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  • April 26, 2015, 06:58:26 PM

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Author Topic: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo  (Read 889 times)

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Ms_Cellany

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Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« on: April 01, 2015, 10:44:17 AM »
<bg>A few years ago, when I was about to undergo radiation for breast cancer, my boss told me, "I bet there are going to be days when you're too exhausted to move, but bored out of your mind. So I'm going to teach you to knit."

She taught me how to do a plain knit stitch, and I made a nubby scarf on those days that were exactly as she'd predicted.</bg>

I'm taking a leadership course now that involves creating and carrying out a community project. My idea is to enlist volunteers who can teach people going through chemo to knit.


I envision having a volunteer in the clinic who can teach folks while they're stuck there anyway. Participants would get a tote bag with needles, two skeins of yarn, an instructional handout, and small scissors.


A friend asked, "What about the men?" so I figured to include some info about the rich history of soldiers and needlecraft, and have some kits with tweedy, more "manly" yarns.


I could use advice/tips/cautions from knitters and folks who can speak to how this could play out in a clinic setting.


Thanks!




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knitwicca

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 10:59:45 AM »
As long as it is an offering, that may be a good idea.
Don't forget to include children as well. 


newbiePA

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 11:42:53 AM »
Maybe have a few styles of knitting needles?  Cancer/chemo can cause tender skin, achy joints, and decreased dexterity.  So larger guage needles, probably in something other than metal may be good. 
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NFPwife

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 11:47:48 AM »
First congrats on remaining NED!

What about adding in knitting looms and spools for those who want to needlecraft but don't feel up to knitting? I saw a project where you work sterling silver thread on a knitting spool and was intrigued. (Now that I think about, I'm going to look for that. Thanks for the prompt.)

It's good to be Queen

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 12:15:42 PM »
I would have loved it!  I always took a book, but some days I just couldn't concentrate on it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 12:16:49 PM »
I think it is a great idea!

I would recommend larger sized needles and chunky yarn, with a simple pattern, like a scarf.  I'd stay away from yarns that are not fairly smooth or with changes in size, as they would be harder for beginners to deal with.  Though the nubby types do hide a multitude of sins.   ;D  But I find it easier to find and correct mistakes when the yarn is smooth.  Or a dishcloth pattern with the heavier gauge cotton yarn would be good, too.

I like your idea for having the history of men knitting, too, and being prepared if there are any men who would like to knit.  My Dad knit when he was a kid during WWII.

If you have any crocheters in your group willing to teach that, as well, you could give out the dishcloth patterns and the cotton yarn.  Or if you had a lot of people doing it at once, you could have all the patients crocheting granny squares and then a more skilled member of your group could join them together to make lap robes that would stay with the chemo clinic or be given to other patients in the hospital.

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Ms_Cellany

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 12:29:52 PM »
I would have loved it!  I always took a book, but some days I just couldn't concentrate on it.

Is there any physical barrier to knitting during a treatment? I know people can't move or reach much, but as long as they have full range of hand motion and one arm free to reach, that should be enough.
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Wordgeek

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TootsNYC

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 01:43:01 PM »
You might consider having some specific project they can contribute to, so they feel they're doing something constructive as well.

Like, everybody knits 6" squares that get sent to poor countries as washcloths. Or are sewn together into patchwork blankets for preemies.

That sort of "I'm doing something real" can be motivating. And it might motivate people to participate because they're giving something back.

That's not practical in terms of knitting itself, but it might help with motivation.

Elisabunny

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 03:00:34 PM »
My daughter's hospital is actually doing a research project right now, teaching the kids to knit.  Unfortunately, DD doesn't qualify to participate because she already sort of knows how to knit. 

My mother used to be a knitter and is doing chemo.  I'll have to suggest it, see if she still has the dexterity.

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cicero

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 03:35:29 PM »
what a wonderful idea! i went through chemo about 17 years ago and there are the days where you mind is mush and you can't even read. thank you for doing this

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Sirius

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 03:56:00 PM »
My sister went through chemo, and she's an avid needlepointer and quilter.  She wasn't allowed to have sharp objects, so she did blunt point needlework of some sort.  I do crocheting, and although I'm not very good and most of my projects have been blankets and scarfs that could also be an option.

Making this a project to help others in need, not just the knitters, is a good idea.  Another thought - get with someone who knits left-handed to see how to teach someone who is left-handed.  The aforementioned sister is left-handed, and she taught right-handed me to knit, and I've been told I do it backward.  But it gets the job done.

Jocelyn

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 10:28:53 PM »
My advice would be to teach people to make a dishcloth/washcloth from cotton yarn, that's varigated in color. If the color is changing from row to row, it's easier to see mistakes. 

malfoyfan13

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Re: Need advice on a community project - knitting in chemo
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2015, 01:53:22 AM »
I'd suggest very soft chunky yarn and biggish needles, depending on strength and dexterity.

I also like the dishcloth idea.  It's an easy project with a definitive end, unlike a scarf that might seem to go on and on.  Finishing one would give a sense of accomplishment. 

Sounds like a great project!