knitting with tribbles

On my parenting forum, one of the moms has a four-year-old with leukemia. I’ve been praying for her on and off for a while. This is not the kind of thing a little kid (or her parents!) should have to endure.

Recently the chemotherapy began making the little girl’s hair fall out. Although she’d been a real trooper through all the other treatments, her mom reported that losing her hair had been a blow: the little girl was moody, sad, and didn’t want her picture taken any longer.

The parenting forum started a “Bald For Bucks” fundraising drive for her (I believe they have a Facebook page, if you’re on Facebook) but I didn’t want to shave my head nor did I want to contribute money for others to shave theirs. (Note: they’ve reached their goal, so I can do that *now* if I want without guilt; the heads are shaved.)

But I knew what I could do: I could knit the little girl a silly hat. I went through my stash until I found the perfect yarn. Fun fur.

I did the bottom of the hat ribbed, fun fur with some of the leftover pink sock yarn from my first pair of socks. Then I went around in stockinette until the hat was completed.

I’d never knit before with fun fur: it was like knitting with a tribble. My Patient Husband kept going around the house trilling at me. But the hat turned out soft and, as I’d hoped, furry. The hat has a halo-like fringe that stands on end almost like a wig.

While knitting, I prayed for her, and I kept her photo open on the computer. Kiddo#3 came over and watched for a while.

“Who’s that?” he said.

I explained that this was the little girl who was sick, and the medicine she needed was making her hair fall out, and that made her sad.

He studied her picture for a long time, and then he said, “She’s very beautiful when she smiles.”

She is. She’s a beautiful child.

So that’s my contribution to the world. I couldn’t give a little girl her hair, but even if she never wears it, maybe I can give her a smile.

I don’t have a picture because I didn’t have a child around to model the finished product, and I wanted it to spend 24 hours in the freezer beforeI mailed it. And this will be the last knitting post for a while because that’s not why you all were here. I just wanted to write a silly post about knitting with tribbles and instead this is what happened.


  1. Lydia Kang

    Little things can count a lot. That was a great thing you did.

    1. philangelus

      The women who raised thousands of dollars and shaved their heads are the ones who did a great thing. 🙂

  2. whiskers

    *leaky eyes* Give all your kiddos a hug for me, ‘k? They’re beautiful too.

  3. TW

    What a lovely gesture! Late and rather off-topic, but as a knitter, I’m curious because I’ve never seen this before – why 24 hours in the freezer? (Btw, I enjoy your blog and point of view very much.)

    1. philangelus

      24 hours in the freezer is enough time to kill any germs that might have gotten onto a knitted item during the process of being knitted, and while that doesn’t make it *sterile* it does make it safer for someone who might be immunocompromised, such as a preemie or a child undergoing chemotherapy. I do the same thing with library books I had a cold while reading them. 🙂

      (And even if it doesn’t kill all the germs, it also doesn’t harm the item, so it’s a non-destructive treatment. 🙂 )

      Thanks for reading, and welcome to the blog. 🙂