Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease, with one in eight women from the UK developing it at some point in their lifetime. More than half of breast cancer survivors struggle with anxiety at the end of treatment and nearly a third deal with depression – Knitted Knockers UK is doing their bit to combat this and are helping women recover all over the world. We caught up with their Chair of Trustees, Sharon Simpson.
A HELPING HAND
“Knitted Knockers is a charity that knits and crochets breast prostheses for women who have had mastectomies or lumpectomies due to breast cancer,” explains Sharon Simpson. She explains that knitted breasts are the perfect alternative to standard prosthetics and give women far more choice. “Since 2014 we have fulfilled 11,655 orders,” says Sharon. “It’s not just the sufferers we help though – our volunteers find it so rewarding to do something nice for those going through a tough time. In a perfect world I hope that Knitted Knockers UK would no longer be needed and breast cancer would be a thing of the past, but until then I hope our charity can continue to help women feel like their old self and give them a bit of confidence back following surgery.” Sharon explains that anyone who has had, or is scheduled to have, surgery can order from the charity. “There is no limit to the amount a recipient can have, many women make repeat orders and they will always be supplied free of charge.”
If you want to give a helping hand and craft a pair of knockers, Sharon explains the whole process. “You can apply at our website and our coordinator will then be in touch and add you to our closed Facebook group.” New volunteers are required to knit or crochet two test knockers before they are added to the orders page – this ensures that all newbies are familiar with the patterns and knit or crochet to the charity’s standards. “We have a really supportive group of administrators and mentors who offer advice and direction, as knitting your first knocker can be a little daunting,” says Sharon. Standard breasts are made in 100% cotton yarn as it is soft, durable and breathable against the skin and is less likely to cause irritation to a tender and sensitive area. Knitted Knockers really has thought of everything and can even ensure that sufferers feel their best in swimwear too. “We use acrylic yarn to create our aqua knockers – they are filled with shower scrunchies which can be wrung out after swimming and don’t have the tendency to float out of costumes unlike standard prosthetics.” It’s important for knockers to be made in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours to suit everyone’s needs and there’s no reason why you can’t be inventive with your design. “I think the craziest pair of knitted knockers ever requested was a pair that looked like cherry bakewells!”
If you want to get involved and find out more about the charity, visit kkukciowix.com.
Do you love crafting for a good cause? Check out Woolly Hugs.