It took quite a while, but I finally ordered the famous holiday gnome pattern by Alan Dart. I purchased it on eBay from a very nice seller in London. He sent it right away, and in about 10 days it was here. I immediately cast on, and just a couple of days later.....
Isn't he a cutie! I had so much fun knitting this little guy that I immediately knit a second one. I have not seamed up the second gnome, but it is on my soon-to-do-list. The project is very portable, and you can use just about any yarn. The pattern is extremely well written, and I whipped this little guy out in a few hours. It actually took longer to seam him up than it did to knit him.
This was my first experience with mattress seaming that I did not felt. I am not totally happy with my mattress stitching, but by the time i stitched his hat I had it down. Too bad I started on the legs...the most visible part of the gnome. All the quality stitching is on the back!
I bought a small drawstring bag at a local craft store, filled it with lentils, and stuffed it in the main body portion. This allows the little guy to sit straight up with no problems. He is very stable, and he looks adorable sitting on a shelf. His legs dangle just right. This is definitely one of my most enjoyable knitting projects. He has renewed my love for knitting toys. I have been so focused on other projects lately that I have not been working on any toys even though I love them.
If you haven't tried any of the Alan Dart patterns I highly suggest you get your hands on one. The next toy I am going to knit is a dachshund! I bought the Alan Dart dachshund pattern from another eBay seller in England, and it looks like it is very well written. Since I have two mini doxies I am very excited about making this pattern. I will have to wait until after the holidays to start, but at least I can look forward to it!
So, anyone have a suggestion for a name for this chap? He has such personality, but I am stuck on a great name.