Just the beginning of the shawl I am crocheting. The picture is upside down (sent it from my phone). I got the idea of a Prayer Shawl from my sister, Margaret Ann, several months ago. She happened to mention it either on the phone or in a chat on Facebook. I loved the idea and since I don't belong to a church here in The Netherlands, I don't know of any Prayer Shawl Ministry here. I immediately went to the internet to look up prayer shawl patterns. Basically, a prayer shawl is just a shawl that has been prayed over and/or blessed and given to a person in need, whether that be due to illness or just emotional need. I found lots and lots of shawl patterns both knitted and crocheted. My knitting leaves a lot to be desired, so I mainly looked at crocheted patterns. I found a very lovely lacey shawl done in white bamboo yarn. I loved the shawl and the idea of the bamboo yarn so I copied the pattern and began searching for the yarn. Perhaps I can find something here but I wasn't sure where to begin my search, so I just waited until I went to Texas for my vacation and checked out both Hobby Lobby and WalMart. WalMart does carry the brand but not the bamboo yarn. Darn. Then, I went to Hobby Lobby. They carry a different brand of bamboo and along side the yarn was a free pattern for a lacey shawl very similar to the one I had found. I took the pattern and bought the required amount of yarn and a new crochet hook since I didn't have my hooks with me and got started immediately on the shawl. The center is done not with a simple chain as I had anticipated but with a special stitch that you add to as you go. It didn't go very well for me and left a rather thick ridge down the center that I didn't like. And as well, I hadn't made enough stitches and came out too short. Ripped it out and started over. The ridge remained and I still wasn't pleased with the way it looked so I took a look at the original internet pattern. The internet pattern will be a bit shorter than the one I was using, so I made a chain to go with the free pattern instead of the internet pattern (which required 4 balls of yarn and I had only bought 3 for the free pattern). As I came to the end of the chain, I was actually one chain stitch short but I went on anyway and as it ends up, you can't tell. I contined with the free pattern and that has been working out beautifully.
I hesitate to add this part because the person I would like to receive this shawl could read this, but I am going ahead with it anyway. If she should read it, she will only know about it in advance. The young woman, Andrea, who was previously the manager at the McDonalds where my daughter is now manager recently lost her teenage son, Lance. This was very sudden and of course, completely unexpected. Lance had been complaining of headaches for several days and Andrea took him to the doctor. They ran tests etc and couldn't find out what was causing the headaches. Finally, one morning, Andrea was unable to get Lance to wake up. She called the emergency number and the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He had immediate brain surgery and was ( I think. I'm not totally sure of the details) shortly thereafter pronounced brain dead. Andrea has naturally taken his death very hard. So, as I crochet this shawl, I am saying prayers for Andrea and Lance and putting as much love and comfort into it as I can. I plan to coincide the giving of the shawl with the first anniversary of Lance's death, which will be in January. I hope Andrea will be able to get some comfort from this shawl.