Through every loop & within each stitch
Coucou, I am Penelope & this is my story. Take a glimpse into my journey of creating, making & living #fiberswithfaith.
Deep down, I knew that I would do something for myself & through that for others, that I would create something & sell it.
I have always been passionate about decorating & creating spaces. I saw myself studying Interior Decor & Design. But in France, where I am from, the competition in this industry is extremely high & unless you go to a top school, there is very little chance of success. Instead, I did different jobs ranging from secretarial work to sales, all of which helped me develop some of the skills, knowledge & confidence I have now.
2011 was my year of change, I was diagnosed with a malignant tumour which was successfully removed but the consequences were life altering. I developed severe anxiety & aside from taking medication to help I had to find other outlets in my life to destress. I started knitting, which has evolved into my work & play of fiber crafting. At the same time I grew closer to my religious beliefs which was pulling at my strings.
For as long as I can remember I had my heart set on living in an English-speaking country, somewhere where I could follow my heart in spiritual growth & connection. It wasn't until I moved to South Africa in 2015 that I felt the unwavering need & comfort to be active in my Yiddishkeit & pursue personal growth in my faith.
When I arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, I started making crochet baskets for Melissa’s - The Food Shop & decor for baby stores. But I found that the networking involved in creating products for other outlets became very stressful & the market was very competitive. It was in 2017 that I did something different, I handcrafted my 1st Bar Mitzvah kippot for twin boys, & thus Penelope D Judaica looped into life.
My Tools of Choice
I learnt some basic skills when I was a little girl & when I started knitting more & more, after my tumour ordeal, my skill level increased. I started learning how to better my fiber crafting skills throughout the years from my husband's grandmother & online tutorials. Now, after so many years of growing my skills, I specialise in various techniques to create my Judaica accessories & decor ranges.
There are 3 main crafting techniques I use to create my products ~ crochet, knitting & macrame.
Crochet is a versatile craft with many different techniques. I use basic crochet techniques for the yarmulke. They are crocheted in spiral rounds with single crochet stitches which I increase at regular intervals to give them the perfect shape & fit.
Knitting is the process of creating & joining loops to create a soft fabric using two needles & a continuous strand of yarn. I use a combination of knit & purl stitches to create the simply beautiful chunky knit challah covers. Aside from the main two stitches I use I spend time playing, creating & crafting with basic patterns to create unique patterns of my own.
Macrame is an ancient craft technique that uses different knots to create an overall pattern or object. The most common macrame knot is the square knot which makes up the base of many of my decor designs.
Each item is crafted with care & precision. I have my base range of kippot & challah covers but am continuously adding to my ranges. Before an item is launched it goes through a process of idea formulation, creation, pattern perfecting, material sourcing & final production. Quality is of utmost importance to me & not only is the craft of each item meticulous but the materials are of high quality. I use only 100% cotton, cotton bamboo combinations & real wool fiber materials which are all sourced from South Africa.
It makes me incredibly proud to create something handmade, with all the imperfect perfections that make each item one of a kind & special. While crafting & creating each item that is purchased, I feel like I am doing a little mitzvah & in turn passing on something truly special & meaningful to you & your family. I hope that each of my Judaica pieces sparks & enhances your Jewish journey with pride & warmth.
Bisous ~ Penelope