For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Dye, Dye Enu

haggadot.jpg
Dear Ann,
Passover is upon the House of Kay. My brisket is a-braising, my dried fruit compote is a-stewing, and my Streit’s matzohs are as dry and boardy as the boxes they come in. My favorite culinary moment so far came when I got a text from a friend in search of a good non-potato kugel recipe. Thanks to AutoCorrect, I bragged to her about my Fearful Stuffing. (I meant “farfel”: look it up.) We shall forevermore call it Fearful Stuffing. So tasty it scares you half to death.
The Passover Seder is a ritual retelling of the Biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The word “seder” means “order.” There is an order to the telling of the story; typically everybody at the table has a copy of a book that takes the group through the customs and readings. The book is called a haggadah. For a big family, you need a lot of them. A classic American haggadah is the Maxwell House Haggadah. These are still given out at the grocery store at Passover time, but people tend to prefer the Maxwell House edition that was on their table when they were kids. But there are many, many versions of the Haggadah. The story–a struggle for release from slavery into freedom–is a metaphor for many themes in human history and experience. So there is a liberation haggadah, a feminist haggadah, and of course there is a coloring book haggadah.
Dear Annie Modesitt tweeted yesterday that there should be a knitters’ haggadah. Right on, Annie! Let’s write one! Since the holiday starts at sundown tonight, we can’t get the thing completely done in time for this year. Here’s a few bits to cut and paste into your Maxwell House Haggadah.
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Page 1 of the Maxwell House Deluxe Edition: The Seder Plate is placed on the table in front of the knitter. A special Seder Plate or a Chinet paper plate may be used. Shown above is a traditional assembly for the Seder Plate which includes the following sacramental foods of knitters (photos):
tea
chocolate
Pirate’s Booty
chocolate
Scotch whiskey
yarnofaffliction.jpg
Page 7: The Knitter then elevates the dish containing the Euroflax Sportweight Linen, and all at the table take hold thereof and say:
This is the Yarn of Affliction, which our ancestors knit in the land of Egypt; let all who have bamboo needles, enter and knit thereof. This year we are knitting linen, which is hard on our hands, but next year we hope to knit handspun cashmere from the land of Mongolia.
The Knitter then opens the door of the home so that the prophet Elizabeth may enter.
Page 9. The Four Questions. Fill the cups with wine the second time. The youngest present then asks the Four Questions.
“Wherefore is this night distinguished from all other nights? Any other night, the Knitter is knitting and watching Mad Men, but on this night only DVRing her programs; all other nights we may eat Lunchables for dinner, but tonight the Knitter has set before us a meal….” and so forth.
Page 19 : Every knitter takes a drop from their iced or hot beverage as they recite in unison the 10 Plagues that were visited upon the manufacturers of cheap crappy yarns:
Pilling
Felting
Fading
Splitting
Not Being From a Smoke-Free, Pet-Free Home
Itching
Causing Diverse Kinds of Allergic Reactions
Being The Color of Ladies’ Underpants
Knots
MOTHS
Page 10. And it is related of Rabbi Bordhi, Rabbi Jared, Rabbi Meg the daughter of Elizabeth, Rabbi Franklin and Rabbi Lucy that they once met (on the night of Stitches East) in Bal-Timore and spoke of the departure from Poly-Esther all that night, until their disciples came, and said thus: Masters, the time hath arrived to drink the morning latte.
Page 17: And the Knitters were redeemed from synthetic fibers, by the cord of I, by the magic cast-on of Judy, and by the knitting of socks on two circulars. The people of Knittra-el were led from slavery unto extruded synthetic fibers to the the pure natural fibers that are our rightful home. We celebrate our freedom with an Artichoke French and a bag of kettle corn.
Next year, in Rhinebeck!
To all who celebrate this weekend, be it Passover, Easter, or springtime, have a good time, and don’t be afraid of the kugel.
Love,
Kay

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116 Comments

116 Comments

  1. My mother has yet to relinquish her Seder duties (not that I’m complaining), but I am so steal, er, borrowing this and hosting a Knitters’ Seder for my knitting group next year!

