Monday, July 02, 2012

Paying it forward

Recently a long time friend contacted me to see if I would make a special beanie for her daughters' classmate.

The classmate is about to start Chemo and they thought a pretty beanie might be a nice gift.  I of course said 'Yes' but now I'm a little stumped.

What am I going to make?

She likes pink, purple and butterflies - thats simple ins't it. It turns out that it isn't.  I asked the lovely ladies in a forum I frequent and one forum buddy suggested that I make it in soft cotton as it will most likely be worn inside, its light weight and its also soft and won't irritate the skin like wool sometimes does.

Sue, a friend from my local wool shop SewGoodKnitToo, suggested that I should put elastic in the final row to stop the cotton from stretching but the elastic must not be exposed as that too can irritate the skin and to make sure that if I'm knotting the elastic, that I don't have it at the back but on the side, that way if they lay back with the beanie on they won't feel the knot at the back of their head.

Tonight while I was waiting for some photos to upload I decided to do some more research on Chemo hats.  Yet again Google lead me to Bevs Country Cottage. This website is full of great information and has been handy in the past with regards to making gestational appropriate clothing for SIDs and Kids Victoria.

Below are Bev's helpful guidelines for making Chemo Caps.
  1. Softer yarns: cotton, baby yarn, soft worsted like 'Caron Simply Soft' or 'Lion   Brand Pound of Love' are more comfortable to wear, and cotton is really nice for summer.
  2. Thinner, seamless (crochet or knit in the round), non-lumpy caps for sleeping/increased comfort on the recipients heads.
  3. Please use yarns without WOOL content.
  4. Please wash and machine dry hats before sending, as this will often soften them.
  5. Do not use scented fabric softeners as many people are allergic to them.
  6. From Breast cancer survivor, Barbara B.: "I DO want to pass on my personal feeling, relative to cancer caps, that when I was bald, I wore hats and caps to cover that up.  So speaking only for me, I preferred solid caps and hats.  A shell stitch or a V-stitch or a granny-square cap would show the baldness through the spaces."
I made a beanie last night using cotton and it looks okay but the sizing is all wrong and I'm a bit concerned about the joining of new colours, so its back to the drawing board.  I'll let you know how I go.


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