As I mentioned before I'm not very good at reading patterns. My Mum who taught me to knit and sew couldn't read English and she was/is an amazing crafter. She has this ability to memorize patterns. Even now at the age of 76 she's still knitting things from memory. Look what she made for my two boys a few years ago - it's so intricate.
Anyway, this amazing talent hasn't been passed onto me. So after a break from knitting for almost 25 years (the last thing I remember knitting was a Bay City Rollers' jumper just like the one Les used to wear!!!) I took up knitting again with my daughter who was then 6. I bought two lovely books called Children's First Book of Knitting and Kid's Knitting. First I made a couple of pigs and then went onto the backpack and the jumper in the latter book.
Well I was off then and I decided that I needed to learn to make socks in this lifetime. A good (and very patient) friend helped me to decipher a pattern and now I have knitted about 12 pairs in all. It hasn't actually improved my pattern-reading skills though, as you will see. Next on the list was a little rabbit from Debbie Bliss's Nursery Knits which I managed rather well. Now I thought I can tackle anything. So I went with gusto at this gnome pattern in Simply Knitting magazine.
Now there MUST be errors in this pattern cos I couldn't get it to work - there'd be 24 stitches on the needles and the pattern would only work out on that row as if there were 30 stitches for example. But I hadn't knit Debbie Bliss' rabbit for nothing because I managed to work the gnome pattern (esp the legs and feet) with the help of her pattern. Boy was I proud of myself.
However, I'm not quite sure that I'm that mad about the end result (after all that). I didn't like the wool that they used in the mag so I used Rowan Yorkshire Tweed that I had in my stash. I didn't like the beards either so I subsituted some Gotland fleece. Here is the gnome in the garden having a rest - his basket is full of precious stones that he's been mining underground. Maybe he'll be a friend to this lazy fellow. Hewgin the only gnome living in our house at the moment has forgotten about these outdoor pursuits. As you can see he's got used to the good life - he's so podgy these days I couldn't even get him to stand up. I think I might let them get aquainted over tea first before I chuck Hewgin out to get some fresh air.