Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Knitting Project That Deserves Full Support

Yes, those are exactly what you think they are.

Breast cancer survivors who knit can knit their own prosthetic breasts instead of buying silicone prosthetics. Those who have done so say the knitted breasts are lighter (or can be weighted to exactly the weight wanted), more comfortable, and cooler. Knitted boobs can be custom made to whatever shapes and sizes are wanted. They can be made to resemble a woman's skin tone, or in colours to match her lingerie or outfit, or embroidered with her initials or "tattoos". A woman can even swim with them (gel prosthetics float, which as you can imagine would make a front crawl challenging). An experienced knitter could probably make a pair of breasts in less time than it would take her to travel to a medical supply store, have a silicone prosthetic fitting, and go home again. And at the cost of ball of yarn and some stuffing (which most knitters have lying around anyway), compared to $300 to $500 for one prosthetic silicone breast, they're by far the most affordable choice.

Beryl Tsang, a cancer survivor and knitter, tells us about her search for a prosthetic breast and moment of knitting inspiration (and shares her boob pattern) on Knitty Tsang has also launched a web site for breast cancer patients and survivors. Not all woman who need prosthetic breasts can knit, of course, so knitting groups have formed to knit boobs to donate to women in need of them. A group called Bosom Buddies in Moline, Illinois, has made knitted breasts for women in 18 states. Another breast cancer survivor and knitter formed the Knitted Knockers program in 2007, and is urging knitters to form their own local chapters.

For my part, I'm imagining the patterns Vogue Knitting might come up with for knitted prosthetic breasts if they ever decide to go there. And yes, I'm also imagining reviewing them.

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