  2. Marvelous! Thank you for the smile this gave me!

  3. I like the Haggadah very much. But can scotch be kosher for passover? Just wondering. I am an Episcopalian so Scotch is almost always OK. When two or three are gathered together, there is often a fifth.

  4. beautiful!

  5. Lovely! And yes, next year may there be handspun cashmere for everyone.

  6. You’d better get this into book proposal form and get it to your publisher pronto, so the Knitter’s Haggadah is out in time for next year!

  7. Absolutely loved this. Looking forward to seeing the finished Knitters’ Haggadah.

  8. what a joy! you definitely should write the Knitters’ Haggadah!

  9. We here are celebrating the start of outdoor home maintenance task season. Pried up rotten boards on the back deck, looked at the grass we try to pull out of the garden every year without success… I think we will join you in spirit as you celebrate with chocolate and scotch!

  10. I saw chocolate covered matzos in the store yesterday for the first time.

  11. I could not love this post more.
    My matzo balls are in the fridge about to be balled, and we DO have the old Maxwell house haggadahs. Always have.
    Unfortunately, my seder does not have knitters at it, but I am bringing a printout of your post since they all are used to me making weird knitting comments anyways, and I think it’s Hilarious. (My husband always says that if anyone ELSE laughs, it’s gravy).
    Happy, Happy Pesach and Next Year in Rhinebeck!

  12. Madeline Tosh!
    l’chRowan!
    Manos Ball Soup!

  13. love(1000)

  14. High Larious religious heresy!

  15. As a veteran of more decades than I care to admit of Seders based on Maxwell House hagaddahs, and as someone who spent all morning making gefilte fish from scratch, I salute your revisions. When will you be publishing the Fearful Farfel recipe?

  16. As a veteran of more decades than I care to admit of Seders based on Maxwell House hagaddahs, and as someone who spent all morning making gefilte fish from scratch, I salute your revisions. When will you be publishing the Fearful Farfel recipe?

  17. This is the best! (But I think Pirate’s booty might be chamatz)
    Still love those Maxwell house haggadahs–my sisters and I would count the pages until the “festive meal”, and we would try to figure out the stains in the haggadahs from years past.
    Happy Pesach!

  18. I laughed so hard I almost peed! Thank you!

  19. Fabulous! Yes, next year, in Rhinebeck!

  20. When we lived in Alaska, we were chosen (strongarmed?) to be the Seder family for our Catholic church’s traditional/ symbolic Seder supper, the prelude to a potluck soup and bread dinner after Good Friday services. (Probably because we had a big enough family- 6 kids- to fill the head table so they didn’t have to coordinate 2 or 3 smaller families.) I don’t think my two oldest daughters (8 and 10 at the time) have forgiven me yet for the bitter herbs, which they enthusiastically shoved in their mouths, started chewing, and then realized a- they weren’t kidding about the “bitter” part and b- that everyone was looking at them and they couldn’t spit it out! My 11yo son however, became a lifelong fan of charoset (a cinnamony chopped apple-honey salad) and made it weekly for the next few months. Ahh, memories. Misty water-colored memories. :)

  21. Love it!

  22. My favorite part is “Poly-Esther.”

  23. If moths are the tenth plague, is there a recommended liquid to smear over our doors so that the Angel of Moths will pass us by? Because I could sure use some!

  24. Best seder EVER. Thank you for the tears of laughter and let’s hope the hiccuping stops soon :)
    May I bring you some glad tidings? Lo, we have some very nice cashmere being grown, combed, spun and savored right here in the US!

  25. Hi, it’s Elizabeth, I’ll be right over, thanks for leaving the door open for me!

  26. LOL. loved it! Passover blessing to you all!

  27. And no leavened yarn shall be used for the next seven days.
    Happy Passover, Kay! Joyeuses Paques, Ann!

  28. Absolutely hysterical. Especially the meeting of the rabbis,pitch perfect parody. (You should get off twitter more often!). Happy fearful kugel to all!
    xo

  29. I love this more than baby bunnies! Many thanks and Happy Spring!

  30. Brilliant! Chag Sameach!

  31. Must agree with Gail–that your humor should not be a light hidden under Gideon’s jug of limited Twitter characters, but should shine forth in all color and words and characters!!!!
    Thank you for making me laugh and feel the communal table of the Knit and Purl!!!

