I’ve been making dolls from my knitted swatches for awhile. I finished my sixth one last week. The one pictured above was completed several years ago, but I like the multiple view photo layout my daughter did for me.
The original inspiration for these dolls came from eye idols. Hundreds were found in the Eye Temple in Tell Brak, located in northeastern Syria. Dated at 3000 BC, they were thought to be offerings to the gods. The eye is a magical and religious symbol in many cultures: a window to the soul, a gateway to awakening, offering both protection and enlightenment.
The first knitted doll I did was simple, like the eye idols.
Another inspiration comes from Peruvian fiber dolls. The ancient ones were found in graves, and seem to have been created specifically for each burial. Modern textile artists in the Andes have used ancient textile fragments to recreate dolls in the old style for sale. I was lucky enough to purchase one in a thrift shop, although at the time I had no idea of its connection to history.
I’ve called the doll I finished last week Magician. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated because I decided the hair and head covering needed beads and sequins. Lots of beads and sequins. I like the effect, although it makes the doll a little top-heavy.