Before Christmas I ran across a KAL that featured the knitted Gnomes of Alan Dart, and I just had to get my hands on the pattern. After much searching of the internet, I discovered that the KAL was done by folks primarily living in the Scandanivania countries, and that the pattern is virtually not available in the U.S.
So, here's the deal. Alan Dart is a prolific designer of knitted (and some sewn) children's toys. There's an extensive line of dogs and cats, as well as fairy tale bunnies, Dicken's style mice, penguins, and Santa's. There are kits and there are patterns. He is also frequently featured in the British knitting magazine, Simply Knitting.
The Gnomes were featured in a pull out of the magazine. It is often available on E-Bay and is highly valued, since it regularly goes for over $25 plus shipping (just for the pattern!) Don't get me wrong, I really like the gnomes, but I have a problem paying that much for just the pattern that is being resold. Also, the magazine has a note on their website that they will ship you the pattern if you send them money, and they'll take the currency of your country. So, back on December 8 I shipped them off a check in US Dollars that was actually more than what they were requesting. And now I'm sitting here waiting with my fingers crossed. The check hasn't cleared the bank yet, but I'm hopeful. They say they'll ship out the pattern within twenty days of receiving your request.
So, in the meantime, I did pick up this kit on E-bay. It has the pattern and yarn to make Santa and just the pattern for Mrs. Claus. I've never made a knitting doll before and I thought it might be fun. At least I have plenty of time to work on him before Christmas rolls around again.
In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for me that the Gnomes pattern arrives.