  32. So funny!! Thanks for the big old laugh!

  33. I was giggling out loud by the end, thanks!!

  34. I love this. It’s marvelous.

  35. This could go in the knitter hall of fame.

  36. Substitute Utz Reduced Fat (every little bit helps) Kettle Chips for the Pirate Cooties and I’m in. xoc

  37. Ha ha ha!!! Laughing out loud till tears are coming from my eyes. Next year in Rhinebeck!!

  38. As a catholic whose son attended an orthodox jewish nursery school (don’t ask why), I am laughing hard.
    Just one question, couldn’t we call Ms Swansen “Meg Bat Elizabeth”?
    margieinmaryland

  39. Bravo!!

  40. Have a zizze (autocorrect does not like Yiddish, either) Pesach.
    But those things on the Knitter’s Seder plate aren’t kosher l’pesach!!!
    But I will partake of that story and wishes.

  41. I am SO linking to this on Facebook! Sharing this with everyone..

  42. Back home from our Nashville-style seder . . . dayenu! Then this! Loving it.
    I am fascinated by these Maxwell House haggadahs, because Maxwell House coffee was first served at the Maxwell House Hotel here in Nashville, and was a Nashville company. Husband Jon has never seen one before! Too funny.

  43. Too, too good….

  44. LOL. You had me at the Prophet Elizabeth.
    My daughter finds the 10 plagues unpleasant, so we substituted our own plagues this year, including the Plague of Traffic and the Plague of Toddlers. Definitely have to add Pilling and Itching for next time.

  45. So funny, so clever! Thank you, Thank you. You will never know how much I needed this today!

  46. This is wonderful!

  47. Brillant! All of you, blogger and commentors.
    THanks to Annie for kicking this off!

  48. You are quite insane, but in a good way. I hope your salmon was up to scratch. Who won the One Breath this year? B & N x x x

  49. Even this good Methodist enjoyed this!

  50. that was brilliant!!!

  51. Nothing else could have made me laugh this morning, zonked from the first of 2 seders. I don’t even KNIT, but your post transcends all.

  52. You made my day, even though I am not cooking for my holiday (Easter) – just singing a lot and taking the family out. Us knitters definitely have it together!

  53. My Jewish, but sort of non-knitting husband (he breathes a lot of fumes) just broke down howling with laughter and asked me to please respond and tell you that this is freakin’ outstanding. I concur. Happy Passover!

  54. Fabulous. Please. I need all the pages!! ; )

  55. ROFLMAO
    My only sadness here is that I have ab-so-lutely no one to share it with in person! My Jewish relatives and friends don’t knit, my knitting friends don’t know from Haggadot, and never the twain shall meet. Very funny post. Happy holidays.

  56. Dear Kay,
    Thank you so much for the educational post about Passover and the Seder. I have a much better idea now how this works. You are so smart to translate it into the “Knitters”.
    We celebrate Easter tomorrow, I am greatful to you and Anne for your Blog and books and the nice ladies that you are, always enriching my life

  57. What a stitch this is! Almost makes the tedium of the occasion bearable. Thanks!

  58. OH, Kay, this is hilarious in its perfection. I’m still laughing. The Prophet Elizabeth – priceless.
    One big request: get it published – and one little request: red wine (yes, there are good kosher vintners, it’s not all Mogen David. Or if it has to be distilled liquor, tequila. Or cosmopolitans, the tradition in my knitting group).
    ps: chickadee, don’t feel too bad. I’m a gentile knitter who got it. Try your knitting friends!

