Knitting Pals By The Bay
(How It All Began)
In September 2001 my best friend was visiting from Kentucky, we were discussing her twin sister (Jane Neiman) chemo treatments. I sat down one evening before my friend returned home and made Jane a chemo cap; never knowing how valuable a treasure I had given her until she shared with me how grateful she was to have the cap because she was finally warm and comfortable. After realizing how one cap could make a positive difference in the life of a chemo patient I decided to take action.
I searched the Internet and found only a few places in the U.S. providing this service, all back east, and found nothing was being done in our area or even in California.
Being a knitting instructor I had the most important valuable resource (Knitters) to make this idea a reality. I went to my knitting class and asked the ladies if they would be interested in knitting chemo caps and providing them locally. I can remember saying I don't know where these caps will go but I know we are going to fill a need.
The Knitting Angels went right to work, using their wonderful creative skills and with love in each stitch they began bringing caps to class. Our first 2 official deliveries took place in July 2002. Since that time we have grown rapidly, currently we have donated 32,400 caps to children, teens and adults from San Francisco to San Jose and Lakeport, CA. The need is great and the project is on going and somehow the army of knitting angels continue to meet the supply and demand factor, no matter how many places we add to our growing list of recipients.
I have been teaching knitting classes for over 10 years now through the Leisure Program with the Parks and Recreation Dept. of the City of South San Francisco. The original group of Pals came together at our Thursday night class and the majority are still supporting our special program and continue to knit many beautiful caps. We established the Pals with one purpose and goal: "Dedicated to knitting chemo caps for cancer patients of all ages." We came up with our name, "Knitting Pals By The Bay" because we have knitters from all over the San Francisco bay area.