Thursday, December 15, 2011

crochet show & tell: my prayer/comfort shawl

When I was younger my church had a prayer/comfort shawl ministry. The ladies would get together a few times a month to knit, crochet and quilt shawls for people going through medical procedures, grieving after a loss, in a time of stress, during an illness or recovery, for prayer or meditation or for a celebration. I always loved the idea. A prayer is said for the person receiving it before you start and you think about that person while making it. The shawl was meant to wrap someone in love. Comfort them and know they are not alone. Someone is thinking of and praying for them.

A couple of months ago my psyc and I were talking about how I have a need to take care of others. I put everyone else before myself in just about everything I do, even in my hobby, crocheting. Everything I make I give away. Blankets, teddy bears, purses, hats, scarves and so on. Everything I have made has been for someone else. I realized I have not kept one thing! She gave me a challenge. Before I started the next baby blanket (it would be my 3rd in 5 months) I was to pick out yarn and make something small, quick and easy for myself and actually KEEP it. I told her I don't need anything. She wasn't taking no for an answer. I was told to think about it and tell her what it would be by the next week.

I was stumped. I didn't need anything. I have winter hats and scarves. Making a teddy bear would just upset me at this point. It took me all week and out of nowhere I thought of the shawls. How I loved the whole idea of them. My mind went straight to who I would give it to. Then I yelled at myself, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF!" So I tried to think of something else to make.

The shawl kept popping back into my mind.
"I kinda want one, maybe someone in the church still makes them.
I will ask later I gotta figure out something to make for myself.
hmmmm...I could make one for myself.
NO! That's stupid and kinda selfish.
Is it?
Yes it is!
Maybe not...
yea too selfish."

I went back to my psyc and she asked me what I was making. I had settled on a hat. She could tell I wasn't too happy about it. I told her I don't need anything. She told me to stop saying I didn't need anything and and asked if there was something I wanted. The shawl popped back into my mind so I told her about it but quickly ended with how it was stupid and extremely selfish to make something for myself that was meant to give away. She asked me how it was selfish to make something for myself that could help comfort me. I didn't have an answer. Maybe it wasn't as selfish as I thought. I talked it over with her some more and decided to make one.

My thoughts were that I was going to have it with me at my Dr appts. Something to make me a little warmer when I am half naked on those cold tables. Something to hold onto and squeeze when something the Dr does gets uncomfortable. Something to catch my tears if I get upset. Instead of a big shawl I made a wide scarf.

I went to the craft store to pick out yarn. I decided I would start with the pomegranate color and just go crazy from there. I wanted it to be fun yet comforting. I said a little prayer before I started and got to work. While I crocheted I thought about my journey and my future. It was relaxing and kinda healing.

I haven't had any appts since I made it, but I wear it often as a scarf. When I think too much or get ahead of myself it is something I can hold on to and make myself calm down. Tomorrow is my big appt with the RE to figure out our IUI plan. My shawl with be with me every step of the way.


  1. What a lovely gift for yourself. I have that problem too...always making stuff for other people. I make flannel baby blankets. I can't tell you how many I have made, but I have saved all the scraps to make a crazy quilt for my own little one some day. During my last ivf bed rest, I made bracelets for a pay it forward activity and one to give away on my blog. I'm thinking now I need to make one for myself this next time around!

  2. A security blanket-scarf for IF sounds like the perfect gift to give yourself :) I have always worn lucky socks or put something to hold in my pocket, but a scarf to keep you warm and cry in when needed is far better. Sometimes we have to give ourselves what we really need. :)

  3. It's amazing how hard it is sometimes to be good to ourselves. I hope you remember to do it more often.

  4. What a great idea! It's beautiful!

  5. I love it! What a great idea. I hope it gives you tons of comfort!

  6. Very beautiful and I'm so glad you made it. Sometimes, what we need is to give to ourselves. Good luck!

  7. Oh my goodness....I need to learn to knit! What a GREAT idea. I'm glad you did it, and that you are keeping it. because now you gave me a really good idea.

    I need a shawl too. I better make one for empowerment.

  8. Your shawl is just lovely!  I find being creative is a life saver for what we are going through! 

  9. ICLW 89. I find it very hard to treat myself with the kindness I extend to others as well. That shawl is lovely!

  10. I can't knit but I LOVE this for multiple reasons. Sorry I am so many months behind all of the other comments on this page, but I just clicked on your "crochet show & tell" link tonight... I have been following multiple journals/blogs but rarely ever comment. P.S. I do hope very much that you have your "own little Joey" growing quite soon!! ::HUGS::


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