Betty, our knitting doll has been named after Betty Yewdale who, with her friend Sally, were sent to a knitting school in Dent to learn to knit. They hated the school and ran away. Their story is well told here Betty’s tale
The knitters were often known as the terrible knitters of Dent and like me, they knitted during church services (Hooray!) but unlike me they knitted very fast.
One of the many items knitted in Dent are the fine gloves, knitted similarly to Sanquhar gloves in a fair isle style pattern.
So, my doll had to have her own knitting and is currently up to the fingers of her second glove. The first one (which took me 6 hours knitted on five 1.5mm double pointed needles) is in her basket along with her balls of wool.
She has a hand knitted plain shawl and a hand carved knitting sheath tucked into her leather belt.
I think the hardest part of making this doll was remembering to stop making the second glove so Betty could hold the knitting.
Betty has been made after visiting the Dent Village museum and falling a wee bit in love with the people in the museum. Dent Museum
You’ve seen pictures of him already but let me officially introduce you to William, the fisherman.
As with all my dolls in my uni project he’s made from all locally sourced materials. He’s 99% wool (a wee bit of Alpaca and a pipe cleaner). He’s filled with British lambswool and a pipe cleaner (made in Huddersfield, 30mins from my home, but I picked it up on my home from Uni, so technically carbon footprint is as low as it can be.
The pattern for the doll is the My Little Crochet Doll pattern that I wrote some time ago and is available on both Etsy and Ravelry. I searched worldwide for a 100% wool in flesh tones, but couldn’t find any, so I had to dye my own. I used a small dye manufacturer a little less local (Sheffield), about a 45min drive away.
The yarn is Cheviot, a Northern sheep with hard wearing but mid softness, not scratchy, but will stand up to whatever a child puts dolls through. The wool is from British sheep but is spun in Huddersfield.
All the white, greys and brown clothing on the dolls is using a commercial yarn, Illustrious, by West Yorkshire Spinners, I used this to show off wools variety of natural shades. Each doll also has a dyed wool item of clothing.
William has a blue traditional Gansey and a matching cable hat. The gansey includes the tradition underarm gusset and a pattern based around the Scarborough and Whitby ganseys.
He is linked to the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre, a small museum near the seafront in Scarborough but is an amazingly friendly place to visit, They even have a Scarborough Gansey on display and several examples of gansey stitches.