Thursday, February 5, 2015

Prayer Shawls for Fallen Soldiers

About Prayers Shawls is dedicated to the ultimate sacrifice made by our service men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world and for the grief and loss felt by their families and friends. Presenting these families with a prayer shawl in remembrance of their loved one is a small token of PS4FS’s compassion and appreciation. This organization works directly with the Dover Program at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware to support the visiting military families. Their Friends of the Fallen at Dover have asked them to help replenish their supply of shawls, so in response has started this Prayer Shawl KAL. We would like the shawls completed and mailed to PS4FS by June 15, 2014.
Prayer Shawls are Shawls made for centuries and are universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles. To learn more about Prayer Shawls and the blessings that are knit into them visit

Size and Pattern Ideas
The finished Prayers Shawls must be 26-30” wide x 60” long. Knit or crochet in patriotic colors such as red, white or blue or neutral colors such as burgundy, off white, taupe, green or navy, variegated yarns may be used as well and designs such as stripes or colorwork. You’re welcome to use your own pattern or one of these complimentary patterns and stash dive for this great cause.
Basic Prayer Shawl Pattern
Yarn: about 550-660 yards (500-600 meters) Bulky, Worsted or Sport held double
Needles: 10.5 (6.5mm) or size needed to get gauge
Pattern: Cast on stitches in odd-divisible multiples of three – (81 or 87 sts). The seed (moss, rice) stitch is used throughout pattern, i.e as the stitches face you, knit the purl stitches, and purl the knit stitches.
Row 1: k3, p3, to end, turn.
Continue as Row 1 until garment measures 60” long
Cast Off

Fringe: Fringe can be an integral part of the prayer shawl. Joan Johnson, coordinator of St Luke’s Knitting Ministry in Bloomington, Minnesota, says they tie each fringe to avoid fraying. While tying fringe, a knitter/crocheter prays for the recipient of the finished shawl. Recipients of the shawls often comment how much they like the fringe. Some have remarked they use the knots for praying – like prayer beads! Thus, the fringe becomes an essential part of the shawl ministry. A favorite fringe design ties three long strands (16″ long making 8″ strands) on every other row, skipping the rows in between.

This is a very basic Prayer Shawl, please feel free to knit or crochet from your heart and add designs as you feel needed. You can also visit Prayer Shawl Directions for more pattern ideas.
Finishing: Attach a Card: Using a small piece of matching yarn, attach a card to the shawl. It should include washing instructions from the yarn band. Include your name and address so the family may thank you IF they feel the need, but please do not expect a thank you. These families are grieving and may not be able to bring themselves to write a note. Just know in your heart they do appreciate the time and love you have given to remember their loved one.

Mail your finished Prayer Shawl to:
1481 County Road 1301
Vinemont AL 35179

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