From squirrels on wheels to pigs with wigs the whimsical knit toy world of crafter Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land comes together in her new book, Knitting Mochimochi. As a frequent contributer to CRAFT, I’ve always enjoyed the cute knit toys Anna creates. She blows my mind even more with this book where 20 new patterns that are “super-cute strange designs” are featured. Where else in a book would you find “cute polluters” I ask you? This book is a perfect companion for the summer knitter as you could finish a cute project in no time (beach knitting!) and hand it off right away for a child or child-at-heart to enjoy. I particularly like the section towards the end of the book where Anna goes through the basic steps on how to design your own knitted toy. A great book for anyone who wants to knit the cutest little toys!
Nerd alert! Knit up this pocket protector marsupial to keep your labcoat pens company.
More photos of some of my favorite projects, an interview with Anna Hrachovec, and info on how to win a free copy of Knitting Mochimochi in our giveaway after the jump!
Book Giveaway Time!
Two lucky CRAFT readers will win a copy of Knitting Mochimochi. Just tell us why you would like this book in the comments. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The lucky winners will be chosen randomly and announced later on the site. Good luck!
This giveaway is now closed!
Congrats to Jess of Ramona, CA and Eileen of Portland, OR for winning! Thanks to everyone who entered.
For the kids: Neck Nuzzler and Feet Eaters
Interview with Anna Hrachovec
Natalie: What inspired you to write your new book, Knitting Mochimochi?
Anna: I was fortunate enough to be approached by the publisher, Watson-Guptill, and I just couldn’t say no to writing a book of patterns! Writing a book had been at the back of my mind for a while as a long-term goal, and it was so exciting (and a little scary) to have it happen before I expected.
Natalie: You already have awesome patterns on your site. What was your process for developing the new patterns for this book?
Anna: I enjoyed the challenge of working on a group of patterns all together, which was something I had never done before. I wanted to incorporate the style that I’ve developed over the past few years, but also make it into a cohesive collection that worked well together as a book, so I concentrated on some simple categories and tried to use colors schemes that complemented each other. The biggest departure from the patterns that I have on my website is the section of “Impractical Wearables,” silly toys that can be worn in different ways. I had a lot of fun coming up with those, and I can’t wait to see if some people will actually wear some of them – like Naughty and Nicey, the angel and devil that you can strap to your shoulders.
Natalie: Where do you find your knitting inspiration?
Anna: I find inspiration in everything! I didn’t realize this at first, but it turns out that a lot of my ideas come from wordplay, like rhymes and alliteration. Hence the Pigs with Wigs, Grouchy Couch, etc. It’s probably obvious that there were many Dr Seuss books in the house when I was growing up.
Natalie: What is a tip you can share for knitters who are just starting to knit toys?
Anna: The most important thing is to have fun with it and don’t worry about making it “perfect.” Knitted toys don’t have to be sized and shaped just right to fit someone like a sweater, which is a big bonus in my book. And if your toy is a little lopsided, it will just be all the more adorable.
Natalie: Can you tell us what you are working on this summer?
Anna: I have a few projects going on all at once, but the biggest one right now is a solo show that I’ll have at gallery hanahou in NYC in October. My plan is to make a kind of knitted world installation, so it’s a huge project that’s going to be taking up more and more of my time. Just like this book, I’m very excited about it, but also nervous about whether or not I can really pull it off! I’m going to start posting updates about my progress on my blog very soon.
Pigs with Wigs and Plucky Mushrooms (tiny knit)
Pick up the free pattern from the book to knit these baby gators!
If you are in the NY area, head to Brooklyn General for the Knitting Mochimochi Release Party on July 11th!