This is the gnome pattern handed down to me from our previous handwork teacher. It's been in use for over 10 years now, so the children really look forward to making their gnomes every year.
Cast on 12 stitches in pants color, knit a little bit more than a square. Break yarn, push this square to the end of the needle, cast on 12 more stitches, knit a matching "square". Knit across all 24 stitches for 2 rows. Break yarn, switch to shirt color, and knit until the shirt, folded over where the legs seperate, meets the cast-on edge. In other words, the shirt is half of the body now, minus the two long rows for the pants. Break yarn. switch to face color. Look at your gnome. If the "jog" is on the working side of the knitting (the row you are about to knit) then you will purl the first row. Otherwise, knit the next row. Work in stockinette stitch (knit a row, purl a row) until the head is 1/3 of the gnome, ending with a purl row. Next row: Knit 2 together all the way across. Break yarn, leaving a long tail.Thread tail through the stitches on the needle and pull, gathering the top of the head.
Cast on 12 in shirt color, knit a little less than a square, then knit a row, purl a row in skin color. Break yarn, thread needle with tail, gather by pulling yarn through the remaining stitches. (Use the large sewing needle to slip the stitches off the knitting needle) Make another arm. Use the tails to stitch up the arms.
Cast on 24 stitches for hat. Knit 4 rows straight, change colors and knit a stripe for two rows, then knit two together at the beginning of every row until one stitch remains. Break yarn, thread tail through the last stitch.
Sew up the back of the body, making sure the shirt and pants line up. Stuff, then sew the legs together. If you like, cinch around the legs about 4 rows up to make feet.
Cinch around the neck by putting the needle in and over every other stitch right at the color change. Pull tightly, and go around once more. Stitch and stuff the arms, leaving a little room at the top to gather. Run a gathering stitch through the top of the arms, and stitch them right at the neck (this creates shoulders). Flatten the top slightly to make it look like a shoulder.
Add hair if you wish by using a crochet hook to loop the hair through. Sew on the hat. Enjoy your gnomes!
Gnomes in progress by second graders at The Waldorf School of Louisville.