Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Kippah Project (or, What's On My Hook)

When I became bat mitzvah, my grandmother, Eve Plotnick, undertook to crochet kippot for the occasion. Not for me, mind you—this was a looong time ago, before girls or women in conservative synagogues routinely wore kippot—but for the male guests. She enlisted the assistance of her sister Sophie, which was prudent, as there were 40-some male guests. They used blue crochet cotton and a pattern from I-don’t-know-where, and the kippot weren’t identical: they had a repertoire of different border patterns, mostly geometrics, and a couple variations on the center. They blocked them over inverted salad bowls spread out over their kitchen tables. The guests were impressed and very appreciative.

Two years later, when my brother Jonathan became bar mitzvah, they did it again, this time in burgundy.

They did it again eight years after that, when my brother Andrew became bar mitzvah, and the following year, when it was my cousin Erica’s turn. (Hers were pink with silver.)

By 1992, when Jonathan got married, Sophie had died. Grandmom was by this point well on in years, and wisely restricted her efforts to making kippot for the members of the wedding party.

Grandmom died in 1999. Two weeks from now, Andrew is getting married. It’s not his fault he’s the baby, but there it is: no Grandmom, no kippot, right?

You see where this is going. I don’t crochet well, and I don’t crochet often (think there’s a connection?). But I had to step up to the salad bowl, so to speak.

I’ll spare you most of the saga—how I couldn’t find crochet cotton in anywhere near the right color (a kind of aubergine), how I had a sudden inspiration about some leftover Euroflax from a weaving project of Suzanne’s, how inadequate Grandmom’s notes are. Suffice it to say that I need to have nine of these puppies finished by July 10. (I note for the record here that Grandmom was retired when she undertook this madness.)

I don’t have any pictures right now, but I’ll try to get some in the next couple days, and you’ll see why I haven’t been blogging (let alone knitting).


Anonymous said...

I can appreciate first hand just how much work goes into the kippot. I tried in vain to recreate Grandmom's handywork. But it simply put too much strain on my wrists. I'm glad to see you got further along than I did. See you at the wedding.


p.s. For those readers who don't know, this is the cousin with the pink and silver kippot. :-)

srosen19 said...

I am looking for a pattern for crocheting kippot that uses heavier wieght and larger hook than the teeny tiny ones with intricate patterns. I've seen some with an open lacy look, sometimes with a Jewish star in the center. But I can't find a pattern.

Can anyone help me?