If you’re looking for a great way to ensure your lovingly crafted chemo caps and/or NICU blankets go to those who need them most, you can’t go wrong with Knots of Love
If you are currently blessed with a full head of hair, chances are that you–like me–take your hair for granted.
It’s always there. You might get it cut (or grow it out), style it, color it, curl it, straighten it, and so on. When you wear a hat, it’s to add a layer of protection from wind or chill to the hair that’s already there.
Have you ever imagined what it’s like to have that handy layer of protection — that is, your hair — be gone?
Some of you reading this may have experienced this yourself. You might have battled cancer or had surgery or struggled with alopecia or suffered burns.
And you know exactly what it’s like to lose your hair–or maybe not ever have it in the first place.
This is what makes knitting chemo caps such a compelling way to knit for charity. Either experiencing how difficult life is without that layer of protection, or just imagining it, spurs us to consider how we can offer help.
In existence since 2007, Knots of Love is one of the country’s oldest knitting charities for chemo caps. They now also collect NICU blankets for tiny premature infants in need of extra warmth. They are, as always, dedicated to its cause of warmth and love.
Covering Bare Heads with Love and Warmth
This wonderful charity unites crafters with patients and their families, helping those struggling with illnesses in a way that is both practical and emotional.
Founder Christine Fabiani started Knots of Love after a friend of hers who had recently undergone chemotherapy saw one of her crocheted caps and commented on how much she would have loved to have had one when she lost her hair.
Fabiani soon discovered the tremendous need for just such caps, and she was thus inspired to start the organization that picks up caps.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy aren’t the only ones who receive caps. Others include burn victims, head trauma patients, patients who undergo brain surgery, and patients with alopecia (a medical condition causing baldness).
Knots of Love also has an offshoot branch especially for children. KOL Kids encourages children to knit or crochet for charity to produce scarves. These are often easier for children to create than hats.
Want to make sure your chemo caps will suit a cancer patient perfectly? Take a look at my post on that exact topic, from experts in chemo cap making!
How Knots of Love Has Extended Warmth to Preemies
A few years ago, Knots of Love director and founder Christine Fabiani shared the following with me via e-mail, specifically for Knitting for Charity readers:
We have added NICU blankets to our items that we give away free. They can be made from any super soft and cozy yarns. Ideal size is 18″ x 24″.
“Parents sleep with the tiny blankets – leaving their Mom and Dad scent on the blankets and then loving place them over their fragile newborn in the incubator. Blankets should not have any holes for tiny finders and tubes to get caught in.
“Here are our totals to date:
“Currently we distribute, ship or hand deliver – more than 1,000 creations every Friday.
“330,320 caps and NICU blankets given away FREE of charge to more than 580 hospitals, oncologist offices and neonatal intensive care units across the nation.
“Knots of Love is funded 100% by donations. If you know anyone who does not know how to knit or crochet and would like to support us please have them go to this page. “
Obviously, since Christine sent me this email, those numbers have certainly gone way up!
How You Can Help with Chemo Caps & NICU Blankets
With the addition of Knots of Love’s distribution of NICU blankets, anyone can knit for charity regardless of knitting level!
If you’re ready to get started, you can head to the Knots of Love “Guidelines for Knitters and Knotters.” This page offers pretty much everything you need to start knitting chemo caps or NICU blankets. You’ll find guidelines and suggested yarns. You’ll also find a submission form and mailing labels.
Need the perfect pattern? For chemo cap patterns (both knit and crochet) you can visit this page. For a NICU blanket pattern (knit and crochet versions of this are available too), check out this page.
I also encourage you to take a look at their helpful tips page. It offers not only knitting tips but also some fun ideas to dress up your chemo caps.
Finally, when you’re ready to donate, head for their Collection Sites page to find the nearest collection location.
One more way you can support the Knots of Love mission is to visit their charity shop. They have knitting and crochet kits, patterns, project bags, wristbands, tape measures, and more! (I personally am intrigued by the mystery grab bag of yarn.) All proceeds go right back into Knots of Love.
It’s so exciting to see a knitting charity continue to bloom and grow. If you’re looking for a way to contribute chemo caps or NICU blankets to someone in need, you’ll definitely want to take a good look at Knots of Love!