Valrico resident Lynette Sandrock is changing lives with her knitting. Sandrock is starting a Brandon group of Knitted Knockers, a national organization that provides free knitted breast protheses for women who have had a single or double mastectomy or other breast surgery. She is looking for both knitters to help make the protheses and women who are interested in being fitted for one or two.
An avid knitter since childhood, Sandrock learned about the Knitted Knockers group from a newspaper article and upon further research realized that making the protheses was a way she could give back.
“I looked at one of the patterns and thought ‘I could do that,’” she said.
The protheses are made from super soft acrylic yarn and are machine washable and dry quickly. Like other knitters in the national organization, Sandrock donates the materials and time for the ones she makes. The knitters have found that it is important that recipients, who can have recently had their mastectomies or be years out from the surgery, be fitted for the protheses in person.
“The fittings take a short time, but are very important because we are all different and we won’t know which protheses will be best just based on bra size,” said Sandrock, who will also teach the recipient about care of protheses during the short fitting. “We also have many different colors from neutral and black to hot pink, depending on personality and mood.”
The knitted protheses can be placed in a regular bra and according to Sandrock are more light-weight and comfortable than traditional synthetic protheses that can not be worn for weeks after surgery. In addition, the knitted knockers can be adjusted to fill the gap for breasts that are uneven and are easily adapted for those going through reconstruction by removing some stuffing.
The closest Knitted Knockers group was previously in the Sarasota area, so Sandrock contacted Brandon Regional Hospital and local doctors and has now set up a monthly session the third Wednesday of every month in the hospital’s Classroom A, located at 262 S. Moon Ave. in Brandon. For more information, call Sandrock at 300-1505 or visit www.knittedknockers.org. Sample patterns for people interested in knitting are also available on the website.