Monday, September 26, 2011

Making It! - Prayer Shawl Edition

Every night, when I tuck Maren into bed, I snug down the edges of the quilt my mom made her for her last birthday and I say, "Do you know what your blanket is made out of?" And because Maren humors me, she says, "Not anything." Smiling I say, "It's made out of love. NiNi's love for you and every night when you are wrapped up in this blanket, you are wrapped up in love."

I believe that to be true of quilts. There is something amazing about crafting something with such care and love for someone else. You can't possibly do it without putting a little something more than cotton and batting in there.

Doesn't it look soo soft?!?
I believe that the idea of a prayer shawl is something for the recipient to wear while they pray. I could be wrong. My interpretation, however, is that it is made with prayers the same way Maren's cowgirl quilt is made with love.

A friend of mine at church has a dear friend who is fighting a battle with cancer. And is the practice of church ladies everywhere, we sprang to action. (Mostly my mom who is a sort of superhero.) She decided to make a chemo cap for this dear lady and asked me if I had any quick patterns to whip up a prayer shawl. I said that I did (while actually thinking of a baby blanket pattern that I thought I could adapt.) However, when we chose the yarn from her stash, I immediately knew that my baby blanket pattern would not work. To the notebook I went.

The funny thing about this pattern is that I almost didn't even print it. It was so simple and the alternating v stitch is a design element I've used before. I just thought that I didn't need it. I'm so glad that I did though. I was specifically looking for a pattern that didn't use a great deal of yarn, would be pretty and comfy and would be quick-quick-quick. I'm not sure I ever could have come up with this on my own as a solution.

The pattern was so super easy and I really enjoyed doing it. I ended up taking it with me almost everywhere I went because the repetition was great enough that I never had to refer back to the pattern. The finished size of the pattern is 50" and I thought that was a little short. My finished product was more like 55", but if I were making it for me, I'd want it 60 or 70". Fortunately, this wouldn't be at all difficult to manage with this pattern.

Ignore my weird coloring here.
I do think that I'll crochet this pattern again for a coulple of reasons: 1. It's a pretty succinct, well-written description of a very adaptable stitch. This could be used for almost anything where open work is acceptable. (In other words, no bikinis. Also, no blankets because you'd have all kinds of toes popping through. What, that's only a problem for me? Okay then.) and 2. It would be a really great pattern to use for teaching. It uses a couple of different stitches and would be great for a beginner or for someone who had the basics, but hadn't worked from a pattern before.

I am not quite so thrilled with the yarn. We chose it because of the lovely soft shade of blue and the softness of the yarn. And seriously, feather beds are not this soft. Which is awesome. On the downside, it snapped so easily that I ended up with a LOT of ends, despite working this all from the same skein.

All in all, though, I was quite content with the project. And I promise I've got some more ambitions things currently on the hook. They are mostly gifts, though, so you may be waiting for a while.

Here is my FO on Ravelry, if you swing that way.

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