Recently I joined the prayer shawl ministry at our church, after first ascertaining what a prayer shawl ministry actually is. Essentially, ladies of the church (men would be welcome, I’m sure — they just don’t come!) crochet and knit things like shawls, baby blankets, and lap blankets, which are then distributed to people with various pastoral needs. Or as I explained it to Anselm, “We make these things to remind people that God loves them and that we love them too.”
What the prayer shawl ministry is for me is effectively two things:
- A chance to get out of the house once a month sans offspring, to craft and chat with other women
- A reason to make things without having to keep them
I love crocheting. But I already have all the winter-wear I need, I don’t wear shawls, I’m not interested in learning to make clothing, and the last thing this house needs is more blankets. So joining the prayer shawl ministry is perfect for me, because it means I get the pleasure of making things — and then they leave my home and are never seen again. Perfect.
I have one shawl on the go which I won’t write up until it’s finished, but joining this group also gave me a reason to hunt up one of my unfinished projects, a lap blanket I started probably 3-5 years ago and just never finished (for reasons unknown):
This is how it looked when I found it, after I had re-balled the yarn (some sort of acrylic of unknown provender). Then came the challenge of figuring out what hook size I had been using — which through trial and error turned out to be a G. I finished out the ball, which got me five or six more rows, and voila: one completed lap blanket. The pattern was just repeating triple stitch, so it came together quite quickly. It’s long enough that you could wear it as a shawl if you liked, but will probably end up with a wheelchair user, for their lap.
Here’s a finished shot:
The colour changes on this one were a lot longer than on Perpetua’s blankie, and you can see what a difference it makes. I would say there was generally about ten inches between colours, which left me with an almost-checkered pattern. If I had known anything about planned pooling when I started I probably could have made something argyle-ish with this yarn… but I didn’t. Maybe another time!
As you see, my children “helped” me take these pictures. But you can see the effect of the colour pooling, how it almost makes checks… actually, looking at it on the screen instead of in person makes it look more like ripples or waves of checks in a way that reminds me somewhat of bargello quilts. At any rate, it’s done, and quite a relief to have finished off another one of the many projects languishing half-completed in my closet. In a week or two I’ll take it to church to be added to the stash there and look misleadingly productive, I’m sure.