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Free Pattern: The Power of a Prayer Shawl

Prayer Shawl

We all have friends in need.

Sometimes the friend just needs a hug or an encouraging chat over a cup of coffee. Most of us benefit from a reprieve from the daily grind and having a friend to laugh with can go a long way.

But sometimes a friend needs more – when that friend is walking through a dark, sad, or scary time; what many of us call “the valley.”

Obviously, the person experiencing a trial is the one with the difficulty – but sometimes knowing how to be a good friend can be hard too. We don’t always know what to say. We don’t want to be trite, or too serious. We want to be there, but not over-bearing. Some of us also have a tendency to shirk away from very emotional situations.

A tangible gift has a powerful impact and offering something personal can help with healing.

I love giving a prayer shawl that represents everything I wish, hope, and pray for that individual in the midst of trouble.

And not merely a shawl you would find in a store or in a pattern book, but a personalized crocheted fabric that wraps a friend in symbolism.

The symbols you choose will depend on your beliefs and the beliefs of the person receiving the shawl. The purpose isn’t religious proselytizing; it’s blessing someone going through a hard time.

For this specific prayer shawl, I will share with you the symbols used and their significance. You can use this exact pattern or use it as an idea to start your own to bless someone in your life. Just like our Chemo Cap free pattern, please only use this pattern to bless someone else and not for personal gain.

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Prayer Shawl Symbols 

The stitches:

Trinity stitch and single crochet.

The Trinity stitch serves as a reminder that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are with us.

Single crochet reminds us to have “singleness of mind” in two different ways:

  1. To encourage our friend to only think about good and true things and to not despair:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

  1. To remind our friend that we will be with them in mind and spirit – we will be near to them as Christ commands:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2

Number of stitches in each row:

Each single crochet row has 50 stitches. Every 50 years in Israel they celebrated the Year of Jubilee in which every slave was set free. This reminds us to celebrate our freedom in Christ.

Each Trinity stitch row as 24 stitches reminding us that God is with us each and every hour; and we need him every hour.

I Need Thee Every Hour (Hymn by Annie S. Hawks 1835 – 1918)

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord; no tender voice like thine can peace afford.

Refrain: I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby; temptations lose their power when thou art nigh. (Refrain)

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is vain. (Refrain)

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will and thy rich promises in me fulfill. (Refrain)

I need thee every hour, most Holy One; O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son. (Refrain)

Alternating panels of color:

The number 7 is used to alternate the colors. Starting with 7 Trinity stitch rows of each color (AAAAAAABBBBBBB) and decreasing one row of color on each panel until there is one row of each color (see pictures). One row of each color is then alternated 7 times (ABABABA). Seven reminds us to rest in Christ as God rested on the 7th day – the Sabbath.

Colors Green & Blue:

Blue for peace –

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 4-7

Green for life –

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Tassels:

The Jews wore/wear tassels on the corners of their undershirts. They are also referred to as “wings.” A woman touched Jesus’ tassel and was healed of her bleeding (Luke 8: 42 – 48). Tassels remind us that Jesus is our healer.

Crocheted on the Bias: 

Life may be crooked, but it still can be beautiful!

PATTERN DETAILS

Yarn Pictured: Malabrigo Rios in 27 Bobby Blue (CA) and 416 Indiecita (CB)

Yardage / Grams: 840 yards, 400 g (420 yds CA, 420 yds CB)

Yarn Weight: 4 medium worsted

Hook: Size (I-9) 5.5 mm (Shop my favorite hooks here.)

Gauge: 12 rows and 16 sc = 4” as pattern repeats

Completed Dimensions: 14 x 47”

Pattern Size: One size fits most

Skill level: 2 Easy (some crochet experience necessary)

Necessary Skills: basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes

Abbreviations

[ ] . . . . . . . work instructions within brackets as many times as directed

( ) . . . . . . . work instructions within parentheses as many times as directed

* . . . . . . . . repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed

ch— chain

sc— single crochet

dc— double crochet

rep— repeat

st(s)— stitch(es)

ea— each

sk— skip

xs— times

Special Stitch: Trinity Stitch (T-st) Sc3tog by inserting hook into same st as last st made, draw up loop, [insert hook into next st, draw up loop] 2 xs, yoh, draw yoh through four loops on hook, ch 1. (one T-st made)

Notes – Stitches worked on the bias (as you work the piece will slant making a rhombus shape instead of a rectangle). To make piece wider you need to add chains (multiple of 2), to make the piece longer you can repeat the color pattern a second time (or a 1234567654321 row repeat with the 7 rows of T-st in the middle).

