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brannonobrien Posted - 05/11/2007 : 8:38:28 PM
I have a general question about these. Is is an actual pattern, or is it just a shawl that is rectangular (rather than triangular)?

If it is a pattern, can someone point me in the right direction?


20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Lynne604 Posted - 10/03/2012 : 12:44:50 PM
I love knitting prayer shawls and lap blankets for those in need of comfort. My church has a prayer shawl ministry and to date we have given away almost 20 shawls/lap blankets. Our group is quite small.

Lion Brand Homespun can be a pain to work with, but I use size 13 needles and don't have a problem. Free patterns are available on the LB website. I don't add fringe because Homespun unravels so quickly.

Once a shawl has been washed several times, it won't look brand-new.

Trina Posted - 09/26/2007 : 10:55:39 AM
I am going on my 6th year of making these shawls & they are a blessing to everyone including the people who make them. Any pattern is suitable & so is the shape. They are gifts of kindness & in this day & age, we can all use more of that!

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
-Langston Hughes
FiberChef Posted - 09/22/2007 : 1:52:14 PM
This project also makes a nice gift for a new mom or mom-to-be. I gave one to a friend because she commented she was always cold when she was up in the middle of the night nursing her first child. Second one came at the same time of year. Not only did she say it was good for snuggling with baby, but it was an attractive way to nurse discreetly in public. And what new mom and baby don't want to be wrapped in love, especially during those early tiring months?
Birdie Mom Posted - 09/20/2007 : 4:40:11 PM
I've knitted many prayer shawls with Homespun and don't find it bad to use at all. The pattern we use is k3,p3, and then the reverse on the other side. There are several books available about prayer shawls, and a ton of information if you google it. I do agree that any yarn and any pattern is just fine.

Birdie Mom
prov31wannabe Posted - 09/20/2007 : 12:06:35 PM
I'm new in the forums and still finding my way. This isn't exactly a new topic but after reading all the posts I decided to add my comments. Prayer Shawl Ministry is one of the factors that contributed to my learning to knit. As I have gained experience, I would agree that acrylic, easy-care fibers are good choices for the recipients b/c not everyone wants to bother with hand washing. I like the colors for Homespun but it doesn't hold up well with wear and tear, and stitch definition is hard in knitting; it is easier in crochet. I like the names of Comfort Shawl and Peace Shawl; these would be appropriate for a recipient who doesn't claim a faith or practice a particular religion. You can always tell the person, "I was thinking about you while I worked on this project. I made it for you with love and because I care." Another tip I came across for what to include on the tag, was laundering instructions for the shawl. Some people actually cut a piece off the ball band and glue it to the tag to tell the fiber content and laundering instructions. I also like to include the dimensions and the name of the yarn and/or the color name. Sometimes the yarn is "made in Turkey" or something and I like to include that. Sometimes I tell about the circumstances in which I knit, like "while I was on vacation" or "in the evenings during the World Series" or something. Sometimes I talk about why I chose a certain st pattern. I have five siblings. With me that makes six, and whenever I have six sts in a row, I count off all our names instead of counting 1,2,3,4,5,6. Most of all, I have expanded the notion of what constitutes a Prayer Shawl. You can make a Prayer Sweater or a Prayer Vest or a Prayer Sock. You can make it for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, new baby, move, job promotion, or just friendship.
fwshorty Posted - 08/29/2007 : 05:37:21 AM
I've knit several prayer shawls using Homespun, and I've gotten used to its quirks. I normally loop the yarn around my little finger for tension control. I had to eliminate this because it caused the yarn to hang up -- it was awkward at first, but I got used to it. Its easy to get mixed up on the k3, p3 pattern, so I used markers periodically so I didn't have to count all the stitches in the row to see where I was -- I don't have to do that now, but it helped getting started. And the yarn really frays too much to do a good fringe, so I either leave the end plain or knit in a couple of inches of fun fur. I'm thinking about trying some other edgings on future projects. It comes in such lovely colors and such a reasonable price, its hard to resist!

