book: Knitting Mochimochi + giveaway

by KateG on 28/06/2010

in Books, Toys+Plush

Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi By Anna Hrachovec, Watson-Guptill Publications, 2010.

Normally when it comes to writing, I figure I am pretty handy with the English language. Grown up words can flow onto the screen fairly smoothly. I have to use one of my favourite grown up words, onomatopoeia (the formation or use of words that imitate the sound associated with something, e.g. ‘hiss’ and ‘buzz’) to describe my reaction to Knitting Mochimochi. When I review books, I try to be analytical and constructive, and a bit witty if I can. When I first saw Knitting Mochimochi, all that I could say was “squee!”, a high pitched “awwwww!” and that chubby cheek kind of noise that people make when they squoosh the cheeks of a gorgeous baby, a bit like “woodgewoodgewoodge”.

The title of this book, Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-cute strange designs for knitted amigurumi, isn’t kidding. These designs are super cute. And creative. And witty. In my ongoing and failing attempt to declutter my house and life, there isn’t much room for whimsy, but the projects in this book have set me back even further. How can I not want to make a Grumpy Couch? Or a teensy tiny set of Human Beans, and minute Hamsters? And please don’t make me justify why I am going to make a knitted petite Pencil, firstly because I have no reasons, only those high pitched sqee type noises, and secondly because once you see this project and all the rest of the book, you will know, and I challenge anyone not to want to make one for yourself.

Strange is also a good descriptor for some of these projects, but in a Wow I Never Would Have Thought Of Knitting Pollution And Making It Look Cute kind of way. Squirrels with wheels instead of feet makes me imagine a knitted Squirrel Roller Derby League, and Pigs with interchangeable wigs makes me imagine porcine Motown music (with a piggy trio of do wap girls behind), or wigged pigs swanning around amongst the 18th century French aristocracy.

If you are like certain people I know who buy books that are clever and fantastic to look at, even if you don’t know how to do the craft that the book is about, but it doesn’t matter since you love the projects so hard, then this book is full of bonus for you. If you are in love and can’t help making noises when you see these projects, but can’t knit a stitch, then know that the author, Anna Hrachovec, has included a very clear to read, clear to follow section on materials, yarn, tools, gauge, the basics and tricky bits of knitting, stuffing, sewing up and embellishing. She even demystified the marvel that is the Magic Loop method in a way that nobody else ever has for me. Cheers! She also understands that some of us might not keep all the cuteness for ourselves, and has written about childproofing and cleaning the toys.

But there is even more to love about this book. Not only has Anna Hrachovec provided us with patterns for gorgeous little strange little thingies to knit, she understands the offbeat creative urge, and has written a section on designing your own knitted toys including diagrams and instructions on making different shapes. If I didn’t love her and this book in every way before I got to the design section, then this would have clinched it for me.

So if cute things, knitted things, good looking books, books with great technique sections, or creativity get you going, go and check out Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-cute strange designs for knitted amigurumi. If you can’t find it in your bookstore, just listen out for the sound of “Sqee!”. Someone will have found it.

The publisher is kindly donating a copy of Knitting Mochmochi to one whipup reader – so please leave a comment in the next 48 hours [now closed winner will be notified] telling us the craziest, funniest and impractical thing you have ever made.


Reviewed by: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.

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