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Sheila's Shawls *
Paul's Scarves

The Silent Witness National Initiative invites you to honor Sheila Wellstone and her tremendous work in reducing domestic violence in our country. She was tragically killed in a plane crash with Senator Paul Wellstone on October 25, 2002.

As of December 2012 we have distributed over 5000 shawls. This is an amazing project. It touches the hearts of so many people.


 Renee Youngberg is the Sheila Shawl National Coordinator. Contact her at

She will connect and respond with others by email, encourage new volunteers to join as State Coordinators and Volunteer Knitters,   Also Renee will  to receive and distribute scarves, shawls and yarn, respond to inquiries and requests by phone, email and here at the group, offer support and assistance to State Coordinators and Volunteer Knitters.

Renee will be here to answer questions, make suggestions, and offer help and support as best we can. 

Together, we support domestic peace.

Join us at at This is a free site like facebook but just for knitters and crocheters. and go to the Sheila's Shawl group. shawls.

If you have any kind of problem accessing either group, please email me directly at. and I'll see what I can do to help.

And, of course, if you know of any others who are interested in this work, please email me and let me know so I can contact them and invite them to join the new groups too. Thank you for helping build a strong network.

Read the thank you messages from those who have received shawls.

Read a warm note from Sheila Wellstone's chief aide, Molly Willson, when she found out about the shawl project:

Remember Sheila by knitting a healing shawl for a mother or sister of a woman who was murdered in domestic violence.

We welcome hand sewn shawls, woven shawls or embroidered shawls, whatever your tradition suggests. The idea is to send healing and good will into the cloth, yarn or threads so that the person feels it when they wear it. If you have patterns for other kinds of shawls we welcome them.


  • Four skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn and size 11 or 13 needles OR
  • 50 gm. Heather Mohair yarn, 5 skeins size 13 needles. (more yarn for larger shawls).
  • Cotton yarn is fine too, for warmer climates.
  • Gauge: 3-3 1/2 stitches to an inch.
  • Minimum size 60" long by 24" wide without fringe.

    Another ShawlShawl

If you need supplies you might want to visit one of the supporters of this program:
Creative Fibers
, a knitting/weaving shop in Minneapolis.

Needlework Unlimited in Minneapolis

Rosemount, Minnesota

Mindy McTernan
Fiddlehead Yarns
7511 26th Avenue
Kenosha Wisconsin 53143

Pattern: We are grateful for any shawl that you choose to knit but we offer this simple pattern.

  • Cast on 54, 57, or 60 stitches or some multiple of three. Knit three, purl three to the end of the row.
  • Turn and knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. A weave pattern will develop.
  • Leave about one third skein for fringe. The fringe can be from three to nine inches, as you desire.
  • Blocking is optional.

The purpose of knitting a healing shawl is to weave good thoughts, healing, hope and love into the piece so it will comfort and warm the recipient. Be reflective or offer a prayer for the recipient as you knit; make this a peaceful experience.

Triangle Shawl Variation

Simple Shawl

Here are instructions in Word format for a simplified version of this shawl.

*The prayer shawl ministry and the first pattern on this page was started by Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo in 1998 in Hartford, CT. Rev.

Susan Izard (First Church of Christ, Congregational in West Hartford, CT) furthered the shawl ministry by writing an article about it in Presence Magazine. For the article go to

We are grateful to them for their wonderful idea and hope to keep it moving forward by incorporating this pattern as one of our Sheila Shawl patterns.

When you have completed the shawl please send it to a Shawls Coordinator. Please make sure to Include your name and city.

If you are able to send $10 for packaging and shipping of your shawl, we would appreciate it so much. Write the check to Silent Witness. Thanks again for your generosity in this healing project.

We would like you to contact the individuals at these distribution sites:

NH Danada Dinsmore        
IL Terry Yokota        
MN - St. Peter Kristen
MN: Anoka County Renee Youngberg
Blaine 55434

Be sure to send your name, address, and telephone number along with the shawl. We like to keep track and we love to send out our special thank you notes.

Here are examples of notes that can be sent with the shawl and to thank those who made the shawl.

Thank you card as a word document
Thank you variation that is longer
Thank you variation that is spiritual
Thank you note for the person knitting the shawl

Silent Witness is a non-profit organization so your contribution is tax deductible. If you would like to include an additional donation we would be most grateful.

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