The making of a Sakura Mochi

Ear­li­er this week I men­tioned that I was writ­ing up a pat­tern (for the first time!) for saku­ra mochi — a Japan­ese dessert made with pink, cher­ry-scent­ed rice gran­ules, stuffed with red bean paste, and wrapped in a cher­ry leaf. After going to see the cher­ry blos­soms today (pic­tures to come soon!) I fig­ure I bet­ter get the pat­tern done before saku­ra sea­son is over!

I apol­o­gize in advance if this is rid­den with mis­takes — please let me know if you see any. This is the first time I’m writ­ing a pat­tern and I’m not sure if I ‘m doing it right… so any advice/help/comment/feedback/constructive crit­i­cism will be great­ly appreciated!

Yarn: worsted or DK/Sport weight in pink and green

Hook: if using worsted — 3.5mm; DK — 3mm

Note: for the saku­ra mochi pic­tured, I used Bernat Satin (worsted) for the mochi and Mary Max­im Mel­lowspun (DK) for the leaf, because that’s just the colours I have in my stash. So I think if the same weight of yarn is used for both the mochi and the leaf, the leaf might look rel­a­tive­ly big­ger, but not sig­nif­i­cant­ly, I don’t think. In fact I would like my leaf to be big­ger, so it would stand out more and look more like a saku­ra mochi.

You will also need: 2 round black beads for eyes (I used 4mm), pink embroi­dery thread, stuff­ing, tapes­try nee­dle, sewing needle.

Here’s the pattern:


6 sc into mag­ic ring, don’t sl st to join (6 sc), pull ring closed.

Row 1: 2 sc in each of the 6 sc in ring (12 sc).

Row 2: *2 sc in each of next 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc*, repeat from * to * once more (16 sc).

Row 3–6: 1 sc in each sc (16 sc).

Row 7: *2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc*, repeat from * to * once more (12 sc).

Stuff mochi.

Row 8: 2 sc tog six times. Leave a 5 inch tail and fas­ten off.

With tapes­try nee­dle, weave tail through the top of the remain­ing 6 sc, pull top of mochi closed and fas­ten off.

Note: I end­ed up using the bot­tom of my mochi (i.e. the mag­ic ring side) as the top, because it looked bet­ter and I could hide the loose ends in the leaf.

Cher­ry leaf:

Row 1: ch 4, 3 dc in 4th ch from hook, turn.

Row 2: ch 3, dc in first dc, 2 dc in each of next 2 dc, 2 dc in top of turn­ing ch, turn.

Row 3: ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in top of turn­ing ch, turn.

Row 4–5: ch 3, dc in each dc across, dc in top of turn­ing ch, turn.

Row 6: ch 3, 2 dc tog, dc in each of next 4 dc, 2 dc tog, dc in top of turn­ing ch, turn.

Row 7: ch 3, 2 dc tog three times, dc in top of turn­ing ch, turn.

Row 8: ch 3, 4 dc tog. Fas­ten off, weave in tail.

Before attach­ing leaf to mochi, sew on beady eyes and embroi­der cute smile with pink embroi­dery thread. If you like you can also do this before stuff­ing the mochi, but I find that I usu­al­ly have a bet­ter idea of where to place the eyes and mouth after the amigu­ru­mi is stuffed and shaped. Plus, for this par­tic­u­lar amigu­ru­mi I can hide the thread ends at the back in the leaf. I also like to find place­ment for the eyes with these pins first, as the pin head hap­pens to be sim­i­lar in size to the 4mm beads I use most often.

Final­ly, sew the mochi to the leaf with the some green yarn. And here you have it, a saku­ra mochi to cel­e­brate the cher­ry blos­som season!

I want­ed to make mine into a pin so that I can wear it to the hana­mi (have I men­tioned that mak­ing spe­cial pins to wear on spe­cial occa­sions is one of my favourite things to do?). I just used a safe­ty pin and attached it with small pieces of felt (I actu­al­ly got this idea from my friend, who makes bril­liant flower pins).

SO! here I am, enjoy­ing the saku­ra with saku­ra mochi~

Don’t want to wear it as a pin? I sup­pose one can also attach a mag­net on the back for a fridge mag­net to keep all those take-out sushi menus in place? Or, if one is adven­tur­ous and has good eyes, one could make it with embroi­dery floss and  per­haps a 2mm or small­er hook and make a cell phone charm? Or zip­per pull for a backpack?

Ayhow, my cro­cheted saku­ra mochi has def­i­nite­ly added a touch of sweet­ness for me on this rather cold, rainy, grey spring day. I hope you enjoy the pattern!

6 thoughts on “The making of a Sakura Mochi

  1. I LOVE this pat­tern! It’s so adorable :D And so quick and easy to do. I think I’m going to make mine into a mobile phone charm :) No mis­takes in the pat­tern that I could tell, by the way.

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