Category: Mochimochi Land News

The cat’s OUT of the bag 😺

Catside Up, Catside Down is now on sale everywhere! To get my new book of cats and prepositions, just ask or it AT your local bookstore, or order it FROM your favorite website. If you placed a preorder, check INSIDE your mailbox!

This is my first-ever picture book. It’s a slightly scary thrill to finally have it out in the world. There’s a lot of me in this book—my goofy rhymes, my photography—and, of course, my more than 50 knitted cats! I hope the cute kitties will engage kids and charm grownups, and maybe inspire some people to make something with yarn.

Speaking of yarn, the yarns I used in this book came from all different makers and dyers, both big and small. Some of my favorites to work with were Madelinetosh (especially Tosh Vintage in GG Loves Speckles), Knit Picks Chroma, Sister Ananse Yarn’s mohair/silk blend, and quite a few selections from Hand Dyed Diva and Gnome Depot Fiber. They didn’t give me anything to mention them here—I just really like these yarns, and I’m so happy to have them be part of the book, too.

One of the best things about working on Catside Up, Catside Down was collaborating with people who made my ideas so much better. I’m grateful to incisive editor Anna Roberto, astute designer Mike Burroughs, and to my agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, for believing in my whole deal and turning me into a children’s book author!

Finally, thank YOU for joining me on the Mochimochi Land adventure, where knitted toys have ended up doing all sorts of things. Your support makes a moment like this possible. (Now, keep it up and go buy my book please! 😸)

Oh, and watch out for a FREE Catside Up, Catside Down-themed pattern coming soon…

p.s. Local yarn stores can order Catside Up, Catside Down through Sommer Street Associates!

New “Hang in There” Cat kit!

Exciting cat news: It’s a new “Hang in There” Cat kit! 😺

I’m thrilled to offer a limited number of these kits featuring custom yarn hand-dyed by Grace at Gnome Depot Fiber right here in Chicago. Grace and I worked together to come up with four sweet kitty colors to choose from: Orangey, Gray-y, Light Brown-y, and Party!

The kit comes with an advaced-beginner-level pattern (written in both flat and circular versions), lovely yarn to knit a cat, lovely yarn to cover a stick for your cat to hang from (and knit a leaf of two), polyester stuffing, plastic safety eyes, and… an authentic Chicago stick!

I recently taught a workshop using this cat kit at the Ann Arbor district library, and so many dangling cuties came out of it. It never ceases to delight me to see the same pattern (and even the same yarn) turn into such individual creatures in different knitters’ hands.

After all, we’re all “hang in there” cat sometimes, even though we may be grasping for different stuff.

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New Fumin’ Womb kits

Update: You’ve helped us raise over $700 for abortion funds so far—thank you! The money has gone to Chicago Abortion Fund and Roe Fund in Oklahoma. We’ll continue to send all proceeds from sales of the kit to these and other abortion funds.

We’ve got new Fumin’ Womb kits featuring Hand Dyed Diva yarn!

Show your unflagging support for reproductive rights by knitting a tiny angry uterus 😡

❤️ Half of the proceeds from sales go to abortion funds ❤️

The pattern was originally published (and still available for free!) in the Fall 2022 issue of Knitty. The HDD Homegrown Sock is the recommended yarn in the Knitty pattern—I love the bright, organic verve of this hand-dyed Pink Petunia!

We debuted these kits at YarnCon, where they sold out quickly! We sent half the proceeds to the Chicago Abortion Fund—along with proceeds from our Fumin’ Womb sticker, we raised $210 that weekend.

We’ve got a limited supply for now—get yours in the Mochimochi Shop!

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Craft Industry Alliance Podcast interview

I recently had the honor of being interviewed on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast!

The podcast is hosted by Abby Glassenberg, co-founder and president of CIA. So Abby is a pretty big deal in the crafts industry, but I’ll always know her as a plush maker—back when I was working at gallery hanahou in NYC, Abby was one of the artists we invited to take part in our plush toy show! As I talk about on the podcast, that show was one of the big influences on my journey of knitting toys, and it shaped my thinking about plush toys as objects of art and design, and not just kids’ playthings. (Although toys made for kids are awesome too, of course!)