IMPORTANT: The “ch-1” at the beginning of a sc row does NOT count as a stitch (initial chains do count as stitches with taller stitches: a ch-2 counts as one hdc, ch-3 counts as one dc, etc. when a pattern indicates) Ch 1 at the beg of the row and work your first sc in the same st as the ch. If you do not do this, your shawl will not be worked on the bias.

Pattern:

With CA, ch 51.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea ch across. (50 sc)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in 1st st, 24 T-st across row, sc in last st. (2 sc, 24 T-st total)

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in 1st st, [sk ch from T-st, 2 sc in next st] across, sc in last st. (50 sc)

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, sc in 1st st, 24 T-st across row, sc in last st. (2 sc, 24 T-st total)

Rows 5 – 14: Rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 15 – 28: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 29 – 40: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 41 – 52: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 53 – 62: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 63 – 72: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 73 – 80: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 81 – 88: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 89 – 94: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 95 – 100: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 101 – 104: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 105 – 108: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 109 – 110: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 111 – 112: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 113 – 114: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 115 – 116: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 117 – 118: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 119 – 120: With CB, rep rows 3 – 4.

Rows 121 – 122: With CA, rep rows 3 – 4. (Do not finish off)

Edging: Begin where you ended row 122. Work around entire piece in unworked stitches, chains and in the ends of rows.

Row 1: *[5 dc in T-st, sk ch, sc in next T-st] rep to corner, [5 dc in end of T-st row, sc in the end of next T-st row] rep to corner, rep from * once more, finish off.

Row 2: With CB, [5 dc in next sc from row 1, sc at the top of next 5-dc shell] rep around piece, sl st in final shell.

Finish off, weave in ends.

Tassels:

Cut 12” strands of yarn (28 in CA and 28 in CB (54 strands total). Attach 7 strands in CA and 7 strands in CB to each corner of the shawl.

Need a place to sell PDFs? Try SendOwl! More info here.

Hope you liked the pattern! Comment below with any questions. I added some YouTube videos from my channel below. Enjoy!

Crochet often. Create always!

Xoxo,

Abbey

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45 thoughts on “Free Pattern: The Power of a Prayer Shawl”

  1. I love, live, love this pattern, but it came out too short for my mother. I I add a second set of pattern, in reverse, do you think it will ruin the symbolism? It was one of the reasons I chose this pattern. I am unable to post my photo in your comments, but would gladly email it to you. Thank you so much! I want to finish it soon. Heather Gruber, fb @ heather horn Gruber.

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  2. I Love this shawl and it will be perfect for the prayer shawl ministry I belong to. The stitches are easy enough but I am having difficulty getting the diagonal. Is it my understanding that stitching into the chain one stitch at the beginning of each row will create this? I

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    1. Hi Lauri!

      Great question. The reason for the slant is the way the T-sts are made and then how the next row of sc are worked. Check to make sure you are working your T-sts properly and this note that is in the pattern might help:

      IMPORTANT: The “ch-1″ at the beginning of a sc row does NOT count as a stitch (initial chains do count as stitches with taller stitches: a ch-2 counts as one hdc, ch-3 counts as one dc, etc. when a pattern indicates) Ch 1 at the beg of the row and work your first sc in the same st as the ch. If you do not do this, your shawl will not be worked on the bias.

      Those are a few reasons it may not be on the bias. Let me know if I can off any more help.

      Thanks for stopping by and happy crocheting:)

      Abbey

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      1. The shawl is coming out beautifully. I so much enjoy making this trinity stitch pattern. It is very relaxing and easy to remember. I am already looking forward to making my next one. Thank you for the quick reply.

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  3. This is my first attempt at a prayer shawl. I was drawn first to your color combination. It’s just lovely. I see in the comments that some others have experienced the “diagonal” challenge and I’m hoping with their comments I will be able to get my shawl on the right road. Thanks for the pattern, background information, and the great tutorials.

