Want to show someone some love through your knitting, but you don’t have time to knit an entire blanket or sweater? Try giving your loved one a “prayer patch.”
A Prayer Patch is a small piece of knitting you give someone to simply show you care about them. Much like a full-blown Prayer Shawl, a Prayer Patch might be given to someone facing surgery, someone grieving a family member, or someone just going through a tough time. You could even give a Prayer Patch to someone simply to let them know you’re thinking about them.
To make a Prayer Patch, you can use yarn leftover from a favorite project. You might even use a favorite stitch or pattern that’s so stuck in your head you can make it without thinking. You might even attach a small charm to your Prayer Patch, such as an angel, cross, or other symbol meaningful to your spiritual life. (I’ve found it’s easiest to leave a long tail when you cast off, then you have something ready-made for attaching the charm.)
Some churches, I hear, offer Prayer Patches to newcomers or those attending services who need a small token of their faith community’s love and care for them. (Psssst…in my new book, The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a newcomer receives a Prayer Patch. Her life is changed forever, and she learns to knit – not necessarily in that order.)
What do you do with a Prayer Patch? You could tuck it into a purse or backpack. You could use it on your desk as a coaster or under your phone while it charges. It’s so small, you could keep it almost anywhere to remind you that someone loves you. Churches or other faith communities might send it along with a flower delivery or include it with a get-well card. It could even be a miniature version of a Prayer Shawl for the recipient to keep with them on-the-go.
And for the knitter herself, making a Prayer Patch gives you space and time to be quiet, collect your thoughts, and perhaps remember a loved one in prayer. It’s an easy project, perfect for taking a half hour or so to simply and silently send your hopes and prayers to someone who needs them.
Here’s a favorite Prayer Patch pattern I’d like to share with you:
The “Diamond of Hope” Prayer Patch
(I used the Caron x Pantone mini-skeins and size 10 needles. You can get two prayer patches out of each of these small skeins. You could use whatever yarn you have handy with appropriate sized needles.)
Cast on 17 Stitches.
Knit one row for a nice border.
Row 1 (Right Side): (P1, K7) x 2, P1
Row 2 (Wrong Side): K2, P5, K3, P5, K2
Row 3: K1, P2, K3, P2, K1, P2, K3, P2, K1
Row 4: P2, K2, P1, K2, P3, K2, P1, K2, P2
Row 5: K3, P3, K5, P3, K3
Row 6: P4, K1, P7, K1, P4
Row 7: Repeat Row 5
Row 8: Repeat Row 4
Row 9: Repeat Row 3
Row 10: Repeat Row 2
Repeat Rows 1-10, then Repeat Row 1 once more
Knit one row for a border.
Leave a long tail for tying on a symbolic charm, such as an angel, cross or other sign of hope.
This is easier than it looks! Once you get the pattern in your head, you can do it in your sleep. You’re always moving out from a point or in towards a point.
The pattern makes one large diamond with 4 smaller diamonds inside it and 8 triangles around it, for a total of 12 spaces on the piece. (Twelve apostles total, with 4 writers of the Gospels, if you’re into symbolism.)
Blessings on your Prayer Patches, Cindy
Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a book of related short stories in which prayer shawls end up in unlikely places, friendships are made through knitting, and people in need receive unexpected gifts. Available in e-book and paperback and included in Kindle Unlimited.