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softest/best/easy-to-care for yarn for chemo patient hat?

 
master steward
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I recently found out that someone I love dearly has cancer and will be starting chemo soon. Which means her hair will likely be falling out, too. I would like to knit her some super-soft hats, probably beret-style. But, what's the best yarn?

I bought some Cascade Heritage silk/wool blend that's washable and super soft (It's the yarn I usually use to knit baby hats), but I'd love to know if there's other yarns that would be as good or better.

Thank you so much
 
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Angora? Cria fleece?

Or possum? It's mostly just an NZ thing because brushtail possums from Australia are a massive pest here (to the tune of 35 million devouring our native forests), but a merino/possum blend is about the softest thing I've ever felt next to those other two.
 
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Looking online, I'm seeing most everyone recommend cotton, and saying wool is too scratchy. A oerson getting chemo treatments has more sensitive skin. But, the wool/silk blend sure seems soft to me, softer than any other yarn I've felt, and a lot cooler (and warmer in the winter) than cotton, and absorbs sweat. It's antimicrobial, too, right? That would make it better than cotton for a chemo patient, right?

I've knit with cotton before, and it doesn't knit very well (at least not for me), as it has no stretch and so lies heavy and bulky. It also can be cold in winter, and sweaty in summer.

I don't see anyone mentioning linen--I do see bamboo, and that the hats need to be machine washable. I also see suggestions about cotton/acrylic blends, but I'd really like to avoid those!

Anyone have any leads on good yarn? I'm trying to resist the urge to spend hundreds of dollars on buying yarn online because it looks good, and then finding out it's scratchy or clammy or something....
 
Nicole Alderman
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Phil Stevens wrote:Angora? Cria fleece?

Or possum? It's mostly just an NZ thing because brushtail possums from Australia are a massive pest here (to the tune of 35 million devouring our native forests), but a merino/possum blend is about the softest thing I've ever felt next to those other two.



I just say your post! I've never even heard of possum yarn. I don't think I've ever seen it here in America. Now you got me curious! I'm not sure if I've heard of Cria, either. So many new fibres to learn about!
 
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Possum merino is lovely to knit and wear but cashmere is still the softest by far. How about 4 ply pure baby wool?
 
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My aunt knitted some amazing items for our baby from a Bamboo fiber yarn. Super soft and lovely.
 
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Alpaca is the best combo of strength and softness.  The softest is cashmere but it doesn't wear well and it's super expensive.


Alpaca wool is both lighter and warmer than sheep wool due to it being hollow. It also may be softer, depending on the specific herd of animals. ... Softer and sturdier than cashmere and lighter than sheep's wool, alpaca fleece is a luxurious commodity that produces warm, silky, durable and feather-light garments
 
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I have some bamboo yarn that is great, very soft, washes well.
I've made some hats for my mother in law after she had brain surgery, used some super soft acrylic. I say use whatever you would use for baby that feels super, wonderfully soft. If that is a soft silk and wool, go for it.
 
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Oh wow.  That really sucks!  HUGS!  
Very sad to hear about your loved one and these difficult times.  But joyful that you can do something to help.

Thankfully, I know very little about cancer (yet) but my neighbour had a hard time of it a few years back.  She was so tired and radioactive for several days after the treatment.  She wasn't supposed to interact with anyone and told me that the loneliness was the worse part of it.  That and the fatigue.  Treatment protocols have improved since then.  

I imagine something easy to wash would be a big help.  Cotton, rayon (like bamboo), and superwash wool are all easy to wash and fairly soft.  Personally, I would go with superwash wool because it holds its shape better and has less effect on the environment than the conventional cotton or rayon.

But also something extra special for comfort, that she could wear as a hug portable hug.  Something with a bit of angora, baby alpaca, silk, qiviut, blended with merino wool for strength, structure, and durability.  Probably no more than 25% speciality fibre as they tend to be 4 to 40 times warmer than wool.  Harder to clean but some days you just need a wearable hug!

Would the treatment effect her immune system and amply any pre-existing sensitivities?  

 
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Just saw this post, i know its been a while, was wondering if you found something?
If not, i volunteer at a local alpaca rescue, and Baby Alpaca Wool is the softest thing ive ever felt. Specifically from the baby alpacas...... I just purchased a stuffed animal made out of it for my newborn niece.
Something else id also recommend would be angora (rabbit) very soft, too. Although, i dont think they typically make yarn specifically from angora alone, its fragile and they like to blend them with other wools/materials

Hope your friend is doing well! <3
Cheers!
 
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