It took several practice tries, but I found it was kind of like riding a bike. You get rusty, but you never forget. I started easy with scarves.
I tried adding fringe. It worked! I made a lot of scarves.
Then I tried hats. Pretty good, but not as successful.
I made dish rags (aces!!!) and fingerless gloves (meh).
I made some big squares of stuff but didn't know what to do with it - pillows maybe?
It wasn't exactly like the one described in the pattern - I'd tried to do something a little different with the stitches. They turned out very pretty.
I left the completed shawl wrapped and in a gift bag on the doorknob of my first recipient. She was so happy and surprised to find it.
When making a prayer shawl, you say a prayer for your intended recipient before you begin, then the whole time you are crocheting (or knitting - you can do either), you keep them in your mind and heart, praying for them as you stitch. When you finish, you say another prayer for them, then make arrangements to deliver it to the recipient. It represents many hours of prayer and work on behalf of someone else and is designed to bring comfort to the wearer. Like wearing love around your shoulders.
My second prayer shawl knew where it would wind up from the beginning. It's the one that most closely follows the prayer shawl pattern - but the colors are quite bold. Most of the ones I've seen are in fairly subdued colors, but this one screamed for vibrant colors.
The recipient of this one is facing several health challenges. Just before gallbladder surgery, he found out he also was going to be dealing with a recurrence of cancer. I finished it just before his surgery. He goes back to his oncologist mid-month to undergo testing to see just how his cancer had returned.
He also appears to be a remarkably resiliant man with great faith - but it always helps to have others praying for you as well, so I made this for him so that he would know that his church family loves him and the comfort of that knowledge can be wrapped around his shoulders as he sits in various cold rooms during his treatments.
When I finished that one, I started another. I had no idea who it was for. Like all the others, it is imperfect. It's an alternating off white and turqoise, meant to be three-three-three, but apparently I lost count and so I've got three-three-three-four-three-four-three-three-three... But the pattern that emerged was nice, so I kept it and kept working on it. It's close to finished and only now do I know who it belongs to. Up until last night, I offered general prayers of comfort, healing and closeness to God as I crocheted. As it turns out, those were the right prayers - the woman who will receive this will probably be saying goodbye to her husband soon.
She has family, but they are scattered - and she has us. So in the future, when she is missing her husband she will be able to wrap herself in the love and comfort of the prayers of her church family and know that we care.
It's not quite done, but probably by the end of tomorrow. While I do "sign" my name on these by way of a card, it's a semi-anonymous offering to represent ALL of the people who care and who pray.
If you're interested in checking this minstry out, follow this link: Prayer Shawl