TRURO, N.S. – Andrea Moir’s dolls and bears only spend a short time with her; then they head off on a journey to brighten a child’s life.
Moir has been knitting Izzy dolls and bears for 10 years, and many are now in other countries.
“I don’t know how many I’ve made,” she said. “I got to 1,500 and then stopped counting.”
She heard about the need for dolls during a visit to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, where she began chatting with a woman who was buying yarn. The knit creations are given to children at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, but Moir also sends them to other places.
“I know some of them have gone to Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic,” she said. “Some of them are used as packing material around medical supplies for poor areas. They use the dolls instead of foam, and then the children get toys, too.”
Women living in the same building as Moir often get a doll or bear on their birthday, and some are given to the VON adult day program.
Moir has been knitting most of her life, and says it must have been her mother or grandmother who taught her.
“Every time I sit down I pick up my knitting,” she said. “It keeps my hands moving and it gives me something to do.”
Making about 150 of the knit items every six months, she goes through a lot of yarn. She buys it whenever she comes across a good deal, and some people give her their extra yarn. The stuffing often comes from old pillows she washes and takes apart.
“Sometimes I imagine the children who are getting these,” she said. “I hope they’re enjoying them.”