Yarn: Main Color- Loop-d-Loop Granite Collection in Slate ($10.95/ball)
Contrast Color- GGH's Giglio in Denim ($7.21/ball)
Pattern: David's Hat from The Boy Who Knits
Needles: Size 10, round
What? It looks like a regular hat? Well my friend, that's the point...
I'm sorry, but there are a lot of ugly chemo caps out there. I won't say any names, or point any fingers, but when the person already has cancer, they don't need your fluffy, pink, poor excuse for the hair they just lost. This is not to disparage the kind works of these giving souls, but rather to encourage people to really give something that, once said cancer is kicked, the person will actually be able to wear outside of the house.
With this in mind, there are few considerations for making a chemo cap that do differentiate it from your standard, every-day-sort of cap:
Texture: If you do it right, the recipient of your work will want to wear it all the time. So make sure that it is soft, breathable and washable. Shop in person at a store rather than online to test out the feel of the yarns against your cheeck, and use natural fibers (rather than synthetics like acrylic--but make sure the person isn't allergic!) for breathability. Check the label for washing instructions.
Color: I tried to choose a color that the recipient would like. But if you don't know the person, or can't really guess at their cap color preferences, try to think about the effect of the color. Nice calm colors like pastels may have a soothing effect. Or you may want to choose bright colors to give the patient a boost of energy. Whatever colors you go with, make sure they don't clash--you want the recipient to wear it, after all.
Pattern: Don't feel constrained by patterns marked "Chemo Caps" (besides, as I have said, these can be a bit, um, whimsicle anyway). Any hat pattern will do, so long as it fits the criteria above. I borrowed mine from a website called The Boy Who Knits. But here again is where you can let your creativity shine through. Some of my other favorite stitch patterns are: Two Color Lattice, Swiss Check (used for Sean's Hat), and Dots Within Stripes for guys' hats and lace patterns for girls' hats. You may also want to knit in the round instead of using seams to make the hat less bulky and more comfortable.
Make them for a loved one or for charity. You can often donate chemo caps to a local hospital, or search the web for people in your area soliciting donations.
To make the hat above:
Size: 22 inches in circumference (for a guy's head measuring 23.75 inches)
Height: 7.5 inches from brim to top (for 15 inches from brim to brim)
I followed the pattern for David's Hat exactly, except I cast on 60 sts instead of the recommended 110, and did not change my needle size. For this pattern you can cast on any number of stitches, so long as it is a multiple of ten. I also used this handy video to do the provisional cast-on.