Wednesday, May 11, 2011


K is for knitting.
You remember about the 47 books? Well, I have about as many bags of wool in cupboards, on shelves...shoved here...stuck up there. Wool.

I need to have books that I haven't read yet, waiting for me, and wool that I don't know what to do with waiting for an idea.

It's all Bubbie Channah's A'H fault. See, when I was seven she told me I couldn't sit with 'laydekeh hent'...empty hands. And she taught me how to knit. I made my first sweater that year and I've been knitting ever since. NOT LIKE BUBBIE CHANNAH who gifted everyone she knew with numerous hand knitted items...afghans/ponchos/sweaters/scarves...

When my oldest went into the army I didn't know how to protect him any more. So I began making kippot...crochet yarmulkahs or skullcaps. I figured, since he was religious ( became religious at the age of 12...nice story...another time), I would put all my hopes and prayers into the little things, and when he wore them, their magic would keep him safe. For those of you who know me, you know that this is normal thinking on my part, and for the rest of you, HELLO :)!

 I knew how to crochet...Bubbie Channah again...and I figured out how to make a flat circle, but I didn't have any patterns.

That's when I became a nuisance on the bus. See, sitting in front of me were always religious kids...soldiers, students and each had a kippa. So when I found a pattern that looked gorgeous yet easy enough for me to copy, I would tap the person on the shoulder...knitted kippa people can be hat people don't even think of it!!! I'd tell them my problem, they'd laugh and take off the kippa, leaving their heads uncovered for as long as it took me to mark down the pattern on the graph paper I had begun carrying in my purse.

And off I went. I don't want to brag, but I got so good, I was making a kippa a week and then when I got crazy nervous, a kippa a day!

Thank God the kid made it through those three years of being a I'm not so sure...and he came home and went to college and got a nice job and met a lovely girl and got married. And was expecting their first child...

And the terrible Intifada broke out and he was called to his base and sent to Shchem...Nablus...a very very bad not nice place---very!

This time, I knew I would need more than just those kippot. This time I needed serious knitting! I knit good. I knit without looking at my hands. I can take knitting to the movies. The only reason I never went to sit in on the Demjanjuk trial was I knew I couldn't sit that long with laydekeh hent and didn't want to do a Jewish version of Madame Defarge!

What could be quick like a kippa yet be knitted and keep me busy? AHA---baby sweaters! But the kid wasn't born yet. Bad luck. 'Not if you don't finish it,' Bubbie Channah said.

And, I had two really good girlfriends whose daughters-in-law were also due the week my baby was. AHA, a captive audience.

I started knitting. And I got Bubbie Channah involved. Her job was to do the invisible joining that she always did so well and to make buttons from the same wool for the sweaters.

Then, she started knitting along with me. Baby blankets...sweaters...matching neutral colours since we didn't know who was what yet. And always a something was left undone that needed to be finished after the baby was born.

In the month my kid was in the army we made 150 baby sweaters! And blankets! And hats. We had two suitcases full and overflowing!

The three babies were born tfu tfu tfu. All boys. All got knitted stuff. And we still had more. And more.

We started giving them away to anyone who had a baby. How lovely!

I have one more lion sweater Bubbie Channah made. I'm keeping it...just because.

Since then I really haven't had the desire to do much knitting. Here and there a blanket. Maybe soon.

ps. I have just started teaching my six year old granddaughter to knit...cuz you see she can't sit with leydekeh hent. I know. It's a law! Bubbie Cannah said!

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 10:16 PM, Blogger Kath said...

oh Marallyn how I wish we lived closer so you could teach me and Maia to knit too. We have at least a dozen cherished Bubbie sweaters, (even a lion one) which will perhaps someday be passed along to Bubbie's great, great grandchild. Thanks for sharing these insights of your mama through your blog. I read them to Maia and we so enjoy them! Love You!!

At 9:36 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

hi darling thanks for posting online...Ma loved knitting for maia...and she always knew just how much you appreciated her too...any chance of you moving your trip so we can meet? i'm rather locked in to a schedule...hugs my darling and thank you for being you!!! love you both sooooooo much


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