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.


Andrea Moberly said...

Those are both beautiful shawls. Your friends are certainly blessed by your care for them!

Wormie said...

The prayer shawl is gorgeous and I'm sure it will be comforting to your friend.
I'm sorry for your loss.

Unknown said...

Both of these shawls are BEAUTIFUL. I love the stitch pattern. I'm sure your friends received all of your thoughts, prayers, and warmth without words spoken.

Gigi said...

Both are lovely. The chained "fringe" with the charms is brilliant! It is that extra special touch that takes this gift of warmth over the top. Well done!

Chelle said...

Both of your shawls are beautiful. I participate in the prayer shawl ministry at my church in Tennessee and have been looking for some new patterns. I'll have to check out the website you mentioned to see what they have.

P.S. I love following your blog. It is neat seeing people from other countries participate in a craft I love.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I don't check a lot of blogs, but love your bookmark and these prayer shawls. Do you share/sell the patterns for these? We have a prayer shawl group at our church and would love to get these patterns. If you would post on your blog how to get them, I'd appreciate it. You do the most beautiful and creative work.

Amy said...

How thoughtful. I once made an afghan for a friends little girl having open heart surgery at 6 mos. old.. I prayed and always thought of the mother while she was waiting for her daughter. I may have crocheted fast,but every stitch was a prayer or thought. thanks for sharing,Amy

Jan said...

Beautiful!! I have also started making prayer shawls and your idea of the charms I just love! I have only been doing some simple shawls, but I'd be honored if you'd take a look at them here.

Rosa Goncalves said...

Olá! passei para ver as novidades, adorei . BEJUCASSSSSS
Rosa Gonçalves

Nima said...

Beautiful shawls. I love the idea of using charms

Banuca said...

I meet your blog just now, I found too many croched beautifuls here, following you...

Sondra said...

OH WOW! That's one of the most beautiful shawls I've ever seen!!! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

Cecilia said...

I love both shawls. I wanted to know the pattern for the pansy shawl you made for your friend. I really like that one.

Re Parrish said...

I love both shawls and I want to make one for a friend of mine who is joining the Catholic Church this Easter Sunday (2011). I started a shawl but since we live in sunny south Florida (the 'States') I am afraid the yarn will be to hot. I was hoping you could tell me if the angora or cashmere or another really nice yarn would work. Right now i am using a baby weight yarn. It is sort of a see if you can do this yarn. It does not have the feel to it that i want. Light and luxurious can ya help me please!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful shawls. I hope you post the pattern for the second shawl. God Bless you.

Prayer Shawl said...

I really enjoying reading this article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work!