Friday, January 24, 2020

Andean Inspired Eclectic Ethnic Dolls

Available on my website here
and on Ravelry here

Number 2 in the World Knits Collection are my Eclectic Ethnic Dolls - a man and a woman originally knit in Tapestry Wool/Mohair, Caravan Camel Hair/Wool and Mouton Boucle for the hair. 

When I started perusing Cynthia Gravelle Lecount’s Andean Folk Knitting I was drawn to photos of small knitted dolls. I am assuming that many of these were made for the tourist market. They were such fun. Each little guy had their own quirks (see the little guy on the left with only one leg). 

With a little more research, it turns out that the dolls were originally made as little bags to carry coins and valuables. The women used to carry them with them and they took the form of animals and little people. How sweet. Here is a photo of a Bolivian monederos (that is what they are called) from the Jeff Appleby Collection at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. You can read the article about how the construction was documented and see the sample knit by the volunteer Jean Scardina at the DeYoung. Fascinating. 

I was inspired to try to knit my own pair of dolls but at a friendly gauge of about 6 stitches per inch. I knew it was a crazy idea and I had no idea if anyone else would want to make one. 

First I knit the girl doll and I named her Lindecita. She needed a mate so I knit her Alejandro. Sadly, L & A disappeared many years ago. Last year, I got a note from a woman named Noreen that she was downsizing her home. She wanted to send me her set of Eclectic Ethnic Dolls. Did I want them? Oh yes I did! because mine went missing 25 years ago. Here are her dolls sitting happily in my library now. Thank you Noreen! 

I can’t tell you how fun the Eclectic Ethnic Dolls are to knit. You will have to see for yourself. as they grow on your needles and you design their clothing. You can become as creative as you want with the clothing. There is graph paper included so you can design your own charts. If you knit your own and take photos, tag me on Instagram and upload the photos to Ravelry so others can see. 

Available on my website here
and on Ravelry here

If you want to keep the pattern in your Ravelry Library, make sure you order through my Kristin Nicholas Ravelry Store (not my website). 


Noreen said...

Hi Kristin, this is Noreen! The dolls look great in your library. When I heard your pair had been snitched I was so pleased to be able to offer you mine. And it's great to read about your inspiration for the pattern!

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Noreen I sent you a note on Ravelry. Did you see it? Thx so much for your pair. Obviously I am loving them.

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