Andi Smith, Knitting Caps for Women Fighting Breast Cancer

Photo by elitatt
10.11.2012By

Photo by elitatt

Often times, when we think about changing the world, we think about giant acts that are covered on all of the major news networks. We think that changing the world means altering an entire culture, saving millions of people in one fell swoop, or changing the very tides of the ocean.

However, the reality is quite different. Sometimes we can radically change one person’s world via a simple act that seems small to us, something we might think is hardly worth mentioning. Something we even did in part because we enjoyed doing it.

Small Acts Lead to Big Impact 

Andi Smith

I have witnessed this kind of phenomenon many times, but one of my favorite examples exists in the person of Andi Smith, a woman I met via my local knitting group a few years ago. Andi found out that a friend of hers, who was going through chemotherapy, was experiencing a lot of chills, in part because with no hair on top of the head, the heat from the top of your head simply escapes instead of sticking around to keep you warm. Andi has a lot of admirable characteristics and a few of them converged to create what happened next.

See, Andi doesn’t really cotton to simply ignoring problems, so she thought about how she could help out her friend. It also happens that Andi is not only a masterful knitter and crocheter, but she is also a pattern designer (soon to be a published author of a pattern book, in fact). Mush all of that together and you end up with Andi’s creation, the Chemo Cap.

The Chemo Cap

There is a lot to say about Andi’s pattern for this head warmer. First, I can say that while I am not at all a great knitter, I still can get through this pattern pretty easily. Second, Andi makes it available for free. And third, what you end up with is a pretty close-fitting cap that not only keeps you warm but also covers up your head pretty thoroughly. This can be an important issue for chemo patients who may have self-esteem issues derived from their lack of hair. Andi says that she likes to think warm thoughts about the person she’s knitting the hat for.

When I talked to her she said, “It’s a small thing, but a little love goes a long way.”

Andi is not the only person who has taken the initiative to create head warmers for those living with health issues. There is an organization called Head Huggers that collects patterns for these caps, and also helps distribute caps that get distributed to cancer centers.

If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, dedicate an afternoon or two a month (that’s all it takes) to make one of these hats and send them to a person who needs to know they are cared for. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s so worthwhile! You can download the free pattern here!

Here is a picture of the hat I *just* made for someone special I know (I’m just modeling) 🙂

Me, in the cap I knitted