Statistics say that there may be almost 300,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2012 (American Cancer Society). Shocking, isn't it? When I read this statistic my heart sank—it's 2012, how can this be?
|Comfort Shawl by Sandi Wiseheart. This shaped shawl is an easy knit that stays on the shoulders. It's a free pattern, too!|
My circle of friends is peppered with woman who have survived breast cancer, and I'm sure yours is too. I also have dear friends in the midst of their fights, and I feel so helpless. What can I do to support them? A meal here and there is certainly helpful and appreciated, and visits are wonderful, too, but since I'm a knitter, I want to knit something for these precious treasures to help them get through their fight. And the options are plentiful; I've knit hats and socks for my friends and for lots of cancer charities. It's such a win-win—I love knitting and the people suffering are so in need of these small items.
Since chemo patients seem to get so cold during treatment, prayer shawls are the perfect remedy. These shawls have many meanings for many people. Some people do use them while praying, some pray while knitting the shawls, and we all think positive thoughts and put love into each an every stitch.
There are free patterns for knitted prayer shawls, crocheted prayer shawls, woven prayer shawls, and sewn prayer shawls, so whatever your craft you can give the gift of support to your dear ones in need.
And, of course, there are many reasons other than cancer to share a prayer shawl! I knit one for my 91-year-old gramma and she wears it all the time. It's bright pink, her favorite color, so she feels cheery when she wears it and she spreads cheer to all who see her walking around her retirement home.
Knitting gifts is so rewarding, and as knitters we can give the gift of our time and support all wrapped up in a knitted garment. I've gotten so much pleasure out of giving these sorts of gifts, and I know you have too.
Share your prayer shawl story, pattern, favorite charity, and so on in the comments. I know there's a lot of inspiration out there that will lift us all up a little bit.
And if you've never knitted a prayer shawl, look up "prayer shawl" on Google and be bowled over by the resources that pop up!