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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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.