A few things should be decided before you begin making a knit prayer shawl. Will this shawl be used for comfort, style, warmth, or a combination? Light and airy knit prayer shawls are beautiful and comfortable, but do not provide much warmth. A shawl that will provide warmth can still be gorgeous, but will require a different type and weight of yarn, and a pattern with less holes in the “lace”.
A great yarn to use for warmer prayer shawls is alpaca, angora, or even cotton. But for lighter shawls, chenille or cashmere is better. You can find light-weight yarn in almost any material, but chenille or cashmere tend to be very light, soft, and luxurious.
As for creating the shawl, size and color are the first aspects to decide on, then you can decided which yarn to use and how much of it you will need to make a proper knit prayer shawl. Once you’ve decided this, it is important to keep in mind why you are making the prayer shawl. These are not just any knit shawls made for fun. A prayer shawl is normally given to someone to let them know you are keeping them in your heart and prayers during their time of trial or need. So while you are making the knit prayer shawl, it is said you should hold that person in your mind and say your prayers over the garment.
This could mean that they are very ill, or a family tragedy has taken place, or even that they are having severe financial issues. Whatever the reason, a knit prayer shawl can be given for both warmth and condolences during hard times.
One the best reasons for making prayer shawls is as gifts for charities. Once you’ve made your first prayer shawl, you can make 3 or 4 rather easily and donate them to a charity of your choice. It’s a great activity to get the family involved in, too, and doesn’t need to only be done around the holidays.
There are many lace knit patterns you can use for prayer shawls, and you could even make up your own. Some of the best are even found for free online.
Even if you simply want to make a shawl because they are great accessories, you can find plenty of resources for free on the internet to help you get started. Again, they are a great “next step” for knitters, and can open the doors to lace tablecloths, fancy clothing, and even lacy scarves.