This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for September 27th, 2010

Tatted Etrog Bag Pattern

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 27, 2010

Dried Etrog

I have the feeling that this pattern will be of little interest to anyone but me! This week we are in the middle of Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. ┬áMy husband has been saving etrogs (the fruit that is held and waved with the other Four Species) for years, since he came to Israel and long before I met him. He hangs them in the sukkah for decorations. At first, he used to tie heavy thread to the stem end of the etrog but sometimes the stem breaks off. So a few years ago he started asking me to make bags for the dried etrogs from the previous year. Fortunately, I only have to make two bags a year, for my husband’s and my son’s etrogs, but every year I have to remember how I did it.

I’ve knitted, crocheted, netted, knotted, and tatted bags. Tatting is by far the easiest and fastest method. If anyone is interested in a crocheted version, let me know and I’ll post a pattern. But I’m not expecting a huge clamour for the pattern because hanging dried etrogs in little bags isn’t a very widespread practice!

If you don’t have a bunch of dried etrogs crying out for little bags, you can use this bag to hang other decorations, like fresh fruit, satin balls that have lost their hooks, coloured eggs, whatever is roundish and strikes your fancy.

Tatted etrog net

Tatted Etrog Bag

One shuttle
Perle cotton 8

1. Large ring: R1-3-3-3-3-3-2. Close. The base ring has 6 picots separated by three stitches. You don’t have to make such a large ring if you are enclosing an object with a rounded bottom. I make a large ring to accommodate the sharp point at the bottom of the etrog.

2. Small ring: Leave 1″ thread. R2+2, joining the picot of the small ring to one of the picots of the large ring. Close. ┬áRepeat 6 times so that 6 small rings are joined to the large ring, each small ring separated by 1″ of thread.

3. Small ring: Leave 1″ thread. R2+2, joining the picot of the small ring to the thread loop of the previous round. Work in spiral fashion around and around until your bag is about 3 inches long. I find that 5 rounds is sufficient to cover the etrog.

4. To close the bag, cut the thread from the shuttle, leaving a tail of about 12″ from the last ring. Run the tail through the loops. Insert the etrog and pull the tail end like a drawstring.

Chag sameach! (and thanks to Penelope for pointing out to me that I’d forgotten #4.)

Fresh etrogs for sale at work:

Etrogs for Sukkot

Neighbour reading at night in his sukkah, which is much more elaborate than ours. In case you’re wondering, the sukkah is constructed in a public courtyard and I was walking along a public path, so this isn’t the same as photographing someone in his house.

Sukkah at night

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Video: Where Good Ideas Come From

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 27, 2010

This is a video promo for Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. I enjoyed it. He makes some good points about connecting with other people and ideas. At Harvard we were constantly encouraged to interact with students and teachers at wine and cheese parties, deans’ teas, in library conversation rooms, and so on. Then I came to Israel in the 1990s. What a difference! At Hebrew U, no one seemed to talk to each other. Some scholars in the National Library reading rooms were rumoured to hide their notes when they went out for coffee so that no one could steal their ideas. I wonder whether the academic culture has changed since then.

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