Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Today we join Ginny and all of the other great fiber artists in her weekly knitting and reading post. Stop by and join in the fun!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? ~ Ginny

I decided last week to take a break from Chase's sweater and work on something quick, easy, and self-satisfying. It's probably a good thing because, even though I should have plenty of yarn to finish Chase's sweater, I keep eyeballing the last skein and doubt it will make a sleeve and the collar. I ordered one more skein today and am hoping the dye lots will be the same. I'm going to pick up the work on his sweater this week and knit until I can't knit anymore (or at least until the last skein arrives).

Anyway, I have wanted to make a few more cat toys for our fuzzies, my brother's cats, and also for Dale's kitty, Polli, who I am pet sitting this week. I decided since Chase is obsessed with gnomes (especially since many of them are popping up in his garden as of late), that I would make little gnomes. Then it just so happened that a fantastic gnome pattern was posted over at Plain and Joyful Living (thank you so much for the pattern!). I have a bunch of scrap yarn (much of ecowool) that I picked up from the LYS from their orphan bin. Not enough for a large project, but perfect for cat toys.

I made a test gnome first by following the pattern exactly. Chase quickly confiscated this gnome once it was decided it was too big for a cat toy. I decided to half the pattern and the size is just right for cat toys.

There are six gnomes in all (at this time) and each one is more accurate than the last. You see, I made the first cat test gnome (a male) and all was pretty right with the world. Then I made two more, both now with brown pants, blue top, red hat, plus with beards. Life was good. Then Chase, who was quietly watching me work said "But Mom, they're supposed to have wives." Oh. Right. Wives. So this is why three gnomes became six. The first wife gnome was dressed in blue (with matching blue hat) and had cute little braids. As I was finishing it up, I glanced at Chase and I just knew I was doing something wrong by the look on his face. "Mom, the girls don't dress like the boys." Oh. He dragged out his gnome book and stated "..they wear drab clothing as a way of protection." Gotcha. So the next girl gnome was made in drab (brown) colors. The third gnome, dressed in drab also was not done correctly according to Chase. He further explained pig-tailed braids were for single girls (married female gnomes have their hair hidden) and their hats are supposed to be green (the shade darkening depending on marriage). The braids were already attached, but I was able to make the correct color hat.

The most accurate set went to my brother (who also loves gnomes and is where the gnome interest in the family began when he was a baby), the next set (with slightly inaccurately dressed girl gnome) went to Napoleon (Polli) as a "Your momma will be home soon, but here are a couple of toys to console you with", and the last two are at home for our children.


It was hard to take a picture of them because Sage loves these toys. I had to snatch them out of the box Agent has been sleeping (and chewing on) to try and get pictures. This was my fifth attempt to get a picture without a massive paw sending a gnome across the table.

"My Precciiioooouuusss!" - seconds before he threw the gnome into the air.

Along with the light knitting week (company and all) it was also a light reading week. I did get to read She Went to the Field (which I picked up in Gettysburg) and enjoyed it. It's interesting how history classes in high school didn't cover the subject of women during the Civil War. When I took the Civil War history class last semester, there was an entire section dedicated to women and the Civil War and the role they played. Chase and I both devoured the course (it was online and all lectures were via DVD -- it's where he has picked up a good portion of his Civil War knowledge).

I also thought after Chase was so pointedly helpful with the proper dress of gnomes, I'd include his book with mine. Gnomes has been a family book since my brother was born. There is at least one picture of him as a newborn in his gnome sleeper with the copy of the book. Anyway, he gave Chase a copy of the book when Chase was young. It's one of Chase's go-to books when he is between other books and is looking for something to study.

Happy Knitting!


  1. I love the photo of Sage playing with your yarn along project!! too cute :)

  2. @Swanski

    Thanks! Sage is busy throwing one of the gnomes (poor thing) through the living room again. I think he has claimed this as his toy.

  3. How cute Emily! I think you're right, that is Sage's toy. I would love to make toy's for my little dog Twinkie, but my husband's dog, Amy shreds Everything!

  4. Some neighbors had that Gnome book when I was growing up. Whenever we went for a visit I would pour over it. The pictures were full of details and they would sent my imagination in motion. Sweet stoy about Chase and the gnomes:)

  5. Those gnomes are so sweet!

  6. How clever! I've made this gnome too but never thought to halve the pattern for cat toys! You've given me a whole new reason to knit them... Thanks!!

    I loved hearing the whole process of creation. One would have no idea how much thought and effort are involved in the making of an itty bitty gnome, :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  7. @Meadow

    I love this gnome book so much. It's nice to hear that someone else has enjoyed it as much as our family!

  8. I keep wanting to use that same pattern to knit up some little gnomes. Great idea to scale them down for cat toys.

  9. @no spring chicken


    I love this gnome pattern. Chase is waiting for me to make another one for him now! I am always looking for patterns that can be sized for cat toys (most of the ones I do make are just me going on what I think works), so this was a true find for me!

    Good luck if you make some smaller ones :)

  10. @Kathy

    Kathy, you really should! The gnomes work up quickly and are such a fun little project.

  11. @Tracey Oh I would be upset if I made a toy for a pet and another shredded it! I've never had a dog that liked toys, so I haven't had the experience of making something for one yet.

  12. The kitty is funny! My dog eats my daughter's knitted toys, so we keep them well tucked into a basket where he can't get them!

  13. Your gnomes are so cute! I'm pretty sure I had the gnome book when I was a kid too :)
    The Civil War book sounds really interesting.

  14. @Erin @ Wild Whispers

    Sage is a piece of work -- as long as he goes after the toys and not the yarn skeins, we're all good.

  15. @*kate

    Thanks! I really enjoyed the book. It's amazing to hear what women did to be able to fight alongside men and how many were never found out.

  16. I think these gnomes are so cute. I might make some. The won't be cat toys though. The last cat toy I made was destroyed in less than a minute. I know what you mean about needing to take a break and do something quick and fun. I'm feeling the same way. I'm half way through my project and am thinking more about cute softies to make for all the babies (friend's) coming soon. Maybe they'll all get gnomes!

  17. @Amanda

    Thanks Amanda! I would definitely take a break from the main project to make something else. I'm ready now to focus back on finishing Chase's sweater since my break!