The Prayer Shawl Companion
by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Taunton (September 23, 2008)
When I was asked to review The Prayer Shawl Companion, I said sure and figured just another shawl book.... but no, this is not just another book.
Packed with stories, photos and 38 patterns, The Prayer Shawl Companion is a book to add to any knitter's collection. Not all knitting books are meant to be read in the manner that this one is and no matter what religion your practice - or none at all - I think you will enjoy reading these encouraging pages.
Ten years ago, the authors Jean and Victoria began knitting shawls for those in need of comfort. Shawl by shawl, the word spread about this heartwarming gesture and The Prayer Shawl Ministry was born. In the past ten years, over 2,000 groups of knitters have joined in and brought comfort and hope to those suffering - including Iraq war veterans and Hurricane Katrina survivors.
The Prayer Shawl Companion is Jean and Victoria's first book, released to mark the 10th Anniversary of The Prayer Shawl Ministry. They share with us the personal stories, prayers and patterns that members of this popular charity knitting movement have contributed to help grow the cause.
Apart from being knit with love and good vibes for comfort in suffering, prayer shawls can also mark joyous occasions. Among the 38 designs, there is a Baptism Shawl, a Wedding Capelet, a Nursing Shawl and baby wraps.
The patterns are clearly written, each with a description from the designer and great photography. The typical techniques and knitting instructions are included, but what sets this book apart from others is the Color & Symbology section which I find very interesting. In the back you will find a color chat and symbolism of numbers & shapes, as well as religious symbols. For instance, Aqua signifies courage, balance, harmony, stability; a Triangle signifies trinity, woman, creative intellect; the Claddagh sympolizes loyalty, friendship, romantic love. Whether you're simply looking for some new shawl ideas or if you're looking for some inspirational stories, pick up a copy of The Prayer Shawl Companion for your book stash. Some of my personal favorites are the Calming Shawl, Lacy Linen Stole, Tumbling Block Stole and Wedding Capelet.
Happy Knitting...... Happy Comforting... and Happy Healing!