky yarn that called for size 15 needles. It took three 3.5oz/43 yd skeins with just a little left over yarn. I followed your pattern except that I knit him flat, since I didn’t have size 15 double points, and mattress stitched the pieces together. I sewed the legs into the body as I stitched the body closed.

I wanted a bright surprise when his wings opened so I knit 2 sets of the modified wings, one navy and one purple. I couldn’t find a bulky yarn in the bright purple so I used 4 strands of worsted weight acrylic yarn with the size 15 needles. The smaller yarn made the purple wings slightly smaller than the navy bulky which made a nice edging around the inner wings when I stitched them together. When Big Boo is hanging by his feet his wings drooped so I used thin craft wire to keep them spread out. I bent the wire to follow the curves on the bottom of the wings (which is on top when Boo is up-side-down), and slipped it through the stitches where the curves change direction.

I knit his fangs out of shiny white yarn I had from other projects and stitched them on. I found large crystals meant for jewelry that sparkled purple and white to use for his eyes. I sewed buttons where I wanted the eyes and glued the crystals to the buttons. I was afraid the crystals wouldn’t hold well glued to the yarn but with the right glue they might have been fine. Boo won’t be used as a toy so it’s not as critical to watch all his parts!

Thank you, Keitha, for sharing all about your process!

If you’re inspired to emulate Keitha’s creative genius, you may want to get started now: find the Boo pattern in my shop and on Ravelry. And of course, Keitha gets a $25 credit to the Mochimochi Shop for her brilliance! (Keep tagging your projects with #mochimochiland and the same could happen to you!)

Let’s Knit a Ball Pit!

FINAL BALL COUNT: 2,383!!! PROJECT RECAP HERE!

JANUARY UPDATE! We have 1650 balls in the knit ball pit and it’s still growing! If you’d like to contribute, at this point I’d like to encourage you to donate funds directly to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS if you are able. And any future group projects will be announced here, on the newsletter, and on Instagram! Thank you for the balls, everyone!

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

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:

[I’ve removed the address to avoid confusion—this project is complete!]

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.

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