What’s Your Choice? Knitting or Crocheting?
December 28, 2012
Mary: When I was thirteen, I taught myself to knit from an old McCall’s craft book for children. The hobby took on a new bent three years ago when I saw an article about a prayer shawl group in Iowa. Upon approaching my church about the idea, I was asked if I would spearhead the meeting. Along with two friends, we launched a Prayer Shawl Ministry. The group of ten or so meets monthly to knit or crochet. The shawls we make are about 18-20” wide and about 60” in length.
The idea for this program originally came from Janet Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo, founders of shawlministry.com. Their book, The Prayer Shawl Companion, gives 38 knitted designs. Some are simple to follow and make. Some are far beyond the skill level of a beginner. Each pattern includes the amount of yarn needed and the size of the needles required to get a certain gauge. A story and a prayer also accompany every one.
However, with the publication of this book in 2008, some in our group found mistakes in the patterns. I looked at the website and saw corrections listed. Those made me wonder if other books might have similar problems. As I looked further down the page, I found that The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion listed their corrections. As our completed stash grew, I offered a coworker shawls for her neighbors. I’ll let her tell her story.
Tammy: In the spring of 2011, Mary, my friend and coworker at the Library, told me she was a part of a group at her church that met monthly and made prayer shawls for people who were going through tough times in their lives. Prayer shawls help get us through the toughest of times. I wanted to be a part of giving this kind of comfort. I started checking out books on how to learn to crochet. By the end of October, I had mastered the single crochet stitch and was on my way to making prayer shawls. I have now completed four shawls (and learned a few more stitches).
Mary and Tammy: We consider it such a gift to be able to make and give away prayer shawls. Some go to people we know, while some go to complete strangers. It is our hope that they bring warmth and comfort to others during our storms in life.