Thursday, November 30, 2023

Green and red and white


Christmas colors ruled today... no pinks or purples or shades of green and red today.

My list of gnome recipients is growing, but my favorite came last night from my sister's granddaughter. 

Janet bought a couple of gnomes a year or two ago because she liked the one Mom has on her bed. His name is Fred. Janet's grandchildren were creeped out by the gnomes since there are no eyes. Janet took a gnome home with her when she visited before Thanksgiving, and Abby liked it. So when Janet came to visit after Thanksgiving, she took a gnome home for Abby.

Last night, Abby sent me a picture of herself with her gnome and asked if I would make her another one that's not in Christmas colors... one that she can keep out year round! My next step will be to have Abby crank out her own gnome the next time she comes to visit.

Daughter Carol requested a loaf of bread for her AP Euro class today. They're studying the French Revolution. She asked if I would make French bread, but I put my bread book someplace safe for Thanksgiving. There wasn't time to look for it and get the bread made, so plain bread it is. I think the kids will be okay with that. After all, it's free food for them!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Two gnome day

Yesterday was very busy with a doctor appointment and work, but I still managed to crank out some gnomes in the morning and put a couple together in the afternoon and evening.

Dave said that he doesn't like the scruffy look, so these two were carefully groomed. The kids at school have told me that I should give one with a grey beard ponytail to one of our p.e. teachers. He just might get one!

It's kind of fun making the braided beards, but I still haven't perfected my technique.

I have four more gnomes cranked and ready for finishing. There are so many people I'd like to give them to this year!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Full house

We had a full house for Thanksgiving. All four of our daughters and their families were here for a total of 18.

I did make some more gnomes during the week.

I had to make sure I had plenty for everyone to take one home.

Janko wanted his gnome to look really scruffy. He didn't want his beard trimmed at all!

Sophia wanted a red and white gnome. Doesn't he look all ready for Christmas?

There were enough gnomes for everyone who wanted one. Now I need to get cranking and making gnomes for friends.

I didn't want anyone to get bored, so I had wooden ornaments and acrylic markers on hand for some coloring fun.

Creative juices were really flowing around here!

After Thanksgiving dinner, Dave went out to the fire pit with all the kids and grandkids. They spent a long time out there singing every Christmas song they could think of. It was too cold for me, so I stayed inside and relaxed. 

After everyone left, we began Christmas decorating inside. Dave did most of the work, because I caught his bug and pretty much slept the day away on Sunday.

While they were here, daughter Andrea cranked out a gnome. We meant to finish it before the family headed back to Minnesota, but we forgot. I finished him last night. To quote Andrea, "What a handsome fella!"

Monday, November 20, 2023

Family fun

We had a family fun filled weekend! My sister Janet came down to visit, arriving Friday. On Saturday Mom, Janet, Dave, and I worked on cleaning the house for Thanksgiving. We finished most of what we hoped to accomplish.

Janet loves to wrap packages. I do not. So, my wonderful sister wrapped all of my Christmas presents! There are still a few that will arrive this week, so some will be wrapped by me.

Sunday morning Janet and I finished what needed to be done upstairs. Dave washed all the floors for me and washed the living room windows. We are ready to decorate for Christmas!

As a reward for all her hard work, Janet took this gnome home with her... just kidding... I would have given her the gnome of her choice whether she had helped out around the house or not!

Mom has admired this gnome ever since he was finished. She thinks he looks Irish, and now he resides in her room.

Joanne and family arrived in time for lunch. Then the real fun began.

After looking through all the finished gnomes, Kara wanted to choose her own colors. She was fascinated by my knitting machine, and she even helped crank.

Kara named her gnome Frankie, and he is well loved. Today we will make gnomes for Janko and Sophia.

Dave started a fire in the fire pit before dinner.

After dinner, we went out to the fire pit and enjoyed hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Of course several marshmallows ended up in the fire, and we had to wash off sticky fingers when we went inside. It was great fun!

It was a nice relaxing way to end the day.