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    1. Let me know if you still need help figuring out the bias. Thanks for stopping by The Firefly Hook!

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  4. I am not sure if I have confirmed that I want to follow you. Could you send me confirmation to my email? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Sandra!

      In order to check if you are following us, look on the main page of the site in the upper right hand corner. If you signed up successfully, it should say “following”. If you are unsure you can always enter your email address up at the top and sign up there. I can’t actually send you a confirmation on my end. Let me know if you need more help.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  5. What an Awesome answer to prayer!! It has been placed on my heart to start a Prayer Shawl Ministry at my Church, and what do I see tonight when I open my email? Not only 20 patterns for Prayer Shawls, but scripture, the symbolism of the colors, hymns and other inspirational items that could be used for the recipient of the Prayer Shawl for inspiration! This is just the push and inspiration that I needed to get this Ministry started, and for it to be successful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Abbey!!

    Sandra Hafner

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing the Trinity Shaw pattern. I have some new wool and am going to start it soon. Seven women from out church family meet twice a month for sharing patterns, wool and fellowship. we have been blessed by giving many prayer shawls away including to our young Pastor who had surgery, being very macho he thought they were for women until he had his surgery and then we each received a thank you note from him saying how much comfort he received by being wrapped in a navy shawl. He blesses several at a time during Worship. A dear friend received one this New Years when her husband went home, and she has emailed more than once saying how wonderful the shawl is. Blessings, Val

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    1. Val,
      Thank you for visiting The Firefly Hook and for sharing your stories. I love hearing about the power of a simple gift.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  7. I did the first 14 rows & mine was not coming up diagonal either. I was not putting my 2 single crochets in chain sp. but instead somehow I was putting it in the T stitch. When I started over & did that then it turned out correct. I had to feel on the row before the 2 sc. row to feel the hole left by the chain until I got the hang of it. Once I did that it is great. I am about 1/2 finished now. Thank you for a great pattern & explanation. I hope my friend that is going through a very rough time will find comfort knowing people are praying for her. I hope explaining my problem helps.

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  8. I Love this shawl and all of the symbols. I just got done making one, less the tassels. My problem is that it didn’t turn out to be diagonal. Help! What did I do wrong?

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    1. That’s a great question! I think I would need to see the shawl to figure out what happened. I also had a friend work it up with the same problem. I will ask her how she resolved it and get back to you. It has to do with where the stitches are worked at the beginning and end of the row…

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Warmly,
      Abbey

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      1. Hi there. I too had a problem with getting the diagonal. However, I am blessed with having the designer live in my home town 🙂 so she helped me work it out. I will look at it when I get home this evening and get back to you. It is so beautiful on the bias.

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  9. I am very active in the prayer shawl ministry at out church. I sing in our choir, play the bells, attend Bible study and, until about a year ago, was an officer in one of our women’s groups. I volunteer with the food pantry, help in our semi-annual rummage sales and work in our annual pumpkin patch, along with a number of other various and assorted programs and activities. However, if I was one day informed that I would be allowed to be involved in only one of these ministries, I’d choose our shawl ministry in a heartbeat and never look back.

    Our group is now about 10-12 in number and we meet on the 2nd Monday of every month in the afternoon for 2-3 hours and on the 4th Tuesday mornings when we also share lunch together. We always have a short devotional then every completed project is placed on the table. We lay hands on them and pass them around so that each piece is touched by and prayed over by each member of the group. Each shawl includes a small handmade cross and the name of the person who crocheted or knitted it. Also enclosed in the bag is a letter that tells a little bit about our group along with a page of scriptures and prayers. Some of us crochet, some knit and some do both. Every year we create hats and scarves to be included in the food baskets provided by the food pantry at Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with those we provide to the local women’s shelter. This past year we created 97 shawls, 133 cap & scarf sets and almost that same number individual pieces which weren’t part of a set. Beginning January 2015, we will begin making baby blankets for a facility that supports young women with an alternative to abortion. Our completed shawls are free for the asking to anyone (you don’t even need to be a church member) who knows of anyone in need, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. In 2014, we gave out 115 shawls which were sent all across the United States and at least 2 that were sent overseas.

