Saturday, February 23, 2019

Handmade with Love - Jenny Hats

Jenny Hats by DawnRaeCrochet on Etsy
I have spent months thinking about how to write this. There is absolutely no way to adequately share my thoughts about this matter. Because it is such a tough topic, I'll probably tend toward the factual and a bit away from the emotional. 

The first fact about what is on my mind is that cancer sucks. Absolutely and completely sucks. Period.

Some people battle cancer and win. Others don't. Throughout my lifetime I've known people in both situations. And every single person who I've known, who has/had cancer, is someone who is amazing to me. Each has positively impacted my life in some big way.

I wanted to list each of these people and describe their strength, love, and life lessons that have stuck with me over the decades. But there are too many. As a matter of space limitations I have here, I will not write all that I want to share. But I think that is okay. I will briefly tell you about only two of these people.

What feels like a million years ago, I knew a sweet, genuine spirit whose name during her stay on earth was Dorla. Everyone loved Dorla because of her kindness. She ended up with cancer. And I remember how she described (without bitterness, but with great sadness) that the most terrible thing about cancer was losing her hair. 

Over the years, that has stuck with me. And as my crochet skills have recently improved, I have given serious consideration to making and donating chemo hats to help those whose loss of hair is devastating to them.

My first hat attempt didn't turn out well. 

Oops! Hide your loss of hair AND totally block your vision. Back to the drawing board - I continued to research appropriate yarns and patterns for my abilities.

Fast forward to now. 

About Jenny 

I have a co-worker who is battling an aggressive and rare form of cancer. She doesn't like to wear hats but was concerned about her surgery scar and what her hair was going to end up looking like. I made a hat for her. And she liked it.  So I made another one for her. Because she liked the hats, I decided to make these hats - my "Jenny Hats"  - and try to find a way to offer them inexpensively in my Etsy store and/or donate them to local organizations treating people with cancer. Or both.

At one point, with great reservation, I told Jenny about my Jenny hat plan. I was afraid that she'd not like the idea. What a weird thing to discuss. Then again, a lot of things about cancer are weird things to discuss, aren't they? But she said she loved the idea. In fact, I'll include a message from Jenny with the hats. 

The message is: 

About Crocheted Jenny Hats

After making a couple of hats using Melanie Ham's wonderful Easy Crochet Granny Cluster Beanie Hat pattern I realized that with just a few small changes, I'd be able to make a hat that would suit Jenny's needs. Thank you Melanie for that lovely pattern that gave me the start for my Jenny hats.

Jenny Hats are hand crocheted with soft cotton yarn. It is a thin yarn - thicker than the cotton string used for doilies and thinner than worsted weight yarn. I chose this yarn (Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend) to begin my Jenny Hat collection because organizations that accept chemo hat donations recommend yarn that is soft and non-irritating.

I use hdc instead of dc to make the Granny clusters. It makes the gaps in the hat smaller.  And I decrease differently on the last two rows of the top of the hat. 

If you are interested in buying a Jenny Hat they are listed in my Etsy shop here

* * * * * * * * 

Jenny, you are an important part of my world. You know that you are an important part of many people's lives (young and old). Even though you should know it, I feel the need to state the obvious - we all love you. You are now (and will always be) with me with every hat I crochet. 

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you.  I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you.


  1. Your Jennie Hats are very pretty and stylish, Dawn Rae, and will be a welcome addition to the wardrobe of cancer patients everywhere. My life has been touched, as yours has been, by Cancer (having lost a dear hubby, a sister and a brother to this dreaded disease, as well as several aunts & uncles), so I consider your crochet efforts in this area a nice gesture. These hats would also make a lovely gift for friends & relatives to give to loved ones affected by Cancer.

    Best wishes to your friend, Jenny, in her medical fight. She will be in my thoughts. ~Elf

  2. I love how you use your gifts, and heart, to lift up others. What a moving way to spread compassion.

  3. What a wonderful way to remember all your friends who battled cancer while helping those who still are. I will definitely pass this on.

  4. What a beautiful way to honor your friend! Cancer does suck and it is horrible when people can "see" the scars and evidence of your struggle. Just trying to get through some days is all the energy one has and they certainly don't want people with sympathetic looks asking questions, no matter how well intended. I love your hats Dawn! Way to go!!! Such a beautiful way to cover the effects of cancer.

  5. So meaningful to use your design and yarn skills in this way - !