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How-Tuesday: Petite Pencil From Mochimochi Land

Sep 28, 2010

by Julie Schneider

Baby gators, pigs with wigs, and human beans, oh my! Anna Hrachovec’s new book, Knitted Mochimochi, is abuzz with the cutest and most unusual critters of the knitted variety. Anna is the Brooklyn-based designer and craft artist behind Mochimochi Land. Her work is a lovable fusion of humor, Japanese kawaii elements, unexpected scale, and good old fashioned hand-knitting. She currently divides her time between designing knitting patterns, like the one she is sharing with us today, and creating more complex one-off knitted pieces for her upcoming solo exhibition, Greetings from Mochimochi Land at Gallery Hanahou in New York City. (Scroll down for full details on her art opening.)

Take note, with the help of this week’s How-Tuesday project, you can sharpen your knitting skills and make a little gift for a writer friend. As the author says, “There’s never been a dull moment with this humble no. 2.”


Buy Knitting Mochimochi from Amazon, or an independent bookseller.

Let’s get started!


You’ll Need:
    •    Fingering weight yarn in small amounts of pink (Color 1), gray (Color 2), yellow (Color 3), tan (Color 4), and black (Color 5)
    •    Set of size 1 US (2.25mm) double-pointed needles
    •    Tapestry needle
    •    Stuffing

Note: The samples from this project were knit with Koigu Premium Merino (1/super fine; 100% wool; each approx 1¾ oz/50g and 170 yds/155m) • 1150.5 (pink), 2392 (gray), 1200 (yellow), 2360 (tan), and 2400 (black). Also, this toy is not suitable for small children.

Finished Size: Approximately 2½ inches long
Gauge: 2 inches = 19 stitches and 23 rows in stockinette stitch (knit on RS, purl on WS)

Stitches & Knitting Terms:
CO = casting on
Rnd = round
K = knit
Sts = stitches
K2tog = knit 2 together
Kfb = knit through front and back of a stitch

With Color 1, CO 4 sts onto one needle.

Rnd 1 (work as I-cord): [Kfb] 4 times (8 sts).
Distribute sts onto 3 needles, place marker, and join in a rnd.

Rnd 2: [Kfb] 8 times (16 sts).

Rnds 3–5: Knit.
Switch to Color 2.

Rnds 6–8: Knit.
Switch to Color 3.

Rnds 9–22: Knit 14 rnds.

Rnd 23: [K1 Color 4, k1 Color 3] to end.
Switch to Color 4 only.

Rnds 24 and 25: Knit.

Rnd 26: [K2tog, k2] 4 times (12 sts).

Rnd 27: Knit.
Stuff before continuing.

Rnd 28: [K2tog, k1] 4 times (8 sts).
Place sts onto one needle to work as I-cord, and switch to Color 5.

Rnd 30: [K2tog] 4 times (4 sts).

Rnd 31: Knit.
Break yarn and draw tightly through sts with tapestry needle.

Finishing: Weave in all loose ends. Embroider eyes with two small horizontal stitches in black yarn.


Can’t get enough of Anna’s work? Good news: her very first solo show is opening next week!

When: October 7 – 29, 2010.
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 7, 7-9 p.m.  RSVP at
Where: Gallery Hanahou, 611 Broadway, Suite 730, New York, NY

This yarny wonderland of a show will feature crash-landed aliens, rat-infested skyscrapers, giant ants and more, all hand-knitted by the artist. Over 200 balls of yarn and more than a million stitches were required to bring this vision to life. And just for fun, the piece includes a working model train — converted into a silly knitted monster, of course! Some of the elements in the piece are based on designs from Anna’s new book, Knitting Mochimochi. Here are some action shots of her show preparations:

Thank you to Anna Hrachovec and the good folks at Watson-Guptill Publications for sharing this project with us. For more cute projects, check out Knitting Mochimochi. If you make this project, please share a photo with us in the new How-Tuesday Flickr group!


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