I promise, I’m not starting a trend of rated posts. But this one is about breast prostheses. Knitted ones, to be precise. With pictures, no less. One of my dreams when I got into fiber arts a little over a year ago was to be able to design my own patterns for knitting and crochet. Of course, in order to do that it would be helpful if I could knit and crochet myself. My dad used to always tell me (when he wanted my help putting a bike or toy together) that I had spatial vision. I’m not sure I really do, but I do recognize two qualities in myself that are helpful in this area. 1) If I can figure out how to manipulate the material I can make almost anything and 2) things are almost always put together in a logical fashion and if you can figure out the logic you can put it together.
All of which meant that, in theory, if I could figure out *how* to knit I could design patterns. I got some books to help me but of course have been too busy to read them yet. And in the meantime I’ve found the need to make knitted breast prostheses. In the back of my mind I’ve wanted to start a line of chemo products for nearly a year. My idea is that if I can find volunteers to do the knitting and I donate the spinning and make my own patterns we can donate the products to oncology departments for women going through chemo and people who are not inclined to knit can buy them for friends with breast cancer as a little treat during a bleak time.
I started my first chemo cap several years ago when I found out a mom in my daughter’s class had breast cancer. I broke a needle before I finished and it ended up getting put aside. Then I got seriously interested in fiber arts and I thought wouldn’t it be great to make chemo caps from handspun, really soft, fun and funky yarn? And then I met another breast cancer patient and I thought it was a great opportunity to try out my idea. So I spun up some sorbet colored merino/silk and knit a chemo cap, found a pattern for a knitted titty, spun up some angora for the skin side of that and Patty, my MIL knitted it up for me. That pattern can’t be used for anything but personal use so I knew I needed to make up my own. (To be honest, Patty and I had to fight with the yarn and needles trying to follow that pattern so I was just as happy to have to design my own, which is much simpler and produces an incredibly realistic nipple, if I do say so myself. But don’t take my word for it, look at the picture.)
So, what you see in these pictures is the result of my pattern designing knit up in luscious pink silk with a few scattered beads to “twinkle” and look pretty, and a crocheted edging just to pretty it up a little more. Honestly, it almost makes me jealous that I can’t use it myself.
Here’s how my chemo fiber arts projects work. I’m planning to sell my pattern, my own designed and knitted prostheses, and kits on my Etsy site. It takes me about 4 hours to knit one and that doesn’t include the edging, stuffing, closing, or finding and painting words of courage and hope on a stone placed inside for weight so don’t think I’m making a profit on these. But I’m hoping it’ll allow me to splash out on really nice fibers that I don’t care to spin up (like silk and bamboo) for prostheses that are suitable for summer months. I am also looking for volunteers to knit them and I’m accepting donations of fiber for the prostheses and the chemo caps (I’m still working on my own pattern for those.)
All the donated items will be available on my Etsy site for donation to anyone you know who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer or you can purchase them for general donation as they become available. I am currently looking for a general donation site. If you know of or can recommend one let me know. I am donating some of my own flock and herd’s fiber (luckily I raise some of the softest sheep available) and am looking for a fiber store to at least donate the shipping on other soft, pretty fiber. I have one in mind, but haven’t contacted the owner yet. All of this has come together rather suddenly and I’m super excited about it, but at the same time am still sane enough to know I need help to make it work.
And that is the story of the humble beginnings of the Pretty Titty Knitting Endeavor of Twinkle Titties where we feel that choosing a breast prosthesis should give you that same little thrill of feminine excitement that choosing a pretty bra does.
If you would like to read a hilarious account of how this all got started for me, click here.