This is a knitted version of an island made ragdoll called Cobo Alice that was popular in Guernsey during the Victorian era.
She was made by the Guille family who lived on the West coast of the island at Cobo, hence her name. The whole family including the children, were engaged in making these dolls, they became so popular.
The original dolls had cloth bodies and clothing made from oddments of material in a variety of colours and a stockinette head. The doll was filled with sawdust and the head features painted on later, often rather crudely!
This knitted version is an attempt to capture as many of the doll’s original features as possible so that she will be instantly recognisable to the Islanders of Guernsey and beyond, but with a slight softening of her occasional startling features.
She wears the traditional Guernseywomen’s dress of the time, including the distinctive and elaborate sun bonnet (pronounced “bonnay”).
The original dolls have mostly been lost, having been rotted away by the acidic sawdust filling. Cobo Alices occasionally come up for auction and command high prices.
I hope this little doll will eventually find a place in the Island’s heart too.
She is knitted in DK on 3mm needles, though could be made with other yarn and needle sizes, as all the rows are counted.
The total yarn requirements in DK are about 200gms, with none of the seven colours used requiring more than 50gms.