I like gnomes. Not necessarily the super tacky kind, but they certainly did make an impression.
For one, I watched The World of David The Gnome religiously when I was a child. Another contributing factor must have been from early childhood brainwashing. My mother, Mrs. Taffy, used to conduct quirky show and tell sessions about art and literary works at home. Ok fine. It sounded odder than it really was, because I was genuinely fascinated by everything. Regardless of the eccentric early education style that was conducted at my household, Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet stuck out to me.
My dorky fascination with gnomes had remained secret until I saw this guy at a discount store. For some stupid reason, I had to muster up the courage to get a gnome… just to chill with it.
Instead of getting tanned, he’s now monochrome due to the constant sun exposure in the yard. Yes, this picture was from just month ago when I was chilling with him inside the flat.
Project Gnome Diplomacy
When I first saw Mochimochi Land’s work, I recall becoming absolutely enlightened and ecstatic. I am quite enamoured by Anna Hrachovec’s knitted gnomes and the colourful fantasy world. Mochimochi Land made a gnome call to knitters and crocheters to participate in Project Gnome Diplomacy in March.
Sending gnome diplomats as a part of Mochimochi Land installation in Seoul? Fantastic! I can’t procrastinate any more. I’m going to CROCHET my own gnomes!
Making of my Gnomies
Did it ever occur to anyone that gnomes have similar colour schemes as a Rocket Pop, or as a friend pointed out also, Captain America? That’s another project for later.
For gnome Trial 1, I stuck with the recommended patterns on Mochimochi Land’s website. I decided on using Enemy Doll’s free pattern since it would have the most potential for me to customize them with the least hassle.
Perhaps these mini gnomes can also be a great opportunity to explore different types of material, techniques, and stitches! First I started with cotton yarn to get the right gauge and added a bobble beard to it.
Next: Unibrow Gnome
Unibrow characters are always endearing, such as Bert from Sesame Street. Apparently my old roommate thought this gnome looks grumpy though. Instead of using button eyes, I tried to use French Knot Stitch for his eyes and nose. Convinced that his bobble stitch beard will cover everything, he insists on having no shirt. To test out his bendy pipe cleaner arms, the gnomes took a selfie in space.
Watching GNomes Dry: Felting Struggles
Hand felting the gnomes seemed to be a good idea at the moment. Well it was… but it wasn’t. Because the gnomes were crocheted so tightly, it took an intense scrubbing for the amigurumi to felt.
Despite brushing and rubbing the wool together for a very long time, the stitches remained visible.
On the positive side, I now know from personal experience that felting tight stitches with Cascade 220 was not as effective. In addition, the red dye from Cascade 220 also ran significantly when I submerged the gnomes in water. Compared to my tribute project for Punching Pandas, I’d much rather use Berroco Ultra Alpacas for felting amigurumi in the future.
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW: COLORFAST
While looking up a solution for running dye, I discovered the method called colorfast on Hand So Occupied. Apparently the solution involves in soaking the yarn work in vinegar and cold water to set the colour. HURRAH!
Frankly I have also forgotten to put eyebrows on the smaller gnome, who is actually inspired by Bai Mei/Bak Mei. The Kung Fu Master is of course, is known for his signature eyebrows! Oops. If you have seen old Kung Fu movies and Kill Bill, you’ll know who I’m talking about.
Either way I’ve had a lot of fun testing out the different methods, not to mention that they’ve successfully made their way to Chicago!