Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

One good gnome leads to another...

It all started with a ball of crazy fun fur yarn at the Dollar Store in mid-December.

I had wanted to try the Yuletide gnome pattern from Irresistible Gifts to Knit by Alan Dart, which I picked up last year in England. (As an aside, it's a fabulous collection of toy patterns. I want to knit the pirate next!) Though I have a large stash of odds and ends of yarn saved for small projects like this, I didn't have any suitable furry stuff for a gnome beard. Come to think of it, it's probably a good thing that I don't have such frightful stuff kicking around. It always kind of gives me the willies. But there, in the midst of the gift bags and tacky Christmas ornaments, was the most hideous pile of acrylic novelty yarns that I have ever seen. Made in China. Smelling vaguely chemical-y. And right on top, this single ball of white hairy stuff. I took it home to try it out. Hey, it was only a dollar.

The lead-up to Christmas in our household this year was nothing short of insane. Nick's business has been really getting off the ground, and he had a lot of catering jobs leading up to the 25th. 6 events in 7 days. This is definitely a good thing, but it really wore us both out. I was busy helping out when I was not at work, and he was even busier. We didn't finish decorating the tree on Christmas Eve until long after we should have been in bed waiting for Santa, and we didn't really get all the decorations up around the house until Boxing Day. Christmas Day was a bit of a blur, with several naps worked in amongst the festivities. But on Boxing Day, at yet another big family gathering, I sat down in a corner, finally well rested and relaxed, and started knitting a gnome. And all was right with the world.

It starts a the top of the head, and you knit down to his bottom (where I added a handful of dried beans to the stuffing to give a little "heft"). Then you add the little nose and arms and legs, and he gets progressively cuter with each addition. The beard is knitted separately and sewn on, but it really takes the addition of the hat to give the little guy his character. I was smitten. Those big blue eyes... wait a minute... you can't see them. No matter. He's as cute as a button.

By New Year's, a few friends had taken up residence on my mantle...

Is it wrong to take this much delight in simple knitted toys?

Today I finished the fifth, and started a sixth. I've already put the decorations away. My bag of stuffing is getting low, and my selection of red and green yarn scraps is getting pretty thin, but I think I may be able to squeeze out another couple before I get over the compulsive need to keep knitting gnomes. (I will get over it eventually, right?) Guess what my relatives are getting for Christmas next year?!

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Blogger Sarah said...

You may never get over it - just think of Glenna and the corks...

Happy New Year!

4:32 p.m.  
Blogger Marianne said...

HAH! Sarah took the words right out of my head, exactly what I was thinking and hey, if it's 'wrong'? I wouldn't want to be 'right'. Those little dudes are CUTE!
(having tech glitches here, just in case it leaves this twice... or more :^)

7:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahahahhaha, yes I know something of knitting obsession and cute things!

I think any knitting obsession deserves to be ridden out as far as you can take it. It's way more fun than the boring agony of finishing something that no longer inspires you!

9:11 a.m.  
Blogger Kelly said...

A very good point, Glenna. Although the idea behind this was to use up leftovers. If I have to go out and buy yarn to continue... This could get messy!

1:50 p.m.  

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