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Tips for Getting the Most from Prayer Shawl Crafting

Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips for choosing patterns, charities and the setting for intentional crafting. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.
Image of Honest Warmth Shawl | Tips for Prayer Shawl Crafting | Lion Brand Notebook

Choosing a Prayer Shawl Pattern

Any shawl pattern can be used as a prayer shawl. An ideal pattern uses a textural comforting yarn like Homespun.

Items Other Than Prayer Shawls

Prayer shawls don’t have to be shawls. Other popular items for prayer-based crafting include:

Selecting Prayer Shawl Recipients

If you are inspired to craft something handmade for a specific individual, by all means do so. Alternatively you may donate to a group. Here are some tips for selecting your group:

  • Pick a cause that you care about. What has affected your life?
  • Ask friends what charities they support and why.
  • Think local; it’s wonderful to drop your donation off in person if you can.

You can also find charities that are currently seeking donations by using the Lion Brand Charity Connection page.

Setting the Space

The recipient benefits from your prayer shawl but to get the most out of the crafting experience it should also help heal you. Set your space intentionally when doing prayer crafting. Some tips:

  • Choose a quiet space.
  • Use lighting that is adequate but not glaring.
  • Burn candles or incense.
  • Ask yourself what makes you feel most comfortable and safe. Infuse your space with that thing.
  • See more tips for meditative crafting. 

[Pattern pictured: Knit Honest Warmth Shawl]

Who have you (or would you like to) donate a prayer shawl to? Share your stories in the comments to inspire others!

Tagged In:
  • bweddle

    I recently made a prayer shawl for my dear sister-in-law who just lost her husband of 48 years. Since she lives far away, I could not deliver it in person. In the package I sent her, I included information about prayer shawls in general and hers in particular - why I chose the pattern, color and type of yarn specifically for her. She says when she wraps the shawl around her, it's like having our arms around her. She can feel the warmth of our love.

  • krazyknit

    I have organized a group of knitters in my area who gather once a week to hone our skills, laugh, and knit/crochet for others in the community. One of our knitters is a woman in her 80's who called me one day to say that she could no longer knit because she had been diagnosed with dementia and had to move into a long-term care facility. I immediately chose one of the shawls that I'd knit and took it over to her house to comfort her. She was very grateful even as she passed all of her needles and small stash to me. Once she was settled in the care facility, I dropped in again to see her. She was very grateful for the shawl, saying that it brings her comfort. During that visit, she said that she wanted to continue to knit for the group. I had a feeling that she'd say that, so I had her needles and yarn with me. I passed them back to her and she has been knitting ever since. She is beginning to forget my name, but still knits squares for us that we sew together to create shawls for others in need. When I drop in, she's often wearing the shawl that I dropped off for her too. At one point, she said, "Oh, you've got to see this nice shawl - I can't remember where I got it, but it is so comfie that I wear it all the time." I'd encourage everyone to knit/crochet at least one of these shawls. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something that can provide some comfort and warmth to the person who receives it.

  • Joy

    Crochetting prayer shawls is one of most rewarding things I have ever done. I belong to my church's Knitting MInistry, where I donate nearly 3 shawls or blankets per month. I use the Lion's website for new patterns, and most of my projects use Homespun or Vanna yarns. For me, the thrill of beginning a new project is choosing a color and style that appeals to me, or that I feel will suit the person to receive it. The feedback from folks who have receive our blessed shawls has been overwhelming. Some say the shawls are hugs from God, and I agree. Whenever I'm feeling low, I just wrap my shawl around me and am instantly comforted.

  • Mary Bowman-Kruhm

    As a Unitarian Universalist, I call them cimfort shawls and they truly bring comfort to me and seem to comfort those to whom I gift them. An artist friend said a nurse complimented her on her shawl over and over on the way to surgery. So I made one in a different Homespun color for her (quite healthy) partner! I do suggest paying attention to length--too long and they get caught in wheelchair wheels.