  59. Loved this – funny & sweet. I wish you & all the knitters Happy Everything!

  60. You’re a genius. May the matzah be good to you.

  61. I laughed so hard at this especially since I just swatched a linen yarn for the first time in my life and all of a sudden that cute, easy, little cardigan is looking like an 11th plague. May the prophet Elizabeth be welcomed in all our hearts and homes as we forge our passage into the land of knitting without tears.

  62. Not being Jewish, or knowing anyone Jewish, this was little more than a puzzle for me. There for a minute I thought that knitting acutally had something to do with Passover. Suffice to say I missed that lecture on other religions.

  63. Love this. Will share it at Seder. One of my grandmas had the maxwell house haggadot, and I was given the same part to read EVERY time I was at her house. We have the newer, more modern one now and every year, no matter how we are arranged around the table, one of the non-Jews (and there are many in our family) always gets the part with all of the rabbi’s names. These are MUCH easier to pronounce.
    L’shana tovah.

  64. …if only my Goldstein relatives were alive to read THIS….what a good ole’ belly laugh!! Happy days to you all…here’s to a beautiful spring!

  65. Oh Kay, this is wonderful! Happy, Happy Passover to you and yours!

  66. This is BRILLIANT. Poly-Esther indeed! You MUST do the full haggadah for next year! Although now you’ve made me hungry for my friend Kathi’s noodle kugel. She makes the best noodle kugel in the WORLD, but unfortunately lives many miles away from me. And it just doesn’t taste the same when I make it. But we definitely need your Fearful kugel recipe, please!

  67. That. Was. AMAZING! Yes! Next year in Rhinebeck!

  68. (Fifth question: Who shall par-take-th of the Scotch whiskey…..?)
    Kay, there’s no doubt about it girl, YOU ROCK! (and I ain’t jest a sayin’ that fer the whiskey, neither.)
    Happy Holidays to all!
    LoveDiane

  69. Loved, peg, the Episocpalian’s query about the Kosherness of Scotch! Of course, it must be, if it’s single malt!!!!
    L’Chaim from another Episcopalian…..oh and Happy Easter, too.
    Loved the post a bunch…can’t wait to show it to my spousal unit, who should get a hearty laugh.

  70. That was just brilliant. Such a smile you gave me. So many wonderful bits I can’t begin to list them.
    Next year, in Rhinebeck! And may everyone have a joyous celebration this week-end.

  71. This seder-less knitting Jewish girl loves you more than life. Thanks for your peerless cleverness and witty writing that never fails to bring joy.

  72. I laughed out loud at this! and yes, I sat at the after-Sedar chat last night knitting away.
    (loved those old Maxwell house Haggadahs – always remember our favorite page where it said “dinner is served”)

  73. Well done!

  74. Amen, and amen.
    :)

  75. As I sit here chomping on chocolate-covered matzo (it’s Easter morning–we Red Sea pedestrian’s need some chocolate too!) and I am laughing hysterically. You need to add the handwashing parts! And, if you split the cashmere in two hanks someone can search for the other half!
    Thanks for brightening my day!

  76. This was great-thank you! My niece sat at the seder knitting and I wish I had brought mine.
    Chag Sameach!

  77. Best new haggadah idea EVER! Sorry Safran-Foer and Englander, your non feminist (King of the universe, really. Four SONs?? Have you two been hiding under a rock since the 70’s? Oops, you weren’t even born then. Read some Pogrebin before you publish next time). Excuse me , I digress. Loved the knitters Haggadah. Can’t wait for it to be embellished upon. . .

  78. What a chuckle. I’m not Jewish, but have attended a few Seders. This would be the most fun:)

  79. Omg I love you fully and completely.

  80. chag pesach and happy easter
    i am late the deviled eggs are gone?
    i will go with the scosch and soda ise a presby

  81. “Next year, in Rhinebeck!” about cracked me up! My mother never did anything for Passover when I was growing up, makes me feel left out and a bit sad. Trying to figure out what to do with the girls, we don’t have any books like that and here in the South I doubt very much I would find that pamphlet!

  82. Brilliant!
    We always sign the front page of our haggadot….it’s so much fun to see who had our book last year, and to see the shaky signatures of the rapidly growing kids!

