Sunday, 19 June 2011
Review: The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is an extraordinary group that has touched lives in extraordinary ways across the world for more than a decade. With their latest book, Janet Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo continue to reach out to people of all faiths in sadness and celebration, this time with crocheted wraps, or prayer shawls. In their follow-up to the 2008 bestseller The Prayer Shawl Companion, the authors have once again brought together crafters, their inspiring tales, and comforting, thoughtful blessings. The Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion features 37 beautifully designed prayer shawl patterns contributed by everyday crocheters and professional knitwear designers alike, including Nicky Epstein, Mary Beth Temple, and Doris Chan, among others. The instructions are easy to follow and the patterns represent a range of skill levels.
I found this book utterly beautiful. The patterns themselves were lovely, but what really touched me were the prayers and anecdotes that went with them. Stories of mothers who had lost children, and people who had been diagnosed with cancer receiving these shawls through the Prayer Shawl Ministry touched my heart. I found myself wishing that I could crochet (yes, I'm a non-crocheter reviewing a book on crocheting - how bizarre!). In my defense, I have actually tried crocheting, but am not very good at it. I'm more of a knitter (and was pleased to see that there IS also a book called "The Prayer Shawl Companion" written by the same ladies).
Now, getting back to this book - the patterns are written in a way that is easy (for a crocheter) to understand, and are marked with skill levels ranging from easy to intermediate. The accompanying photographs of the shawls are stunning.
Lastly, but certainly not least, the book gives some helpful hints on starting your own prayer shawl ministry.
Date of Publication: 7 September 2010
Publisher: The Taunton Press
Note: I received pre-release access to this book free from the publisher via NetGalley for the purposes of review. I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one. The opinions expressed are my own.