A Labor of Love
Cancer patients going through chemotherapy have a tough battle ahead of them. Many of them lose their hair, and this can be a very emotional thing to have happen. To help keep heads warm and give them something fun to wear, I've decided to knit chemo caps. Chemo caps can be knit, crocheted, and even sewn. Many people adorn their caps with buttons, pins, and other embellishments for a fun look. It is also comforting for the patient to know that someone cares enough to give them a something to add a little comfort into their lives.
Cancer has been a thorn in my family's side. I lost my father to lung cancer in 2005 and I remember when he lost his hair to chemotherapy. Even as a man, it was very difficult for him. My aunt has suffered from breast cancer. My sister had a melanoma. My grandmother fought different cancers at different times in her life before she succumbed to lung cancer as well. I remember her losing her hair. My supervisor Dawn has fought and beat leukemia TWICE. I want to do something to honor them. Please join me in helping cancer patients all over the country and world. All royalties from this lens are going the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
What type of yarn to use?
You have to be careful when you choose yarn for a chemotherapy cap. You need to take into consideration texture and softness. Wool is ok, but many people can be allergic to animal fibers, except alpaca, and you can purchase alpaca wool and blends. Soft acrylics and cotton are good, too. Bamboo yarn is also another great choice. Novelty fun fur is another excellent choice and can be combined with another yarn to make a unique cap.
Where do I get patterns?
I believe that just about any hat pattern could make a good chemo cap, but there are a few things to consider. One, you want full coverage for a hat. For colder weather, avoid hats with a lot of holes in them, such as ones with lace work. A close fit is another thing to consider. Hats with a seam are ok, but ones without one are great for sleeping in, so break out those circular and double pointed needles! Still, as I said, for fun, any hat can be a chemo cap. Here are a few places with great patterns for chemo caps.
- Head Huggers Patterns
Head Huggers has a great page of patterns for knitters, crocheters, and sewers. Also, check out her main page for how else you can contribute.
- Lion Brand Yarn
You will have to register on this site, but Lion Brand offers quite a few caps that are good for chemo caps. Some to look for are Comforting Blue Cap (crochet pattern), Tranquil Violet Hat (knit pattern), and the Knit Chemo Cap (knit pattern).
- Knitting Help Adult Hat Patterns
Some of the hats here can be great for chemo caps. Just watch what yarn you use.
Hats I've KnitClick thumbnail to view full-size
Who do I give the caps to?
Now that you have all these lovely soft caps, how do you get them to those who need them? Here are a few ideas and web sites that you can check out.
- Local oncology centers and hospitals
- Oncology doctors' offices.
- Give one to a friend or loved one. Ask around to see who needs one!
- Knitting forums and web sites usually have links to charities that take chemo caps.
More Ways Knitters (And Crocheters) Can Give
Different yarn companies have promotions going on when they will donate money either through a kit or special yarn to a cancer-related charity.
- Breast Cancer Support Scarf Kit -- 10% of Gross Sales Donated at Jimmy Beans Wool
Knitting For Breast Cancer - show your support for breast cancer research by knitting this scarf for yourself or for a loved one. This is a great promotion for by Jimmy Beams Wool. Take the time to check this out! It would make a great gift that giv
Crafting for Charity
Do you craft for charity?
If you don't knit, what you can do!
I urge you, no matter what your skills and talents are, to do something for our cancer patients. Whether though donations, your time, or other activities, such as Relay for Life, a small gesture can make a big difference.
The American Cancer Society has some great suggestions on other things you can do.