Are you ready to deck the halls with this year’s hottest holiday decor trends? This season I’ve noticed a surprising number of gnome decorations hiding among the holiday lights and ornaments. According to Google Trends, searches for Christmas gnomes have increased by 525% since 2015.
People have been decorating with gnomes for a long time, of course – you’ve probably seen a few adorable terracotta gnomes hiding out in neighbors’ gardens – but there’s a reason we see more of them at Christmas time.
Centuries ago, Scandinavian people believed that elves were house gnomes who guarded their homes against evil. If you were good, the elves were good to you, but if you were bad, the mischievous elves would play tricks on you. Some of the tricks they enjoyed playing were: giving you nightmares by sitting on your head while you were dreaming, tangling your hair as you slept, making your milk turn sour, and stealing your sausages.
Folks believed that if they left a bowl of porridge on the doorstep at night, the elves would be happy and not subject them to their ornery antics.
In northern European countries, they often go by the name Nisse and are typically depicted as short men or women donning red caps. The folklore traces back to the late 18th and 19th centuries when gnomes were believed to be household spirits responsible for a farm or family’s care and prosperity. They were tasked with various chores around the home and might act out when the humans didn’t cater to their little gnome needs.
Although the exact definition has changed quite a bit over the years, gnomes are nature spirits that live underground. Much like the American Santa Claus, the julenisse (Yule Nisse) – basically Kris Kringle in gnome form—visits the homes of good children on Christmas Eve. Children leave a bowl of porridge out for him, and in return, the julenisse brings presents to their front door.
Gnomes, especially garden gnomes and house gnomes, do their work at night. It’s much easier to move around unseen by curious humans. Since the gnome’s helpful nature urges him or her to help all creatures, including humans, it is just plain easier to do this at night.
In the nighttime, those odd creaks and groans that can be heard in a house are a house gnome patrolling the home. They check on children to make sure they are safe in their beds and the parents too. They check all the locks on the doors and windows. If they find that one is unlocked, they may choose to lock it themselves, but more likely, the gnome will use his or her abilities to gently nudge you into remembering that you forgot to lock the door.
At night the garden gnome will tend to the garden, work on his or her own home, or may choose to engage in prankster activity. It is not uncommon for the younger garden gnomes to move plants around in the garden, thoroughly confusing the gardener the next day. They will often grow tired of this occupation and begin to feel sorry for the gardener and turn their abilities toward tending to the plants at night.
The farm gnome helps out around the farm at night. They can keep an eye on the livestock and subtly warn the sleeping farmer if a fox or wolf is nearby. In the past, a milkmaid could wake up and find all of the cows had already been milked for her. A helpful gnome does this under the moonlight.
Even after all these years, the gnomes continue to be a popular, cheerful addition to any home, during the holidays and beyond.
Gnomes generally were not described thoroughly in the stories, but garden gnomes produced throughout the world have the same general look, usually with a long, white beard, a red hat, and simple clothes.
The female gnomes tend to have long hair, the same hat, and a simple dress and look somewhat like witches.
Gnomes are very gentle beings and like to ensure that all living creatures remain unharmed. They carry knives to rescue animals from traps and remove splinters from paws so that no creature has to live in pain. Their knives also come in handy when animals that cannot fend for themselves need help getting food.
Some gnome guides carry journals to map out their travels and make notes about their journeys, especially recording points that may be of interest to other gnomes in the future.
Another charming fact about our gnomes: They are known to plant wildflowers wherever they go. So the next time you see a wildflower, go ahead and wonder, “Did a gnome plant this here?”
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Have you learned anything new? Did any of the facts surprise you? Please share with me in the comments below.
Check out my selection of charming Christmas gnomes today, and start your own cheery gnome family! You can see some of my patterns from Pretty Things By Katja Etsy Shop and Website in the photos above, and here are some more.
Add a gnome (or three) to any holiday decorating scheme with these gorgeous Crochet blankets and pillows. Use them to add color to a couch, showcase them on a mantel, or display one by your Christmas tree.
