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Knitting Knockers (aka Breasts)

Updated on January 26, 2014
A Knitted Knocker, breast, tit-bit
A Knitted Knocker, breast, tit-bit

Knitted Prosthetic Breast

Last night I attended my local knitting guild meeting. What a wonderful group of women. As a group we knit for various charities and causes. And I am currently serving as a co-chair for altruistic projects and organizations. Over the years we have knitted all kinds of things from blankets to helmet liners. But last night’s program got my attention, it was listed in the agenda as Knitted Knockers. Okay, you got my attention, and attendance.

What are Knitted Knockers? Knitted Knockers are breast prosthesis that have been knitted for cancer patients and survivors.

Is this a gimmick, or what kind of need is there really ? Yes, there really, truly is a need for these knitted breast prosthesis. While there are medically manufactured prosthesis, what was told to us last night is that these medical breast prosthesis are usually uncomfortable, heavy, hot, and can irritate sensitive tender skin. Just one silicone prosthetic breast costs between $300 and $500. Without health insurance, they are out of the reach of most breast cancer survivors. Even those with insurance can be limited to a new prosthetic breast every two years, or even longer.

Hand knit breasts are preferred, and in great need When placed in a bra, these knitted breasts take the shape and feel of a real breast. They are lighter and more comfortable than silicone prosthetic breasts. The knitted fabric breathes and prevents the heat rash experienced by many women wearing the silicone ones. Knitted breast can be knit from any soft, washable yarn. Yes, even wool. Good soft wool breathes, whisks moisture away, and is comfortable. Soft cottons are also greatly prized. You basically want to stay in the natural fiber section of yarns for your breast knitting. 100% acrylic yarns are not favored for breasts because acrylic is HOT, and can irritate sensitive healing tissue, please do not use this kind of yarn for a breast. Also a small tag should be attached so that the recipient knows what kind of fiber has been used, and how to care for her new breast.

With a knitted breast, you can have a different one for every day of the week. Perhaps add a little embroidery for that tattoo you always wanted.

Knit a Knocker to donate. They are very quick. I just made my first one in under 2.5 hours. And that was while I was catching up on my TV series recordings. Patterns for knockers, Tit-Bits, and Knitted Breasts can be found all over the internet. www.Ravelry.com is a great place to start. The original pattern that is most widely used is by Beryl Tsang, and can be found at ww.knitty.com. The guest at our meeting coordinates with two local cancer treatment centers and says that she is always in need of breasts. She really likes to give two to women so that they have one to wear, and one for the wash. I'm sure that if you look on-line you can find a local group that is knitting and collecting knockers. If not, please send me an e-mail, Cactus Needles Knitting Guild (my group) would love to accept them and I can send you information on how to get your donation to us.

Who knew that something so simple to make could mean so much to someone?

Start with an 1.5 inch 3 stitch I cord, and then make an increase round and move to double pointed needles.  This is going to be the top.
Start with an 1.5 inch 3 stitch I cord, and then make an increase round and move to double pointed needles. This is going to be the top.
Front of breast finished.
Front of breast finished.
Side view of front and back of breast sewn together and stuffed.  Stuff your breast very lightly.  Over stuffing is not attractive.
Side view of front and back of breast sewn together and stuffed. Stuff your breast very lightly. Over stuffing is not attractive.
Top view of finished breast.  Yarn used was 50% acrylic /50% cotton.
Top view of finished breast. Yarn used was 50% acrylic /50% cotton.

Do you have a need?

If you have a need for one, or a pair and do not know someone who is willing to knit for you, please feel free to contact me. I will knit you a pair of knockers in your size needed. All I ask in return is that you cover the cost of the yarn and a little bit of my time and the cost of postage. Due to the increase of yarn prices, yarn is running about $12 per pair. And they take me about 4 and a half hours to knit a set, so I have needed to make the cost of a pair $30. After you contact me, I will send you my paypal information.

I have not written this page to make any kind of profit. I am a firm believer in the power of women helping women, and the pay it forward theory. When people share love, kindness, and talents...amazing good can be done.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Carol b 2 years ago

      What an awesome and ingenious idea. I do jot know how to knit, even tho i would luve to learn, but am interested in information on getting some made for my pastor's wife. She is a breast cancer survivor and had a double mastectomy done about 6 months ago. Please forward info you will need.