    When I began this message I didn’t expect to get so long and involved, but I hope you will overlook (and forgive) my “over sharing.” I just want to say that I loved the explanation of your pattern, especially the symbolism of the numbers. While I found the choice of the Trinity stitch self explanatory, I was intriqued by the rest and I really appreciate the scriptures you provided. I can’t wait to share your pattern and scriptures with the gals in our group. Thank you so much for sharing your marvelous talent.

    May God bless you and keep you and yours.

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    1. That is so wonderful! I love hearing about people using crochet to bless others. I’m honored that you will share this pattern with the gals in your group.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  10. I made this prayer shawl and will make others to give to the chaplains at The Cancer Center of America where my husband and I are receiving treatment. This pattern was such a blessing and inspiration to me. Thank you.
    Dee

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    1. Dee,

      Thank you for blessing others with this shawl. And many prayers and blessings on you and your husband as you receive treatments.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  11. Love Power of a Prayer Shawl. It looks so much warmer than a lot others I’ve seen. And cool to read the history and meaning behind every stitch — which I will print up with each shawl gift.

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    1. Thank you so much for using this pattern to bless others. I’m happy you like the meaning behind the stitches, too.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  12. I finished making this Prayer Shawl for a friend just this week. It is fantastic – one of the most beautiful and meaningful Prayer Shawls I have made and I have made many. It is wonderful to find a new and different pattern for a crocheted shawl. I made my shawl 70 single crochet stitches wide and would even like it a bit wider but will have to research numbers in order to do this. Thank you so much for sharing your talents and your pattern. Many Blessings.

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  13. I just finished making your prayer shawl last night. I am going to give it to a friend who recently retired. She is feeling uneasy about how she will be able to live on her social security.
    Thank you for sharing your pattern.
    Louise

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    1. Louise,
      Thanks so much for visiting The Firefly Hook and using this pattern to bless someone! You are a good friend.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

      Like

  14. Can you tell me what kind of yarn you used and how many skeins it took? (or approximate number of yards and whether it was worsted or something else). Thank you so much for the wonderfully symbolic pattern.

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    1. Hi Janice,
      Thanks for stopping by! Here’s the info we have on the yarn in the post for the prayer shawl:

      Yarn Pictured Malabrigo Rios in 27 Bobby Blue (CA) and 416 Indiecita (CB)

      Yardage / Grams: 840 yards, 400 g (420 yds CA, 420 yds CB)

      Yarn Weight: 4 medium worsted

      If you want to buy the specific yarn mentioned you will need two skeins of each color.

      Thanks again for visiting and for blessing others with a prayer shawl.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

      Like

  15. I make prayer shawls for our church to be given away as needed. This pattern will be a nice addition to the patterns I have been using. Each prayer shawl I create is of a different pattern, and color/texture, unique in it’s own way just as the recipient is unique in his/her own way.

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    1. That is so wonderful to hear! I love the prayer shawls can be so versatile and meet the needs of the recipient. Thanks for stopping by!

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  16. This Prayer Shawl is Amazing! I hope to make one.Thanks for posting and sharing your beautiful work! Blessings.

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  17. Love this def gonna try and make!belong to prayershawl group here in newfairfield ct.heres the FUNNY part i dont read direction,s but look at pictures and come up with a version of it none of my projects are the same!🌹

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    1. Hello Rosie,
      Thanks for stopping by! I think that’s great – you will be a big blessing to someone no matter the version of prayer shawl you create. Each one is one-of-a-kind. That is so wonderful you have a prayer shawl group! I would love to be a part of one.

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  18. Love that you included Scripture in the pattern. This will give direction to the prayers I will use as I make this shawl! It all fits together so beautifully even the colors! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much, Dorothy! Let us know if you work one up with the pattern. Happy crocheting!:)

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  19. This is so nice! I love the explanation with it as well. I will definitely make one of these. It will make such a nice gift. Thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Let us know how you like the pattern. Happy crocheting!:)

      Warmly,
      Abbey

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  20. NICE article!!  THANKS for sharing!  I will try this pattern for my next prayer shawl! Blessings!  kimberly

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    1. Thank you so much Kimberly! Let me know how it turns out. What kinds of prayer shawls have you made in the past?

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Abbey

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