Thursday, June 01, 2006

A small rant about kippot

I followed a link from West Bank Mama to Jameel at the Muqata, and it reminded me of a rant I've been building up for a while.
Almost the entire plane was dressed in nice yeshivish clothes; dark pants, button-down shirts, shoes, some wore jackets & hats, most wore black suede kippot – there were a few knitted kippot sprinkled throughout the crowd. I honestly don’t think that anyone was wearing jeans, even though many normally would – if even just to fly in comfortable clothes.

(emphasis added)

I don't mean to pick on Jameel. He's not the only one who does this. But--

crochet is not knit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There. I feel better now.

I can understand why it happens, sorta kinda. In Hebrew, both crochet and knit are the same word--serigah. You can do it with one needle (crochet) or with two (knit--but that you could do with more needles, too), but it's always serigah. But why should Hebrew language limitations make such a difference to people whose native language is English, where there is a difference? (Most people I know who speak of "knitted kippot" were wearing kippot long before they started speaking Hebrew on a daily basis.)

Here's a quick primer.

1. There's a difference in the needles.
Knitting needles:

Crochet hooks:
See the difference? Knitting needles look like pins, crochet hooks like -- well -- hooks.

2. There's a difference in the technique. Beware of gross generalizations below. I know it's not quite as simple as I'm making it out to be, but this is just a primer.

In crochet, each stitch is a separare element, a knot. Only one stitch at a time is active.


All stitches in the top row are active, and the stitch itself is more rectangular than square.

3. The product looks different.

Knitted kippah:

Crochet kippah:

See the difference the technique makes in the finished product?

Now go off and ponder this. You're supposed to be up all night tonight studying, anyway. Make some use of your time, take off your kippah (or that of a loved one) and take a good long look at it. Contemplate it over blintzes. Get to know it over cheesecake. Be one with it over a cup of coffee, and then go and mis-name no more. Oh, I'm beginning to feel like Avshalom Kor. Or at least Balashon.

Chag Sameach!


Dave said...

Actually, you know much more about the subject than I do. I think my wife has told me in the past that I've mixed up crocheting and knitting.

Now I need to know the difference between seriga (knitting) and ariga (weaving)...

amysue said...

Thanks for eloquently ranting about one of my pet peeves. Oh and you wouldn't happen to have a pattern for a knitted kippah would you? I don't crochet.

knittnkittn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
knittnkittn said...

I loved the rant and learned a new Hebrew word. :) I just knit my husband a kippah from the following wooly wonder pattern:

He loves it, and it was easy!

Devorah said...

This has always been a pet peeve of mine also -- thanks for letting it loose.

DH and DS DO have knit kippot -- DH has one of Cthulu one of Dust Puppy. DS has a more sedate plain one and a muppaphone one for purim. I knit them as mostly flat circles (increases every other row) and a few sets of every 3rd or 4th row until bind off.

peninah said...

Thank you so much for this post. I've complained about this for years. My FIL (whose Hebrew is fluent whereas mine leaves much to be desired) keeps trying to convince me that the kippot I crochet are definitely knit. Now I know the linguistic reasoning to his determined stance.

The amusing thing is now that I've crochet so many of them I can no longer crochet anything that isn't in circular form. ;)

uhoava gnu said...

Thanks! I enjoyed reading your post about this knit/crochet kippah's. Though, I don't know so much about kippah's .. but what I DO know is that I have to explain so often the difference between knitting and crochet, and I have no idea how it can be so difficult to understand for many people.. It's like telling one of those socker enthusiastics that socker and icehockey are the same. (They are!)

muse said...

also a pet peeve of mine
probably started when some man translated "sruga"

Rachel Ann said...

Thanks for setting the world straight. I use to crochet, but not too much time anymore :(

Bossygirl said...

LOVE the primer. Hope it helps. Stabbing someone with a knitting needle in frustration probably wouldn't be a good thing in the long run (though the immediate gratification could be wonderful for a moment or two. Hee hee!)

Janjan said...

Moze? MOZE? u there?.....Where's Moze?

Jane Dark said...


Eifo ha'at?

You see, I haven't lost all my language.

Hope things are okay.

Heatherly said...

hurray for knitted kippot! i crocheted them for years, but on a recent shop hop i found an old interwe4ave with a KNITTED kippot pattern. i can't wait to try it!

stephanie said...

Moze, I've no idea where you are right now, but am fervently hoping all is well with you and yours. Be safe.

Christina said...

Hi Moze. I'm just stopping by to check on you. Take care, and stay safe.