This is a simple little gnome we used to knit and give as a birthday gift in the kindergarten. It takes very little yarn and can be made completely from your assortment of odd balls! (Photo to come shortly)
Materials needed: odd balls of worsted weight yarn, three different colors plus flesh color; size 5 or 6 knitting needles; yarn or a bit of wool fleece for eyes; yarn for beard; felting needle, yarn needle.
Body and head:
Cast on 20 sts to start the body. Knit every row until the piece measures 2 1/4". This will probably be about 14 rows. Change to the flesh colored yarn. Work in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until the head measures 1 1/4". Next row: Knit 2 together, repeat across row. Cut yarn, leaving about 8 inches. With yarn needle, thread yarn through all the remaining stitches, slipping them off the knitting needle. Pull tight and knot.
Arm and Hand (make two):
Cast on 8 sts in body color. Knit every row until piece measures 1 1/2". Change to flesh color and stockinette stitch. Work two rows. Next row, knit 2 together, knit 4, knit 2 together. Purl next row. Work four more rows. Cut yarn, leaving an 8" tail. With yarn needle, pull thread through stitches and slip sts off needle. Pull tight and knot. Don't forget to make the other arm!
Shoes (make two):
Cast on 6 sts in shoe color. Knit every row for 2 1/2". Bind off.
Hat (make one):
Cast on 20 sts in hat color. Knit 4 rows. Beginning with the next row, knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of every row. When there are only two stitches remaining, slip yarn through those stitches and pull tight. Knot.
With yarn needle, and keeping colors to match whatever part you are sewing, sew the seam from the top of the head down to the end of the piece. Leave the bottom seam open for stuffing. Firmly stuff some wool into the head and body. Weave a piece of yarn through the stitches around the neck. Pull to form the neck and knot. Make sure there is enough stuffing in the head and body so it is firm. Sew the bottom seam - the vertical seam will be in the middle of the back. Sew a few stitches up the center to define the legs. It doesn't take more than 2 or 3 sts.
Sew the arm seam from the hand down. The arms don't necessarily need stuffing, but you can stuff the extra bits of yarn into them.
Sew the hat seam from the tip down. Fold the shoes in half, length wise, and sew into small rectangles. You can put a piece of cardboard in the shoes to help the gnome stand up easier.
Sew the arms and shoes onto the body in the appropriate places. Sew the hat onto the head, set back a little so there is plenty of room for the face. I prefer to needle felt the eyes in with some dark brown wool. It is easier to control the needle felting than it is to figure out just where to sew the eyes, but either way is fine.
Choose a nice mohair, or mohair boucle, if possible, for the beard. If you don't have access to mohair, any fine yarn will work. Thread the yarn needle and sewing, make a big loop and secure it with a knot. Repeat all around face for hair and beard. Cut loops in yarn, if desired.