Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prayer Shawls

A dear friend of mine has recently had a pretty tough time as her 23 year old daughter died after a battle with cancer. I can not imagine any grief worse than losing a child, particularly at such a young age. Her daughter had a melanoma removed about 2 years ago, discovered secondaries early this year, and was cremated at the beginning of the month.

It is hard to know what to say or do as nothing seems adequate.

After doing some research I decided to make her a prayer shawl. I have never done one of these before, however I found it comforting for my soul as I thought of her situation, and prayed for her comfort. I am not a deeply religious person, however something about tragedy does make us consider our own mortality.

In researching prayer shawls I discovered the Prayer Shawl Ministry and this wonderful site:

While I haven't been blogging I have been busy. Here is a picture of the shawl I made for my friend. It is in a soft green and cream angora and wool mix. I added little crosses and heart charms onto the fringe which were made from 9 ch, added a charm, and then did another 9 ch, slst in the base.

It took me a while as I made it about 150 cm long. The pattern is an interesting one I found in one of the old weekly crochet journals that I found in a charity store. She has a strong Anglican faith and I felt the green was a soothing colour and I like how it turned out. I plan to give it to her in the next week.

Another colleague of mine recently lost her Dad. It has been a very difficult time for her as on only child, and as a special daughter. I was originally going to get her some flowers, and then a plant for her office however as the first shawl turned out so well I decided to make another one.
This friend is in her mid 30s so I chose a summery colour called custard by moda vera. I added some little dragon fly charms to the fringe. The decorative stitch is the same as the green one, however I went for a triangle style with plain rows of granny square type pattern in between.
I found a plain card with some pansies on the front and wrote the following verse in side:

“This Shawl was made just for you
To bring comfort, to know you are loved
This Shawl is to wrap you up~~
When you're cold,
When you're hurting
When you need to snuggle,
This Shawl was crocheted with blessings, With Love, With Prayers,”

Crocheted with love by a special friend

Prayer Written By: Gena Kathka, March 16, 2006,, used by permission
On the opposite side of the card I wrote:
"Dear (friend) May this prayer shawl enfold you in warmth, comfort, healing and peace. Think of it as a big hug from your Dad, With Love .."

I left it on her desk at work after she had gone for the day. The next morning I received the following email:
"Thank you so much for the lovely shawl and words on my card. It really meant a lot, it has been a bit hard for me of late, so it was perfect timing. And the flowers on the front of the card ( pansies )are my favourite! I appreciate your kindness in such a difficult time"

I am so pleased I discovered the prayer shawl ministry, and hope my other friend likes hers as well.
Thanks for looking, and make sure to visit the prayer shawl ministry as they do some beautiful work.