Prayer shawls are simple shawls or mantles made to be given to those in need of comfort. They may also be called prayer mantles, peace shawls, or comfort shawls. Prayer shawl ministries give shawls to those struggling with health or emotional issues. The significance of a prayer shawl is less in the shawl itself and more in the thoughts, blessings and prayers worked into the shawl as it is knitted, crocheted or woven. Prayer shawls provide both physical and emotional warmth and comfort to those who receive them.
Choosing Yarn and a Pattern
Choose a soft and easily wearable yarn. Keep laundering ease in mind, especially if you are making a donation to charity. Lion Brand Homespun yarn is frequently suggested for prayer shawls; however, superwash wools, washable cotton blends, and other soft acrylics can all be practical choices. If you prefer to make a finer and more delicate shawl, consider a superwash fingering weight sock yarn. Select colors that will be well liked, but do not hesitate to choose lively or vivid colors rather than neutral ones. Also, keep warmth and durability in mind.
Blessing the Shawl
Before you begin work on the shawl, say a prayer, blessing or meditation for the recipient. While most of these prayers are traditionally Christian in nature, choose one that fits your personal faith or the faith of the intended recipient. Place your hopes for peace, recovery and well being into the shawl from the beginning of your work. Keep this in your mind and heart as you work on the shawl. Finally, when the shawl is completed, say another prayer or blessing over it. Include a hand written card with your shawl, choosing your words carefully, particularly if you are unsure of the recipient's situation.
Prayer Shawl Patterns
The most common knitted prayer shawl pattern is a simple knit three, purl three pattern. On the wrong side, knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stiitches. While patterns set in threes are common for these shawls, you can select any shawl pattern you prefer and work in knit or crochet. A simple pattern may allow you to meditate or to pray as you work on the shawl. Do, however, choose a pattern that you will find joy in creating, whether that is a simple garter stitch or single crochet rectangle or an involved lace pattern.