Although knitting is usually a quiet, solitary pastime, the craft can connect us with others. One of the best ways is through what is called a “shawl ministry” or “prayer shawl ministry”. Often–but not necessarily–organized through a church, a shawl ministry is a group of knitters or chrocheters dedicated to making shawls for those in need–such as hospital patients, those who are grieving, or the homeless. The group of knitters/chrocheters may simply be several friends who meet at someone’s home.
A prayer shawl is different from other shawls because it is created with intention–that is, the knitter usually prays for or reflects on the person who will receive the shawl. The shawl pattern itself may involve spiritual symbols; for example, a Christian-themed pattern stitches may be based on multiples of three, to symbolize the Trinity.
For more information and ideas, visit ShawlMinistry.com. This site emphasizes the “inclusive, unconditionally loving” spirit with which these shawls are made. You’ll find a Patterns and Instruction page with easy knit or crochet instructions. I made the knitted version for a friend, and it made up very easily and quickly.
If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in someone’s life with your craft, think about creating prayer shawls. You’ll be blessed!