If you've arrived here from the Eastside Fiber Arts website, please click on the link at the left to go to our new site's pattern page to download the most up-to-date kippah pattern!
Because the kippah itself is very plain, you can add some visual punch to it by starting it with a decorative edge in place of the garter stitch band.
If you are new to the concept of slip-stitch mosaic designs, I strongly recommend getting hold of a copy of Barbara Walker's Charted Knitting Designs or Mosaic Knitting, the definitive books on the topic. She describes the technique in great detail and many of the designs in her books, while looking quite complex, can be easily done.
If you don't have access to Barbara's books, there are two very good resources available on the Net: The first, Esther Bozak's excellent online introduction to the technique, along with Esther's sample patterns to try.
The second is the article by Kristi Porter in the Summer 2003 issue of knitty.com, which includes a lesson on reading charts.
And speaking of charts, I would now like to apologize publicly for making a major faux pas design-wise: thankfully someone wrote and pointed out to me that only one of the four small designs that appear on page 3 of my kippah pattern is suitable for mosaic knitting. The main principle of mosaic knitting is that you only knit one color per pattern row while slipping the second color without knitting. Therefore, the color which is being slipped must exist at the same spot in the row immediately below it.
Look Ma! No carries!
As Wendy would say, "I'm a Putz!" (By the way, Wendy has some neat mosaic designs, on her site, including totes.)
Gaffed Mosaic Designs:
Mosaic Design Chart Redux:
(Shown are three different charts and the little bar on the far right tells you which color you should be knitting in that round. You can right-click and save this chart to your own computer.)
All these designs need a foundation row. Once you've cast on your kippah onto your circular needle, don't immediately join for the next round. Instead, purl back on your cast-on row for the foundation row and then join the round and join in your contrast color yarn. What is important for us since we are knitting in the round, is that every slip-stitch is slipped with the yarn held at the back and that slipped stitches are always slipped purl-wise.
Spot the Boo-boo
Now, the designs that I mistakenly tagged as mosaic designs are still usable: You can either knit them as stranded designs, i.e. holding one color of yarn in each hand or, if you don't have the hang of two-handed knitting yet, you can do the following:
on the first round, knit the CC stitches and slip the MC stitches
on the second round, slip the CC stitches and knit the MC stitches
on Round 3, purl the CC stitches and slip the MC stitches
on Round 4, slip the CC stitches and purl the MC stitches
What you've just done is knit 4 rows which is the equal of one row of the chart. (While this works fine for such small patterns and for the short run, in the long run it's worthwhile learning how to knit with both hands.) However, exactly like stranded knitting, you must keep a loose tension on the working yarn when you slip the slipped stitches. If your tension is too tight, your knitting will pucker vertically. One way to help avoid this problem is by keeping your knitting bunched up on the left needle and spread out on your right needle, just like what we do when there are too few stitches on the circular needle but, goldarnit!, we're not switching to double pointed needles just yet! :->
Other edges: On future kippahs, I'd love to try entrelac or domino edges or even lace. Since I am so indecisive about what kind of edge to try, in all probability I will do a provisional cast-on with scrap yarn (the "Scoop & Dip" method) and first knit the crown of the kippah and then go back and knit the edge, if I've made up my mind by then. :)
I hope you find this information helpful for your own kippah. Please leave a comment any time if you need help with a technique or have a question, and don't forget to show off your finished kippah to the rest of us.