Knitting for smiles

Ten sets of needles flashed busily Monday at one of the tables overlooking the Grand Haven beach at the Bil-Mar Restaurant.
Becky Vargo
Jun 11, 2013

Judy McAlister leaned over to her neighbor, Mary Jane Boettcher, and explained the prayer pattern she should knit into the shawl.

“You say ‘God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit’ for knit 3, then repeat it again for pearl 3,” McAlister said.

“That creates a pattern that shows rows in it,” explained Jeanette Schollenberger as she worked away.

“We also say a prayer when we pick our knitting up,” said Karen Fox. “It’s for people who are sick or shut-in. It sends prayers to them.”

The 10 women from the Prayer Shawl Ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven took advantage of National Knit in Public Day for an excuse to go out to lunch and work on their shawls.

“It takes about a month to make a shawl if you work an hour a day,” said Spring Lake resident Nancy Levenburg.

The shawls — 60 inches long by 63 stitches wide — are kept in the office at the church, 508 Franklin Ave.

“We usually have 35 on hand,” said Sue Ochs of Norton Shores. “The minister or deacon can take one if they are visiting someone. ... Anyone can walk in the office and ask for one."

Ochs said the shawls are also distributed through Tri-Cities Ministries, Love INC and Center for Women in Transition.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

To see more photos of the knit club, CLICK HERE.

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