MKG 2011 Service Project – Chemo Caps

Our 2011 service project was announced Tuesday night at the Guild meeting. Biz the Clown entertained us as he talked about our project to knit chemo caps for cancer patients.

Chemo caps are important to the cancer patient – both for protection as well as allowing them to avoid unwelcome stares and feel like themselves again. Caps should cover the entire head and be as attractive as possible. Patterns specifically designed for chemo caps are preferred, as normal cap patterns often leave space at the back of the head uncovered. In addition, a close-fitting hat is usually preferred, and chemo caps tend to be slightly smaller than regular hats, as the wearer has no hair. Remember that newly bald heads tend to be very sensitive.

Guidelines for Chemo Caps:

  • Hat should completely cover head. Avoid lacy designs as the baldness shows through, and they can be drafty.
  • Hat should be seamless. Avoid “lumpy” patterns.
  • NO wool content. Wool can be harmful to some cancer patients.
  • Softer yarns (like cotton) are more comfortable. Esprit, Cascade Fixation, Caron Simply Soft, and Lion Brand Microspun are typical of recommended yarns. Machine wash & dry are a plus. “Baby” yarns are also a good choice.
  • Adult and children’s sizes are welcome.

We will be knitting chemo caps in honor of our Guild Secretary, Carrie Bartz, who passed away last June.

We will be featuring a few of the various chemo cap patterns that are available online. Some of these require (free) registration for the sites that host the patterns. Our first pattern is from the site, which is one that requires registration. There are a small number of printed copies available at the Guild meeting for those without internet access (provided with permission by The pattern is the Pi Topper Chemo Cap.

The recommended yarn is 1 ball of Esprit (98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic, 100 yards per 5–gram ball). Cascade Fixation is a good substitute, if needed. This hat was knitted/donated by Joyce Fitzgerald.

We will be collecting completed hats at every monthly Guild meeting. We will also have a collection at the Yarnover this year – an easy way to drop off your hats! There will be 2 prizes awarded for the most hats submitted, with the totals tallied in both July and December. We encourage you to challenge yourself with a goal, perhaps like Judy Berland (see story, winter Cable Gram) who knitted 65 hats for charity for her 65th birthday. The service committee has set a goal for the Guild to submit 400 hats – 100 each for the 4 cities (Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and St. Paul) we’ve chosen to be recipients of our knitting this year. We are working with the American Cancer Society to donate the chemo caps. The ACS will be handing out the caps at their local offices, their sponsored Hope Lodges (Rochester & Minneapolis) and SMDC in Duluth, HCMC in Minneapolis, Mayo Clinic in Rochester and United in St. Paul.

Each month the hats will be collected and progress towards our goal of 400 hats will be noted!

You are not required to knit a specific pattern! Listed below are some links to websites that have a variety of chemo hat patterns. You may knit any pattern you choose, but please follow the guidelines listed above. If you have a favorite chemo hat pattern, or have designed one, you are encouraged to leave a comment here on the blog with the link or source of the pattern, and we will post it if possible. Please keep copyright restrictions in mind!

Check out these links for more patterns:

Bev’s Country Cottage  (this site has kid’s patterns, too)

One of our member/shop owners, Steven Berg, has graciously offered a 40% discount on Cascade Fixation or any viable chemo cap yarn for the Guild’s charity hat project. There are no limits as long as the yarn is used for this chemo cap project, and the offer is good to Guild members for the entire year. You will need to identify yourself as a Guild member when purchasing this yarn, and the offer is good at both of Steven’s locations:

StevenBe, 3448 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407


The Yarn Garage, 2980 145th St. West, Rosemount, MN 55068


Any questions regarding the project should be directed to Michele Germanson, michminn AT yahoo DOT com


2 Responses to “MKG 2011 Service Project – Chemo Caps”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Congrats to Stephen for making the Pioneer Press Sunday Life page! Great article.

  2. John Fogarty Says:

    I would like to donate yarn for the Caps for Chemo cause. I have many boxes of yarn that are several years old, but they are still in the wrapper. Unfortunately, many of them may be wool. Are you still working on the project? Tell me how I may be able to help.

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