I got a book from the library called "Once Upon a Time...In Crochet" by Lynn Rowe. It's got some great projects, but when I made the Seven (or Six, so far) Dwarfs, they turned out larger than I would have liked (and larger than the pattern said they would.) A "big dwarf" is kind of oxymoronic, so I modified it to make cute little ones (I also include special instructions for making a Santa gnome). Their bodies and hats are each about 4 inches tall. All put together, they go down to 7 inches. You can fold the hat down, too.
They are easy and fast, with no special stitches except the Puff Stitch required (I will explain that one when we come to it). These would make a cute and unique present for a child (or an adult). Hope you enjoy making them!
Step 1: Supplies
I used a 2.75 mm (US C/2) hook or size 00 hook (depending on which one wasn't missing), 4-ply yarn, and stuffing from a stuffed animal kit/lawn chair cushions, and something to push the stuffing in (the blunt end of a larger crochet hook might work, but I found the end of a pencil works well). The hook took some getting used to because of its small size, sharp edge, and the unraveling nature of the yarn (Sugar n' Cream, Bernat Handicrafter, and old Paton's 4-ply cotton yarn). It's gotten much better, though. You could always use other things. Really, anything goes. Be economical, because the crafting companies always try to rip you off.
Oh, I should mention colors. You'll need beige yarn for the skin, white for the beard, and black for the eyes/feet. The body and hat are up to you. These are just suggestions. You could give your gnome red eyes, but that would be kinda creepy.
Step 2: Pattern: Body/Head
Using BEIGE, ch2.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into 2nd chain from hook (6 sts). Pull loose end gently to close hole.
Rnd 2: 2sc into every st (12 sts).
Rnd 3: [1sc into next st, 2 sc into next st] 6 times (18 sts).
Rnd 4: [1 sc into each of the next 2 sts, 2 sc into next st] 6 times (24 sts).
Rnds 5-8: sc into every st, changing to body color in last sc of Row 8.
Rnds 9-12: sc in every st.
NOTE: In the earlier gnomes, I only did 3 rounds where 5-8 and 9-12 are now. But I like the new way better.
Rnd 13: [1 sc into each of the next 3 sts, sc2tog] 5 times (18 sts).
Rnd 14: working in back loops only for this rnd, [1 sc into each of the next 2 sts, sc2tog] 5 times (I thought it was 12 sts, but I ended up with 15).
Rnd 15: [1 sc into next st, sc2tog] 5 times (10 sts). Fill head/body with filling until it's firm.
Rnd 16: [sc2tog] 5 times (5 sts). Sl st into next st, cut yarn and fasten off. Push a little more toy filling through gap.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SANTA: Rnd 9 is red, Rnd 10 is black, the remaining rows are red. Then sew a little buckle with yellow yarn in the center front on the black part to make the black part look like a belt. This part is hard to explain. You sc 3 across the front center of the body along the bottom of the black part, then jump up to the row above it and sc 3 across. Then you join the ends with a sl st. Check out the pictures to see what I mean.
Step 3: Pattern: Nose, Ears, and Eyes
For the nose (using BEIGE), pick your center along the line where the head meets the body (the color change). Sl st on hook, insert hook into selected middle st, sc in st, ch1 in st directly above, fasten off. Weave in ends.
For ears (using BEIGE), sl st on hook. sc into st approximately 4 sts to one side of the nose, ch1 in st directly above, fasten off. Repeat on other side of nose the same distance away.
For eyes (using BLACK), sc into st approximately 1 row up and 2 st to the side from the nose. Weave in ends.
NOTE: I've done these, along with the shoes, different ways almost every time. (For example, I've stitched the eyes in and made the ears bigger or smaller.) Do what works for you.
Step 4: Pattern: Beard
Let's learn the special stitch!
Puff St: [yoh, insert hook into stitch, yoh pull back through st] 3 times, (7 loops on hook), yoh and pull back through all 7 loops, 1ch to complete the st.
Using WHITE, ch 9. Skip to 2nd st and puff st to end. Sl st in last st. Attach to front of face so each side touches the ears. I think Santa could have used a smaller extra row or two.
Step 5: Pattern: Shoes
Using BLACK, sl st onto hook. Sc into bottom of body (in one of the later rows) approximately below an eye. Ch2. 6sc into 2nd ch from hook, fasten off. Secure in place. Repeat below other eye.
Don't do it too close to the very bottom, or your gnome will have a hard time standing up (as you can see with some of mine).
Step 6: Pattern: Hat
Using color of your choice, ch2.
Rnd 1: 6sc into 2nd ch from hook (6 sts). Pull end gently to close hole.
Rnd 2; [1sc into each of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st] twice (8 sts).
Rnds 3-4: 1 sc into every st.
Rnd 5: [1sc into next st, 2 sc into next st] 4 times (12 sts).
Rnd 6: 1 sc into every st.
Rnd 7: [1sc into next st, 2sc into next st] 6 times (18 sts).
Rnds 8-9: 1sc into every st.
Rnd 10: [1sc into each of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st] 6 times (24 sts).
Rnds 11-19: sc into every st. Fasten off.
Fold bottom 2 rows of hat up. Secure hat how you want on the gnome's head. I like to tie the loose end to the back so the hat doesn't go missing (see picture). It wouldn't hurt to sew it all the way around. The lady from the book stitched through the hat around the head to fold the hat in. You could do that.
SPECIAL SANTA INSTRUCTIONS: Do this in red, except for last 3 rows. Do those in white (it might look better with a few more, too). Make a white pompom for the top, by wrapping yarn around 2 of your fingers about 20 times, tying them through the middle, cutting through the loops, and fluffing it up. Attach it to the top.
And now you're done. Cheers and happy gnome-making!
The Phantom Chemist