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How to Make a Prayer Shawl: Knitted and Crocheted Patterns (2023)

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how to make a prayer shawlLooking to create a thoughtful gift for someone in need of comfort and care? Prayer shawls are the perfect way to offer support, affection, and protection. Whether crocheted or knitted, these shawls can be crafted with purposeful prayers woven into each stitch.

Here is how to make your own prayer shawl—from selecting the ideal yarns and patterns to adding special touches that will personalize it for the recipient.

Key Takeaways

  • Prayer shawls can be knitted, crocheted, or sewn, offering comfort and care with intentions woven into every stitch. Colorful yarns in soothing hues can be used to signify hope, peace, courage, and strength.
  • When making a prayer shawl, carefully choose materials, considering factors such as fiber, weight, color, texture, and drape preferences. Soft, warm yarns like wool and alpaca provide both physical and emotional comfort.
  • Personalize prayer shawls by adding charms, trinkets, or embroidery to imbue special meaning and significance.
  • Helpful tips for creating a meaningful prayer shawl include using symbolic colors, incorporating textured stitches like cables or puffs, and infusing loving intentions into the crafting process.

What is a Prayer Shawl?

What is a Prayer Shawl
You can craft a prayer shawl by knitting, crocheting, or sewing to provide comfort and care while focusing your intentions. A prayer shawl carries the energy of prayers or intentions infused during the making process.

Giving a handmade prayer shawl is a meaningful gesture that provides solace, support, and a sense of love to the recipient.

Prayer shawls can be made from yarn or fabric using basic stitches and patterns that allow you to meditate on your prayers or mantras. The prayer shawl ministry started in 1998 as a way to combine crafting and spirituality.

Consider the therapeutic benefits and the joy of giving when embarking on making a prayer shawl. Craft it intentionally, infuse it with love, and gift it to someone needing comfort.

How to Make a Knitted Prayer Shawl

How to Make a Knitted Prayer Shawl
When crafting a prayer shawl through knitting, choose a simple pattern and repeat meditative stitches to infuse loving intentions into every loop.

Choose a beginner-friendly knitting pattern like the garter stitch or stockinette stitch to allow a prayerful focus while knitting. Select a yarn weight and fiber like worsted wool or cotton that feels comforting against the skin for the shawl’s intended recipient.

Cast on enough stitches for a medium to large shawl to enfold the wearer in your prayers.

As you knit each row, settle into the motion of forming the loops that make up the fabric of the shawl. Repeating simple knit and purl stitches creates space for contemplation and centering. Allow inspirational phrases, meaningful verses, or lovingkindness mantras to arise naturally from your heartspace.

With each finished shawl, know that your gifts of time, care, and prayerful energy will provide comfort.

How to Make a Crocheted Prayer Shawl

How to Make a Crocheted Prayer Shawl
Bless your heart while crocheting a prayer shawl with intent to comfort others in need. As you begin this meaningful project, take time to center yourself and reflect on the recipient.

Select a crochet stitch that feels soothing, such as:

  • Double crochet
  • Shell stitch
  • Granny stitch

Let the repetitive motion of crocheting wash over you. With each loop formed, infuse the yarn with compassion. See yourself wrapping the recipient in warmth, strength, and love. Choose colors and textures that evoke beauty, nature, and the divine.

Completing each row is an act of devotion. Soon this handmade gift will provide solace during difficult times, serving as a tangible reminder that you care.

How to Make an Intentional Prayer Shawl

How to Make an Intentional Prayer Shawl
Though knitting or crocheting with intention aids focus, fabric shawls allow quicker completion for gifting comfort through prayers. While crafting a prayer shawl, you can infuse healing thoughts and intentions into the piece through mindful repetition.

This transforms the shawl, imbuing it with the focused energy of your prayers. The crafting process becomes meditative.

Follow these steps for intentional prayer shawl making:

  1. Choose fabric like fleece or quilted cotton
  2. Cut fabric pieces to the desired size
  3. Sew together, leaving a gap for turning
  4. Iron, topstitch the gap, and add decorative stitches
  5. Repeat prayers or intentions throughout

With practice, you can craft charitable shawls infused with positive energies. The completed piece carries the concentrated power of your intentions, providing comfort to the recipient. Though the techniques differ, the mindful approach of infusing prayers into each stitch remains a cornerstone of this tradition.

How to Choose the Right Yarn for Your Prayer Shawl

How to Choose the Right Yarn for Your Prayer Shawl
Choosing the perfect yarn is an essential step in crafting a meaningful prayer shawl. Consider fiber, weight, and color when selecting a yarn that aligns with your intentions and recipients’ needs. Thoughtfully pairing materials with purpose results in a gift that provides both physical and spiritual warmth.

Yarn weight considerations

Finding the perfect yarn to cradle your nurtured creation will transform that bundle into a vessel of comfort. Worsted weight yarn offers structure for triangular or square shawl designs with decorative edges.