All my Christmas Crochet patterns are on sale this month (December 2020), but because you are my reader, I want to give you a special discount code: BESTOFCROCHET. Use it, and get 20% off on all of my patterns. The Coupon is valid on both, Etsy and Website (prettythingsbykatja.com). I am adding new ones every day, so make sure you put my shop into favorites and stay on top of things.
If you are not familiar with the Tapestry Crochet technique, you can find the photo tutorial here: How to do Tapestry Crochet.
1. C2C Gnomes Pattern
This pattern includes C2C Blanket and Tapestry Crochet written instructions for a blanket and instructions on making a pillow. You can use the technique you like better.
Gnomes are known as symbols of good luck. Originally, gnomes were thought to provide protection, especially of buried treasure and minerals in the ground.
A group of gnomes is called a donsy. Did you know that? This group of six happy little gnomes with colorful hats will love to bring joy and good luck to your home.
All my SC and C2C Tapestry Crochet Patterns are delivered in a pdf format that includes:
– Written instructions row by row, alternating right to the left; they also have indicated Right and Wrong site.
– A full-size graph which prints out in multiple pages
– Graph scaled down to print on one page
-Basic instructions for the SC Graph and Instructions on how to do Tapestry Crochet (there are no instructions on how to do C2C – you should know the basics).
Get the pattern here or click the photo below.
2. Merry Christmas Gnome Pattern
This year a lot of people will work even harder to create Christmas spirit around their homes. I am sure this Cute Gnome bringing happiness can help you make it perfect.
Merry Christmas Gnome Pattern is a Graph Pattern with Written Instructions for a Tapestry Crochet Blanket.
*If you are a left-handed crocheter, send me a message, and I will make you a left-handed pattern for no additional charge.
You can find it here, or click the photo below.
3. Red Gnome with a Gift
Christmas Gnomes serve as present bearers. Unlike the elves of other cultures, which reside at the North Pole, legend has it that gnomes pop out of their forests niches come Christmas Day and walk through the front doors of homes to hand-deliver presents. Wouldn’t you love to see a cute little Gnome with a gift on your front door on a Christmas day? I know I would. 🙂
Crochet Gnome Pattern is a Graph Pattern with Written Instructions for a Tapestry Crochet Blanket and Pillow, PDF Digital Files. You get both. But I recommend you use a bigger size of yarn and hook to create a blanket.
You can find it here, or click the photo below.
4. Three Gnomes
Gnomes are often found together in various scenarios, such as in a garden, out in the woods looking for food, or fishing. It is thought that gnomes are at their best when they are in groups as they work well together and have a great community spirit. They also share a highly witty sense of humor, which means that they enjoy being around and working together.
Just imagine how much joy and laughter three Gnomes would bring to your door!
This Crochet Pattern is also Tapestry Crochet Blanket and Pillow Pattern.
To buy it, click here or the photo below.
5. Crochet Girl Gnome
Isn’t she just cute carrying a candle? Let her bring some light into your heart this season.
You can make a blanket and a pillow, Girl Gnome, using my pattern.
6. Christmas Tree Gnome
One of the things that humans are fascinated with when it comes to gnomes is their hats and the different colors that they can be seen in.
Green hats are thought to be worn by those gnomes that spend most of their time in the wild and are particularly good at woodsmanship and spend their time tending to trees and similar things in nature.
This little blue-eyed gnome is bringing a small Christmas tree to your home.
The pattern is for a Crochet blanket and a pillow, and you can make it using the Tapestry Crochet technique.
Get it here or the photo below.
7. Gnome with a light
Another blue-eyed gnome that will bring light to your family.
This is also a Tapestry Crochet pattern to make a blanket and a pillow.
8. And the last is a Merry Christmas Gnome with a green hat.
You have probably noticed, I have two different types of gnomes in my shop, the ones with big blue eyes and the ones where you can only see their big noses, white beards, and hats. Which ones do you like better?
The best part is they all bring a smile to your face. 🙂
You can find this Blanket and Pillow pattern here, or click the photo below.
I hope you like my patterns. If you make one, I would love it if you would tag me in the photo on Instagram (@pretty_things_by_katja) or Facebook (Pretty Things By Katja). I would love to see your creations.
Thank you very much.
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Have a beautiful day, and enjoy crocheting.