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#StitchAHug for Breast Cancer Support

by Margaret Eckman

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers. Chances are you have a person close to you who has had it -- according to the American Cancer Society, "breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women" and it is "second as a cause of cancer death in women". Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we have some ways you can #StitchAHug and support patients and their families. Some of these are specific to breast cancer, but others are relevant to all cancers as well as other serious illnesses.

One way is to stitch projects for patients. Patients often need chemo caps, or hats that are soft and are made to keep heads warm after someone has lost her hair to cancer. Patients may also appreicate prayer shawls, which help keep them warm in chilly treatment rooms.

Pink is the traditional color of breast cancer, so we have featured pink projects below, but feel free to chance the colors to other ones that you like to work with or that patients like to wear. You can wear pink to show support for those with breast cancer.

For yarn, a very soft washable yarn such as Creme de la Creme, Soft, or With Love is appropriate for chemo caps. Any washable yarn is appropriate for prayer shawls and scarves for patients, or for projects for supporters.

Compassion Scarf
Knit in Super Saver
Compassion Scarf Free Knitting Pattern LW2776
Chemo Cap
Crocheted in Creme de la Creme
Chemo Cap Free Crochet Pattern LW2253
With Hope Scarf
Crocheted in Super Saver
With Hope Scarf Free Crochet Pattern LW2777
Casual Beret
Crocheted in Soft
Casual Beret Free Crochet Pattern LW2897
Covet This Lacy Cowl
Knit in With Love
Covet This Lacy Cowl Free Knitting Pattern LW5145
Summer Comfort Beanie
Crocheted in Aunt Lydia's Classic 10
Summer Comfort Beanie Free Crochet Pattern LC4888
Be a Friend Shawl
Crocheted in Super Saver
Be a Friend Shawl Free Crochet Pattern WR1714
Blushing Shells Cowl
Crocheted in Infinity
Blushing Shells Cowl Free Crochet Pattern LW4667
Sleek Striped Wristers
Knit in Fashion Soft
Sleek Striped Wristers Free Knitting Pattern LW5222
Flower Cloche
Crocheted in Super Saver
Flower Clcohe Free Crochet Pattern LW4887
Three Crosses Cowl
Crocheted in With Love
Three Crosses Cowl Free Crochet Pattern LW4618
Fringed V-Stitch Shawl
Crocheted in Super Saver and Sashay Fringe
Fringed V-Stitch Shawl Free Crochet Pattern LW4977

There are dozens of organizations who take donations of items to give to those affected with breast cancer. To find one near you, ask your local cancer treatment center, or read on below for some national charities.

Knitted Knockers

crocheted-knockers

Knitted Knockers is an organization that organizers stitchers to knit and crochet soft prostheses for women who have had mastectomies. Unlike traditional prostheses, these knitted knockers can be used immediately after a mastectomy, instead of waiting for a lengthy healing process, and they can be used with regular undergarments. They can be made in skin tones or in unusual colors and patterns. Download the free knit and crochet patterns from the Make a Knocker page on their site. The knockers pictured here were crocheted by our spokesperson Marly Bird in Baby Hugs as part of a fundraiser.

Halos of Hope

Halos of Hope collects and donates chemo caps, or soft beanies, to cancer patients. Since chemotherapy frequently causes patients to lose their hair, these hats are greatly appreciated to keep heads warm and comfortable. There are free and paid crochet and knit patterns on their site, but any type of soft, close-stitched, beanie-style hat is welcome. Acrylic yarn is preferred, such as Soft or With Love.

Crochet for Cancer

Like Halos of Hope, Crochet for Cancer gathers and donates chemo caps for cancer patients. They provide free patterns, and instructions for creating your own local chapter of the organization. Besides crochet hats, they also accept knit hats and cloth (sewn) hats, as well as "any type of crochet/knit/sewn items that will benefit and uplift the spirits" of cancer patients, such as prayer shows and lap blankets. Adults and children's sizes are welcome.

#StitchAHug for Breast Cancer Support