Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Prayer Shawls

Last month during a prayer shawl meeting at my church, we were discussing upcoming projects we were each going to be doing.  I mentioned my goal of doing the Advent scarves for gifts.  (It's much slower going than I anticipated for the record.  Still moving forward but slower.)  One of the women said how that sounded like a great idea and she would like to see something like that for the prayer shawls.  Understandably doing nothing but garter stitch or other very simple stitches can be a bit boring for the knitter or crocheter.  She also said that it would be a great idea because I could teach some new stitches at the same time, if I didn't mind.  Of course I don't mind.  This is a project near and dear to my heart and I let the idea germinate in my mind.

Last night during supper, I whipped out what had come up.  It was complete with references that more or less met with the patterns I chose.  We are testing it now.  I warned the ladies it may need tweaked a bit after I explained what my ideas were for the finished look.  The ladies present last night were very enthusiastic about the ideas I had.  Publication ideas were proposed.  That last part is far from possible right now.

The knitting is going quickly.  I want to be as far as the rest plus have the next section half done for the teaching for March.  There are some complex cables and smocking stitches coming our way as well as some really easy things that don't need explanation.

The reason this is near and dear to me is because of my Mom.  She died 6 years ago during Thanksgiving weekend from complications of dementia.  One of the things that we could do was pray together in addition to looking at country magazines.  Fashion magazines and tabloids never held interest for Mom.  Country and Reminisce from Reiman Publications did hold her interest.  (Reiman Publications may not be the owners of these anymore.  I don't know.)  Part of it was that it reminded her of her growing up years "when times were simpler".  Part of it was the bright, colorful photos.  But during her short time in the nursing home, she received a prayer shawl.  It was something she really loved.  It kept her warm in many ways, from the physical warmth to the prayers crocheted into it, to the warmth shown when someone talked to her and prayed with her.

It was then that I found the website for prayer shawls and our church was starting a group.  Being busy at that time with Mom, my own family getting ready to go off on their own ways as they grew up, and work, I didn't get to join at that time.  When life slowed down for me a bit, I joined.  One of the first big projects our group did was gifts for the military.  It was during the second big push of the Gulf war in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We had family serving over there from our church family.  Each one got a huge box with prayer shawls, stuffies, candies, toiletries, fun stuff.....  We sent prayer shawls and smaller lap afghans as well as the pocket squares.  We received some very nice thank yous for the efforts put forth.

So this is why I really feel a need to participate in this ministry.  The chance to give something tangible and pray with  people is amazing.

And now back to the knitting and crocheting that must get done.  I have a sock to finsh for Tuesday.  Another one to start for Tuesday.  A dishcloth for tomorrow.  And a large meal to cook for tonight's work crew.  I'm thinking something with pork chops.