Celebrate Hanukkah with Yarn

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we’ve all recovered from pumpkin everything, it’s time to start thinking about winter holidays, especially Hanukkah, which this year starts December 2. For those who don’t know, Hanukkah (also spelled as Chanukah) is a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness and of a miracle that occurred 2,100 years ago when a jar of oil—just enough for one day—lasted eight days. Most of us are probably familiar with the traditional customs of Hanukkah: playing the dreidel, eating oil-fried foods (including potato latkes and a type of doughnut known as sufganiot), and lighting a candle on the menorah each night of Hanukkah.

For those celebrants who want to add some fiber fun to your evening activities, here are a couple sweet Hanukkah crafts that are perfect for kids (and for using up some of your yarn bits and pieces). First, the blog Gingerbread and Snowflakes features an easy Star of David pattern made by winding yarn around two pieces of cardboard. It’s a fun project that is easy for little ones who might have better luck handling thicker yarns.

The other Hanukkah craft, from Sara Rivka Dahan of Creative Jewish Mom, uses bits of cardstock (like the kind used to make cereal boxes) and a thinner yarn (think 8/2 cotton) to create geometric star shapes on a round background. Dahan suggests using these as toppers for presents or stringing them up like garland. While she used naturally colored string for her garland, she also suggests trying out metallic or layering different colors to create fun effects. If you are celebrating with a child too young to do the yarn wrapping, consider letting them decorate the cardstock before wrapping the star around it and make this Hanukkah craft a family affair!


Sandee Jaastad’s Chanuka Placemats are the perfect addition to your holiday table. Photos by George Boe.

If you’re looking for something for yourself—and you want to weave a showstopper in time for Hanukkah—we suggest getting the loom warped up for Sandee Jaastad’s Chanuka Placemats from the March/April 2018 issue of Handwoven. Sandee uses an 8-shaft point twill with just a hint of inlay to create her gorgeous menorah motif. Weave the placemats as is or simply use Sandee’s menorah motif. In fact, the motif-pattern area is only about 50 ends wide, so it would be a snap to warp and weave a fairly narrow piece of cloth with all eight menorah designs to quickly trim an apron or a store-bought runner.

Whatever you do, I hope these ideas add a bit of fibery goodness to your Hanukkah celebrations!

Happy Weaving!

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