Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Have a Little Dreidel

I made it out of YARN! This pattern includes directions for both an amigurumi toy and a drawstring gelt (loot) bag using the same charts and techniques. The size of the gelt bag can be adjusted by removing or inserting extra repeats of the checkerboard pattern between each letter chart. The colorwork on this is simple enough to make it a good choice for someone who wants to try colorwork for the first time. 

This is a free holiday knitting pattern available through Knit Picks.  Go get yours today!

When Knit Picks put out the call for pattern submission for the holiday collection I knew I wanted to create something just for Chanukah and came up with this stuffed dreidel toy and matching gelt bag.

It was a lot of fun working out the charts for each of the four letters.  

The letters are נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and ש (Shin).  They are the first letters of each of the words in the Hebrew phrase, "nes gadol haya sham" which means "a great miracle happened there."  This refers to the defeat of the Syrian armies of Antiochus by Judah Maccabee and his followers.  When the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple they only had enough oil to keep the eternal flame lit for one day, but instead the flame stayed lit for eight days which was enough time for more oil to be brought.  

After the State of Israel was founded in 1948 the Hebrew letters were changed for dreidels used in Israel. They became: נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and פ (Pey), changing "sham" (there) to "po" (here.)

Gelt is a Yiddish word meaning money.  Traditionally money is given as gift at Chanukah but because of it's proximity to Christmas, many Jews have taken to giving other presents too.

And since this it the season of gift giving, I'm offering 20% off all ArgentGal Designs patterns.  If you're not on Ravelry you can also purchase patterns on etsy.  Just send me a message and let me know which pattern(s) you want and I'll set up the discount.  It's not to late for hand knit gifts! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you explained the historical/religious significance, as I had no idea (being totally atheist and secular myself!) xxx