Free Knitted Knockers Are a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors


Video: The Woman Behind Knitted Knockers Screenshot from Knitted Knockers YouTube video by HowStuffWorks“Video: The Woman Behind Knitted Knockers Screenshot from Knitted Knockers YouTube video by HowStuffWorks

While mastectomy rates in the U.S. may have dropped a bit between 2002 and 2012, breast removal certainly is not a thing of the past. For one, nearly 29 percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery during that same period opted for a unilateral mastectomy. And then there’s the fact that double-mastectomy rates tripled, again from 2002-2012.

What hasn’t changed much is the uncomfortable, expensive prostheses that are designed for women to wear after surgery. Sure, there are some extremely advanced models … that cost hundreds of dollars.

Want a cheap one? Some of them are little more than shoulder pads, and can prove hot, heavy or ill-fitting. But one organization has a different solution: Knitted Knockers provides a lightweight, DIY-approach to a once-taboo topic. 

Not only is Knitted Knockers providing free knit prostheses to individuals, medical providers and organizations, but they’re also empowering women to create their own, designed to fit their own bras and adjusted to their own breast size. The pattern leaves the back open so users can take out stuffing as needed and cinch it up again when done.

They’re also partnering with organizations in East Africa to bring the knitting patterns to women in nations that view breast removal with secrecy and shame.

And if you knit, you can help. Knitted Knockers is happy to provide patterns, as well as group and store listings, to connect knitters with those who need knockers. (And crocheters will be happy to note they get a pattern, too.) Not a knitter but care about knockers? As a nonprofit, they’ll be happy to take donations that can offset the cost of some of their work.  

Now That’s Cool

Not all knockers are made alike! But they do recommend certain yarns, and a high-quality polyester fiberfill for the "stuffing" of the knocker. Other than that? Make your knocker your own.


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