Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Kippah Project: Outcome

If I were a real blogger, I'd have pictures to go with this, but I don't.

I couldn't get more yarn on the way to Pittsburgh. (Euroflax sport-weight doesn't seem to be a very widely available yarn. Hmmmm . . . think maybe we should carry it?) But the supply I had held out through the end of the tenth kippah, which was at 4:55 p.m. Saturday--thus almost 24 hours to spare! Well, if you don't count weaving in the ends or blocking the last one.

The ends were an issue of their own; I'd brought along a chibi, but the basic chibi needle (also known as a "Jumbo Bent-Point Darning Needle," the bright gold one) was too big to go through the tight stitches. Ditto the crochet hook with which I'd made them. Hey, lucky me: an excuse to visit a yarn shop in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Knit and Bead also carries only the standard chibi set. (For any of you out there who've tried to buy a smaller tapestry needle at Rosie's, only to be told that Jumbo Bent-Point Darning Needles are the only ones we carry, my apologies. That will be changing.) So I bought another, smaller crochet hook.

Which also proved too big for the job. So by now it's Sunday morning, and one family member or another asks me on an hourly basis, "So, are the kippot finished yet?" (They're all maybe a little better on deadlines than I am.) And I keep answering, "Oh, yeah, it's all fine." I go out early looking for a CVS or a Rite Aid, because they still have little sewing kits sometimes, and I need something with a selection of needles. I find, like, 3 CVSs in the four blocks around the hotel--and none of them open at all on Sundays. Finally, one turns up that opens at 10, and it has those little packets with two dozen different needles. Including a perfectly fine crewel needle that I'm sure has never been the reason anyone has bought that product ever before in the entire history of its production.

I wove in the ends. Yeah, I wound up hitting the last kippah with a hairdryer for a few minutes, just so it would be totally dry by the time someone put it on. Nooooo problem.

When the rabbi arrived for the signing of the ketubah (that's the marriage contract; the bride, groom, rabbi, and a couple witnesses sign it before the actual wedding ceremony), I realized we'd been miscounting all along: my grandmother used to make a kippah for the rabbi and the cantor as well. Not that it's so important that everyone under the chuppah (wedding canopy) should have matching kippot, just that it's a nice gesture to give the rabbi a kippah, as long as the other participants are all getting new ones.

Sigh. Now that it's all pretty much over (I still owe Suzanne and Jill theirs, for future use), I can say that this has been an interesting project in several ways: I don't think I've ever completed a project that was so unpleasant to do. I mean, not everything I knit is a pleasure at every moment, but if a project is being a real misery, it's usually a sign that something's wrong with it, and I either make an adjustment or cancel the project. (Or sometimes abandon it to the back of the closet, like everyone else.)

This one was frustrating (because I felt like the product wasn't very good), slow, high-pressure, and physically painful--and I had to finish it, and I did. I don't have anything meaningful to say about that right now. Maybe in a little while, when I get some photos of the kippot to post, and write up the instructions for how I actually made them.

For now, it's back to work on the Peacock Shawl, and boy, does that feel good.

1 comment:

Sam Freedman said...

Different types of religious organizations has different saying about the wearing of kippahs. Rambam Jewish law suggests to wear the kippahs only during the prayer session and wearing it in the other times is just like a custom.
Wedding Kippahs for Sale