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Service Knitting and Crochet with the Forefront Stitchers

We are a group of University of Chicago Medical Center and University of Chicago employees, faculty, medical students and friends and family donating time, materials and talent to make items for our patients.  Visit our blog.

Specific items we make are:

  • Caps for men and women with hair loss due to medical treatment, usually for cancer
  • Prayer shawls and lap blankets for cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplant
  • Baby blankets for the NICU; Blankets to go to parents who are clients of the International Adoption Clinic, to take with them when they pick up their children, many of whom are HIV infected or who have other special needs
  • Mastectomy prosthetics for breast cancer patients (a pattern is included)

We also collaborate with other groups, most recently, we contributed 93 scarves to a University student scarf challenge and we are distributing over 500 scarves to shelters, if we have extra things, we share with Stroger Hospital.

The pattern for the Knit Knockers, Tit Bits is at, although we have modified it as below, (the original pattern calls for a long I-cord, patients don’t like that, and also calls for it being done in two pieces and sewed together – there is no need for that extra step, make it all as one piece) there are pictures of the finished product on our blog.

Directions for Knit Knockers, Tit Bits:

Materials: For the knockers, any soft yarn – cotton or cotton blend is the best, or a soft acrylic – these get washed.

Outer Piece

  • Using larger needles (US6), Cast on 3 stitches (sts).  Work 2 rows of I-cord.
  • *Work one more row of I-Cord, increasing as follows: kfb (knit into the front and back of one stitch) in each st.  6 sts.
  • Divide sts between 2 double-point needles, in preparation to begin working in the round.  Place marker in first stitch.
  • Next Round: [Knit to last st on needle, m1 (make one stitch), knit 1] around.  3 sts increased.
  • Repeat this round 19 [21, 25, 27, 29] times more.  66 [72, 84, 90, 96] sts (22 [24, 28, 30, 32] sts on each needle).
  • Purl 2 rounds.

You will now have what looks like a small, sweet triangular hat (or in the words of my breast surgeon who is Jewish, “A very badly made kippah”).  Don’t worry; it will make a perky breast!

Now work the pattern backwards, decreasing 1 stitch at the end of every needle, until you have about 12 sts on the needles, pull the yarn through the stitches, stuff with polyfill, add a marble, don’t pull this tight since the patients will tighten it after they adjust the stuffing.

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