  83. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “That was good to the last drop!”

  84. I have always wished to be Jewish (culturally–not religiously, so this is kind of an empty desire), so reading this has made me insanely jealous that I don’t celebrate Passover.
    Damn Catholic ancestors. They are no fun. Can’t even tell the difference between a wedding and a funeral.

  85. Note to file: obvious opportunity for seder cushion pattern here.

  86. Hilarious! I so wish I had read this before I went to the community seder last night. Our first night seder was just us, and no one else here understands the hardship of linen and the redeeming qualities of cashmere. L’chaim!

  87. Thanks so much for that, Kay! I haven’t read anything that laugh-out-loud funny in a long time.

  88. This was great. You really must put together the entire Haggadah. Many friends will love it. I did, and I’m just a recovering Catholic/newly Episcopalian who’s happened to attend a few Seders.

  89. ok.. this is so brilliant.. so brilliant…

  90. BAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!
    I was at an “alternative passover” seder yesterday and oh man, I would have loved for it to have been a knitters’ seder instead of the hippie mess it turned out to be.

  91. This Presbyterian with Jewish extended-family roots laughed so hard she cried and scared the dog. Please, please, please have this published, with appropriate credit to the lovely Annie Modesitt

  92. ok.. this is so brilliant.. so brilliant…

  93. Hilarious! I almost spit out mine cup of afternoon coffee. And I’m not even terribly familiar with the Seder/Haggadah format. Loved it. Thanks, Kay!

  94. You had this Lutheran girl cracking up! Thanks for sharing your hilarious story.

  95. We made the pilgrimage to my husband’s family seder this year and the haggadah there is a bit unorthodox. There is much singing of the type like the plagues set to show tunes. Good Jewish fun. I think we had a potato-less kugel too but my daughter (one day short of her ninth birthday) thought it was granola with raisins, not kugel with mushrooms. Thankfully she was sitting across the table with cousins some number of times removed and they had to deal with it.

  96. Wonderful. Let all who are at loose ends come and knit!
    Maxwell House did a massive update on the language last year, so you really do have to hoard the old ones if you are nostalgic. The history of the Maxwell House haggadah is pretty fascinating… and of course, it’s the one most widely used!
    We had over 50 for our seders, sang a lot, barely slept, and had a wonderful time. Not trying to brag or anything, but I think we have the best Chad Gadya. It’s broken furniture in the past.
    Only bad news, my Honey Cowl in progress is still in Michigan!

  97. I think this is hysterical. Love it.. Jane

  98. Ha. Hahahahaha!

  99. Kill.ing.me.
    “color of ladies’ underpants”

  100. Brilliant. So clever.
    Thank you.

  101. “The Yarn of Affliction” made me burst out laughing!
    When he was 5, my half-Catholic, half-Quaker son declared that he was also half-Jewish (he wanted to be just like his friend Ben and to hell with the math), so we have a menorah that he hand-painted that we bring out every year, and every year he participates in Ben’s family Seder. He is 12 now… I wonder if he expects a bar mitzvah….

  102. love this…especially the madmen/knitting…my sister and I are there!
    I might have to convert….

  103. amen.

  104. I love your Knitter’s Seder. Can all knitters participate, or do we have to be a Jewish knitter? I already love the matzoh, but I’m sure that isn’t enough to qualify.

  105. Happily I’m reading this at the end of Passover, not the beginning – otherwise our guests would have had a definite surprise!

  106. O, golly…just think what might transpire should you decide to have your way with Counting Omer….

  107. That was great!

  108. What a wonderful, creative post. Thank you for sharing!
    Sara

  109. That was awesome with awesome sauce!

  110. LOVE!

  111. This made me happy.

  112. This might be the funniest thing I’ve read all month!

  113. Genius. The picture of the seder plate alone is priceless.
    I think you’ve found the beginning’s of your next book – “if the world were run by knitters”.

  114. One more comment, way after the fact. LOVE the knitters version of the Hagaddah! I will try to incorporate this into my Seder next year!!!

  115. Like, like, very much like!

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