Piecework Treasures - a simple knit prayer shawl

Prayer Shawls ~ are homemade throws made in prayer for the person who will be its recipient.  Some are knitted, crocheted or maybe even sewn by machine or hand.  What is important is that it's made with love and prayerfulness.  Today, many churches support a Prayer Shawl Ministry, including the church we attend, but one can also employ the same prayerfulness and ministry on one's own, as I do.

I recently completed a knitted prayer shawl for my oldest daughter who lives out of state and received her permission to post a photo of the completed prayer shawl and share its pattern information.    Purple is her favorite color.

This simple repeating pattern knits a beautiful prayer shawl.  Symbolic of the 'trinity' of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, it uses the 'trinity stitch' and is worked in multiples of '3' that always begins and ends with a 'knit 3'.  For this shawl I cast on 87 stitches that worked into 29 sets of 3.  The pattern is 'knit 3 - purl 3' always beginning and ending with the 'knit 3'.  I simply continued that pattern until I reached the desired length.

This prayer shawl finished at 38" x 64" (before adding the fringe) using Homespun Lion Brand yarn color #322 Baroque and 9.0mm/US13 needles.  The fringe really added a fun element!  I used 2 strands of yarn 20" long per unit of fringe which meant the fringe added 10" to each side.  One strand of yarn was the color of the shawl, and the other strand was a lighter lavender I already had on hand.  I used a LOT of yarn for the fringe and knotted the strands close together which made for a luxurious and fun feel.

Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl Pattern in Summary:
Needles:  9.0mm/US13
Yarn:  Homespun Lion Brand yarn color #322 Baroque.  Lighter lavender strand also used in fringe.
Skeins of yarn:  @5 skeins of yarn needed depending on the desired length of shawl and amount of fringing.   I always prefer to buy a little extra just in case I might need it later.  It is also nice to have a little stash on hand for any future applications, such as fringe highlights like this shawl used with the lighter lavender strands of yarn from a previous project.
Finished size before fringe:  38" x 64"
Fringe:  each strand cut 20"....makes 10" length of fringe.  Used double strands of yarn.
Cast on:  87 stitches (29 sets of 3)
Pattern:  knit 3 - purl 3    Always begin and end with a 'knit 3'.  Continue pattern until desired length.  Bind off. 

I always include a note...
...and to my daughter I wrote that "I hope as she snuggles in this prayer shawl made with love and prayers for her, she will feel my arms wrapped around her".
UPDATE - 1/31/2012:  I've created a printer-friendly link using Google Docs with more information and inspiration about a prayer shawl ministry, as well as this pattern, with photograph, on a separate page to make it easy to include in a project notebook.  This is a link to an updated post.

UPDATE - 5/24/2012:  Dee's Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl for her dear friend, Bev post telling Dee's story of perseverance and labor of love for her dear friend who is in stage 4 cancer.  Includes photos of her work and a beautiful hand carved shawl pin she included.  She has asked for others to please include Bev in their prayers.

UPDATE - 1/17/2013:  Another Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl ~ a little wider this time post tells how to make your prayer shawl 45" wide, a nice width for more of a 'throw', than a 'shawl'.   

UPDATE - 2/19/2013:   a new prayer shawl pattern started & how to use straight needles to cast on and knit a lot of stitches  post shows how I cast on and knit 100+ stitches using straight needles and why.  

UPDATE - 3/14/2013: How I Fringe the Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl Tutorial  explains the fringing process I use for these shawls.  Lots of photos. 

UPDATE - 9/25/2013: A friend's loving memorial  letting readers know about Dee's memorial to her friend Bev who is now living in her heavenly home.  (See update above dated 5/24/2012)  Please pray for Bev's daughter who will turn 21 on September 29, 2013. 

UPDATE - 10/24/2013:  a friend's prayer shawl  shares the beautiful prayer shawl Kim made for her friend Lorraine, who is battling breast cancer.  Please pray for Lorraine.

UPDATE - 2/24/2014:  A special quilt's note for someone 'special' shares a handwritten note I wrote to include with a quilt I made for a children's home in Alabama.  Even though this note was included with a 'prayer quilt', it could easily be modified to be included with a 'prayer shawl'.

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  1. Lisa, this is soooo beautiful!!! I'm sure she LOVES it!!!

  2. Love this! So beautiful an comforting. Going to make these for a local Grief Support Group,

  3. Lynne ~ thank you! I hope so.

    Julie ~ I'd love to see what you make! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

  4. Hi! I am new to knitting and this looks like a great project for me. It is lovely. My question: Is it difficult to work with 87 stitches cast onto one needle -- in other words, does it seem "tight"? I haven't worked on anything this wide yet -- only scarves! Thank you.

  5. Hi Elizabeth! I've been involved with family and apologize for the tardiness of my reply to your comment.

    First of all, 'thank you' for your sweet compliment and to answer your question "is it difficult to work with 87 stitches cast onto one needle"...I don't think so. In fact, I prefer straight needles over circular needles. Do cast on loose stitches, that just makes it easier to get started. I've recently finished an even wider prayer shawl than this one with 99 stitches on my straight needles and it worked up fine too.

    You are right as this would be a great project for a new knitter as it would give you lots of practice with the knit and purl stitches. It is also very forgiving, so if you make a mistake, don't fret as you'll probably be the only one who'll know!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and dropping a note. You've asked a very good question and I will follow up with a post on the subject soon as there are probably others who might wonder the same.

    Good Luck and let me know how it goes!

  6. Love this pattern. Beautiful color. I love to make prayer shawls. They make great gifts

  7. Do you make these to sell? It's beautiful!

    1. Thank you for the kind compliment. I've gifted all the prayer shawls I've ever made. Some have gone to family and friends who have since lost their courageous battles with cancer.... others to ones who may have been going through a hard time.... and this soft lavender purple shawl was made with great love for my oldest daughter who I do not get to see often as she lives out-of-state. I hope feels a 'hug' from her mother through this prayer shawl.

  8. Lisa - I have never heard of this, although when I am making food or anything for people close to me I always feel that I include my love. I hold them close to me in my thoughts and although this is not really a religious thing for me it is a type of silent communion. Thank you for all the touching links and sharing your beautiful work.

  9. Lisa, thank you for putting this pattern in here. I am new to Ravelry but not to prayer shawls. I've been working on my first prayer shawl for over a year! Now it's my first challenge (to finish it) and I'm so happy to find the instructions already here. Blessings to you!

  10. I have returned to knitting after a 40 year break, so in theory I am beginner again. I was wondering if this pattern curled or if it would lay flat since the purl and knit stitches are mixed in each row. It looks so beautiful and admire your ministry. Thank you for sharing the pattern.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa