Back from vacation, and right into the bag of mini skeins for the next little creature. Imagined Landscapes' tenth Mystery Knit-Along started on September 4th, and I'm all in!
Update! Gnorton, Intergnational Gnome of Mystery is complete! What a cutie, as well as a really fun knit. Love the beard with the little bits all astray.
I had Gnorton seated on the counter when my daughter and granddaughters stopped by. One of them commented that I did not have a Halloween gnome. Whaaaaaaaat?! You can just imagine what that off the cuff comment put in motion. Meet Gnellie, the 4th member of the Sanderson Sisters coven. Her hat is awash with sparkle (Knitted Wit Pixie Plied), and her body is a spooky shade of Knitted Wit Sock - "Pointy Hat." A little bit of green, a little bit of orange, and a little bit of purple for her beard (yes, some witches hide behind a fluffy beard so as not to be discovered). And the final touch - a purple wart on her spooky green nose. All she needs now is a broomstick to carry her into the night sky.
I've had a few people ask me if these little loves are hard to make. Not at all! Yes, they're mostly made with fingering weight yarn (although Sarah has started making bigger creatures of the woods with heavier weights of yarn), so a propensity for small needles is a must. But the stitches are mostly knits and purls, easy increases and decreases, and lots of i-cords. She offers an abundance of videos to help you with each technique. One of my favorites is how you weave in ends. Actually, how you DON'T weave in ends. Simply thread the end on a tapestry needle, plunge it into the stuffed body (ouch! I promise - no gnome is harmed in the process), pull the thread taut, snip it, and whala! It magically disappears. So there you go. All makes gnome knitting easy peasy! And a really, REALLY fun way to play with pretty string.
As many of you know, I love a good mystery knit. I just can't resist. Shawls, socks, mittens, and now gnomes. Woohoo! Sarah Schira (aka Imagined Landscapes) just launched her latest MKAL - Choose your Gnome Adventure. Over 4 weeks, Gnorton, an Intergnational Gnome of Mystery unfolds, with choices at each step of the journey. How tall, how big (worsted weight versus fingering weight yarn), stripes, texture, simple, complicated, . . . the options are endless. I stuck with my favorite sock yarn and tiny needles, and chose to combine stripes with a little texture. And a deep, dark magenta, keeping with my pink obsession, paired with creamy white and bluish gray. One of the things I like about gnome MKALs is the clues - they're short! Totally doable in the time given. And of course, you end up with a dang cute gnome when you're done. So far, I've finished the first two clues with time to spare. So what to do with that extra knitting time? Why, another gnome, of course.
Actually, a gnome's tree. Earlier in the summer, I'd started Sarah's Wee Apple Tree, so I decided to finish it. A really fun knit, picking up stitches several rows below on the wrong side and knitting them with the stitch on the needle to create tucks. The effect is a really adorable canopy atop a dark brown trunk. After the tree is all done, you add little red apples, and whala! My gnomes have shade. But still a day away from Clue 3. What to do, what to do? I know - a mushroom!
Another store that I follow (yes, even though owning a yarn store, there's just other fibery things I simply must have) advertised a 6 month Imagined Landscapes Club - 6 months of gnome knitting. Each month through December, a cute little box that says 'Gnome Under Construction' on the outside arrives on my doorstep. A pattern, little balls of color coordinated yarn, stuffing, weighted beans, and some little goodies - gnome-themed stickers, markers, buttons, and other various notions. By Christmas, I'll have a gnome advent scene - Grimblewood. What fun! My August box had everything needed to make Grimblewood's Toadstool - a very cute little mushroom, just like you might find if stumbling into a gnome's home in the forest. So with a day left until Gnorton, international gnome of mystery needed attention, why not make him a mushroom.
So there you have it - my knitting life has become totally consumed by gnomeness. After Gnorton is a full fledged gnome, I've got 4 more little 'Gnome Under Construction' goodie boxes to occupy my time. And I think my gmenagerie will need some more trees - maybe a Wee Evergreen next. And wouldn't you know it! Another MKAL is scheduled to blast onto the scene for the holidays. I'm thinking a Christmas themed little Gnellie or Gnorman, maybe with a little sparkle or bling added for party-going. We've got tons of pretty mini-skeins at For Yarn's Sake, just perfect for holiday gnome knitting. And some new ones on the way, specifically created for this holiday Mystery Gnome adventure from Dream In Color Yarns. Anyone up for a new adventure?