Knitted Knockers offers options for women following mastectomy

Published 12:20 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Knitted Knockers Support Foundation, based in Washington state, did not invent the unique prosthesis pattern but did find the young woman who did.

“We did not invent the knitted knockers,” Founder Barbara Demorest said. “There is a young woman in Maine who was making them for herself and I asked if I could use the name and share them freely with others.”

The woman, who could no longer able to make them, was thrilled.

Thus Knitted Knockers Support Foundation, a 501c(3) nonprofit, was born.

The breast prosthesis is knitted or crocheted using specific yarn and then given to the women who request them.

“They come in all sizes,” Demorest said. “From A- DD or larger upon request.”

With groups in 50 states and 25 countries, the organization gives away approximately 800 knitted knockers a week.

“We send them all over,” Demorest said. “We have 1,200 medical clinics which we work with directly to provide knitted knockers to and we have about 700 medical clinics waiting to be adopted.”

Individual knitters or crocheters adopt a clinic and provide the prosthesis locally, helping cut down on shipping costs for the organization.

“They have to be committed to using our pattern and the special type yarn so it is the same product whether you get it in California or New York,” Demorest said. “If they are affiliated with a hospital or clinic, she fills those orders from her state.”

When requesting the knitted knockers, one is asked if they need a single or a pair, size, and what color such as neutral, bright, or dark.

“Neutral is beige, off white while bright is just about any color you can imagine,” Demorest said. “Dark is dark browns, and black.”

The organization also provides printed materials for the clinic, which also includes cleaning, and care for the prosthesis.

Patterns, both knitted and crochet, are also free and offered in several languages such as Dutch, French, French Canadian, German and Indonesian.

A list of approved yarns can be found at

According to the yarn list, all approved yarns have been tested and proven to be washable, stay soft after air drying, breathable, durable, the correct weight and make beautiful knockers. The challenge has always been to identify yarns that are preferred by recipients, available and affordable. The list has over 30 choices that can be purchased at local yarn stores, online or at “Big Box” stores at a variety of price points. The cost per average sized knocker using these yarns can vary from about $1.20 to $2 per knocker.

“Very affordable when you think about the difference it makes to the woman who wears them!” according to the official website.

Shirley, a knitter from Orange, saw a Facebook post concerning volunteers and Knitted Knockers.

“Before, I was working on Comfort Dolls,” Shirley said. “Then I saw the post and thought ‘Oh, I’ll do that as my next charity.’”

Since then, she has decided it will be an always charity.

“One of the people who rescued be during Harvey turned out to breast cancer survivor,” Shirley said. “This will be an on going thing. It is one way for me to give back to the community.”

She gave four sets of knitted knockers to the person who rescued her.

“Most I have sent off,” Shirley said. “But I have given away to at least four people locally.”

There are 3 ways that people can help:

  1. If you can knit or crochet, make knitted knockers. Knitted Knockers are sending out well over 200 a week free to women all over the world and can only do it because of the volunteers willing to make them.
  2. Share with your friends on social media. Like and share Knitted Knockers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@knitted_knocker), etc. This helps to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of women living in the US right now that have not been reconstructed after mastectomy.
  3. Donate. Knitted Knockers is 100% volunteer run and survive by donations. Donations can be mailed to Knitted Knockers Support Foundation, 1780 Iowa St., Bellingham, WA 98229 or made via PayPal on our website at

There are several organizations that use Knitted Knockers in the name or URL, the organization in this story is based in Washington state.