Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Gift For A Very Brave Friend

Well, I'm supposed to be doing lots of things around here except for what I am doing, which is to help take care of a friend. Sometimes certain things make all others pale in comparison, and this is one of those things. My sweet brave friend has breast cancer, and had a double mastectomy in June, followed by chemo. She lost her hair last weekend, which I think has been one of the toughest things of all because it somehow announces her plight for all the world to see.

I have decided that there must be a way for people who need to wear head scarves to find a very cute and fashionable solution. Sadly, after combing patterns on the web, it doesn't seem so. Plus, many of the patterns out there, while being pretty unfashionable, are costly as well. It seemed like the thing to do would be to design my very own cute chemo cap! So that's what I've been doing. I have made the first one, and here it is on me:

This Chemo Cap (bad name, I know) is perfect for the summer because the scarf part doesn't hug your head, and it has some gathers and tucks. It looks like you are just having a bad hair day. Then, the super soft Blue Sky Organic Cotton knitted band keeps the hat in place. You can tie it as snugly as you please. What do you think? Do you like the design?
There have been some design flaws, which I'm working out. Even though the back is very cute, I gathered the fabric together and added elastic. There turns out to be too much fabric, so the gathered bit puffs out too much above the bow. My revision includes cutting out sections of the fabric so there's not so much fabric to deal with at the back of the head. My friend also had long hair, so she wants fabric to trail down the back of the neck. I'm modifying the design to include that as well.

In any case, I love, love, love the combination of the Amy Butler fabric and the soft Blue Sky Organic cotton. I bought this lovely combination at The Grove, where Susan and Judy of judipatudi are working hard to put beautiful combinations of yarn and fabric together. It sure makes coming up with a design solution so exciting. I couldn't wait to get home and start knitting and sewing! My husband thought the fabric would be too busy for my friend, but when she saw the yarn and the fabric, she got so excited! Hooray! If I can give my friend a gift which makes her want to get up in the morning, and get dressed so she can feel pretty going out into the world, well, that's the best gift I can ever give, isn't it?

**Update: Please click this link here to view the perfected pattern, and this link here where you can purchase the pattern for yourself. Thank you!

8 comments:

Mari Aparicio said...

Cancer is a very painful word for my family. My dad is a three time survivor. First, stomach cancer; second, liver cancer; and then colon cancer. My mother in-law is a skin cancer survival. Every time I listen somebody mentions the word cancer a very sad feeling comes to my mind and it’s inevitable for me not to cry.
I want to share with you something that I remind my little girl every day: “Every girl or woman of the world is beautiful”. Your friend is beautiful. One of the most known TV newswoman in Puerto Rico is a cancer patient and she appears every day on TV with her bald head and she looks beautiful.
Your chemo cap is pretty, because everything that is made with love is simply beautiful.

Valerie said...

Mari, thank you so much for your touching words. I'm so sorry for anyone who has to battle cancer. My friend has 2 sons, and a wonderfully supportive husband and friends. Still, there are days that are so hard for her. I just wish I could bear some of that burden for her. It hurts me to see her hurting like she is...

Arlenesfelt said...

Lovely design, and beyond lovely sentiment.
Well done, Val.

The Attic said...

The cap is great, very stylish and you're a great friend to have created it for her.

Nancy

swellsknits.blogspot.com said...

One of the things that is heartbreakingly beautiful to me is how women love to decorate their friends. This becomes especially poignant when a friend is sick. The cap that you made for your friend is so dear...it looks comfy and fun and is bound to give her a lift and remind her that she is beautiful and most importantly, loved. Bravo!

Tamerie Shriver said...

I think you did a great job on it.

Cindy said...

Hi Val
What a wonderful idea and a way to try and help your friend while she is going through this. I think your design is great, especially combined with the Amy Butler fabric. What a great friend you are! :-)

Valerie said...

Thank you for all your kind words. I've given my friend the cap today after her third chemo treatment. Those treatments make her hurt from the inside out... sigh. In any case, I'm preparing this pattern as a free giveaway for anyone who wants to make it for a special friend of theirs. Just let me know, and as soon as I finish perfecting the pattern, I'll be happy to send it to you in PDF form, or in the mail. You do need to knit and sew in order to make it, or know someone who does. It's quite pretty and I think fashionable. Heck, I'd wear it on one of my bad hair days!