    • Wheels2sticks profile image
      Author

      Wheels2sticks 3 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      In Response to Riverhawk Jackson. If you had read the entire article you would have found that I do refer that these knockers can be found that have been donated. I knit for several other charities, and I do also knit these for charities...at my pace, time, and desire. I mention that I also sell knockers, because there are those women who would prefer to have custom knit knockers that meet their specific preferences in size, design, materials, and delivery date - and yes I do charge a small fee to meet those needs, and the women are usually happy with the results. I am a knitting professional and a business woman. As a business, I have allocated a specific amount of time, materials, and costs to charities, but they are not an unlimited resource. Just as there are wig companies that provide wigs to cancer patients as donations, they also SELL wigs for profit.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 years ago from West of England

      What an amazing hub. I didn't expect to find such a moving and constructive hub in the crafts section!

    • Wheels2sticks profile image
      Author

      Wheels2sticks 5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Judy Raby, I will knit you a pair of knockers in your size needed. All I ask in return is that you cover the cost of the yarn ($8.00) and the cost of postage. If you are in a generous mood, please feel free to add a little extra to cover someone else's cost. Please contact me through the Wheels2sticks profile.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 5 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Brilliant, Idea, as there are, I knew one, who do not wish to undergo the surgery and have an implant after having a mascectomy.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 5 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Brilliant, Idea, as there are, I knew one, who do not wish to undergo the surgery and have an implant after having a mascectomy.

    • profile image

      Judy Raby 5 years ago

      Where can I get a couple of these Knitted Knockers..is there somewhere in ALCOA or Maryville that sells them?

    • eisutton profile image

      eisutton 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is excellent! Thank you for sharing!!!!

    • LoriSoard profile image

      LoriSoard 5 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

      What a wonderful idea.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      I never would have imagined knitting knockers, but what a wonderful way to help women in need of breast prosthetics! I'm not an expert knitter, but I think I can do this, and I will! Thanks for a great hub! I'll be visiting it again for pattern links. Voted way, way UP!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      What a splendid, unexpected knitting project! This is too cool!

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      Yes, it's good to be sensitive to the situation of women in such circumstances.

    • profile image

      SJmorningsun25 5 years ago

      What an interesting idea! Thanks for sharing. Voted up and beautiful!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 5 years ago from United States

      Wow! That's really interesting. I was very much aware that breast prosthetic and the bras to wear with them are extraordinarily expensive due to the fact that I have breast cancer. I get all of my medical care from the VA as a veteran (Vietnam era) and we get a new one once a year, however, they send us to outside prosthetic companies to get them. So I know that our government pays $150 for each bra and $800 for the prosthetic. We used to get eight bras a year, now we only get three. Both prosthetic and bras at no cost to us.

      I was just thinking about this recently and had said to my husband that it just seems so wrong that something like this should cost so very much and what do women do when they can't afford them. Now if you know how to sew a regular bra is easy to convert into one to hold a prosthetic boob. The other thing I wondered about was if there was someplace to donate last years models?

      I live in Florida where heat rash becomes an issue with prosthetics and have been fortunate enough to have a primary doctor (who is responsible for ordering the prosthetic through the system)who insists that they give me the more expensive kind that is hallow and salt waterproof. This allows me to have confidence that I can get wet.

      Swim suits for breast cancer survivors and patients are a similar issue -- hugely expensive to purchase and not provided even for veterans. I take old bras and convert them into prosthetic holders inside the swim suit lining.

      I can't link to my hubs but will promote this hub elsewhere and encourage others to promote such a useful idea.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Wonderful! What a great idea.

      I never learned how to knit, so this project would be out of my league. I only do a (very little) bit of crochet, but I instantly get into trouble if I try to deviate from rectangles, squares or the ubiquitous "granny square."

      Voted up, interesting, useful, awesome and shared!

    • vwriter profile image

      vwriter 5 years ago from US

      What a great article. And what a great heart. Voted up.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      This is AMAZING. Honestly, I'm almost in tears thinking about how much this will help so many women.

      Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Welcome to Hubpages!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      I have never heard of knitted prosthetic breasts before. You are doing a great job. I'm glad I came across this hub.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have several hubs on Breast Cancer and hope you don't mind but I am going to put a link to your hub from a few of mine.

      Welcome to HubPages.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am not a knitter, but would be interested in buying some of these. Do you sell them? I wear 2 breast prosthetics, and yes they are heavy and hot especially in the summer. My health insurance will only pay for prostetics once in a lifetime, which is ridiculous because they do not last a lifetime.

    • alinamassy profile image

      alinamassy 5 years ago from India

      Super great hubpage. i read this hubpage and vote up. Thanks for sharing this hubpage. @@@@@

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      That is amazing that you can make them so easy - for someone who can knit and yet be of so much help at a small price !

      Will be voting this up + sharing it with others .

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Something so simple, yet so creative and useful! I'm sharing this hub and passing the word around hoping many more are motivated to knit their own knockers to donate.

      Princesswithapen

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      How about that? I think these would be good to make and donate to hospitals for those that cannot afford help.

      Brilliant! Rated Up.