Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've been involved with the prayer shawl movement off and on for maybe three years, and steadily since January of 2007. That's when I took over the volunteer position of Ministry Area Coordinator for Missions at my church, and founded a shawl team at church. That was a Sunday afternoon, and a few days later I was told that the first baptism of the year was on for the following Sunday. It didn't seem fair that the baby should miss out on a shawl just because it happened to be born early in the year, so I took a day off from work, got out my largest needles and three yarns from my stash that more or less went together, and made a quick shawl. They were a fuzzy mohair -type synthetic, a fingerling weight acrylic that my grandmother would have called "baby yarn," and a classic dishcloth cotton from Peaches & Creme. Together with size 15 or so needles and using a pattern that borrows heavily from the classic "Granny's Favorite" dishcloth pattern, I ended up with a baby shawl that was very soft, somewhat absorbent, and could stand up well to machine washing and drying. Baby and parents were very touched, the minister worked a special segment into the baptism about the baby being wrapped in our love and prayers, and there was hardly a dry eye in the house.
I liked it so much that I made another one. The shawl team was in "production" mode at that point, since we had no back stock of shawls for emergencies and it seemed like we had half a dozen baptisms in a row (in addition to several chronic illnesses and other concerns). We established bins in the church office where shawls could be stored until needed, and I had a pair of them ready for the bin when I heard that the prayer shawl website ladies were coming out with a new book of patterns and prayers. So I submitted the pattern for our "Wrapped in Love" shawl - which meant I needed to send them the pattern, AND an actual sample of the shawl, AND postage for its return. I was feeling a little guilty about taking the shawl out of circulation, and maybe a bit annoyed about the expense. It reminded me of the county fair, where I spent about $25 in printing and mounting and entry fees for a photograph that won a big fancy orange "Best of Show" ribbon . . . and a $3 prize.
Anyway, I was shocked to discover last summer that they'd selected my pattern to be in the book! It's just a simple little thing based on ideas gleaned from others. "If I have seen further than most, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants, " as the man said. They wanted a photo to go with the pattern, and I tried to submit one of the whole team; but they really wanted an individual shot, and I eventually found one I didn't hate too much. And yesterday, I got the e-mail announcing the book will be released on September 23rd. Cool.
But click on the index tab. I skimmed down to look for the Wrapped In Love shawl, and realized that I'd be sharing a binding with Nicky Epstein!! "Knitting Over The Edge" Nicky Epstein. "Knitted Flowers" Nicky Epstein. "I make so many gorgeous things that people look at my work just to sigh in sheer pleasure" Nicky Epstein.
I'm feeling more than a bit out-classed here.

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

I love the title; does Garrison Keillor know about this? Congratulations!