If you’ve taken a look at our Flickr group recently, you’ve been greeted with tiny gnomes traveling to all sorts of places—from the shore,
to a temple,
to a rock concert,
to the Biosphere in Montreal (NOT Epcot, as I originally thought!),
These jet-setting gnomes were all shared by Estelle, who clearly took an epic journey with her gnome companions. In fact, there were so many traveling gnomes, as I was scrolling through the photos I was wondering just what was up…. So I got in touch with Estelle, who lives in Quebec, and I learned that this is a whole project with many different contributors!
This is what she had to say about Projet Gnome:
Last year I went on a 3 month backpacking trip with my sister to New-Zealand, Thailand and India. A few weeks before we left I was looking for ideas for small gifts to make for our future hosts, and I stumbled upon your website. I just fell in love with the gnomes and thought I’ll knit one for myself and take pictures of him at different places we go. (A bit like in the movie Amelie with Audrey Tautou)
Then I knitted a lady friend for Mr Gnome, then some more gnomes, and I started giving them to people I met on my trip so they make them travel and take pictures.
I kept on knitting gnomes when I came back home and gave them to fellow travellers. In a way I got to keep on travelling a bit this way! So far I might have knit about 30 gnomes and they travelled to more than 15 countries, thanks to the wonderful travellers/photographers/artists who took part in the Gnome Project.
For me, this is really about sharing, creating, and finding beauty and fun in small things.
How fun! Of course, Estelle’s project reminds me of Project Gnome Diplomacy, which many of you participated in last year, when I brought more than 300 of your gnomes to Seoul to be handed out to people who visited the gallery where they were displayed. I love that the gnome is a symbol of adventure and friendship that so many people recognize and want to take part in.
Anyone can join Projet Gnome by knitting a gnome and taking it on a trip, and there’s even a Facebook group for the intrepid gnomes and their escorts. I just joined myself!