Getting Back to Charity Work

I haven’t done charity knitting in quite a while, and it’s time to get back to knitting my chemotherapy hats for the patients at my local cancer center.  I have lovely soft yarn that would make great hats, and I need to get going on that.

Chemo patients need hats even in the summer when nights get a little cool.  Sometimes I switch over to cotton hats, too, for them.  Cotton is soft and washes well, but isn’t quite a stretchy as other fibers.

Interested in knitting chemo caps yourself?  Here are some tips:

  • Soft acrylics and cotton yarn or blends are best.  Avoid wool due to allergies and scratchiness.
  • Knitting hats in the round are great for bedtime wear because they do not have a seam in the back.
  • Make hats in a variety of colors.  Men need them, too!
  • Contact your local chemotherapy centers to see if they have any specific needs from patients.

Do you have any other charity knitting ideas that you would like to share here?


OT: Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It’s me, Jenn!  Today would have been your 60th birthday. 

Life has been good down here and we miss you a lot.  You’ve been gone almost eight years after a battle with cancer.  There have been so many sci-fi movies we didn’t get to see in the theater, so many hockey games we didn’t get to watch, and many family gatherings that you have been missed at. 

As we remember you on your birthday, we know you are no longer suffering.  Still, there’s a Dad-sized hole in my heart that no one else will ever be able to replace.

Here’s to you, Dad.  I love you.


Cancer Awareness Bracelet

One thing you are going to see very quickly is that I am very big into cancer awareness.  I knit chemo caps for my local cancer center, for example.  I’ve participated in Relay for Life.  Another thing I have made are beaded cancer awareness bracelets, which is my focus here today. 
I make these bracelets as my own personal fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  I donate a portion of the cost.  I also have made them for a Chinese auction for a fundraiser for a friend who had cancer, too. 
Here’s a little about as to how I make them.  I use Swarovski crystal beads, sterling silver beads, and sterling silver findings.  The wire is also sterling silver.  The crystals I use are 4mm and the sterling silver beads are about 1mm.  You can use a clasp of your choice.  The finished product is about eight inches long.
I use two of each color, which represents a different type of cancer.  The colors that I used are:
  •  Brain Cancer: Gray
  • Breast Cancer: Pink
  • Childhood Cancer: Amber
  • Colon Cancer: Royal Blue
  • Colorectal Cancer: Brown
  • Leukemia: Orange
  • Lung Cancer: Clear
  • Melanoma: Black
  • Ovarian, Cervical, and Uterine Cancers: Teal
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Purple
  • Prostate Cancer: Light Blue
  • Other Cancers: Lavender
I recommend going through Fire Mountain Gems’ selection of Swarovski crystals and select the colors you see fit.  If you don’t want to use Swarovski crystals, Czech fire polished glass beads are also an excellent choice.
Arrange your beads in the order you would like.  I space them out with the sterling silver beads.  Cut your wire, attached your clasp and crimp beads, and start stringing.  Finish up with your last crimp bead and clasp.  You have your bracelet. 
Other ideas to make it your own:  Make one is a single color representing a single type of cancer awareness.  Add ribbon charms or other charms that may relate, such as ones that represent a person in your life that has suffered with cancer. 
What do with the bracelets:  Sell them as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society or a specific cancer organization.  Make them as a fundraiser for your Relay for Life team.  Give them as gifts to patients and survivors. 
I hope this tutorial-of-sorts gave you some beading ideas.  I’m wearing my bracelet right now and remembering those who fought this disease.  Some have survived, others lost their battle.  They are all in my heart.