Bulky and super bulky weights give quick results for extra large blankets to envelop grief. Light fingering weights allow intricate lace patterns to emerge through prayerful making.

Choosing colors with intention

Choosing colors with intention

You’ll want to select colors that evoke the emotions you hope to convey through your prayerful intentions. Consider color symbolism and choose hues for their healing properties or emotional connections.

Craft a color palette that communicates the messages you wish to gift through your pattern. Let the shades speak to the intentions infused within your stitches. Simple patterns shine when choosing colors with intention and care.

Texture and drape preferences

Matching the feel and heat retention of a yarn to your needs helps ensure your shawl is a joy to create and snuggle into.

  • Soft and nurturing, silk provides comfort and unparalleled warmth.
  • Wool offers fireplace snuggle potential with its frizzy vibrancy and complex flexibility.
  • Patterned or solid yarn presents infinite possibilities for personalized healing.
  • Repetitive, meditative loops form a sacred space. Intentional crafting generates compassion.

Free Patterns for Crocheted Prayer Shawls

Free Patterns for Crocheted Prayer Shawls
Here are some free patterns for crocheting prayer shawls that can bring comfort and love. As you stitch each row, repeat a prayer or intention to infuse the shawl with positive energy. Choose an easy pattern with repetitive stitches for a relaxing, meditative crafting experience.

Experiment with different yarn weights and colors like neutrals, pastels, or bright shades based on personal meaning. Play with texture using stripes, fringe, pom poms, or charms to make it unique. Try a simple double crochet or moss stitch shawl, or make a lacy shawl with openwork stitches like shells or granny squares for an airy feel.

The options are endless! Focus on crafting each stitch mindfully with compassion, then gift the finished prayer shawl to spread warmth.

Free Patterns for Knitted Prayer Shawls

Free Patterns for Knitted Prayer Shawls
Seek solace through meditative stitching with these free knitting patterns for prayer shawls. The rhythmic motions of knitting offer a centering activity for reflection and prayer. As you knit each stitch with purpose, infuse the shawl with compassion. Select any pattern that speaks to you – try lacy designs or simple garter stitch.

Knit prayerfully, focusing your heart on each pass of the needles. Feel tensions unwind as the shawl grows row by row.

Bring relief and comfort to others by gifting a hand-knit prayer shawl. Share your light through gifting this meaningful creation. Let the textures and colors convey the gentle power of community. Anyone in need of solace deserves this heartfelt gift.

Allow the intentions knitted into every fiber to envelope them in loving energy.

Together, spread warmth and care through mindful acts of creation.

Personalizing Your Prayer Shawl With Charms and Trinkets

Personalizing Your Prayer Shawl With Charms and Trinkets
Adding personal charms or trinkets to your prayer shawl makes it uniquely yours. Choosing embellishments like beads, buttons, or charms that hold special meaning allows you to imprint the shawl with symbols of your intention.

Look through your bead stash or jewelry box and select meaningful charms that resonate with the purpose of your shawl. A cross, angel wing, Buddha, om symbol, or suncatcher are creative trinket ideas.

You could also customize your shawl by crocheting granny squares with words or affirmations that you want to manifest through your project. Adding touches that are special to you personalizes the shawl and infuses it with the power of your intention.

Let the trinkets and charms you select guide your hands as you meditatively craft each stitch.

Adding Special Touches to Your Prayer Shawl

Adding Special Touches to Your Prayer Shawl
You can further personalize the shawl by embroidering meaningful words or symbols that connect with the recipient.

  • Adding embroidery details like names, initials, hearts, crosses, or stars can make it more meaningful.
  • Sewing on beaded accents along the edges provides sparkle.
  • Attaching a silk edging or lace trim creates an elegant finish.

Experiment with different special touches like patchwork designs, filet crochet motifs, decorative shell stitches, or a geometric tapestry crochet pattern. Handmade details infused with love and intention carry on the vision of Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo who founded the Prayer Shawl Ministry.

Tips for Creating a Meaningful Prayer Shawl

Tips for Creating a Meaningful Prayer Shawl
Around 45% of recipients say a handcrafted prayer shawl provides extreme comfort during hard times. When crafting a prayer shawl, focus on infusing it with healing intentions through your meditative stitching process.

Consider using symbolic colors that hold meaning for the recipient. Work puff stitches or other textures into the shawl to make it extra comforting. You can also customize it by embroidering a short personalized message or including meaningful charms.

When gifting the shawl, share your intentions to comfort and support the wearer. Give it freely without obligation for the recipient to reciprocate.


Creating a prayer shawl is an incredibly meaningful and rewarding experience. With a bit of patience and dedication, you can craft a shawl that’ll provide comfort and solace to its recipient. Whether you choose a knitted, crocheted, or fabric shawl, your hard work and intention will be evident in the final product.

To further personalize the shawl, consider adding charms or trinkets, or adding special touches like grids or tassels. With the wide variety of available free patterns, you can find one that fits your skills and style.

A prayer shawl’s an excellent way to express your care and compassion for ourselves and others.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.