We got quite a few phone calls after last Sunday’s Life & Arts story about Knitted Knockers, handmade breast forms for women with mastectomies.
Some readers were itching to stitch the prostheses, others wanted to donate yarn to the groups that make them and give them out for free to breast cancer patients.
Joan Romanofski, who lives at Parkland Garden, Kingsway Community, in Schenectady, was looking for the pattern for her Saturday afternoon knitting group, which makes items for charities.
More about Knitted Knockers
-- Patterns for Knitted Knockers, both knit and crochet, can be printed and downloaded at www.knittedknockers.org.
-- Readers who do not have access to the Internet can call The Gazette at 395-3197 and leave a message with their name and address, and we will mail a printed pattern.
-- Patterns are also available at in the front lobby of The Daily Gazette, 2345 Maxon Road Extension, Schenectady, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“They make lap robes for veterans. They make hats for needy children,” says Romanofski, who has been knitting since 1950. One knitter, who is 101 years old, makes hats for women who are bald from chemotherapy.
When Ted Alderson of Charlton heard about Knitted Knockers, he called and told us about Maxine, the woman he was married to for 52 years.
“My wife died of cancer four years ago. It began as breast cancer,” Alderson says.
Maxine, who was a nurse, loved to knit, and in her later years made caps for preemie babies and donated them to a hospital.
“This is wonderful,” he said of the Knitted Knockers. “Maxine would have loved this.”
On Wednesday, Alderson drove over to The Gazette with four big boxes of yarn, leftovers from Maxine’s knitting projects. Two days later, a Gazette reporter delivered the yarn to Romanofski’s knitting group at Kingsway.
After a chat with The Gazette, Bill Sepkowski of Rotterdam is also delivering yarn for Knockers to Kingsway.
His wife, Judy, lost a breast to cancer. She’s doing fine but gave up knitting a while ago.
“I have 12 or 13 humongous boxes. When she gets involved in something, she does it big time,” Sepkowski joked.
Seeking the pattern
Carmella Ciaranello, another Schenectady reader, called The Gazette on Monday.
“I’ve been knitting forever. I’d like that pattern,” Ciaranello said.
Ciaranello plans to knit some colorful prostheses for her daughter-in-law, who had a double mastectomy 10 years ago.
We also got a call from Nancy Newberry, owner of Newberry Knitting on Curry Road in Schenectady.
Newberry offered to donate yarn to a group but only if they use it to make Knitted Knockers.
Her company, which has been in business since 1946, makes gloves, mittens, hats and leg warmers.
“We always have yarn, amazing amounts of yarn,” Newberry says.
At the Gazette, we’re working on connecting Newberry with another area knitting group.