Chemo Caps

I have a question for you all.

My mom is a cancer survivor. She is finially to the point of putting aside her wigs and caps since she has a very short funky hair cut now. I wasn’t knitting or crocheting at the time so I obviously didn’t make her any caps. Actually she used scarves, and baseball caps and hated them. We found our first knitted chemo cap as she was beginning to grow back her hair and said that was what she needed all along. So I want to make a package of Chemo caps to take to the clinic for her to give to the friends she has made though her treatment. Also for the doctor and nurses to give to patients who need caps. They took such good care of her, I want to give something back.

I have a number of patterns but was wondering what type of yarn you would use for Chemo caps to be used in the summer months. Some things NO wool or scratch yarns. It needs to be soft. Also it should be light weight.

Cotton comes to mind, although I haven’t worked with enough brands to advise which is softest. I’ve actually only worked with Lionbrand cotton bought in skeins. I don’t recommend that cotton; it’s not very light weight or soft. I’ve worked with a cotton yarn that I recycled from a sweater from Salvation Army. Maybe you visit one near you and check out the cotton sweater for recycling. That cotton I recycle is actually very soft; after all, it’s been used and washed so it’s nice and “broken in”. :wink:

Also - have you checked out the patterns at at Head Huggers? That site came to mind, so I thought I’d mention it just in case you haven’t seen it.


And, a couple of Marnie’s patterns are nice and lacy…would be nice for summer!

I would say linen or mercerized cotton…

Yes thank you. I have that site. That is were I got a number of my patterns I want to do. However most of them are for a worsted weight yarn and I just think that would be hot in the summer. I was hoping to adjust the pattern for a real light wait yarn. Maybe like a sport weight? Do you think that would be light enough for summer?

Those are nice pattern. Although I know my mom really wanted hats that would hide the fact there wasn’t any hair under it. Lacy hats would show scalp. (I think I will have to try some of those as gifts or even for myself though.)

I will try to find a soft lightweight cotton.

How about cottons targeted for baby clothes? They are almost always nice and soft. You could do sport weight or even fingering weight. I think small needles w/ fingering weight would be in order to avoid the cap turning out lace. I found this via google. Here are the google results so you browse whenever … :wink:

{{{Vicki}}} what an awesome thing to do ! What pattern did you decide to use?


There are a couple patterns I like from the site. Also I found a crocheted summer brim hat that I am working on now with a real soft acrylic I had on hand. (Can’t remember where I found that pattern.)

The new KnitPicks catalogue shows some baby items knit out of Shine and Shine Twist, sport weight cotton blend yarns. Maybe they would work? :thinking:

Kelly, aren’t you making something using Shine? I know someone here is. :??

Vicki, that is such a neat thing to do, by the way! :cheering:

My mother in law has been going thru cancer treatment for one and a half years now. I did not know how to knit at the time, but I did crochet her several hats out of a microfiber yarn, who’s exact name I can’t remember right now (bought it at Michaels, and it comes in several colors). She absolutely loves these hats and they have only gotten softer when washed.

I then found those knifty knitter looms and started making her hats on that. I used cha-cha and fun fur. She also liked them, but likes the microfiber onces best of all. The cha cha and fun fur hats I thought were cute because they make her look like she has hair again!

The most important thing to remember if you make these caps is that they have no seams as the skin of a chemo patient gets very sensitive from all the chemicals they are receiving and the small ridge from the seam seems to irritate them.

Since I have learned to knit, I have not made her any hats, mainly because she let me know she has more than enough!

Good luck, it’s a worthy project!

Pat, was it Lion Brand Microspun ?

i bought some Lion Brand microspun at michaels. I am currently mixing it with a fun fur to make a scarf. it is reeeeeeeeally soft so maybe that is the one Pat is talking about.

i think it is a great cause! GO YOU!!!

That is one of the reasons my mom never liked her scarves and her wigs. Her poor scalp was so sensitive. When we saw the knitted ones she loved how the caps wouldn’t irritate her since there were no seems. Unfortunately we found them too late. She is much happier WITH hair.

Thanks for the yarn choices. I am going to go check those out.

Yep!! That is the one…microspun. I recently felt one of the hats I crocheted her out of that about a year ago, and it was the softest thing ever!! Just remember…NO SEAMS!


I’m glad you ladies mentioned that about no seams. I would never have thought of that otherwise, and I think making those hats would be a good way to feel like you’re helping in some way (when one tends to feel so helpless), when someone you know and love is going through such a traumatic experience.

The chemo (my moms oncologist doesn’t mince words…he calls it poison) Effects so much of their bodies. Their skin becomes so sensitive and especially skin on the scalp that had always been protected by hair. If you decide you want to make these caps, you will need to keep this in mind. No seams. No wool (many chemo patients have reactions to many animal fibers). The yarn should be soft and not scratchy. The pattern you choose should be smooth where it touches the patients head. Lace or ridges will irritate their scalp.

Also if anyone was thinking of doing this (takes knitted and crocheted) takes donations as well as (only take knitted caps). Both also have more information on yarn as well as patterns.

I plan on giving mine to my mom’s oncologist. I am sure any local hospital would love your donations as well.

Thanks, Vicki. This thread has been most informative.

Yes, I am…it is just as soft as the LB Microspun, and I think cotton would be cooler…temp-wise, that is,

Yes, I am…it is just as soft as the LB Microspun, and I think cotton would be cooler…temp-wise, that is,

I know Shine has cotton, does the Microspun not have cotton?

well here is what it says about content on the Lion website…

Sport weight
2.5 oz./70g (168yd/154m) balls
100% micro-fiber acrylic

so i guess not. i didn’t pay attention to that when i bought it…just that it was in the crazy obnoxious green color that i wanted and it was way soft…lol