Using a Circle Loom to Knit a Cap for Cancer

Writen by JanetLSmith.                                From:http://janetlsmith

Making a Cancer Cap on a Knitting Circle Loom

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This is a knitting loom. It is a circle made of plastic. To Make a hat, the yarn is wound around the pegs on the loom. Two rows are wound on the loom and then a hook is used to loop the bottom loop over the top loop. I make these loom hats for cap.

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These are infant size caps knit on the knitting loom! Aren’t they cute?

Making a Knitting Loom Cancer Cap

“What is a knitting loom for a hat?”, you ask.  The knitting loom is a plastic circle with pegs which you wind yarn around and use a hook to loop the yarn over, which results after about 30 rows around the loom, in the perfect cancer cap!

I have been making these loom caps for almost three years now, since my father, Charlie passed away from his cancer.  While my Dad was in the hospital battling his cancer, he always wore a knitted cap on his head.  He swore that it kept his entire body warmer, because the cap kept him from “loosing the body heat” through the top of his head!  M  Dad was pretty bald on top, and always wore some kind of hat, including his toy poodle, who slept on top of his head on his pillow at night!  Some of his other favorite caps were ball caps, fishing hats, golf caps, but his favorite was the knitted ski cap.  

Now, I am not a great knitter, and to e honest, my knitting leaves a lot to be desired.  My Grandma Bohn taught me to crochet, and I am capable with a crochet hook, but have difficulty following a pattern.  SO, when I decided upon making cancer caps in honor of my Dad, Charlie, you can only imagine how lucky I felt when I came across this  plastic knitting device at a local hobby store.  The first cap I knit on the loom came out perfectly.  After that first blue hat that I made, I became “hooked” no pun intended, and kept making the knitted caps on the loom!

My loom kit came with 4 sizes of looms.  A very small one for infant hats, one for toddler hats, one for adult hats, and a large one that is too big for a hat, but has made a great hula hoop for a creative three year old, watching as his grandma made a hat for his grandpa!  The infant sized loom makes hats for infants, and a hat can be made with the soft pastel baby yarns, using 2 strands at a time.  A little pom pom sewn on the top makes these pastel hats in yellow, blue, pink, green, purple, and variegated yarns so cute, and so soft.  They are perfect to warm the head of any tiny baby, healthy at home with friends and family, or staying in a hospital until they are well enough to go home.  Any mom or grandma would be proud to say, “I made that hat for my baby (grand-baby!)  The toddler size loom is a bit bigger.  The yarn used on these hats is size 5 (size is found on the yarn label) and/or 2 strands of complimenting yarns, of the standard size.  Just feel the yarn when purchasing it to make sure it is nice and soft!  Soft is especially important for cancer patients who loose their hair, and less important for kids with hair, so you can judge your yarn accordingly.  The adult size is even bigger and looks best with the size 5 yarn, though 2 strands of standard acrylic yarn can also be used.  One of the popular yarns is the new camouflage  yarns that make a camo pattern on the hat when it is knit on the loom.  These can come in standard greens and also in purples, blues, and pinks!  

You begin the hat by winding the yarn around the side peg and then taking the yarn behind the pegs osn the loom’s top and winding it around the back of each peg, thinking “back of the peg, around towards my face”…  Make two rows of winding and then secure the yarn on the side peg.  Use the hook to loop the bottom row yarn over the top row.  Make a new row of winding, and loop the bottom row over the top again, with the hook. The hat grows in length on the inside of the loom.  The loom comes with a direction card, with written directions, and pictures to follow.  

To date, I have made almost 2000 cancer caps which I have donated to local hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes.  Making each hat is a joy.  Each hat is different and takes on a story of it’s own.  I include a tag tied with yarn on each cap.  The card reads, “This cap was made especially for you with tender loving care in honor of my Dad, Charlie.  Please wear it to feel safe and warm as you fight to get well!”

I have taught classes in loom knitting because it is so very easy and such a great hobby to adopt, as it is a hobby that allows you to “give back” or do “Random acts of kindness” when you pass your hats out to someone in need.  Keeping another’s head safe and warm is an awesome responsibility and a responsibility that I can easily take on, by making the caps on the loom.  

You can make these loom hats without thinking, so you can knit on the loom and talk, or watch TV, sit in the passenger seat of the car, or just knit!  If you have a family member who once knit or crocheted and can no longer do their hobby, get them a loom and let them try loom knitting!  A friend got a loom for her Aunt who had Alzheimer’s disease and had forgotten how to knit.  She took to the loom easily and was thrilled to make her first hat, a hat I call a miracle hat!  the loom hat is repetition!  Wrap the yarn around….Loop it off!