Thursday, July 7, 2011


Over the last month I have been teaching myself to crochet. You may have
For a long time I had wanted to knit, and never really “got it”. I struggled with it, and was not very good or quick, and so didn't enjoy it. Someone told me that knit and crochet is kind of like algebra and geometry, people usually only understand one of the other. With that in mind, I went to the store and bought a cheap pack of plastic crochet hooks and some yarn, then came home and dove into how-to videos on YouTube on crochet.
As I am want to do, I dove in with both feet and have become obsessed. I spent every free moment in the past month with a hook in my hand. I crochet while dogs are drying. I crochet while taking a break from housework. I took a project to not one but two cookouts and crocheted while I sat outside and visited. I have even started a Stitch'n Bitch group that will begin meeting on the 18th!
The first week I made hats and the tarot bag I posted here, and then I made an afghan for myself. The afghan proved to me that I had found the thing for me in crochet, because I went off pattern and it turned out great.
When I craft, it's kind of like when I cook. Instructions and recipes are more 'guidelines', and I usually take the general idea and shoot off sideways with it. I know for sure I have never made two pots of chili that were the same, and my craft projects tend to run that way. For the afghan I started with a pattern, expanded it a little, and added a ruffle from another pattern, which I also use in the pattern below.

Mojo and one of the new kittens, Walter have test-napped it and it's a winner.

So, why is this posted on Metaphysical Thursday? Glad you asked. I have started making Christmas/Yule gift, and one of the things that several ladies in my family will be getting are Prayer Shawls (shhh, don't tell them)
I stumbled across this when I was searching the webternets for patterns. The idea is to concentrate prayer, blessings, and healing thoughts for the recipient before, during, and after the construction of the shawl.
I love this idea, and on the site for the Prayer Shawl Ministry there are Goddess prayers represented. So I started my first Prayer Shawl immediately after finishing the afghan, and after about 3 hours of looking at patterns on that site and many others, I just decided to wing it. I think it is pretty good so far, for a beginner, so if you would like to Crochet-a-long, here is the pattern, such as it is. And don't worry about blowing the surprise for my sister, she is WAY to Christian to come on her little sister's witchy blog! 
Here is a preview of how the pattern is turning out, I will post a photo of the finished product when it's done.

I have a couple of pics in the pattern to clarify for beginners the stitching in the space as opposed to the stitch because that threw me off in the hat pattern I used for the girls hats at first. The hat was becoming like a shower puff because I misunderstood and I had to take apart an hours work. I hope to help others avoid it, there was much profanity involved!

So to begin, say a prayer to bless your work. You can make your own or there are many at the Shawl Ministry site. Then concentrate on prayer,healing, and positive energy for the recipient as you crochet, When it's done, bless it and give it to it's intended owner. It's a great, loving gift for someone battling illness or loss, or just to send love out to someone as a gift.

Valerie's Prayer Shawl
#4 Worsted yarn, Red Heart Sonoma Stripe or other self-striping yarn
US K/10.5 hook
SC=single crochet
DC=double crochet
TC=treble crochet

Chain 50, loosely (if using foundation stitch, count as the first row)
Rows 1-3 SC fifty, chain 1, turn
Rows 4-6 DC in 1st stitch, chain one, skip stitch to end of row, chain 1, turn
Row 7 SC in the top of the DC in the last row

 and in the SPACE between each DC 

to end of row, chain 1, turn

Rows 8-9 SC to end of row, chain 1, turn
repeat Rows 4-9 until shawl reaches 'hug' size, fingertips to fingertips with your arms outstretched. It looks like mine will be around 132 rows.
Do not turn, SC in same stitch to turn the corner and SC down the side the number of rows the shawl ended with, SC again in the last stitch to turn the corner and SC down this side 50. Repeat down the remaining 2 sides.

If you prefer fringe, stop here and add fringe to the ends. Val's shawl has a ruffle along 3 sides.
If adding a ruffle do not turn, chain 4 then TC into same stitch as the chain 4.
Continue 2 TC in each stitch down the short side, then 4 TC in the corner stitch. Continue around the long side and back up the opposite short side.
Chain 4 and turn.
Work 1 TC chain 1 into each stitch all the way back around, and do TC, chain 1 TC, chain 1 in each of the 4 at the corners
Tie off, weave in ends.

I would love to hear from anyone who gives it a try, and to see what yours looks like!
Happy Hooking!

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