Now that my sister Heather is almost to the end of her in-hospital cancer treatments, I thought I would just share a little something from the “big sister” perspective. As the older sister, I’ve always felt that I had to watch out for and take care of my younger sisters (much to their annoyance sometimes). When we found out that Heather had cancer, I felt so helpless like the rest of the family. There was nothing I could do to take this away from her or make it go away or change what was happening to her.
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The only ways I knew how to help her was to 1) be there for her and 2) make stuff for her. I knew that cancer meant chemo, which meant hair-loss, and the best way to deal with hair-loss is with cute hats. Obviously being a 20-year-old and going through cancer, the hats had to be more than just head coverings; they had to be cute, stylish, pretty, warm, soft, and come in a wide array of colors to accessorize any outfit.
The first week Heather was in the hospital, I asked her if there was a specific hat she wanted me to make. Her response was “I want a hat just like the one Elle Woods wears in Legally Blonde.” Of course, I knew which one she was referring to: the crocheted lavender and purple granny cloche. I immediately went to the web to find a picture of the exact color combos, went to Michael’s to pick up yarn, and came back to the hospital to begin work on the hat. I couldn’t really find a pattern that I liked, so after some fiddling, I had my own design of a hat to give to my sister.
Heather wore this first hat non-stop after she lost her hair. During the second hospital stay, every person that came to see Heather—nurses, family, friends—commented on how cute she was with her hat. They didn’t seem to notice that underneath the cute hat was her cute bald scalp; they just noticed how pretty, how feminine she looked in her hat. Obviously, wearing the same one non-stop could be problematic, so I went on to make eight more of this same hat in various color combinations. It’s the only type of hat that she wears now, much to my elation.
I may not be able to take away her sickness, or make her feel better when she’s getting chemo, or be able to understand the emotions she’s felt throughout this whole ordeal, but I was able to provide a small source of comfort in something as simple as a hat.
Heather now has a nice stockpile of these hats, which I call the “Miss Priss Hat.” I am now selling these hats in my etsy shop, as well as the crochet pattern as previously posted.