Cover image for Knitting into the mystery : a guide to the shawl-knitting ministry
Knitting into the mystery : a guide to the shawl-knitting ministry
Jorgensen, Susan S., 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Harrisburg, Pa. : Morehouse Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
147 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Celebrations -- In the beginning -- Introduction -- A history of the shawl knitting ministry -- Contemplative knitting -- Casting on -- Opening your heart -- Selecting yarn -- Basic instructions -- Knitting -- Knitting "alone" -- Knitting with others -- Keeping a knitting journal -- Binding off -- Giving away a shawl -- Receiving and wearing a shawl -- Stories and prayers -- Stories of witness -- From one shawl...Vicky Galo's story -- Prayers for the seasons of life -- Our prayer for you.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BV215 .J68 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Knitters there are 38 million of them in the United States alone - are part of a long and quiet tradition that's both plainly practical and deeply spiritual. With needles clicking, they weave together not just garments to warm the body but also comfort and companionship to nurture the soul.

This tradition is flowering today through knitting ministries, a worldwide ecumenical movement of small groups of women who gather to pray and knit for those in need. As they create shawls for people burdened with illness and sorrow, their handiwork becomes an expression, not only of their love and concern, but also of the loving care of the God who works through them.

In this beautifully illustrated book, the authors - a United Church of Christ minister and a Roman Catholic laywoman - share stories of how the knitting ministry has touched lives and hearts around the world. They offer directions for knitting the shawls and for starting a parish or community knitting ministry. The book also provides a selection of prayers, written from many faith traditions, to offer along with each completed shawl.

Author Notes

Susan S. Jorgensen has been a spiritual director in private practice since 1989 and leads workshops and retreats across the country
Susan S. Izard is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, serving as pastor of spiritual life in a parish in Connecticut

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Many contemplative, prayerful acts involve repetition of action: walking a labyrinth, reciting the Divine Office or saying the rosary. So why not knitting? As their needles flash and click, veteran knitters Jorgensen and Izard practice "contemplative knitting," which they say is just as real and fruitful a spiritual practice as any longstanding tradition of the church. Jorgensen, a Roman Catholic laywoman and spiritual director whose grandmother taught her to knit as a child, rediscovered knitting a few years ago and began to knit as part of her ministry. Her first project was a shawl for a woman in her congregation who had lost her husband in a car accident: "While I knitted, I prayed to enter her grief; I prayed light into every stitch," says Jorgensen. She chose an "Adirondack" pattern to honor the love that this woman and her husband had shared for the outdoors. Izard, a United Church of Christ pastor, shares stories from the shawl-knitting circle she organized at her church. The shawls change the lives of the knitters themselves, inviting them to engage in quiet meditation, and they also make an impact on the people who receive them, many of whom are recovering from illness or bereavement. Fans of knitting will be, shall we say, hooked: the book offers practical steps on selecting yarn and knitting simple prayer shawls, but its most enduring feature is the heartwarming stories of shawls knitted and given as artifacts of prayer. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Celebrationsp. ix
Part 1 In the Beginning
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 3
Chapter 2 A History of the Shawl-Knitting Ministryp. 11
Chapter 3 Contemplative Knittingp. 19
Part 2 Casting On
Chapter 4 Opening Your Heartp. 29
Chapter 5 Selecting Yarnp. 35
Chapter 6 Basic Instructionsp. 41
Part 3 Knitting
Chapter 7 Knitting "Alone"p. 49
Chapter 8 Knitting with Othersp. 55
Chapter 9 Keeping a Knitting Journalp. 73
Part 4 Binding Off
Chapter 10 Giving Away a Shawlp. 81
Chapter 11 Receiving and Wearing a Shawlp. 91
Part 5 Stories and Prayers
Chapter 12 Stories of Witnessp. 101
Chapter 13 From One Shawl: Vicky's Storyp. 109
Chapter 14 Prayers for the Seasons of Life: A Collectionp. 113
Notesp. 135
Referencesp. 138
About Our Contributorsp. 140
Knitting Your Shawlp. 145
About Shawls...p. 147