Izzy Doll - knitted comfort doll by Shirley O'Connell

Izzy Doll - knitted comfort doll

Knitting
Sport (12 wpi) ?
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
5" to 6"
This pattern is available for free.

Note: The Crochet and Knit pattern are on the same page. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the knit version.

Please be sure to check out the other Izzy Doll patterns. Crochet pattern is available here.

Shirley O’Connell is the present co-ordinator. We have established a Ravelry group for Izzy Doll Makers. Please feel free to join!


HISTORY:

For the past two decades, Canadian soldiers and health care workers have given out more than 1.3 million of the tiny toys to children in war-torn countries and regions affected by natural disaster.

The dolls were inspired by and named after Master Cpl. Mark Isfeld of No. 1 Combat Engineer Regiment who was serving on peacekeeping missions in Kuwait and Croatia in the early 1990s. There, he often came across children with no toys or personal possessions, so his mother, Carol Isfeld, knitted little woollen dolls that he could give away to the kids he met (also called comfort dolls).

Isfeld was killed in Croatia in 1994 while removing landmines, and his mother has since died. But the legacy of the Izzy dolls lives on.

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen


Notes about Construction & materials:

  • They must be light in weight so the soldier can carry several in his or her pocket without problem, and is not burdened with extra weight.
  • They are made without any metal, or plastic, or anything sharp or abrasive so as not to injure either the child receiving them, or the person carrying them.
  • By keeping them “on the small side,” materials are conserved, enabling production of many more with a given amount of material, saving time and enabling more children to become recipients.
  • Synthetic materials are used to prevent shrinking if doll gets wet.