  • Michelle a

    I have been making prayer shawls for 9 years now. I give them to my local hospital pastoral Care and they give them out to people who have operation, and new babies when they pass on to the Lord. And I go a meeting second thursday of the month and when i am on vacation i would go during the afternoon.

  • lani Byrd

    I made a gorgeous deep purple prayer shawl from Homespun without knowing who would ultimately receive it. An old friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I looked up the color associated with that....sure enough, PURPLE! I knew she had to have it! She cherished it and before dying told me she was trying to figure out a way to take it with her. Such a blessing for the both the giver and the recipient!!

  • Carol in Springfield, Ma

    I made a prayer shawl for a nun who had cancer. She attributes her improvement to the shawl that was prayed over by a group of women that she helped.ca

  • Bev O'Neal

    Hooked on Jesus Prayer Shawl Ministry provides shawls for many occasions, from sickness to newborn babies. God has really touched these shawls and given comfort and joy to the recipients. It is a joy to use patters from this site and yarn too to create these shawls. What a blessing it is to crochet for someone else!

  • http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/2013/09/3-part-series-on-crafting-prayer-shawls/ 3 Part Series on Crafting Prayer Shawls — Crochet Concupiscence

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  • Lovecrochet

    At the beginning of this year I really felt the need to start a crochet group in our small village as I felt I needed more company and interaction with other people. See it was all about me(I). But it all soon changed, the venue fell into place, the people that took it on with me just came on board and made the future a more beautiful time that I ever could imagine. We crochet beautiful things together. We share, teach each other new patterns, and started and finished 2 big charity project and are busy with a third. We have grown from 7 - 23 active members and now I have come across your page.... Crochet will have and mean so much more to me now, and will I crochet with more consciousness of the prayer power and stillness in The Lord I can experiments in crochet.

  • cj

    I just made my first prayer shawl for a lady from my churh with cancer. I am a Christian and I listened only to uplifting worship music, healing scriptures, healing messages etc. while crocheting this shawl. I took it to church and my pastor and prophet anointed it with oil and prayed over it. They laid it on the altar and allowed anyone that wanted to come up and pray over it. It was a very touching experience to see so many people praying over it. The prophet said that as soon as he touched it he felt the love and compassion that was put into every stitch. My prayer is that my friend will also feel that love and receive her healing.

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2013/11/20/how-to-nip-holiday-crafting-in-the-bud/ How to Nip Holiday Crafting in the Bud | Lion Brand Notebook

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    […] Tips for Getting the Most Out of Prayer Shawl Crafting […]

  • Lesley

    I made one for my best friend whose mother was dying. It was the most challenging pieces that I have done. It was just the timing of it. I honestly felt like I waiting for my best friend's mother to die. I wanted to give to her in her birthday. A happier event. Unfortunately, her mother passed away far too soon. She did not want any cards or flowers so I knew it would upset her if I gave her the shawl so I tucked it away for now. Several months later, she emailed me a pattern for a shawl and asked if I could make her one. So I told her the truth and finish the shawl. She really love it.

  • Chris

    When I make a prayer shawl, I also make a pair of slipper/booties to match especially for those who are bed or wheelchair bound. I always get so many positive comments and thank you, and it only takes a little more yarn and time to make someone happy.

  • Joan

    I have a group of 5 ladies who knit and crochet prayer shawls and blankets for people in need. People who are hurting for whatever reason or who are suffering from an illness need to know that they are not alone. Just wrapping themselves up in one of these mantles help to comfort them. Our shawls/blankets have gone around the world. We are so blessed to be able to give these out. Each one is prayed over before we give them away and each one comes with a prayer. Even new babies receive a blanket with a prayer. God has blessed our hands for almost 9 years. We meet twice a month and give it all over to God.

  • Margaret Davis

    I belong to a group of wonderful ladies here in Colorado. We make anything and everything that can be knitted or crocheted. Give it to hospitals, homeless folks, newborns, preemies, veterans, anyone who is in need. God Bless all the people who do this.