This and That

Random bits of my life

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.  My 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.  Repeat 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

10 Responses to “Tatted Etrog Bag Pattern”

  1. Ann Martin said

    You are always teaching me something new – had never heard of an etrog. Google to the rescue and I see some think they were actually the Garden of Eden forbidden fruit, not the apple. Do you use them in recipes or are they rare enough that you would use ordinary lemons instead? Lovely little tatted bag – am sure it would be pretty for other uses too.

    • Avital Pinnick said

      They’re actually rather tasteless, so most people don’t eat them. They have a very powerful scent but as a fruit, you have to add a lot of sugar to make them taste like anything. I’ve tasted candied etrog peel; it wasn’t anything to rave about. They’re grown to be waved during prayers (very stringent requirements), so they’re too expensive to eat. If they were tasty, one could always buy etrogs that didn’t meet the ritual requirements.

  2. Maybe you could set up a nice little annual business making these bags for your annual feasts… There has to be a market for them surely… 🙂

    • Avital Pinnick said

      The market would be a bit limited. As far as I know, only my husband does this (he picked up the idea from friends many years ago). If any other readers out there have heard of hanging old etrogs in the sukkah, I’d like to hear from you!

  3. Penelope said

    Thanks for the pattern, Avital. Perfect for Easter Eggs.
    Does the smell from the etrog (sounds like a word Tolkien would make up) repel mosquitoes? Or don’t you have mossies there in Israel?

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Unfortunately, we do have mosquitos (really fast and small, very difficult to kill) and the etrogs do not repel them! The only thing that works is commercial mosquito repellent.

      • Penelope said

        In May I discovered that ginger root repels mosquitoes. Even when it is dried out. Put a piece in a tatted bag & hang in a window & they will not come into the room.

  4. Penelope said

    I read through your directions & I can’t see how you finish the bag.
    What do you do to close the bag after placing etrog into bag?

  5. Etta J.iberi said

    Avita – Many thanks for the glossary for the Puncetto,. I am promising myself that I will try to get to it after Easter. I really appreciate all that you have put on your site. I have the Puncetto Valsesiano book and know i can manage if I just get start. I am 81 and work constantly on bobbin lace, knitting, tatting and crochet I have done needle lace in the past but nothing like the Puncetto. Again thank you so much for you generosity. etta j. liberi

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