Monday, January 12, 2015

Prayer Shawl

I started knitting one. Well, I don't pray aloud while working on it, don't light candles or recite some fixed mantra, but I'm using a pattern I found on a website dedicated to prayer shawls. Really, any shawl can be a prayer shawl if you're making it for someone who needs some comforting. Just pray silently as you work on it that it brings the comfort intended.

I do pray, talk to God while I knit. Usually silently. He's omnipotent, he knows I'm talking to him even when my lips don't move. Do I always get answers? No. But that in itself is an answer. I'm being told to wait. Non-answers aren't always negative.

Anyway, back to the shawl. It's an interesting and simple pattern. Simply cast on a multiple of three (I CO 60). Then work in k 3, p 3. On following rows you simply knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. The pattern emphasizes that it should not look like ribbing. What it does look like is columns of garter stitch. I find it a refreshing change from normal garter stitch, which is knitting every single stitch in every row until you have a shawl. Now, tell me you won't get bored to tears doing that and put it down very often and possibly not finish it, knowing how boring it is to knit. However, this is very refreshing. You're knitting and purling and still getting garter stitch and it isn't nearly as boringly repetitive as knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...well, you get the idea.

I'm also using a method called combined knitting, where you make your purls 'backwards' and then orient them correctly in the next row by working the backwards stitch through the back loop. This also keeps things less boring. It also tells me which stitches I need to purl. The 'backwards' stitches are the ones that need to be purled, so they get purled through the back loop to orient them correctly.

I don't even know what the pattern itself is called, the site just calls it a prayer shawl and then gives the instructions. I think I read something about it being compared to vertical blinds, and that's a pretty close description. So, I think that's what I'd call it. Vertical Blinds. Or more simply, 3x3 Garter.

I'm also using the pattern on some legwarmers I'm attempting. I'm knitting them flat and will seam them when done. It's the same pattern, but will have 1x1 ribbing on each end. I'm just using some recycled light pink yarn I pulled from an old afghan that was coming apart. It's RHSS, acrylic, so will be washable. I ended up with two big balls of it and didn't know what to do, so it's now becoming a shawl and legwarmers.

Hey, the yarn is still in decent shape, might as well re-use it rather than throw the afghan out.

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