Sunday, April 08, 2007

February 24, 2007.

Prayer Shawl Talk, Part II

Here is another excerpt from the info sheet on prayer shawls from my parish Shawl Ministry chairperson. One of the reasons that the number "3" is given a focus is because one of the easiest and most common prayer shawl patterns is based on a knit 3, purl 3 seed stitch (the pattern itself will be shared in a separate blog entry yet to come). Also, while the colors are supposed to have "meanings", please don't let that tie you down to something. For example, while I like what blue is supposed to stand for, I chose it not so much because of those meanings but because it is the traditional color of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus the Lord. I have a deep appreciation for Mary and what a mother she must have been to Jesus in His earthly life - a mother who He gave to us while He was dying on the Cross.

Here tonight's excerpt:

"The Symbolism of 3

We’ve all heard people say that "things happen in 3’s."

In the Christian faith tradition, the number 3, symbolized by the Trinity (Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer), has come to mean wholeness. The 3 attributes of God are omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is said that the number 3 is used 523 times in Scripture!
Many phases of life happen in combinations of three:

There are 3 acts of existence - birth/life/death.
We’ve heard of the concept of:

Body/mind/ spirit, which encompasses the physical, mental, and spiritual makeup of a human being.
We have been encouraged to live and act in faith/hope/charity.
The combination of thought, word, and deed is the sum of the capability of humans.
The number 3 stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire.

According to the Chinese, 3 is a perfect number;
To the Mayan, the sacred number of woman.
Egyptians see it as the number of the cosmos.
Japanese: 3 Treasures – truth/courage/compassion
In general:

there are 3 primary colors;
there are 3 keys of music: sol, F, and C;
the three divine principles: light, heat, and life;
three phases of the moon;
the earth, sea, and sky of nature.
The 3-stitch seed pattern was selected as symbolic of planting peace, comfort and hope into the shawls by the shawl maker for the receiver. May you be inspired by the significance of these symbolisms which are meant to enhance the creating and receiving process of the Prayer Shawl Ministry.


This is a basic list of colors and some of the attributes associated with them. It might be helpful to use it as a guideline when you’re selecting a color for a particular person for whom you’re knitting a Prayer Shawl.

RED - love, passion, respect, energy, enthusiasm, courage, understanding, motivation, strength,

MAROON – bravery, strength,

MAGENTA – spirituality, meditation, imagination, release, new beginnings

PINK - friendship, compassion, sensitivity, generosity, warm-heartedness, nurturing, gratitude,

ORANGE - thoughtfulness, vitality, attraction, creativity, energy, enthusiasm, warmth

PEACH – innocence, empathy, harmony, warmth, peace

YELLOW - wisdom, learning, optimism, intuition, faith, well-being, friendship, happiness,

GREEN - earth, healing, prosperity, fertility, sympathy, hope, renewal, health, balance, life

BLUE - water, healing, meditation, tranquility, honesty, loyalty, communication, peace,

sincerity, wisdom, spirituality, faith, self-esteem, universal color, cool & calming

INDIGO - wisdom, insight, instinct, integration, integrity, spiritual nature

VIOLET - Spirit, spirituality, intuition, truth, memory, nostalgia, humility, comfort during grief or mourning, peaceful

PURPLE - power, leadership, royalty, truth, justice, temperance, spirituality, wisdom

BROWN – wholesome, honesty, steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, stability

BLACK – Self confidence, strength, protection, absorbs negativity, mature wisdom

WHITE - Spirit, innocence, protection, peace, purity, virtue, gentleness, perfection, illumination, reverence, humility

GOLD - masculine energy, enlightenment

SILVER - feminine energy, intuition, flexibility

GRAY – strength, balance, reliable"


I am just about through two skeins of Homespun yarn into my K3, P3 seed stitch prayer shawl. I think I will knit two more skeins onto this and make it a prodigiously long shawl, and then add the fifth skein as fringe. I am also thinking of crocheting a fringe or crocheting a scalloped border rather than doing a "regular" fringe. While I think regular fringe is tasteful and pretty, I do know that I myself do NOT like the feel of it on my skin. I don't know about other women who don't have sensory issues like I do with my ME/CFS and ADD-type symptoms, but if *I were going to be using a shawl in times of emotional distress, I wouldn't want the fringe bothering me.

What do you ladies think? Should I just crochet a pretty scalloped border, or what?

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