While we are all excited to decorate for fall, visit the pumpkin patch and corn mazes and look forward to the holidays ahead, we must not forget that October is not only the month for foliage and festivities, but also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

The purpose of this observation is to increase awareness and knowledge of the disease which affects so many women and in turn, their families, friends and communities. Everyone has been touched by breast cancer in one way or the other.  I lost my dear grandmother to the disease and aunts on both sides of my family have been brave warriors fighting this cancer.  It is in their memory and honor that I have begun this craft project. 

A prayer shawl is made for someone who is undergoing medical treatment, recovering from an illness, needs comfort or is celebrating a birth or other rite of passage.  It is intended to be knit or crocheted with prayer or meditation.  Our church has a ministry which takes the handmade shawls, adds a cross and a prayer and gives them to someone in need of warmth or solace.  I am making this one in a soft pretty pink to donate in honor and memory of my family members who have fought this fight.  I hope that it will bring comfort to someone who needs it.

Despite many attempts to learn, I cannot knit.  I crochet my shawls and was given this pattern from Lion Brand Yarn by a member of our church who has made several.  It is very easy.  

Prayer Shawl
Skill Level: Beginner
Size: 20 x 60 inches 
4 balls Lion Brand Jiffy Yarn
Crochet Hook- Size N-13
Large- Eye Blunt Yarn Needle

(Gauge is not important.) 

Loosely chain 43 stitches (or more if a wider shawl is preferred). 
Row 1: Half double crochet in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across. 
Row 2: Chain 2, turn, half double crochet in each half double crochet across
Repeat each row until 60 inches long.  
Finishing: Weave in ends. 
Fringe: (Note: the ladies who make the shawls in our church usually do not use fringe so that the shawls have wider use.)  Use the remaining yarn for fringe which can be 3-9 inches long.  For each fringe, fold strands of yarn in half.  Use crochet hook to draw fold through edge of piece, forming a loop.  Pull ends of fringe through this loop.  Pull to tighten.  Trim fringe evenly. 

If you prefer to knit, there are several patterns online.  

For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness month, see the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen and don't forget your mammogram! 


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