Monday, June 2, 2014

My Prayer Shawl Experience

Looking for a craft’s project, I came across the idea of a prayer shawl.  I didn’t know but there are whole communities online and around the country where people get together for knitting sessions to pray for loved ones who are sick or just in need of prayer support.

Since I was going to visit my ailing mother, I thought it suitable to take my knitting job on the trip. 

First of all I had to figure out the pattern.  I was ones an accomplished knitter but never really used any written instructions (and especially not in English, since my first language is German).  Once I had decided what design (arrowhead) I wanted to use I set many nights to create a sample.  Not until I watched the Youtube instructions of the blueprint was I able to copy my own outline.

Finally, I was ready to start with the designated yarn.  Casting on 87 stitches for the width of the shawl was easy.  Following the instructions I did the first 3 rows in pearl to create a border.  I cannot say that the pattern flowed off my hands easily, because I made many mistakes and then had to redo rows.  Every time I thought, that now I have the pattern down, I found slip-ups and rather than correcting my blunder, I unraveled the row up to the oversight. 


It was an amazing experience, since I am praying not only for my mother, but also for the rest of my family, friends and those whom I know are in need of some prayer support.  I find myself in this rhythm, 3 steps forward, and 2 steps back.  The whole thing started to become a reflection of my life where often I go for a while and nothing bad happens.  Then, all over sudden, something undesirable happens, I go several steps backwards to correct my mistake until I can move forward again.  In this way, this knitting work becomes a symbolic reflection of my life.

I don’t know if that’s the purpose of a prayer shawl, since I have not designated it to any particular person.  Originally, I had thought I could finish it on my trip visiting with my family but instead of taking 2 weeks to finish it, it took me quite a while to accomplish this handiwork.

At the very end of skein 3 I faced a huge yarn scramble.  Even though, I started each skein from the inside, this one didn’t unscramble very easily.  It took me an extra half an hour to undo the last few yards of the yarn.  Did I see some symbolism in this creation?  Isn’t this how life shows itself at times, like a big knot?

Like all good things, there is an end to it all.  I finally completed the project after about two months.  Because I didn’t like the idea of double knotted fringe at each end, I just did a single fringe.  Therefore, I only used 5 balls of yarn instead of the suggested 6 balls.

I have to say, that it was a very satisfying work.  When your hands are busy, your mind is free to embrace all kinds of ideas: Like praying for others. 

No comments: