Aug 3, 2010

The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo

Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion: 37 Patterns to Embrace, Inspire, and Celebrate Life
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press (September 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1600852939
ISBN-13: 978-1600852930

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is an extraordinary group that has touched lives in extraordinary ways across the world for more than a decade. With their latest book, Janet Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo continue to reach out to people of all faiths in sadness and celebration, this time with crocheted wraps, or prayer shawls. In their follow-up to the 2008 bestseller The Prayer Shawl Companion, the authors have once again brought together crafters, their inspiring tales, and comforting, thoughtful blessings. The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion features 37 beautifully designed prayer shawl patterns contributed by everyday crocheters and professional knitwear designers alike, including Nicky Epstein, Mary Beth Temple, and Doris Chan, among others. The instructions are easy to follow and the patterns represent a range of skill levels. 

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The following video is actually for The Prayer Shawl Companion book, which includes 38 knitting patterns only. I love that there are two versions of this book, one for knitters and one for crocheters.


I first heard about prayer shawls a few months ago when my sister received one when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was thrilled to receive it, especially knowing that it was made by her co-workers, each of whom had crocheted a few rows of the shawl. I have been intrigued by this idea ever since, so was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book.

I love this quote from the book, "To tangibly wrap someone in your prayers and best wishes for them is a blessing.  Too often, words cannot convey our feelings of love and concern for another, but to drape a shawl made by the work of your hands and the prayers of your heart around someone's shoulders speaks volumes. The process of making a prayer shawl is different from the average crochet project because it is a spiritual practice for the shawl maker.  One creates a safe haven, a private space which the wearer can escape for rest, relaxation, and renewal.  As such, the focus and intention takes on more significance."

I asked my sister today to describe how her prayer shawl makes her feel.  These are her words, "Warm and fuzzy!  Every time I put it around me, I can feel the support of my friends who made it.  It is something extra special."

The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion includes 37 patterns with beautiful full-color photos of each design.  The instructions are easy to follow, and I love the helpful hints about selecting colors and the yarn itself. Intermingled between the shawl instructions are awesome stories of women who have been involved in a prayer shawl ministry, and how it has touched their lives.  Over and over again, there are stories of how both the recipient and the person who made the shawl have been extremely blessed.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to start a prayer shawl ministry, either by yourself or with a group of friends. I know that I will be picking up a copy of this book when it is released in September, as somehow an electronic version of this treasure just won't do.

Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion from The Taunton Press through Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for my thoughts.

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