Knitting Odds & Ends

A Guide to Knitting Warm Weather Chemo Caps

How to knit chemo caps perfect for spring and summer months

With spring right around the corner, this is a good time to consider how we might best alter that staple of charity knitting, the chemo cap. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a chemo cap, it is a hat (usually a beanie) that is knit for those who have lost hair following chemotherapy. This hat provides warmth, comfort, and protection to sensitive bare heads.

Chemo caps are still necessary in the spring and summer months for comfort and protection, but you may want to consider altering the ones you are currently knitting.

This means switching to yarn that doesn’t retain heat quite as much as wool and some wool blends. It also means looking for patterns that aren’t quite as bulky as those one would wear during the chillier months of autumn and winter.

With these qualities in mind, here are a couple of patterns you may enjoy knitting for donation as chemo caps, along with some pointers on yarn.

Spring/Summer Chemo Cap Patterns

These are lovely, lightweight hats that are perfect for the warmer months.

Not-Just-for-Chemo Reversible Cloche
Double Double Cloche
Eyelet Rolled Brim Hat
Lace Edged Women’s Hat
Spiral Knit Cap

Yarns for Warm Weather

Fibers that are breathable and allow heat to escape more readily include cotton, silk, linen, and bamboo. The trouble with these fibers is that they are all inelastic, and you don’t want a hat to stretch out of shape! Pure cotton can also be quite stiff, which doesn’t make it a good choice for a hat, particularly one sitting atop a bare head. Your best bet is to choose a yarn made with one of these fibers blended with another that is more elastic. Some of these include wool, acrylic, and nylon.

So pick up a ball, choose your favorite of the preceding patterns, and knit the perfect chemo cap for spring and summer!