Tuesday, April 7, 2015

History of Knitted Knockers

Knitted Knockers History
Knitted Knockers are a light comfortable knitted prosthetic alternative for women who have had a mastectomy.  When placed in a bra, these knitted knockers take the shape and feel of a real breast.  They are lighter and more comfortable than silicon prosthetic breast.  The knitted fabric breathes and prevents the heat rash and discomfort experienced by many women wearing other styles of prosthesis.

Knitted Knockers are made by individuals who either use them for themselves or donate them to other women or groups like knittedknockersusa.com.  It typically takes about 2 to 3 hours for a knitter to make a Knitted Knocker.

Knitted Knockers' Beginning (2007)
In 2007, Chesley Flotten of The Knitting Experience Cafe, after a personal experience with breast cancer, began a unique charity knit program, Knitted Knockers, to provide soft, comfortable and free knitted prosthetic breast to breast cancer survivors.  

A local Bangor, Maine news station did a story on her effort and it was picked up by CNN Headline News and suddenly the knitted knockers went global.  Survivors came looking to get Knitted Knockers and knitters wanted to help make them.  

To help bring knitters and survivors together, Chesley organized program information in one location at The Knitting Experience Cafe.

While Knitted Knockers were launched by Chesley, life events lead to her closing her shop in May 2010.  However, ever passionate, she has maintained her website as a source for breast cancer survivors to find information.

Tempe Yarn & Fiber (2010)
After hearing about Knitted Knockers from a customer, in the fall of 2010, Tempe Yarn started a two month community service project making Knitted Knockers for the Chandler Regional Cancer Center.  Local knitters made about 100 Knitted Knockers and the shop gave them to the Cancer Center where they were given to patients for free.

At the end of the two months, the shop started a new community service project. Then the Cancer Center called asking when they could get their next shipment of knitted knockers?  In parallel customers continued to make them.

Fast forward to 2015, the Knitted Knockers effort has morphed into a worldwide program.  Because of its growth, it separated from Tempe Yarn and became Knitted Knockers Charities a 501 (c) (3) public charity.  A website was set up, www.knittedknockersusa.com, to provide information to cancer survivors on how to get knitted knockers and to locate knitters who would make them.

knittedknockersusa.com has collected from volunteer knitters over 5,000 knitted knockers and distributed them for free, to mastectomy patients in all 50 states.  But beyond our efforts, there are now groups in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin that are making and distributing knitted knockers in their local areas.  

It doesn't stop there, worldwide there is: Knitted Knockers UK, Knitted Knockers Australia, Knitted Knockers South Africa, plus groups in Mexico, Germany and Finland.

In October, 2013, Tempe Yarn was featured in the Reader's Digest as one of the three "Breast Cancer Heroes You've Never Heard Of."  This article made mastectomy patients across the USA aware of Knitted Knockers Charities and requests flooded in.   

Today the original Knitted Knockers model and vision started by Chesley Flotten remains unchanged.  Volunteers make knitted knockers and organizations like knittedknockersusa.com distribute them for free to mastectomy patients.

If you or someone you know needs knitted knockers, simply send knittedknockersusa.com an email (info@knittedknockers.info) with you name, mailing address and cup size, and we'll send you a free pair of Knitted Knockers.  

If you are interested in helping make Knitted Knockers visit knittedknockersusa.com for more information.  You can help change a women's life forever.

There are no paid positions at Knitted Knockers Charities and all expenses are paid with donations made by recipients and the local community. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Questions About Trademarking Knitted Knockers

Trademark Questions:

In the past few weeks I have received numerous questions surrounding the confusion caused by a recent filing by a group to trademark "Knitted Knockers."       

On January 27, 2015, this group filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) an application to trademark "Knitted Knockers."  In parallel this group added the trademark symbol (™) on their materials ("Knitted Knockers™").

Knitted Knockers Charities, Inc. does NOT believe that any company should OWN the trademark "Knitted Knockers."   

Question 1: Why shouldn't someone be able to trademark "Knitted Knockers?"

