Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Not Religious, But I Believe in Prayer

I've always been a little bit DIFFERENT spiritually speaking, a bit eclectic you might say. Born and raised as a member of the RLDS church, then embracing metaphysics, meditation, agnosticism, later Unity, and sojourns Zen Buddhism and eventually converting to Judaism, but then not really adhering to ANY of those schools of thought. In short, I'm a spiritual hodge-podge and tend to make things up as I go along, believing what I believe.

But at any rate, I do pray (in my own way), meditate, think good thoughts for people, the leaders, and the world in general.

And when they discussed the power of Prayer Shawls at The Studio retreat a few weeks ago, I became inspired because I've been wanting to do some charity knitting and this seemed to interest me more than any other project I've heard about in a long time.

It's good that I can give to an organization such as House of Menuha which is where The Studio prayer group's shawls are being donated. Women who receive these are usually at some crossroads in their life and can use a bit of spiritual shoring up.

After a Prayer Shawl Meeting with Deb, who coordinates The Studio's Prayer Shawl Group, I decided to set to work on one. Following the general guidelines: fast, easy, acryllic or washable yarn, size 13 needles.

I used the Easy Triangle shawl, a free pattern on the Lion Brand website. It's so easy and fast, it's amazing. I knit this whole thing up in just over a week and hardly spent much knitting time on it at all. It uses size 13 needles, and I used Deborah Norville's new Chunky line of soft acryllic yarn approprately called the "Serenity" line. Colorway: Chocolate and it took only 4 skeins, costing me $2.99 X 4 - about $12 for the whole thing. The finished shawl is a roomy 65" X 31". This yarn is amazingly soft and best of all, it's beautiful and washable. She has several gorgeous colorways to choose from.

Not being a particularly GOOD prayer, and being kind of fast and scattered by nature, I tried to get in a peaceful frame of mind when I worked on this project. It actually made me feel good myself. So making things for others has an added benefit in making me feel better, not only by giving but just the process itself. Very gratifying!

Another kind of neat thing I did was have several people who ARE good prayers and who I consider to be really good spiritual people to touch the shawl in progress and to say some prayers over it for the recipient.

So I already have started doing some charity knitting, and I'd like to do a lot more of it this year.


Kay said...

The shawl is lovely & I know it will be a comfort to the woman who receives it. I think that praying is not always an action, like when you consciously decide to say the Lord's Prayer or whatever. Prayer can also be a state of mind, that zoned-out meditative gamma-wave state that comes when you're doing a small repetitive motion -- like knitting, or rosary, or knot magic. I'm not making much sense, but it's a beautiful shawl which is a prayer in itself. :-)

Elysbeth said...

The fact that you gave, from the heart, of your time and effort is a prayer that weaves into the fiber of the gift.

Deborah Norville said...

Chelle... I love this shawl and love that you chose to use my new chunky yarn to make it! I would love to link it to my website with your permission! It is truly beautiful! And yes -- the zen/prayerfulness that comes from knitting is wonderful!

I am using the same yarn in Forest Green to make an afghan for my son, but you are MUCH faster at your projects than I am!

Deborah Norville

ChelleC said...

Deborah, oh my gosh, I'm swooning. You like my shawl? Really? You certainly MAY link to my blog. I love your Serenity line of yarn. Chelle