The other day I was doing a workshop on making our Flower Fairies. While talking to one of the women, I mentioned that I was going to draw up a pattern for the very simple Wool Roving Forest Gnomes. She said, "You mean these?" And, she proceed to fold a piece of paper in half, and after a few snips with the scissors, opened the paper, and there was a pattern for these gnomes. "Wow", I said marveling at her speed. "I think you must have made a few of these!" Her eyes twinkled and she said, "You have no idea. I can make these in my sleep. You may need to clean up the edges a bit, and after you make the first one, draw a circle for the base, but this should get you going."
I wanted to credit her for the pattern, but she told me it was an old, traditional pattern, and belonged to the world. That may be the case, but thank you anyway, Vicky :)
So, I did "clean it up" a bit, and created a base. I then played with it to create 3 different sizes... the Papa, Mama and children. This is a wonderful sewing project for children, since all you need to do is an over cast stitch and running stitch. Also, I've seen them where their bottoms are left open, with the roving exposed making them extremely easy to do!
In many ways, these traditional Wool Roving Forest Gnomes are my favorite gnomes. All you need is wool, roving and embroidery floss, and I think they are absolutely adorable. Plus, I made all 5 of these in the time it took to watch 1 episode of Downton Abbey!!! Not bad :)
Make a copy of the pattern.
Using the pattern, cut of your gnomes. I cut out 1 large, 1 medium, and 3 small. I had 3 children and Michelle has 3 children. I tend to think of children in 3s :)
Using 6 strands of floss, sew the straight edges together using an overcast stitch.
Cut a piece of wool roving. I can't tell you exactly how much to use, you'll have to play with it.
Roll the roving into a tube.
Tuck it into the gnome. You can use a pencil or chop stick to get the roving into the top of the hat. You do want to try to keep the fibers on the roving straight, especial over the face. This will keep the face neat and help prevent the roving from falling out the face.
If need be, trim away extra roving on the bottom. Then, using the overcast stitch and 6 strands of floss, sew the bottom onto the gnome.
Beginning about a 1/4" under the face opening, sew around the gnome using a running stitch and 6 strands of floss. Leave long ends for tying.
Pull on the treads to gather the neckline.
Once gathered, tie in a knot. Then, tie a bow. I like to double knot the bow. Put knots in the ends of the ties where you want to cut off the extra thread.
And, tah dah... an incredible Roving Wood Gnome! Now, wasn't that easy?
Mama and Papa Gnome
The three wee ones
And, a lovely family portrait!
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~ Kimara & Michelle