Showing posts with label Prayer Shawls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer Shawls. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back on the Knitting Front: Bitterroot Shawl and Hermione's Socks

From painting, now back to knitting.  I finished the Bitterroot Shawl and another pair of socks.  First, the Bitterroot shawl by designer Romi Hill.  She created this pattern, saying:
Legend has it that long ago, hunger swept through the Native American tribes. As time passed slowly and food supplies dwindled, famine beckoned disease and death closer and closer.  One day, a mother knelt in sorrow by the river, her children sick and dying. The Sun heard her cries of anguish and took pity on the mother, changing her tears to Bitterroot, that her people might never be hungry and sick again.
Now I did not quite understand how the shawl looked like bitterroot.  But it sounded like a nice legend, and it did have a methodical pattern to it, so I'll just put it together in my mind that way.  Here are some pictures, but won't bore the post with how many beads were put onto it or how long it took to knit.  All those details can be found here.

a close up:

The Bitterroot was finished just in time for spring, along with Hermione's Everyday Socks.

Now for Hermione's socks. I decided to knit these because podcaster Tina from Knitting Blooms likes this pattern a lot.  Designer of the pattern Erica Leuder (free pattern on Ravelry found here) says...
Hermione, as described in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, is a rather smart and practical heroine. While she can dress up with the best of them, these socks remind me of something she might wear while practicing charms or transfiguration or reading up on Arithromancy in the Gryffindor Common Room.
 Well said.  So I can wear these in any Common Room.

The sock yarn is Regia, my favorite blend of wool and nylon for long wear.  The best part of the sock, IMHO, is the eye of partridge heel that is very sturdy and closely knitted.  My close up is not as good as designer Leuder's, so I'll just show her heel photo:

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prayer Shawl Pattern for Wheelchair Users and Those in Bed

In a previous post, prayer shawls were discussed. I was searching for a way to make a shawl from quilting or fleece fabric because it would be much quicker to construct by sewing, using purchased fabric.

While browsing the internet, I came across more than 200 sites about prayer shawls, but not one reference could be found on how to make a shawl using fleece or flannel material. So if you are looking for something not requiring the time and expertise commitment of using yarn in a knit or crochet technique, this pattern idea might work for you. It is especially useful for wheelchair users or for those who stay in bed most of the time.

Here is some background on prayer shawls before I get on to the quick pattern I devised below:
The Prayer Shawl Ministry was started by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo in 1998. Susan Izard and Susan Jorgensen wrote Knitting Into The Mystery which is an excellent introduction into the rituals of prayer shawl knitting. A very good introduction into the process and a good reference for starting prayer shawl ministries. But, there was really only one pattern so it was a bit limited in terms of yarns that would look good with that pattern.
This reference to the Prayer Shawl Ministry was found at Kelly Petkun's site. Kelly has a weekly podcast that her dog Xena helps produce complete with voice-overs.... I mean bark-overs in the background. You can listen to the Knit Picks podcast here at KnitPicksPodcast.

Kelly talks about knitting, products, and interviews guests discussing recent knitting designs and life, in general. Kelly and her company are virtual friends by way of download! And every bit of yarn that I have purchased from the Knit Picks website has been of good quality and arrived quickly.
The above picture is a shawl used as a prototype for the pattern I cut out this morning. The original outside dimensions are 63" (length) by 50" (width).
To make this shawl for someone who stays in bed, the fabric was cut down in the back so that the shawl will drape across the shoulders and warm the front of the body. Cutting out extra fabric from the back makes it easier to maneuver in a wheelchair, and also decreases bulky fabric while using in bed.
Here are some easy directions and a picture of the work in progress:
Fabric requirement: 2.25 yd EACH of two contrasting fabrics (fleece, flannel, old quilts, etc); or a total of 4.5 yd of 45" wide fabric from the same fabric bolt
Notions: thread

1) Cut two pieces of fabric 39" long (includes 1/2 inch seam allowance). The total width will be 50", most of which will be used for the front of the shawl. You will need to piece these two cuts of fabric together, making a seam down the center back, ensuring the width of the cut pieces, when sewn together, is about 50" wide. Press pieced seams flat.
2) Cut a "U shaped" window from the fabric from the bottom up, leaving about 8" at the top for neck and shoulder placement (the "U shaped" cut out should be about 8 " wide and 29" deep and will be placed behind the neck).
Repeat the above steps for the second fabric side.
3) With right sides facing each other, sew the two fabric pieces together, leaving about a six inches opening for turning the shawl right sides out. Press seams flat.
4) Hand sew the opening together using a slip stitch.

Here is a picture of a finished flannel shawl using the same fabric on the back as on the front. It looks warm, will be easy to use in bed, is washable, and will be more comfortable because some of the bulky fabric has been eliminated in the back. This is for daughter Julie while in the hospital, at the nursing home, or in her wheelchair.
Good luck in making some of these for people you know who might need a little comfort, with a prayer sewn into them.
Leave me a comment if you have questions.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Vintage Patterns & Prayer Shawls Made From Quilts

One of my favorite weekly emails is from Debbie Colgrove, a sewing whiz with a company which someday might rival Martha Stewart, if given the right opportunities.

Here is what Colgrove said today:
I have a gazillion patterns.... so many that it's usually easier to glance through pattern books and buy a new one than it is to try and find the pattern I want...
And who hasn't wanted to go back in time and retrieve that classic pattern used years ago?

There was one particular dress pattern my SIL Charlotte and I used until the pattern was worn thin: that of a long jumper dress.

So I went on a search through vintage patterns on the internet. There are many listed websites for vintage patterns, but the site where I purchased this pattern from was Old Patterns. This is the pattern I purchased:

My favorite is the jumper displayed in the middle of the photograph (it uses 4.5 yd. of 45" fabric).

Reading emails and others' blogs is dangerous to my personal economy, but I did pick up another thread of conversation from the Colgrove email that was a link to a book titled Prayer Shawl Quilts.

This book piqued my interest, so I went to my blog sidebar (see the little picture of the book with AMAZON printed on top of the box) and ordered the book. It should be here by next week.
Making prayer shawls through the knitting and crocheting method is a lovely sentiment; the time requirement is intensive. My daughter Julie (in a nursing home and due for another surgery on Nov. 18) is always cold, so using quilts, blankets, fleece and other warm materials to make washable shawls for her will be my answer to keeping her cozy while in bed.

And I can sew prayers for her comfort into the shawls, as well. Look for a report on the book Prayer Shawl Quilts from me soon.