Bitter-sweet

As many of you already know I knit breasts… yes, that’s not a spelling mistake (although I do also knit beasts)… breasts.

A gift from one woman to another

A gift from one woman to another

The wonderful charity Knitted Knockers UK offers free knitted and crochet prostheses to ladies who have had a mastectomy. The group was formed in January 2014 and recently gained the status of a charity (Registered charity number 1161125). Over recent months a steady stream of requests has appeared on the ‘orders board’ (only accessible to those of us approved to make knockers to the required standard) and they are always snapped up promptly by willing volunteers.

And then, last Friday, we were featured on the BBC:

and the floodgates were opened: hundreds of e-mails arrived.

Current knocker in progress

Current knocker in progress

There are about 100 of us able to make knockers and we all do it voluntarily. So, our needles are flying in order that all the ladies who need help from us will receive it. Normally, we only take on one order at a time, but that rule has been relaxed and we are agreeing to fulfill multiple orders (I have three to do currently). We pack them up prettily so that the recipient feels like they really are getting a gift and usually we include a little extra something – I usually crochet a rose to include in the package.

Whilst I’m getting a warm fuzzy feeling being able to make such a special gift for another lady, it is tinged with sadness. What a shame that all the ladies requesting knockers now didn’t know about us sooner, and how sad that there is such a high demand. I know that many women find the silicone prostheses supplied (free of charge) by the NHS uncomfortable and impossible to wear for extended periods. Our soft cotton versions are gentle on the skin and don’t weigh a ton. They can be worn very soon after surgery, because the backs are concave, so don’t press against scars.

So, dragons and socks are on the sidelines for a bit while I crochet nipples and knit boobs… I’m sure you’ll understand the lack of posts about any other sort of crafting!

 

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27 Comments

  1. What a wonderful service to offer – I have been meaning to find out more about this since seeing your earlier post – you have just given me the nudge I need – thank you. ❤

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  2. What a marvellous enterprise. Good for you and good luck fulfilling the orders.

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  3. It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing Jan. More power to your fingers and elbows as you get down to it.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  4. You make me wish I could knit too. What a wonderfully kind way to spend your extra moments in an already full day. It’s nice that the public is finally aware of the needs and that a few have answered the call to serve. You have a good heart and we will wait as long as you need to fill those orders. I’m just sad there are so many. Why????? I know you can’t answer that but I still find it odd there are so many needing them. 😦

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  5. This is such a great thing. I hope that, as the one lady in the video mentioned, you get some more volunteers as well as requests.

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  6. They do sound a lot more comfortable and nice to live with than silicone, I must say. Good luck keeping up with the demand, and gaining more knitting recruits.

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  7. It’s a good thing you are doing there, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Dragons are necessary too 🙂

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    • I did finish the latest pair of socks for Mr Snail before getting going on the knockers… and there’s a nearly-finished dragon scarf peaking out of my work basket that will surely demand some attention later this week!

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  8. A most noble reason to shuffle the dragons to the side Ms Snail. I salute you and your valiant crew of 100 🙂

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  9. You are a wonderful soul. I too had not heard of this, but I’m so glad you’ve shared and that the word is out. What a lovely, lovely thing to do. It sounds as though a lot of thought went into designing these surrogate breasts as well.

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  10. I’m guessing volunteer sign-ups are through the roof, too? 🙂

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    • They are – although it takes a little time to get approved as there is a quality assurance process to go through for each volunteer. This means that it’s the existing knitters who are madly fulfilling the latest deluge of requests… but all the time with smiles on our faces.

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  11. I too have never hear of this. I think it’s a wonderful organization. Knit on!

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  12. I am so moved by the generosity and impressed by you wonderful women.
    A great video. ❤

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  13. What a thoughtful and personal way to get involved with a charity! It must really feel like you’re making a difference. Good luck tackling those extra orders, it’s great to see the response that the TV feature got 🙂

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    • I know that what charities often need is money but you are right – actually doing something that makes a difference to an individual is very special. There have been some very sad e-mails coming in describing the effects of mastectomy on self-confidence and general happiness and it is truly moving to feel that it is possible to make a real difference to another woman’s life for the sake of a few hours effort.

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  14. I get chills, reading about this fine thing you’re doing. I’m glad you’re all getting recognition for it, even though that means more work. I hope you get enough volunteers so that every woman who needs them can have knitted knockers!

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  15. Reblogged this on brennaryan.

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  16. sandidureice

     /  May 27, 2015

    A wonderful story and a wonderful thing you are doing xxx

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  17. Never heard of this until now – what a brilliant idea! You are an amazing woman.

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  1. Tag! | The Snail of Happiness

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