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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Knit one, purl one, pray

What knits together cancer patients, inmates, retired women and other volunteers? Chemo caps — an idea that's warming heads everywhere.

Last fall Vause Carlsen started the ministry in her congregation, Trinity Episcopal, Flushing, Mich. Members were invited to pick up yarn and cap patterns at the church, and the project took off. Some parishioners donated money for yarn. The caps, which usually take about $5 worth of yarn, are colorful and made from a variety of patterns and yarns, whatever design the maker selects. They can be crocheted or knit. Like prayer shawls, the caps are given with a note that says, "Prayerfully made just for you."

"Nearly all of us know someone who has had chemotherapy and lost hair as a result," Carlsen said. Thrilled with the response from volunteers and the cancer patients, she says, "Now all those heads are going to be warm."

Carlsen also contacted an all-male prison after reading about its inmates crocheting. The men crocheted caps that were delivered before Christmas last year.

For patterns, see www.headhuggers.org/patterns/kpatt10.htm, or yarn companies such as www.lionbrand.com. Or call Trinity at (810) 659-9716.


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