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!

 

Knitted Knockers

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember the post Knitted Knickers and wonder why I’m repeating myself, but this one has an important vowel change. That ‘o’ makes all the difference… this time, I’m talking body parts rather than undergarments!

Towards the end of last year, whilst doing some internet research, I came across the fabulous Knitted Knockers UK*:

…a UK based voluntary group that has been in operation since January 2014. We knit and crochet 100% cotton breast prostheses for women that have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy.

Ladies that have undergone surgery are provided with silicone breast prosthesis by the NHS, which some ladies have found to be uncomfortable, heavy and may rub against the scars left after surgery, causing rashes and pain.

At Knitted Knockers UK we want women to know that there is an alternative that is lightweight, takes the form of a real breast, is soft against the skin and is breathable.

We want women to know that the alternative is a Knitted Knocker and that they are “Made with love and filled with hope” and we provide them FREE of charge to those ladies who need it.

FREE you say… YES FREE…

How could I resist joining? And, in fact, it turns out the skills that you develop whilst knitting snails, worms and Loch Ness monsters come in very handy when you take up the creation of knitted knockers (now that’s a transferable skill!). So I got out my needles and crochet hook and submitted my first attempt for assessment by the knockerettes… a couple of tries later and I was approved to join the orders group and make my first knocker to send to a lady in need…

A knocker ready to go... with extra stuffing and a little gift of a crochet rose too

A knocker ready to go… with extra stuffing and a little gift of a crochet rose too

The ones I make are a combination of crochet and knitting, but other knockerettes do either just crochet or just knitting according to their particular skill. They are all made in lovely soft cotton so they are gentle on the skin and each knockerette gives their time freely so that  every breast cancer sufferer can have receive a single knocker or a pair completely free of charge. We even make replacements and send these out free.

knitted knockers ad

So, if you would like to become a knockerette or need a knitted knocker or two following surgery, please visit the Knitted Knockers UK website*, you can also give a donation here: http://www.knittedknockersuk.com/

-oOo-

* And there are  groups in the US, Australia and South Africa for those of you on different continents.

 

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