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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Prayer Shawls and Friends

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

Click here to post it!

Prayer Shawls and Friends
Created By: Marjorie Flathers

I have been knitting since I was a little girl, but I first became aware of the Prayer Shawl Ministry in late 2003, and it added a whole new dimension to my knitting, and my life. At the time one of my closest friends was suffering from cancer, and I very much wanted to make a shawl for her, but sad to say, she was gone within a few weeks.

However, in the spring of 2004, after a time of grieving,I read more about the Prayer Shawl Ministry and decided I would begin making them in her memory. I used the basic k3, p3 pattern in the Leisure Arts book, The Prayer Shawl Ministry: Reaching Those in Need, using Lion Brand Homespun and praying that whoever received the shawl would be surrounded by God’s love and receive the healing and solace she needed most. I began by giving the shawls to another close friend, who specializes in Energy Healing, and she passed them along to particular clients whom she deemed most in need of this comfort. I still give them to my friend and her clients, but whenever I personally hear of a person who is ill I make a shawl for that person.

I do receive notes, now and then, from those who have received he shawls, but it never occurred to me to expect thanks or feedback of any kind. Just working on this project, praying, and thinking of my friend was enough. However, with the very first shawl I made, I received a complete surprise. The woman who received it, through my Energy Healing friend, called to thank me, she thought it was such a wonderful idea that, as she grew stronger after her surgery, she researched this ministry herself and formed a knitting group through her church in the city where she lives. Today they are still going strong and producing countless shawls. Needless to say, I was very pleased to hear that! I haven’t started my own Prayer Shawl knitting group, though, because, despite having a large circle of friends, I am the only one who knits!

Also, from the beginning, I didn’t concern myself with where the shawls ended up. Many people who receive them are gravely ill and sometimes they do pass away after having them for only a few months. But the shawls seem to travel on a journey of their own. I’ve heard that sometimes a family member continues to use it as a remembrance, and I like to think they are out there, comforting someone.

I sent a shawl for a cousin who was having knee surgery, but she wrote back saying she was very grateful. However, since she lives in Florida, it really was too warm for the heavy Homespun shawl, and she was taking it to her elderly sister, who lived in a nursing home in Connecticut, had dementia, and was always cold. She later told me her sister was wrapped in it until the day she passed away.

I made a very special shawl for the woman who was my daughters’ second grade teacher, many years ago, and became a good friend, after this woman had a stroke. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Wheat and a more intricate pattern. Whenever I visited her, before she recently passed away, I was always pleased to see it prominenty displayed on the rocking chair in her room.

One very interesting journey for a shawl was when my Energy Healing friend gave it to her long-time friend who was dying of cancer, and her family chose to bury her in this shawl. I like to think of that shawl blending with the earth and somehow adding good “vibes” to the atomosphere.

As a free-lance writer, I spend most of my days at the computer, but otherwise, I’m never without my knitting, whether I’m watching TV, listening to music, or riding in the car (as a passenger, of course!) Working this way, I can make a shawl in Homespun in 4-6 weeks. I print out tags that say “Made for you with Prayer and Care, sign my name, and attach them to the shawls. I also take photos of the completed shawls, and I’m compiling a notebook of these projects.

Although I still like to make sweaters for myself, and my grandchildren, from time to time, I am dedicated to the Prayer Shawl Ministry, especially as it continues to connect me with friends. I thank God for leading me to it. And I thank the Lion Brand website for giving me the opportunity to share my story.

Marjorie Flathers

P.S. I am not “computer savvy” enough to have the photos on my computer of to know how to send them online, but if you wish to use this article and would like photos of the shawl, I’ll be more than happy to send them “snail mail.”

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