The prayer shawl is a visible representation of prayer--the creator of the shawl is praying the entire time she is making the shawl, and the recipient wears the shawl or places it on her lap as she is praying.
Prayer shawls are made in several patterns, all of which have a meaning behind them. Prayer shawls can be knitted or crocheted. The knitted shawls will have designs which build upon Biblical and prayer themes. Crocheted shawls can be made using filet crochet, Tunisian crochet and open-weave patterns.
Prayer shawl ministries have picked up on the practice of weaving beads, feathers and charms which have spiritual significance into the shawls. The people knitting or crocheting the shawl will say a prayer for the recipient as they are adding the embellishments.
Whether knitted or crocheted, prayer shawls can be made quickly when they are needed during an emergency. Choosing an open-weave pattern will help the maker build quickly as she makes the shawl.
If desired, the shawl's maker can choose a closed-weave pattern, such as half-double-crochet or a garter stitch or ribbing stitch. This makes the shawl warmer to wear in the colder months.
Prayer shawls can be used to wrap around someone as they are praying to God for comfort or peace. Nursing mothers use their prayer or nursing shawls to wrap around them and their baby as they are nourishing their infant with food and love.
- Shawl at Sale image by TekinT from Fotolia.com