Others in my group like Paton's Divine. I'm told it washes well. I didn't especially like working with it, but the shawls I made with it came out well.

ccarter756 Posted - 08/28/2007 : 9:00:42 PM
I've knit a number of prayer shawls. I like the term "Peace Shawl" too. People do seem to like the shawls made with Lion's brand Homespun - I've even received one as a gift, and I treasure it. I agree that it's a pain in the neck to knit with. Lion's Wool-Ease and Paton's Shetland are two good yarns to use. I was looking today at a new Lion's yarn called Cotton-Ease, a cotton/acrylic blend. The colors are lovely. Usually it is a good idea to use some sort of washable or superwash yarn.

The shawl pattern most frequently used is the knit 3, purl 3 pattern you will find at the website For people who practice Christianity, this has spiritual significance, as it represents the Trinity. A quick reference to a stitch dictionary would yield other knitting patterns with repeats that had spiritual significance in other spiritual practices.

Right now, I'm working on a blanket for a dialysis patient who is resolutely atheist. I'm doing it as a Log Cabin blanket, in colors chosen to remind him of a place he loves.

When I give these shawls, I am always amazed by how they are received, as they nearly always are far more appreciated than many of the far more expensive and technically complex things I could knit.


Cindy Carter

Cindy Carter
PamelaA3 Posted - 08/26/2007 : 12:50:02 PM
On another forum the topic of prayer shawls came up. I was quite surprised by the reactions of some who hold no faith. It seemed to create anger and resentment. They felt that they were being preached to. I am an active Christian that knits scarves, hats, and baby items. I have never included a note but have thought about it in light of what was said on the forum. If I made something as large as a shawl I would want to include a small note. I might say something like this. "May you feel the warmth and love of others who care about you during this difficult time. With Care, ------."

God knows our heart and if they are offered in the spirit of his love, isn't that all that matters? Our actions speak much louder than words.

I am another one who does not like Lion Brand Home Spun, or any yarn that sheds and pills. Plymouth Encore (75/25 wool and acrylic) is the best all purpose yarn I have found. It also comes in DK. Good Luck with your shawls.

Pam, in Raleigh Posted - 08/26/2007 : 12:45:13 PM
Good afternoon!!!!

I've knit about 7 shrugs using the Caron Simply Soft yarn, it works up quite nicely and almost elegant looking.. It has a sheen... I've used 2 skeins for the shrug and hat to match. I make these specifically for chemo patients.. Something they won't have to worry about sliding off their shoulders, if it does it won't fall to the floor.. Also during the winter they can also use it as a scarf.. Have a great day.... one stitch at a time....


hissyknit Posted - 08/25/2007 : 05:51:55 AM
Homespun isn't "bad" but it's not great either. To me, it's just a generic Wally World yarn. The prayer shawls I've made have been with Homespun b/c of the softness. Most prayer shawls are either rectangle or triangle also. Barbara's right--it's the thought and prayers that are behind it.

There's a combination of colors on an afghan (or prayer shawl if you shorten the pattern) on my blog I used from the Jelly Bean Prayer. Each color has a meaning from the bible. Every one who's gotten it loves it.

Christy B.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but sticks and strings excite me."
knits_for_preemies Posted - 08/25/2007 : 03:21:05 AM

Our knitting group has knitted quite a number of prayer shawls. Our insert is printed on a piece of that nice parchment type paper you get in Office Depot, etc. we just fold it in half. Someone used Print Shop or some similar program, chose a lovely but simple picture of a cross for the front, and some small and colorful butterflies fluttering for the back.

On the inside are a short poem, a scripture and a short explanation of the love we are sending. On the back, among the butterflies, is our group name and other contact information. You could also use a picture of praying hands on the front instead. The whole thing is very simple, but lovely. Our hope is that it will serve as a keepsake and a communication of our love and caring.

The beauty of doing your own enclosure is that you can have a basic format, and then customize the wording if you like before you print itwe just print it on the computer.
This link has the same poem that we use I like it because it is so sweet and says just enough without overwhelming the person with too much verbage.

