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!