Ten years ago for my birthday a friend knit me a prayer shawl. Every morning I wrap it around my head and shoulders and in the evening I spread it from my feet to my neck;. A year later, in 2011 when my mother died, my best friend (since we were two) knit me shawl. It, too, was long and cozy. I use both of these shawls every day.
These two gifts, filled with warmth, love, and prayers, catapulted me into kitting prayer shawls. There are 17 recipients on my list, including the one I made much earlier for my friend Sarah when she was struggling with cancer. A few years ago her husband told me he puts it over his shoulders during his morning meditation.
Sometimes I start a shawl with a recipient in mind, but usually the person ‘appears’ as I knit. Usually it is for someone who is ill or has lost a loved one, or is having a personally hard time.
Occasionally people tell me stories about some specific comfort they have received from their shawl, but usually the bond we have remains silent, which feels very sacred to me. The mystery is holy, but I do wonder. I wonder who is using the shawl I knit for a friend who has since died and whose family I’ve lost contact with? I wonder who is wearing the shawl that got lost in the laundry at a nursing home? I wonder if any shawl has made it to college? I have every reason to believe that each shawl, whatever its journey might be, is still sending forth love and prayers.
A quick internet search will give you all the information you need. But here is what I do.
Use 3 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun Yarns; cast on 63 stitches on # 11 needles.
K3, P3; begin and end with K3.
Before starting the third skein, cut about 120 16” piece for the fringe that you will add when you finish up the skein.