Prayer Shawl Instructions
Knitting and Crochet


Knitting: Knitting Needle size 11 or 13
Crochet: Size 'M', 'N' or 'P' crochet hook

(Based on U. S. sizes - click here for conversion table)

Amount of yarn needed:

Knitted: 555 yards (slightly bulky) in the yarn of your choice.

Crochet and larger shawls:
740 yards (slightly bulky)
for longer shawls and 60+ stitches

Or, use the recommended needle size listed on label,

adjusting pattern to obtain the desired width.

     The cost of yarn is rising, be creative and use yarns that      

appeal to you and your price range.

Before You Begin:

Because this is a spiritual practice, before one begins the knitting (crochet) process, a blessing, prayer or wish can be said, dedicating the work of your hands and the intentions of the receiver.  You may want to light a candle and play soft music to enhance your knitting time, remembering that this is a prayerful time.  When working in a group, you may want to pass the work-in-progress around the circle, asking each person to add some stitches to the shawl, or to just hold it for a while to add their prayers, energy and good wishes.

The Original Prayer Shawl - Knitting Pattern © 2024All rights reserved.

1998 - Written & Developed By Victoria Galo and Janet Severi Bristow

It is important to us that the origins of this ministry be honored. We have worked diligently to keep this
ministry a 'grass-roots' effort. These shawls are meant to be given away unconditionally and NOT to be sold.
The information on this site is provided freely for your personal use.
All copied material that is used for 'personal use' must have the Shawl Ministry
web address ( and credit given to the authors.
As all the material on this site is copyright protected, duplicating, distributing, or
displaying any part of it, outside of personal use, is prohibited.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us at © 2024

Cast on stitches in multiples of three - 54, *57, or 60.  For example, if you use size 11 needles and cast on 54 stitches, 3 skeins of 'slightly bulky' yarn is enough.  Some yarns vary in elasticity which will affect your outcome, as will your knitting tension.  If the yarn you have chosen has a multicolored stripe, be careful when tying on a new skein.  Make sure the color sequence is correct.  Also, tie on the new skein in the body of the shawl, instead of an edge, as the ends tend to show.

First Row: k3, p3, to end

Second Row:
Always start the next row with the opposite stitch of what you see.
For instance, if the first stitch on the needle is a knit, then start with a purl.


It should NOT look like ribbing.

*Note: If you cast on 57 stitches you will always start with K3

The same can be said if you make the pattern in multiples of 6's + 3 (add) stitches

The Original Prayer Shawl Crochet Pattern  © 2024 All rights reserved.

Developed by Rita Glod

Chain 54 stitches or desired width of shawl.
Chain 1, turn, single crochet in each of the stitches to end.  Chain 3 and turn.
Double crochet in top of each single crochet.  Repeat this row 2 more times.
Chain 1 and do 1 row of single crochet to end. Chain 3 and turn.
Do 3 rows of double crochet.  Repeat pattern to end (1 row single, 3 rows double)
End with 1 row of single. Finish with fringe.

*Note: that crocheting typically uses more yarn than knitting, so you might have to adjust the width and size of hook or use another 1/2 skein. 

It has been suggested that skeins of the same dye lot be purchased.

To Complete the shawl:

Knit (crochet) until the piece measures from wrist to wrist, or approximately 57-58" long.  (Knitting: bind off with a knit row).  Use what you have left to cut *fringe.  Suggestion for fringe: you can also do this before using the last skein.  Divide the pile in half and slip knot them to the ends, evenly spaced. 

If the yarn is manufactured loosely wound, you might have to knot the ends of the fringe to keep it from unraveling.

For detailed tassel instructions click here.

Now that the shawl is completed:

You may want to add beads and/or charms to the fringe.  They can be new or parts of old pieces of jewelry. 

They not only add beauty, but also can be used to inspire or aid meditation.
Before you give it away, say a
blessing, prayer or wish over the shawl, keeping the receiver in mind.  Another nice touch is enclosing a *potpourri sachet scented with lavender oil, a calming aroma, or any essential oil that you like.  It is also good to enclose an explanation and/or a blessing, prayer or wish for the receiver.  For instance, if you choose a certain symbolic color for the yarn, beads or charms it's interesting and helpful to explain your reason.

*The inclusion of a scented sachet is not recommended if the receiver of the shawl is

sensitive to fragrances, is pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, has emphysema or chronic respiratory issues.

The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Made in prayer, as prayer, for prayer, the shawls are passed on hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart. Putting a price on a shawl defeats the purpose of this ministry. May we suggest a better alternative? If someone offers to "buy" a shawl, you can state that; "although the shawls aren't sold, a donation to our ministry is gratefully accepted in whatever dollar amount you feel comfortable in giving".  These donations will allow your ministry to purchase more yarn and continue the 'ripple effect' of unconditional love!

Blessings, Janet and Vicky

Click here for our "Tip Sheet"
for further tips, further tassel directions and pattern links!

Main Page