COLUMNISTS

Christmas Gnome brings crochet skills back to life

Susan Manzke
Susan and friend.

I was puttering around this morning, doing nothing important when I realized I needed to write my weekly column. At first, I wondered what I’d write about. Seconds later I realized I had my subject in my hands, a Christmas Gnome.

My crochet project was partially finished, but if I worked hard, I would have something to photograph by the end of the day.

I haven’t had a crochet hook in my hands in two years, not since Bob’s cancer returned in December 2018. Because of arthritis in my fingers, the urge to crochet had left me. Everything changed when I opened an email from Donna Wolfe from Naztazia (naztazia.com, also on Facebook). Note: I signed up to receive her emails, but until I saw the Christmas Gnome, I never had the urge to try any of her designs.

Well, the Gnome grabbed hold of me. I watched Donna’s video and thought, “I could do that.” The next thing for me to do was to start digging through my leftover yarns and find something suitable.

I did not try to match her gnome colors. In fact, I did not match her yarns either.

Donna used four different colors of one type of yarn for her cute gnomes. I dug up four different colors, too, but mine were different kinds of yarn—no packaging was left around these partial skeins of yarn, so I can’t identify them, but I do know the variegated red is cotton, very different from my yellow gnome body.

Odd balls of yarn used for gnome building.

When I clicked on the video, it started with a magic ring, well known in the crochet world but something I had forgotten.

I looked at Donna’s magic ring start and also googled another person’s video. After watching both demonstrations of the starting ring, it finally sunk in my thick head. I could finally begin.

All the stitches in this project are single crochet, a slip stitch to end a row, and a chain. That’s it. Only the basics for this cute gnome.

It took me a couple of tries at the ring for the gnome nose. My first attempts were sloppy. I started over and over again. Finally, I got one row done and was ready for the second. This first nose was round, well sort of. Since it wasn’t great, I made a second attempt at forming the gnome nose. It turned out passible.

Next, the directions said to wind white for the beard. This should have been the easiest part of the whole creation, too bad my cat woke up.

Car-E leaped up at my dangling white beard threads and in an instant, I had a tangled mess. I had to fight to rescue the yarn away from the cat and the cat was winning. I couldn’t work with yarn having Car-E in the same room.

Trying to attach the hat to the gnome body.

After getting the beard back, I couldn’t find the middle section where I had tied the strands together. Frustrated, I bundled up my project and put it away for the day.

The following morning, the unfinished gnome called my name. Locking Car-E out of the living room, I took up my crochet hook again.

It took me hours but by the afternoon, I had all my gnome parts made, though the hat seemed more like a sombrero than a gnome hat. But that wasn’t going to stop me. It was going to go together.

I searched for my plastic needle to sew my gnome together. I looked and looked but couldn’t locate one—I bet there are 3 or 4 here somewhere.

The missing needle didn’t stop me. I used the hook to sew the gnome together. It took longer and it’s not quite perfect but neither is any of my other work.

Proudly, I show you my creation today, a Christmas Gnome.

If you take up this project, let me know. I’d be curious to see your creations. You’ll have to check out Donna Wolfe for this and other patterns. Good luck.

Visit https://naztazia.com/crochet-christmas-gnome/ for the written instructions for the Christmas Gnome or go to https://bit.ly/39SHdCm to watch the video. Good luck!

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54265; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.