As I expected, Abby was really easy to talk to, so I hope that makes for an enjoyable listen. Thank you Abby and Craft Industry Alliance for having me on!

It’s Lambie season!

The newest pattern in Mochimochi Land is instant Easter kitsch: a teeny-weeny lamb cake!

Inspired by all the weird lamb-shaped cakes I’ve eaten and baked in springtimes past…


Lambie is a quicker-than-it-looks project that requires very little purling (you turn the piece inside out right before finishing) and no seaming to speak of (a 3-needle bind-off takes care of that straight back).

👉 The pattern is now available as a PDF download here on my website and on Ravelry.

Use any basic yarn along with a small helping of eyelash yarn for the coconut grass. Samples are knit in Knit Picks Palette and Red Heart Scrubby, using double-pointed needles in sizes 1 (2.25mm) and 5 (3.75mm).

Lambie is small enough to fit inside an Easter egg, traditional enough to be a bitty centerpiece at your holiday table, and cute enough to embellish your Easter hat! I’m hoping to see a bunch of adorable Lambie photos on the internet soon (especially if you put it on a hat!)

My thanks to Marilyn Passmore for her tech editing, and to Bonney Teti and Kristine Brandel for their quick-turnaround testing!

If you’ve ever attempted to bake one of these in its full-size glory, you know that even when things go well, there’s always something a bit wonky about them. (Mine usually ends up with a chopstick jabbed into his head for extra support.) That’s what I love about lamb cakes and knitting toys in general—each is unique and lovable in its own weird way.

I hope you love this project as much as I do!

A new book! You can preorder it!

I have news for people who love yarn or cats or both: I have a new picture book featuring knitted cats coming out this fall!

Catside Up, Catside Down is a picture book filled with knitted cats demonstrating different prepositions with accompanying rhyming text. 😸 I’m hoping that knitters who love cats will especially love it!

You can see a bit inside the book and find links to preorder it at the Macmillan website.

Local yarn stores! If you run a yarn or other non-book shop and are interested in carrying the book, please contact MacmillanSpecialMarkets@macmillan.com for order information. The ISBN is 9781250841261.

Hoppy New Year

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I hope your new year is hopping with fun ideas and plans for the coming months! Here’s to 2023! 🐰✨

In celebration of this year of the rabbit, I have a new kit to help you to get 2023 started off on the right rabbit’s foot—by knitting two lucky little bunnies!

(This pattern will be available as a PDF download soon too.)

And how about some extra new year’s motivation in the form of a sale? Use the code RABBITRABBIT for 20% off all patterns, kits, needles, and notions in the Mochimochi Shop. (Code also works in Ravelry.)

Hoppy knitting! 🐰

Say hello to Holi-Log!

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Introducing the sweetest new friend in Mochimochi Land, the Mini Holi-Log! This little treat of a design is destined to be the life of your holiday gathering. Just look at her adorable lil face! And her mushrooms! And her holly! And sprinkles!

Use the code YULEBEMERRY after adding $5 or more in products from the Mochimochi Shop, and the Mini Holi-Log pattern will magically appear in your cart!

Holi-Log’s elegant wood grain is made using a fun technique: basically knit and purl at random!

Other techniques used in this cozy little project include knitting in the round on double-pointed needles, I-cord, a little bit of mattress stitch for assembly, and French knots for holly berries. (These last two are shown in video tutorials linked in the pattern.)

You’ll need some woody-brown yarn (about 24 yards), some creamy white (about 8 yards), and a teeny bit of green, red, and black for details. Any weight of yarn and corresponding needle size will do, but the sample shown is made using fingering-weight yarn and size 1 (2.25mm) double-pointed needles.

As those of us in the Northern Hemisphere approach the darkest part of the year, we’re wishing you warmth and light and coziness among your favorite creatures and comforts!