Rupert Woman Uses Knitting Skills To Help Cancer Patients


By Jay Michaels

Rupert, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A Rupert woman has been knitting for more than 60 years, and these days, she knits stocking caps for cancer patients.

Bessie McLaws' husband Fred passed away two and a half years ago. So to fill her time, Bessie knits caps and donates them to the Cassia Regional Cancer Resource Center in Burley.

McLaws says, "I do them in 20 cap stacks before Rita comes and gets them. Before I started this stack for adults, I made 80 children's caps. And I understand that some of them have been sent to two children's hospitals in Utah."

Bessie keeps close track of how many caps she knits. Right now, she's just over 700 caps so far. Bessie says it takes about eight hours to knit one cap. And she's usually ready to knock off about five o'clock in the afternoon.

McLaws says, "Yes, usually, unless I'm doing a pattern and I'm intrigued with the pattern of the yarn and I'll finish to see what it's going to do."

Bessie says she uses 4-ply yarn and size 10 knitting needles. She says her friend Rita who picks up the caps tells her that the cancer patients like the caps she knits, because they're soft and don't bind or hurt their heads. Some of the caps are even given to children who are waiting for their parents to be treated in the emergency room.

Stephanie Curtis with Cassia Regional Medical Center says, "People feel very loved and cared for. It's very nurturing to receive a warm hat that has been hand-knitted by somebody in the community. It gives them comfort in their time of need."

If you'd like to donate yarn for hats or afghans to keep cancer patients warm, or if you'd like to volunteer in any other way, contact the Cancer Resource Center at Cassia Regional. You can call Geri Alejandro at 677-6526.

Oct. 8, 2012.

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