Crossroads Presbyterian Church PC(USA) has a Prayer Shawl Ministry. This is the prayer included with the Prayer Shawl they give:
"May God's grace be upon this shawl...warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing. May this mantle be a safe haven... a sacred place of security and well-being... sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones. May the one who receives this shawl be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace, and wrapped in love. Blessed Be!"

You could certainly write a something similar to this and personalize it for that particular individual.

Some of the inserts Ive seen are really brochures, and Im sure they have their place. To me though, if I were receiving the shawl, I would much prefer the simplicity of a short, more personal card such as the one our group produces.

I hope this will help get you started on creating your own card.

bethsunday Posted - 08/24/2007 : 8:56:03 PM
I have just starting making prayer shawls. I thought it would be nice to attach a card explaining the prayer shawl and a nice message. Unfortunately, I am not very talented in a literary sense. Does anyone have any sample cards/messages that I could steal?

Corddrymum Posted - 06/07/2007 : 8:19:48 PM
I've made lots of prayer shawls out of HS and liked the results. Usually I made them by crochet. It does ravel badly and after washing is a little fuzzy. The sad thing is that it's so pretty with so many nice colors and doesn't cost too much.
Robin C.
Calamintha Posted - 06/07/2007 : 1:30:12 PM
Some of the chain crafts stores carry Patons yarn and if yours does you can look for Patons Decor. It is a machine washable acrylic/wool blend that could be used for a prayer shawl also.
PBELKNAP Posted - 06/07/2007 : 12:36:18 PM
Originally posted by Trina

I have made a bunch of prayer shawls/ comfort shawls too & have to agree that Homespun is the worst yarn ever! I never made one shawl with it, but that's beside the point. I have tried to use yarns that are machine washable & soft. I always try to send positive thoughts to the person & say prayers as I knit. It's a very peaceful, meditative kind of knit.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
-Langston Hughes

Vile, vile stuff...I made my first crocheted afghan out of Homespun, and after a few washings it now looks ratty. I attempted to knit with it, which was completely impossible.


WIP = Project Linus Baby Blankets (1), 63 Cable Squares Aghan, Scrap Sweater

Completed this year = Knitted Baby Blanket (Estonian Lullaby), Knitted Charity Squares, Top-Down Sweater, Project Linus Baby Blanket, Summer Top

If I could only do this for a living...
knits_for_preemies Posted - 06/07/2007 : 11:49:53 AM
It's called Caron Simply Soft. It is a worsted weight, very soft, with a slight sheen. It knits up great, is easy care acrylic, and very inexpensive. It is available at WalMart, Michael's, etc.--about $2.00 per skein. The easy care feature is important since sometimes you don't know who will be receiving the shawl. Quite often this person might not be in a position to fuss with special care of the shawl.

See my post earlier in this thread for pictures of a shawl made from Caron Simply Soft.

The yarn comes in lots of nice colors.

Trina Posted - 06/07/2007 : 10:28:11 AM
Look for Caron. It has a very soft yarn that I can't think of the name of right this minute![**] Patons & Berocco also have some very nice, less expensive yarns that make very nice shawls.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
-Langston Hughes
grammyknits Posted - 06/07/2007 : 08:36:32 AM
I really want to begin knitting these comfort/prayer shawls for people that I know and love. But, I did buy LB Homespun and started with that and agree, its terrible!! Since I bought it at Walmart, I know I can return the unused portion. BUT, what other yarns, inexpensive, can be used?
Trina Posted - 05/14/2007 : 12:23:31 PM
I have made a bunch of prayer shawls/ comfort shawls too & have to agree that Homespun is the worst yarn ever! I never made one shawl with it, but that's beside the point. I have tried to use yarns that are machine washable & soft. I always try to send positive thoughts to the person & say prayers as I knit. It's a very peaceful, meditative kind of knit.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
-Langston Hughes
KnitSSK Posted - 05/14/2007 : 05:52:23 AM
Claie, Cozy is a great pattern for that use. I really enjoy the one that I knit for myself.


Wanting to be knitting, not working...

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