Tuesday, April 7, 2015

History of Knitted Knockers

Knitted Knockers History
Knitted Knockers are a light comfortable knitted prosthetic alternative for women who have had a mastectomy.  When placed in a bra, these knitted knockers take the shape and feel of a real breast.  They are lighter and more comfortable than silicon prosthetic breast.  The knitted fabric breathes and prevents the heat rash and discomfort experienced by many women wearing other styles of prosthesis.

Knitted Knockers are made by individuals who either use them for themselves or donate them to other women or groups like KnittedKnockersusa.org It typically takes about 2 to 3 hours for a knitter to make a Knitted Knocker.

Knitted Knockers' Beginning (2007)
In 2007, Chesley Flotten of The Knitting Experience Cafe, after a personal experience with breast cancer, began a unique charity knit program, Knitted Knockers, to provide soft, comfortable and free knitted prosthetic breast to breast cancer survivors.  

A local Bangor, Maine news station did a story on her effort and it was picked up by CNN Headline News and suddenly the knitted knockers went global.  Survivors came looking to get Knitted Knockers and knitters wanted to help make them.  


To help bring knitters and survivors together, Chesley organized program information in one location at The Knitting Experience Cafe. 

While Knitted Knockers were launched by Chesley, life events led to her closing her shop, The Knitting Experience, in May 2010.  However, ever passionate, she has maintained her website as a source for breast cancer survivors to find information.

Tempe Yarn & Fiber (2010)
After hearing about Knitted Knockers from a customer, in the fall of 2010, Tempe Yarn started a two month community service project making Knitted Knockers for the Chandler Regional Cancer Center.  Local knitters made about 100 Knitted Knockers and the shop gave them to the Cancer Center where they were given to patients for free.

At the end of the two months, the shop started a new community service project. Then the Cancer Center called asking when they could get their next shipment of knitted knockers?  In parallel customers continued to make them.

Fast forward to 2015, the Knitted Knockers effort has morphed into a worldwide program.  Because of its growth, it separated from Tempe Yarn and became Knitted Knockers Charities a 501 (c) (3) public charity.  A website was set up, www.KnittedKnockersUSA.org, to provide information to cancer survivors on how to get knitted knockers and to locate knitters who would make them.

Knitted Knockers Charities has collected from volunteer knitters across the USA ten of thousand of knitted knockers and distributed them for free, to mastectomy patients in all 50 states.  But beyond our efforts, there are now groups in Arizona (Bag & Boob Babes, Saddle Brooke Knit Wits), Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin that are making, donating and/or distributing knitted knockers in their local areas.  

It doesn't stop there, worldwide there is: Knitted Knockers UK, Knitted Knockers Australia, Knitted Knockers South Africa, Knitted Knockers Alberta, plus groups in Mexico, Germany and Finland.

In October, 2013, Tempe Yarn was featured in the Reader's Digest as one of the three "Breast Cancer Heroes You've Never Heard Of."  This article made mastectomy patients across the USA aware of Knitted Knockers Charities and requests flooded in.   

Today the original Knitted Knockers model and vision started by Chesley Flotten remains unchanged.  Volunteers make knitted knockers and organizations distribute them for free to mastectomy patients.

If you or someone you know needs knitted knockers, simply send Knitted Knockers Charities an email info@knittedknockersusa.org with you name, mailing address and cup size, and they'll send you a free pair of Knitted Knockers.  

If you are interested in helping make Knitted Knockers visit KnittedKnockersusa.org for more information.  You can help change a women's life forever.

There are no paid positions at Knitted Knockers Charities and all expenses are paid with donations made by recipients and the local community. 



4 comments:

  1. The article is very interesting and nice, I hope you can also visit my website resep kue thank you!

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  2. What a generous & encouraging way to help women who need a prosthetic. I had a mastectomy 7 years ago w/the latissimus flap. However, another tumor has been discovered & the implant must be removed for additional surgery & radiation. I'm thrilled to be able to obtain knitted knockers to help me appear symmetrical during treatments.

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  3. Fred, please add my 3 groups to your list of resources: bosombuddiesoftheqc.com, vistrikkermedhjertet.dk (Danmark) and Knocker Knitters on the Florida Suncoast (Facebook, Florida) We fit individuals to make sure of the correct size and especially if a remaining breast needs to be matched.

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    Replies
    1. please email (info@knittedknockerusa.org)
      me the contact info

      Delete