Archive for category yarmulkes

Hand Painted Silk Hamsa Tallis

Hamsa Tallis Set

This was a very challenging project for me in many ways.

After my decision to restart with a black outline,  I realized I was out of both black resist and silk. I quickly ordered more. Fortunately, Dharma Trading, where I buy all my silk supplies, has VERY fast shipping. My supplies arrived in less than a week. But meanwhile, my whole family had been hit with this awful flu that’s been going around New England this spring. A cough that has moved in and is building a permanent abode in each one of our chests. It knocked me flat for more than a week. It took some time before I could even look at the silk, let alone get started. In fact my package from Dharma sat, unopened, on my counter for days.

Hamsa Tallis, front view

I finally stopped trying so hard, and as is the case with many things in life, when I let go and let God… well things just started to flow.Finally feeling almost human, I began work. But…  as per my last blog post, the color swatch just didn’t seem to go with anything! Every  color combination I picked was, at first, just awful.

… but in the end. WOW.  I LOVE how it came out.  I hope you do too.

A note about the symbolism of the Hamsa.

Closeup of Hamsa

It is one of my favorite Jewish symbols. A symbol of protection the hamsa is supposed to represent the hand of God. The stylized symbolic hand has been seen in many cultures throughout history including Middle Eastern religions and African cultures.  For me personally, it is a unifying symbol. All humans regardless of race or creed have hands in common, after all. 

The Atarah or “crown” of the tallis

traditionally has the prayer we say when donning the tallis. This one has a different prayer it reads:

“May my heart be opened, may my spirit become clear, as I envelop myself in the tallit.” which comes from  The Book of Blessings .

Kippah with 4 hamsasThis is the first kippah I made to go with the tallis. It is very pretty, but it is also a bit big; much more suited to an adult than a young bat mitzvah. I will list this larger one on my etsy site to be sold separately.






Kippah to match Hamsa Tallis

The next kippah is much smaller. A better fit, it will accompany the tallis.









A view of the kippah showing kippah keepers sewn inAs always, Kippah keepers are sewn securely in place. This yarmulke will NOT fall off!


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Hand Painted Silk Tallit: Bluebirds in Autumn…

Tallis Sketch with White Background

A new tallis is in the making. Bluebirds in Autumn…

These are the sketches I made for it. My customer prefers a bit of a background. I prefer the plain white background. I think I may adjust somewhere in between, a paler cream background so the birds and leaves still pop like they do on the white.

We’ll see how close it comes out… I’ll be working on it most of the day today while my husband watches the kids… he doesn’t know this yet, I’d better go break the news.

Tallis Sketch with Yellow Background

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My (Failed) First Attempts at Making Yarmulkes for Men.

Well these, of course…

I have made many lovely feminine kippot, ones with flowers and vines, but I just got an order for three gentleman’s yarumlkes. Oh no! I had had this sneaking suspicion that eventually I’d have to come up with a more masculine design, after all it is men who usually wear these things, but I get so carried away and needle felting lends itself so easily to florals…

Several failed attempts later… I made these two after much research and deliberation. (I looked at my husbands ties.)





Just about as masculine as I was able, then I couldn’t stomach it anymore and I did this one. …

All the while I was making it I was picturing it photographed in a blanket of fluffy white snow. Then the storm began. …

Why is it that just when you are getting comfortably agnostic again these strange things seem to happen?









Back to the drawing board… Yuk and more yuk. Then … I was inspired by the fluffy box of bunny that arrived in the mail. I made this one with pettable softness, yummy angora!

The grey tipped leaves are actually the natural fur color. Is that cool or what? I am so glad that blackberrydowns sent me the free sample of grey. It was perfect! Thank you, blackberrydowns .











Oh speaking of blackberrydowns, you must see what she can do with a little roving.

Spectaculous. Her little bunnies are so real that my old terrier is yapping at the computer screen.

Don’t worry blackberrydowns I’ll hold him off… We’ll keep your bunnies safe, at least until my garden is growing, then I show no mercy!

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The 2nd of Two Commissioned Kippot

I finished it yesterday just as it was getting, unfortunately, too dark for pictures.

This kippah is made with a different yarn than I normally use for felting. I had to wash it 4 times to get it to shrink almost as much as the others. I used Lamb’s Pride which is a wool/mohair blend. I like the subdued colors of this brand, but it doesn’t full as easily and is a tiny bit scratchier, which isn’t relevant for a kippah so much, but I wouldn’t want to wear a sweater made from it!

I took about 40 pictures today and not one of them showed the background color accurately.
It is a very pretty and subtle teal color, more green than most of these photos show.

So I manipulated the color on this swatch in Photoshop to get it as close as possible, still not quite there, but it will have to do. Best to see this one in person.

This closeup shows the vines nicely. The oranges really pop in sunlight.

I really enjoyed making these! Now the question is… will my charming customer be able to chose?
I’m not sure I could!

My next project (on the needles) is a knitted and fulled kitty cat… a joint effort birthday gift for a sweet almost-7-year-old friend of my DDs’. I will be knitting it and Rowan will be felting the face and embellishments on it herself! Fun. Fun. Fun.

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Commissioned Kippot

I was thrilled to be asked to make a custom Kippah for a lady at our Sisterhood Shabbat on Friday.

As with all commissions, I will be making two choices. The other one is currently in the washer being fulled and will be embellished today, g-d willing.

Here my sweet daughter was willing to model it for me. She’s getting very good at modeling! Ah the things we learn in homeschool!

It came out gorgeous, if I do say so myself! 

The second choice has a more teal colored background. I’m not sure that the orange flowers will work with it. I’ll have to let it happen.

I find that commissioned pieces pose a challenge for me. I have to keep reminding myself to create for me and if I like it so will the customer. I find I begin to focus on what she might want. Now how on earth am I supposed to know that, I’m not a mind reader! So I keep telling myself (out loud, no wonder my kids think I’m nuts) That if I love it so will she. My DD asked me how I know that. Well I don’t, but if I’m not enjoying the process, then what’s the point.

More pictures can be seen on my flikr site:

If you would like to commission a kippah please email me for more info.

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