Abby asked what a prayer shawl was, so I will do my best to try and explain it well.
A prayer shawl is created with someone specific in mind, or a general recipient..and the idea is that you pray for, or think about the person you are creating the shawl for, so that when they receive it, they are wrapped in love and prayer.
I knit mine, using this pattern provided by Lion Brand. The one I am creating for my MIL is using Lion Brand Homespun in the Williamsburg colorway. It's further along than the photo shows, as I've completed 13 inches. You can also crochet a shawl, or use a different pattern. There are no hard rules. I believe I am also using size 11 needles, instead of 10 but I'm not sure exactly. Either way, I have about 4 more feet to go.
For more information about the prayer shawl ministry, you can click the link.