Answer 1:  Who can and can not trademark a name can only be determined by the USPTO.  But we believe that it should not be granted because since conceived in 2007, "Knitted Knockers" has been used in commerce across the United States by numerous groups in connection to the making and distribution of knitted prosthetic alternative for women who have had a mastectomy as both goods and services.  As such we believe there exists a "common law" right for everyone to use the Knitted Knockers mark.

Question 2: How many people are really using the mark Knitted Knockers?

Answer 2: While the count varies, there are groups or individuals in at least 30 states making Knitted Knockers and in one form or another using the name Knitted Knockers.  But Knitted Knockers movement doesn't stop there.  There is Knitted Knockers UK, Knitted Knockers Australia, Knitted Knockers South Africa, Knitted Knockers Canada, plus groups in Cambodia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Question 3: If Knitted Knockers Charities (knittedknockersusa.com) doesn't believe that Knitted Knockers should be trademarked, why did you add the trademark symbol to your material. 

Answer 3: This was done to assert that there were groups using the name Knitted Knockers before the other group's filing.  If the USPTO finds that Knitted Knockers can not be trademarked we will remove this.

Question 4: What does it mean if Knitted Knockers is trademarked?

Answer 4: I'm not a lawyer, but if you use a registered trademark there are some pretty stiff remedies defined in Title 15 of the US Code section 1114.

Question 5:  What happens next?

Answer: Nothing can happen until the USPTO reviews their application and either approves or rejects it.  If it is approved we will file an opposition to the approval because we believe Knitted Knockers Charities and dozens of other groups would be damaged by the trademark registration.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

knittedknockersusa.com New Look Same Mission

Knitted Knockers Charities, Inc (a 501 (c)(3)) is now using knittedknockersusa.com.

If you need Knitted Knockers or would like to help make them click here.

Knitted Knockers Charities mission is:

Help raise awareness around the world that "knitted knockers" are a light comfortable prosthetic alternative for mastectomy survivors. 

Organize, educate, support and encourage volunteers and groups to make and donate "knitted knockers" to Knitted Knockers Charities (knittedknockersusa.com).

Prepare, package and distribute free "knitted knockers" to breast cancer survivors.

Encourage communities and groups around the world to reach out and help women after breast cancer. 
Our HOPE is that "knitted knockers" can help women regain their confidence and sense of self after a mastectomy by putting a little "giggle" back in their life.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!!

“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.”
Maya Angelou

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it;
to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”

Maya Angelou

“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“To those who have given up on love: I say, ‘Trust life a little bit.’”
Maya Angelou

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
Oscar Wilde

“True, that he’s no Prince Charming, but there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see.” — Princess Belle (”There’s Something There”)

"How do you spell love?” — Piglet
“You don’t spell love. You feel it.” — Winnie the Pooh

“I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” — John Smith

“You’re the best thing I never knew I needed. So now it’s so clear I need you here always.” — (”Never Knew I Needed”)

“When I look at you, I can feel it. I look at you, and I’m home.” — Dory

“You are my greatest adventure.” — Mr. Incredible

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!

Twas the night before Christmas and all around me

There was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
’Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds.
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep—he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was six sized too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.
When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,

I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired and my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nic.
Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.

"Move Rowan! Move Cascade! Move Between-the Colors and Clover!
Move Dyelicious! Move Spud Chloe! Move Noro! Move over!
Shepards Wool, don’t circle around, just stand there in line.

Pay attention you sheep and you’ll work out just fine!
I know this is hard, as it’s just your first year,
But I’d hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill.  What I saw was amazing!
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!

And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa’s big boots stomping on the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nic I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back,

And his toys were all stuffed in an Crocheted Market Bag / sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:
"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.

So I asked, "Hey, Nic, did YOU knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I’d thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He began then to knit, first one cap then two.

For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a hard cider on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his needles they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"

By Nancy Massaroni / Edited by Fred

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Terry, Fred, Aaron, Amanda, Allari, Candy, Krysten, Erin, Lori, Janeen, Leslie, Katie, Marla, Tiffany, Angela, Cynthia