Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Remember these critters? I promised a ‘How To’. This is the basic-est of basic How To’s, because honestly, the sky is the limit and if I covered limitless sky gnome making, we’d all still be here next week. Locate your ‘give it a whirl’ attitude, and craft up gnomey queens and woodcutters, wizards and children, old ladies who live in a shoe (and email me at email@example.com with any queries)...
1. You can make your own bodies using beads and pipe cleaners, but that’s another tute and the gnome bodies, shown below, are FABULOUS. Bendy, sturdy, stand-up-able, positionable and available for as little as $1.70 for this, the 10cm variety, and a smidge more for the 15cm version. I bought mine from Little Sparrow, Winterwood also has them (also online) and I’ve even spotted ’em at Bunnings Hardware stores.
So anyway, take one gnome body and a scrap of wool fleece (fleece ‘grips’ easier than the polyester stuff, but you could use a scraplet of batting)...
2. And soften/fatten up your gnome. This fattening up bizzo really does make the world of difference. They feel so much more...er...real.
3. Dress your gnome in ‘long johns’ using any scrap yarn you have. I was generous with the craft glue down each of the arms and legs and then wound the continuous length of yarn to cover the fleece and generally bulk out the gnome with a nice solid midriff. Secure with a knot.
4. (Long johns):
5. Cut out two pieces of felt (I’m a sucker for the feel of the 100% wool stuff) for the shirt and two pieces for the trousers. Of course you could dress ’em in lederhosen or what have you – whatever takes your fancy. Below are a few indicative measurements, but these depend on how much your gnome has been fattened. Bear in mind that felt is very forgiving, and it’s not desperately necessary to be too precise (luckily).
6. Blanket stitch the corresponding clothes pieces together. Sew the waist of the trousers into the yarn and fleece body.
nb: I reckon these gnomes are a bit small and fiddly for small fingers to navigate changes of clothing, so all my gnomes are ‘permanently’ clothed (plus this provides the excuse for creating a whole cast of characters).
7. It’s often easier to stitch one side of the clothing pieces, then ‘dress’ the gnome, before stitching the other side.
8. Stitch the neckline to the gnome body.
9. What with an excited, lurking wee one breathing down my neck, I stuck to a few speedy french knot ‘button’ details. Plus I’m sticking to the basics here – embellish to your heart’s content!
10. As far as hats go, you can crochet sombreros and whatnot (yep, that’s the excited, lurking, breathing-down-neck, wee one). I used a 1.5mm hook with sock yarn, based on a single crochet stitch with a few increases thrown in when I wanted to broaden the brim. Again, you can use and do anything, but the tighter the stitch, the more structure there is to the hat.
11. Or you can do traditional gnome with pointy hat (if you’re adding hair stick this on to the head with glue before the hat)...
12. A generous swoosh of craft glue:
13. And whaddayaknow, we’re ready to play...
I'd love to see your gnomey creations!