Friday, February 02, 2007

More Shawl Stuff....

Sharon asked about the prayer shawl ministry in the last post's comments. A friend, Pat, who attends a sister church to my own hosts a group who gather to knit prayer shawls as means to reach out with love and concern for anyone who is hurting for any reason, be it spiritual, physical, or personal. It's a quiet evening of knitting (or crocheting) as spiritual practice. We can use any pattern we like, but they do ask that we use yarns that are easily laundered and safe for those with allergies.

We begin with a short blessing to dedicate the work of our hands to the intentions of the receiver. Sometimes we know the person who will be receiving the shawl or lap robe, most of the times we don't. When a number of shawls have accumulated, Pat's church holds a "blessing of the shawls" , where the shawls are draped over the altar rail, as part of their worship service.

Pat's pastor carries two shawls in her car at all times: one which is feminine, the other a more masculine sort of lap robe. She says these have been so helpful for those visits when words are not sufficient to minister to the person in need.

Pat collects the shawls and attaches a small hang tag that has a brief statement about the ministry and a prayer for comfort. She keeps the inventory and the rest of can request a shawl for someone at any time, specifying a color range preference, etc. Here are some links to other shawl ministry sites:

The Waiting Room Shawl Ministry

Belief & Practice (includes a video clip)

Hands On Spirituality

Meanwhile, I have begun the Swallowtail Shawl twice. On the left is the laceweight merino that came from Yarn Barn of Kansas (see earlier post). On the right is some of my two ply handspun merino, slightly heavier than laceweight, dyed with Pro Chem dark red sometime this past fall..

The commercial laceweight yarn is just not doing it for me in this pattern. It's a tad too fine and there are over 1300 yds. in the skein. The pattern only calls for ~437 yds. It keeps telling me that it is destined for some greater project in the future. I'll be looking through Sharon Miller's book for ideas over the coming week.

However, the handspun is very happy to be assuming the Swallowtail pattern. It has the right elasticity and drape. And there is just enough yarn to make it to the finish.

Funny how the yarn really does speak to the project.

And I will close with the final shot of Print O' the Wave. This was taken just before I released her from her blocking pins.

It always amazes me how something so light weight and airy can be so cozy!


  1. Beautiful Print o' the Wave!

  2. I love the idea of women getting together to pray and knit/crochet shawls for others. Since I was young having my hands busy helps me to concentrate.

    The Print o the Waves is lovely.

  3. Janice3:11 PM

    Print o'the Wave is very beautiful I too started the Swallowtail shawl with marino lace and stopped on Friday because I thought it was to cob webby (fine) for this pattern.I have some marino to spin but that's not going to happen any time soon. Going to the Barb Grossman knitting festival on Sat. and Sunday.Taking class on domino knitting and will add More stuff to my stash from the market!!!!!

  4. What lovely lace shawls in your last 3 posts. I like the idea of knitting as a form of meditative prayer. Don't know that I could do that with lace however, I'm usually too frustrated with lace which equals thoughts not very full of grace.

    I am very impressed with your lace grafting!

  5. Your PO'W is beautiful! Perfection!

    What a good idea to keep the shawls in her car, ready for those moments...

    thanks for links


tie in the loose ends...