So far, Red Deer senior Ruth Moore has knit 4,017 Izzy dolls over the past six years for children in crisis zones around the world.
Moore, who is 94 and legally blind, said she will continue to make the dolls for as long as she can, “however long that will be.”
“I can’t see to read. I can’t see the TV. I can’t walk anywhere. Instead of nothing, I do this,” said Moore, who usually knits about two dolls each day.
After Moore knits the doll’s body, she gives the doll to her daughter, Brenda Clark, who adds the eyes, nose and mouth, sews up the back of the figure, and fixes any stitches Moore may have dropped while knitting.
Then the doll is passed along to another volunteer to stuff with quilting material and add seams for legs and arms.
Moore said it really is a team effort.
The dolls, which are about 15 centimetres tall, are sent to Compassionate Resource Warehouse in British Columbia to be used as packing material for medical supplies bound for countries in need, instead of using Styrofoam and bubble wrap.
After they protect the supplies, the dolls are given away to children.
Moore said she didn’t know what she would do if she didn’t knit the cute dolls.
“It certainly is a blessing to me, and it must have made a few children happy,” said the Revera Aspen Ridge resident.
It takes Moore about two hours to knit one doll.
“I knit by feel. They all look different. Sometimes, I put on a little headband.”
Moore said she learned to knit when she was nine years old. She stopped when her sight began to fail, but took up the hobby again while getting cancer treatment.
The cancer centre was looking for volunteers to knit squares to make afghans for patients. Moore eventually ended up knitting 3,500 squares before the program was discontinued.