By Oliver McIntyre
WHEN Mollina resident Karen Smith had a mastectomy in May of last year, she would never have guessed that it would soon lead her and a group of friends to become purveyors of free knitted breast prostheses.
Several months after her operation, Karen, 58, heard about the knitted prosthetics and told her friend Margaret Stevenson. “Within 24 hours she turned up on my doorstep with one she had made for me,” Karen told CDSN.
“She told me the look on my face was all the thanks she needed.”
And thus was born Knitted Knockers Spain, which now includes Karen, Margaret and some other friends in Mollina, and has expanded further with the creation of additional groups in towns including Coín, Alhaurín el Grande, Torrevieja and Almería, with expat as well as Spanish members.
The knitters use cotton wool and a non-allergenic toy stuffing to create the comfortable, lightweight prostheses, which are worn inside a regular bra. They even make a version for swimming, using a shower scrunchy in place of the regular stuffing.
The prostheses, aimed at women who have had mastectomies and have either not yet or do not plan to have reconstructive surgery, are provided free of charge to anyone who wants one.
They just need to go to the group’s website (knittedknockersspain.info), which has information on how to submit a request.
The Mollina group is an offshoot of an international movement of knitted breast prostheses makers. They are among the providers listed on an umbrella website called knittedknockers.org, which also offers free patterns and tutorials for knitting the prostheses.
The group is looking for more volunteer knitters, locally or elsewhere in Spain. “The more people who get involved the better,” said Karen. Anyone interested should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.