How to knit a kippah

Written by sarah clark
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How to knit a kippah
The kippah is a Jewish symbol of devotion. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A kippah is a small head-covering worn by Jewish people. According to the Talmud, the purpose of the kippah is to remind Jewish religious practitioners that God is above them. 'Kippah" is a Hebrew word that means "dome." Its alternative name, "yarmulke," is a Yiddish word that comes from the Aramaic phrase "yira malka," which means "awe of the King." You can knit your own kippah using the circular knitting method. This pattern creates a kippah that is about 4 inches in diameter and 17 inches in circumference.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Sport-weight yarn
  • 16-inch circular knitting needles, US size 3
  • Stitch marker
  • 4 double-pointed knitting needles, US size 3
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take the yarn and cast on 108 stitches onto the circular knitting needles. Begin to cast on by making a slipknot and slipping it on the needle. Then make a small backwards loop and place it on the needle next to the slipknot. Pull the yarn tight. Keep casting on until you have 108 stitches total. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the circle, which is called the round.

  2. 2

    Knit the first round. The knit stitch is made by inserting the right-hand needle upwards through the first stitch on the left-hand needle, with the right-hand needle positioned behind the left-hand needle. Wrap the yarn from back to front around the tip of the right-hand needle. Then bring that yarn downwards through the stitch, catching the yarn as you go. Pull the yarn up onto the right-hand needle so that there is a new stitch on it. Drop the stitch you just worked on the left-hand needle off of that needle. Knit every stitch of the round.

  3. 3

    Purl the next round. The purl stitch is made by inserting the right-hand needle downwards through the next stitch on the left-hand needle. The right-hand needle should be in front of the left-hand needle. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle's tip, going from back to front. Bring the tip of the right-hand needle up through the stitch, catching the yarn as you go so that there is a new loop on the right-hand needle. Drop the stitch you just worked off of the left-hand needle to complete the stitch. Do this for every stitch in this round.

  4. 4

    Knit the next round, then purl the round after that. Repeat this pattern one more time to complete the brim of the kippah.

  5. 5

    Slip the first two stitches of the next round onto the right-hand needle as if you are going to knit them, then insert the left-hand needle into the front of them. Wrap the yarn around the right hand needle and bring it through the two stitches as to knit them together. This technique is called the slip, slip, knit decrease. Make this decrease, then knit seven stitches. Repeat this pattern until you finish the round. Knit the next two rounds.

  6. 6

    Make the slip, slip, knit decrease at the beginning of the next round, then knit 14 stitches. Repeat this pattern until you finish the round. Then knit the next two rounds. Then transfer the stitches from the circular needles to three of the double-pointed needles, so that there are 30 stitches on each needle.

  7. 7

    Make the slip, slip, knit decrease at the beginning of the next round, then knit 13 stitches. Repeat this pattern until you finish the round. Then knit the next two rounds. Then make the decrease at the beginning of the next round, followed by knit 12 stitches. Repeat this pattern until you finish the round. Knit the next round. Then make the decrease at the beginning of the next round, followed by knit 11 stitches. Repeat this pattern until you finish the round. Knit the next round.

  8. 8

    Make the slip, slip, knit decrease, then knit the next four stitches. Repeat this pattern around the round, then knit the next round. Then make the decrease followed by three knitted stitches, repeating the pattern to finish the round. Knit the next round. Make the decrease followed by two knitted stitches, and repeat to finish the round. Knit the next round. Then alternate one decrease with one knitted stitch throughout the next round, then knit the following round.

  9. 9

    Work the slip, slip, knit decrease throughout the entire next round, never knitting an individual stitch. Knit the next round, then work the decrease throughout the following round.

  10. 10

    Cut the yarn with the scissors. Use the tapestry needle to guide the yarn from left to right through the remaining stitches, taking them off of the knitting needles as you go. Turn the kippah inside out so that the bumpy side faces outwards, then weave in the loose ends.

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