Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Plain [And Purl] Folk

One of my all-time favourite films is Witness, starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. It is set among an Amish Community. Sometimes known as 'the Plain Folk', these generous, hardworking Christians live a simple, pacifist lifestyle, shunning many of the modern technologies which we take for granted. We are discovering now that some of these 'benefits' are proving to be detrimental to the planet - so maybe they have a point.

Steph's friend Jen saw a picture on the internet of a pair of knitted Amish dolls and ask if I could I please knit them for a young member of her family?
The pattern is by Debi Birkin and came via Ravelry [and was relatively simple]
I have had enormous fun making 'Samuel and Sarah'
We know that Samuel is married because he has a beard.
Sarah is carrying a small Amish quilt.
Tradition says that Amish dolls should not have facial features, because the Amish children are taught that only God can make people. I also like the idea that the plain face means a child can use their imagination and decide what emotions the doll is feeling.
The pattern suggests sewing on a few contrast stitches to suggest buttons. I ignored that - Amish clothing would not have such 'proud' details. I liked the black travelling bonnet - which seemed huge when I was knitting it up - but it gathers neatly onto the brim, just like the real thing. I stuck to the traditional colours - blue shirt, purple dress, black apron.
The sleeves are part of the arms - and although the trousers, apron and hats are knitted separately, I have sewn them onto the dolls so they cannot be removed and get lost.

Simon and Sarah


  1. This is lovely. I like what you said about their lack of facial expressions- there is something lovely about that being left to the imagination of the child!

  2. Update-Jen now has the dolls and she loves them!

  3. Love that bonnet.Great work.I always get the stuffing wrong, either too much or too little.Yours looks perfect.


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!