It is that time of the year….
I am one of those people that love winter and all the trimmings that come with the season, dark nights, log fires, candles, hot chocolate, lots of carbs,cosy scarfs, mittens, blankets, handmade socks, friends and family gathering for the festive season and most of all I like to have an excuse for making small things to decorate the house with.
Other things I like are Scandinavian decorations and imagery. One of my favourite artists is Lennart Helje,in particular I love his whimsical snow-cloaked world of Tomtes , woodlands and animals, also a few weeks ago I saw a short motion posted on facebook of a knitter tomte from Mochimochiland and I thought was lovely
so I decided to make a small guardian as a central piece for my festive mantelpiece’s display.
If you are not familiar with the concept Tomte, is the Swedish name for a brownie or a hob, they are mythological folklore creatures typically associated with the winter solstice and yuletide. they look after the house and the occupants , they are small, with long beards and wearing a conical cap. they also can have a bit of temperament if ignored but a good porridge and a beer will make them very happy.
My Tomte is made with some ODD ENDS OF CHUNKY YARN, I used some leftover Alafoss Lopi, some DK YARN in red, pale rose and grey ( Stylecraft special ) , SOME SAND or RICE,( can be little pebbles anything that weight down and fit the body), some TOY STUFFING and a bit of WOOL TOP for the beard.
You can change anything of the above to suit your stash or your decor but you need the wool top , the most distinctive feature of a Tomte is his beard so has to be wool top in my opinion.
I didn’t write a pattern because it is straightforward, especially if you are familiar with amigurumi patterns. You have a cone for the body, another cone for the hat, a small half sphere for his nose. I added to mine two little arms with large mittens and a big heart.
Just decide how big you want your Tomte to be. Then start a dc circle ( same as the cushion I posted the other day). When you are happy with the size of the base stop the increases and keep crocheting; the sides will start to come up. Again when you are pleased with the height, place a round of even spaced decreases, more rounds and some more decreases your cone will start to form.
At this stage, it helps to start filling the body. I place a little bag of sand in the bottom to stabilise and stuffing all around.It is up to you how tall, slim you want your Tomte to be, mine has a 9inches tall body and 12 inches tall hat.
The hat is a cone too, start really small, and I added some increases for the rim to give it a’ Gandalf’s look’. Nose a semi-circle with some stuffing.
For the arms I used the A:15 pattern from Kerry Lord’s ‘Edward’s crochet Imaginarium.’ grey dk for the arms and the chunky for the mittens.
Edward’s crochet Imaginarium is a fabulous book. Probably the best I bought this year. Very useful for all sort of little creature projects. The pages are split into three parts: HEAD-ARMS-FEET plus some bodies patterns at the end of the book, so you can combine and make whatever you like.
You can use the body pattern for your tomte too.
I found an amazing free pattern online by Mia Zamora Johnson this is the link:
It comes in 3 sizes: small, medium and large. I used the medium pattern for my Tomte.
The mistletoe on his hat is pattern 53 from Lesley Stanfield ;’100 flowers to knit & crochet’ again anothe good book to have.
Make one it is really fun and a good omen too , all homes should have their own little guardian!
In the next post I will show you some more crochet decorations and how I used them .
Happy hooking! xxx