How to Crochet a Prayer Shawl
If you're looking for an easy prayer shawl crochet pattern (or if you're wondering what a prayer shawl is), you've come to the right place!
Sending someone a crocheted prayer shawl is like sending a friend a homemade hug.
What Is a Prayer Shawl?
A prayer shawl is, quite simply, a shawl that was prayed over while it was being made. Additionally, the recipient could wear it while praying. You can pray for a specific need for the person, or you can pray for them in general. A prayer shawl can be crocheted, knitted, or quilted. You can also choose to make prayer blankets (for children, for example).
Items Needed to Make the Shawl
You'll want to pick out a soft, thick yarn for your shawl. The yarn that I prefer to use is Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn (if you wait until it goes on sale at Joann Fabrics, you can get it for just under $5/skein). It comes in a variety of beautiful colors, and your finished product is really cuddly.
Here is what I use when making my prayer shawls:
- 3 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn
- Size "N" (10 mm) hook
- Yarn Needle
I also make sure to find a quiet time, so that I can pray while making the shawl.
Learn How to Do a Half-Double Crochet Stitch
This pattern utilizes a half-double crochet stitch. It's very easy to do, and you can move through it pretty quickly. The half-double crochet is easy like the single crochet but gives you a height closer to the double-crochet.
This great instructional video will get you started.
I've found that if you cut the fringe beforehand, then you'll be able to crochet the rest of the shawl until your yarn runs out.
How to Cut the Fringe: Wrap yarn around an empty toilet paper tube. Cut the yarn along the bottom edge of the tube. For this pattern, I used 2 pieces of yarn for each space along both of the short sides. It worked out to about 102 pieces. You can make your fringe longer of course, but you would have to adjust either the length of the shawl, the amount of fringe that you put on, or add another skein to your supply list.
Chain 52 (ch 52)
Row 1: Starting in 2nd chain from hook, half-double crochet (HDC) in each chain.
Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2: Starting in 2nd chain from hook, 1 HDC in each HDC.
Chain 1 and turn.
Repeat row two until the 3 skeins of yarn (minus the fringe) has been used up. Sew in your ends.
*Note: This is how I've been making my shawls for over a year. A "true" hdc has you chaining 2 at the end of the row and starting in the 3rd chain from hook. The way that I mentioned in my pattern works fine, too, as long as you pick one and stick with it.
Tie two pieces of yarn into each space along the short side of the shawl (you can use the crochet hook to pull the yarn through).
I pray before I start my project initially and while I'm crocheting.
I ask the Lord to bless my tools and my hands to make the product that He has led me to make. I also pray for the recipient, that He would heal them (I sometimes go into specifics), and that they would come to know Him in a deeper, more personal way.
There is no set prayer that you need to use of course—pray the way that the Spirit leads you to!
Who Would Be a Recipient of a Prayer Shawl?
Anybody, really, but here are some examples of people that I feel called to make them for:
- Someone battling cancer or some other form of illness
- Someone who is grieving the loss of a child, a spouse, or another loved one
- Someone who could use comfort
Prayer blankets could be given to children for any of the above reasons. You could even make one for the birth of a baby.
There's comfort in knowing that you are being prayed for. Sometimes the physical reminder of wrapping the shawl around you is enough to lift your spirits and heal your hurt.
A sweet friend of mine wrote a blog post after receiving a prayer shawl. How sweet!
Did you know that you yourself can be blessed while making the shawl? Yup, it's true!
Prayer Shawl Ministry Suggestions
Here are a few ways you can work your ministry:
- Make and donate prayer shawls to specific individuals.
- Make prayer shawls (or blankets) and donate them to charities/hospitals.
- Start a group at your church to make shawls as needed and distribute them amongst your church community. Other parishioners can donate yarn or money for yarn in this instance.
Shawls and blankets should be made in a smoke-free, pet-free environment whenever possible (especially if giving them to people with life-threatening illnesses).
An Additional Resource
Shawl Ministry lists prayer ideas and places where you can donate prayer shawls that you have made.
Does your church have a prayer shawl ministry or did this inspire you to start one? Let me know—I'd love to hear more!
You can also post any questions that you have here. Thanks!