The Meaning of a Prayer Shawl

Posted by Jessica Ybarra on

Peace of My Heart™ Prayer Shawl

The passion you have for weaving is a gift: Treasure it, and honor the gift by exploring it, developing it, expressing it, and sharing it with those around you. Do that, and your love of weaving will be a joy forever.” Sarah Jackson, Sarah Jackson Design

Sarah Jackson 

Sarah Jackson knew she was a weaver from the first time she saw the beautiful colors of yarn on a loom.  She was a young girl on a camping trip to secluded Northern New Mexico where she happened on Craft House (a weaving cooperative founded by Rachel Brown and Kristina Wilson) in Arroyo Seco, a small town about half way between Taos and the Taos Ski Valley. 

prayer shawl

It wasn’t until many years later when she took an introductory weaving class at the University of Kansas that she was able to sit at a loom and weave. She’s been weaving ever since. She went on to earn a BFA with a concentration in textile design from the University of Kansas.  Sarah is a former technical editor and weaving editor for Handwoven magazine (which has published her weaving projects and technical support more than 30 times!) She has presented workshops and lectures for weaving guilds and national conferences as well as engaging and encouraging 4-shaft weavers in her Facebook Weave-Along groups for several years.

prayer shawl kit

A collaboration

I first conceived of the idea of a prayer shawl in March 2020 when I felt the need to provide Cotton Clouds’ 4-shaft weavers with a kit that would provide them the opportunity of weaving something meaningful as well as beautiful.

I was inspired by  a Sarah Jackson Prayer Shawl, featured in the March/April 2018 Handwoven . When Cotton Clouds quickly sold out of these Tencel 8/2 Prayer Shawls, Sarah and I knew that we needed a new one, specific to the needs of our weavers who are choosing to stay-at-home and weave during the COVID19 pandemic. We chose an earth-friendly, sustainably-grown bamboo –Bambu 12– that would produce a flowing , gossamer-fine fabric suited for an elegant and flowing prayer shawl.

Yet more than anything we wanted to help create a state of mind of harmony and serenity for weavers during these difficult times. We wanted our weaving community to come together through Sarah’s Facebook Group Weave-Alongs because we knew that sharing what we love with others keeps us socially engaged with our hearts filled.

Irene Schmoller

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