You all know my feelings about synthetic fibre - I have a very low tolerance for it. To me, natural fibres just make so much more sense - I'd rather get a little less quantity and produce a better quality product, that settle for something.
So you can understand my issue here:It's no secret I love my Gnomes. And while the pattern itself called for an all acrylic composition, I always made them from wool - one of my favourites being the rustic Briggs and Little wools. (Not this one, however - this is KnitPicks merino). But the beard always made me pause. How to get that look without resorting to Fun Fur? The above picture actually looks okay, but in real life, the acrylic beards don't do it.
When Helga showed a Gnome she knit for her daughter, she twinged an idea. You see, Helga's tolerance for Fun Fur is even lower than mine. She actually hooked natural wool into the face for a beard - almost like rug hooking. It looked fabulous, and got me thinking. I dug around in the stash for some natural curly locks I knew I had - I needle felted a sheep with them way back. A few minutes with the mohair locks, and a super sharp felting needle, and voila!