> Knitting Chemo Caps

Knitting for Chemotherapy Patients

Knitting for Chemotherapy Patients

When a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and almost immediately began a course of chemotherapy, my thoughts of course turned to knitted hats, as one of the few ways I felt that I could actually be useful to her. I found that there was a lot of advice on the internet about chemo hats -- some of it conflicting -- and dozens of patterns, but not many suggestions about specific yarns, which was where I felt that advice would be most helpful -- hence this list.

Knitting hats and caps for chemo patients does come with a few restrictions, but often this is up to the wearer. The one thing that most people seem to agree on is that the hat should be seamless, to be comfortable on a head not only sensitive from the chemo but unused to being without hair. Chemo hats also tend to be on the long side -- down to the nape of the neck -- and not lace, which can be drafty on bare skin, but again, this is up to the wearer, and the season. (A bit of lace at the edge might be nice, though.) The snugger-fitting hats tend to stay on better, as looser ones tend to slip without the hair to help hold it in place. People who are sensitive to wool even at the best of times would doubtless prefer hats made of cotton or acrylic, of course, but in many cases the softer wools work very well. Washability should also be a consideration, although in this case, comfort and looks may win out. Here are a few patterns and suggestions for yarns that I've collected -- thank you to everyone who has helped!

If you have suggestions for this list, please leave a comment on A Bluestocking Knits at -- thank you!


Berroco Chinchilla
Blue Sky Cotton
Brown Sheep Cotton Fine
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
Caron Simply Soft
Cascade Fixation
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino
Dale Baby Ull
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
Elann Esprit and Esprit Print
Gedifra Marokko
Katia Jamaica
KnitPicks Shine Sport
Noro Tidiori
Plymouth Encore
Rowan Calmer
RYC Cashcotton
RYC Cashsoft
Tahki New Tweed
Trekking XXL
Wendy Velvet Touch


The Carlsbad Hat, by Marnie MacLean

Chemo Hat by Knit Picks

Cloche du Bois, by Hilari Ford

Coronet, by Alexandra Virgiel

Elann Chemo Turban, by Ann Cannon-Brown for elann

Julia Roberts Hat, by Gale H. Coffey

Odessa, by Grumperina

The Pismo Hat, by Marnie MacLean

Shedir, by Jenna Wilson (read the story behind Shedir at

Shine Chemo Hat, by Kelley Petkun

Tanis, by Iris Schreier

Zeebee customized hat pattern, by schmeebot

1840 Nightcap, by Franklin Habit



Head Huggers

Knitting Pattern Central: Hats

more Knitty hat patterns, including some wonderfully frivolous ones!

Knots of Love cap and PICC line cover patterns

Updated 2 January 2015

Photo from

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Chemo Hat and Keyhole Scarf, from Berroco

Chemo Toque, by Janet Szabo

The Last-Minute Purled Beret, by Wendy Bernard

Mandalay One-Skein Hat, by Ardeana Hamlin (work this in the round; photo at

Short-Row Hat, by Veronik Avery