I'm not sure there will be much posting this week. I think we're just going to enjoy our time together!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Gnome sweet gnome


I finished the flat headbands for the high school boys and male staff members. I passed quite a few out on Monday, and I meant to pass the rest out yesterday. However, I was called in to sub in the middle school and didn't get the chance. I hope to pass the rest out today.

Christmas gnomes are on my to-do list this year, and I took a break from headbands to make my first one. I made so many mistakes, but I learned a lot about the process. The first one took me about four and half hours to make. 

My second gnome only took about an hour and a half to make. I love the way his beard turned out!

I guess I'm stuck at an hour and a half per gnome right now. I think it's because I have to keep correcting mistakes.

Some gnomes just need to look scruffy.

Others need a more groomed look.

I have plenty of supplies, so I think I'll keep on making gnomes. After all, Christmas is coming!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

For the boys


I'm done cranking all the headbands for the high school boys. Now I'm busy finishing them. I have four more wide ear warmers to finish, and then I'll work on the narrow ones. My hope is to pass them out next week before Thanksgiving break begins.

Yesterday, one of my favorite middle school students asked if I would make him a hat. Who can resist a request from a 7th grade boy? I was his dad's 4th grade teacher, so I have a special connection with him. I was ready for a break from headbands, so I started Micah's hat last night and finished it this morning. He said it fit perfectly, and I could tell he loved it by the huge smile on his face!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


My focus is still on headbands. 

I'm still cranking out twisted headbands. Daughter Joanne will be taking boxed set orders through November 10, so I'm trying to keep ahead of her orders.

The high school boys prefer solid colors, so I've been working on flat ear warmers for them. They want dark colors, but they're going to have to choose from what I have available.

I've still been trying a variety of yarns. This one is Big Twist Aqua Ombre. It worked pretty well, no stickiness, but my machine was pretty loud.

This is another Big Twist yarn, Unicorn Magic. Again, it went through the machine, but it was rather noisy.

The twisted headbands are made on a 40 pin machine with 90 rows. The wide flat headbands... oops! ear warmers (the boys won't take them if I call them headbands)... are made on a 32 pin Sentro machine with 80 rows. It's amazing to me that 8 fewer pins and 10 fewer rows could make the process seem to go so much faster. The flat headbands actually take a little more time to finish than the twisted ones.

The four headbands on the right are a size experiment. There's a lady who works in the cafeteria who has three little girls. Using my 32 pin machine, I cranked out headbands with 60, 65, 70, and 80 rows. The 80 row headband is for Ashley, and her little girls will try on the other three sizes to see what fits them. Hopefully, I will have a better idea of what works best for children. 

The yarn is I Love This Yarn Winter Flowers. I've used this one before on my 40 pin Sentro machine. Yesterday, the yarn would not crank through the machine. I decided to try it with my 22 pin Addi machine, and it worked beautifully.

I have so many things I want to work on. I have some lovely new thread from Marilee Rockley and some beautiful shuttles from Rita Richmond. I have ideas for what I want to make with them, but I need to stay focused and finish these headbands!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

First gnome


I'm still getting headband orders from daughter Joanne. 

The cutoff for her sale is November 10. 

Her current count is 57, and she asked me to make three extra in case their count was off. I have 61 made as of last night, so I'm in good shape. I'll keep cranking a skein a day with the hope that she doesn't have a sudden influx of orders the last day!

I took a break from headbands yesterday to make my very first gnome! He didn't turn out the way I imagined, but I still think he's adorable. I'm going to try a different pattern for my next gnome. I now knot that I need to use heavier weight yarn for the body, and keep the lighter weight yarns for the hat.

This gnome was a combination of two different tutorials I found on YouTube. I think I'm better off following directions as given for the first time, and then I can move on to adaptations. I may go shopping with Mom today so that I can find larger beads for the nose and large jingle bells for the hats. This gnome was made out of leftovers from headbands. I'm ready to move on to the Christmas yarn I bought just for gnomes!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Not quite

My goal was to finish daughter Joanne's twisted headband order by Halloween. I didn't quite make it. I finished them yesterday... or so I thought. Joanne let me know last night that she has six more orders. It looks like I'll be back to cranking today!