Prayer Shawl Guild
What is a prayer shawl? It is a knitted, crocheted, woven, or quilted wrap, fashioned prayerfully, blessed, and then bestowed upon someone ill, shut-in, grieving, or in other need. It is an item that cannot be purchased but operates only in the currency of human compassion. In the words of Janet Bristow, co-founder in 1998 of The Prayer Shawl Ministry, these wraps “enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify.. .[and] those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles….[These shawls have been] made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving God.”
Anyone who wishes to contribute a handmade shawl is welcome to do so. It can be knit or crocheted, and should be sized to fit an adult. Shawls made to be given as part of this ministry will be blessed before distribution.
A basic triangle shawl for beginner knitters
This simple pattern works with almost any yarn. Prayer shawls should be made from a soft and easily washable yarn.
You will need 700-1000 yards DK weight yarn, 600-900 yards worsted weight yarn, or 500-800 yards bulky weight yarn and knitting needles sized to the yarn.
Cast on 3 stitches.
On every row, knit 2, yarn over, knit across all remaining stitches.
Knit until your shawl is the desired size or you have almost run out of yarn. When you come to the end of a ball of yarn, don’t join the next ball by tying a knot! Leave about 6 inches of yarn hanging off the end of the row and cut the yarn. Start the next row with the new ball of yarn, again leaving about 6 inches of yarn hanging down.
Bind off all stitches and weave in ends of yarn.
Two Rectangular Shawls to Knit
Download a PDF of two patterns suitable for all ages and genders
Beginner Knitter Shawl Guide