A prayer shawl will provide warmth, solace and inspiration to its recipient, if it is made correctly. Created in 1998 as part of a Christian ministry by Janet Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo, prayer shawls are knit with prayerful intentions, blessed by clergy and passed along to the elderly, the infirm and others in need. Knitting a prayer shawl for someone can help that person endure a difficult time, such as mourning or stress, or celebrate an event such as marriage or childbirth.
Say a prayer, wish or blessing to dedicate your prayer shawl plan. Light a candle or play quiet, meditative music, if desired. Remain mindful throughout the knitting process of your spiritual intentions, focusing positive energy on your craft and directing prayers toward the shawl recipient.
Select soft, thick yarn in the color of your choice. Cast 54, 57 or 60 stitches, in multiples of three. Knit three and purl three to complete the first row. Start the second row with opposite stitches, purling three and knitting three. Always perform the opposite stitch in alternating rows.
Complete the prayer shawl when it measures "wrist to wrist," or approximately 57 to 58 inches long. Add finishing touches, such as fringe, by cutting equal lengths from the leftover yarn and slip-knotting at even intervals along the end rows. Attach beads or charms to the fringe.
Say a final blessing or prayer over the completed prayer shawl. Arrange for a clergy member to make an official blessing for the shawl, or group of shawls, during a church service or as part of a special ceremony.
Donate the prayer shawl, or give it as a gift. Choose a specific individual whom you already know, or donate to a hospital or other charitable organization. Form a group in your church to create and distribute multiple prayer shawls to members of the community in need.
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