By: Carolyn Hanson
Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and The Connection Magazine included an article about Knitted Knockers and the NJ representative who shared her story and mission. A knitting friend reached out to Lenore Grubman, an RN and 8 year breast cancer survivor, who then contacted me. I was moved by her cause and wanted to do more than just knit. So here I am reaching out to all of you to lend a hand and use your talents to help another woman in a time of need.
Read more ‘Creative Corner’ articles here: https://www.theconnectionsnj.com/category/creative-corner/
Knitted Knockers are soft knitted or crocheted prosthetics that fit into a bra or bathing suit for women who have survived breast cancer and have not undergone reconstructive surgery. Due to the sensitive nature of the wound, Knitted Knockers are in demand because they are soft, non-irritating, lightweight, made with love, and FREE to anyone who needs them. The Knitted Knockers Support Foundation has gone to great lengths to test the chosen yarns, and approve the materials for durability, dryablity, breathability and weight for both knitted and crocheted knockers. Cotton is the chosen yarn, though for bathing suits only, acrylic is used. The list of yarn brands and yarn names is included with the free pattern available on Knittedknockers.org.
In addition to the specific materials, another consideration is the need for knockers to match typical bra sizes A – DD. For this reason, gauge is critical. To get the required gauge, the material used is specific to knitted and crocheted versions. Since knitting is a smooth stitch, the knitted version can use a heavier cotton yarn. Crochet versions must use a thinner cotton since crochet is a denser stitch and uses more yarn. Remember to test your gauge!
I easily found Tahki-Stacy Charles Mercerized Cotton (108 yds) in my stash (for knitting), and Patton’s Glace (136 yds) at Michaels (for crochet). I printed the patterns from the site. The instructions were and easy to follow. I used double points rather than the magic-loop and was able to complete one knocker in an evening. For the knitted versions, I used size 5 needles and for crochet a size F hook. Yardage used for a pair of each cup size A-D was:
Knitted A – 55 yds B – 71 yds C – 87 yds
Crocheted D – 164 yds. [Crochet uses 2-3 times more yardage than knitting.]
The pattern starts at the front center and increases evenly to the edge. Then it decreases swiftly ending with an opening at the back for future stuffing. I was able to make 3 knitted pair in different sizes with 2 skeins of yarn. The larger crochet version needed more than 1 skein.
Colorwise, any color is acceptable. Currently, there is a request for black and other dark colors. Knockers can also be embellished with embroidery or designs. Feel free to be creative on the front. All sizes are needed.
Once complete, there is no need for stuffing, that will be done back at the Foundation where the knockers are inspected and distributed. Since Knitted Knockers Support Foundation is a non-profit organization, shipping expenses to recipients add up, so monetary donations are always appreciated.
Final step is to contact Lenore at the Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation (732-321-7085) to arrange a drop-off, or you can send knockers directly to Knitted Knockers Support Foundation, 1780 Iowa St, Bellingham, WA 98229. Please include your contact information and yarn label for identification.
Let’s get those needles clicking and hooks flying for a great cause. In this season of giving, doing for others is good for all. One skein can be powerful.