2017 Cancer Challenge with Sweet Potato 3

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October is almost here, you know what that means!
It is Cancer Awareness Month, and the 2017 Cancer Challenge is just around the corner!
This may be a long post, but it should answer most of your questions and  give you more detailed information on how it is organized.

Why are you doing the 2017 Cancer Challenge?

Many / Most of us have been effected by cancer in some way. It is difficult to see someone go through cancer and/or chemotherapy. But with a community standing beside them it makes the battle slightly less daunting.
In honor of my Uncle Jeff, who lost his battle in September of 2014,
I am hosting the 4th annual Cancer Charity Challenge.
Sweet Potato 3 Cancer Challenge

How does the challenge work?

It is pretty simple.
Basically, I am asking all of you to help make hats for cancer patients and cancer survivors.
The hats can be made for someone you know, someone your friends know,
a co-worker, teacher, neighbor, or even a complete stranger.
You can make many hats and donate them to your local cancer center.
If a cancer center is not in your area you can contact me and ship them my way. I will include them with my donation to the Cancer Center of Idaho.

How long does the challenge last?

The challenge will begin October 1.
A featured designer/pattern will be posted each day until October 31, 2017.
You will have until  the end of 2017 to complete your hats and get them donated. This is great timing for donations during the holidays.

What type of hat should I make and what sizes?

You can use any hat pattern you like. People of all ages get cancer, so all sizes are needed. Teen and adult hats are most requested because they tend to fit more people.

Where can I get patterns?

This is the FUN part!!!
Each day throughout the challenge I will be posting a FREE hat pattern.
I have some amazing designers who are graciously offering their patterns for FREE in exchange for your donation. If you download a pattern you are pledging to make a minimum of 1 hat from that pattern for the challenge. If you download the pattern, please take a minute to visit the pattern designers facebook page and tell them thank you for their generosity.

 What type of yarn is recommended?

 The best yarns for chemo patients are soft and breathable yarns. It is also important that the yarn washes well. It is recommended to use cotton blends (however, 100% cotton tends to be less soft) and/or acrylic. Some favorite yarns used in past years, according to recepients, are Caron Simply Soft, Debra Norvelle, Lionbrand Homespun and/or Heartland, Red Heart Soft, Bernat Softee, you are probably getting the idea.
I have heard comments that wool hats can be very itchy and are not preferred.
Remember that it is important to use the correct yarn weight for the pattern you are following.

 What is my goal?

My goal is to simply help others and make it easy for you to do the same.
I started this challenge on a whim 3 years ago when I lost my uncle. Each year the challenge has grown, last year reaching over 35,000 hats pledged. I am astounded with the succes and am hoping to match and beat that number this year. So grab a friend and crochet away!

How do I pledge?

To pledge to make a hat simply download the pattern.
There will be 31 patterns available. If you download all 31 patterns you pledge to make 31 hats.
I am pledging to make 31 hats, one a day, sounds doable. But, if you can only make 1 hat, you are still making a difference, and I thank you for that.

Have Fun and Get More Involved

Make sure to share pictures of your finished hats on Sweet Potato 3’s facebook page. This is not required, but it is fun to see what everyone else is making and see your own pictures shared too. When you share a picture please let me know what pattern it is from, I would love to tag that designer so they can follow the difference they are making with their donation.

Who are you Honoring?

Add a comment to this blog post to let everyone know who you are making hats in honor of.

Challenge Others

Do you know other crafters, crocheters or knitters?
Tag them in one of the facebook posts about the challenge, say “I challenge you to join!”

Get Started Early

The excitement and enthusiasm I see in everyone who has participated in the past is amazing. I have already had a few of you tell me that you already started making hats! Last year someone posted a hat they crocheted that had a beautiful cancer ribbon on it. She graciously shared the link that she used and the bonus is, it’s FREE. Click here to make a ribbon like the one below. These are great to add to your hats.
Below is an image that shows the awareness color for some of the more common cancers.
I hope this post answered all of your questions. If you think of anything I have missed, read more in this link, then just let me know so I can let others know. Enjoy crocheting those hats!

This Post Has 71 Comments

  1. cissy

    I love this, each year I make infant,preemie, toddler hats for each holiday and donate them to a huge NICU . The need is more than I had ever thought, and with your Challenge I add adult and teen hats to the pile…..It feels very rewarding to watch as my pile grows. Thankyou for doing this.

  2. Judy Finder

    I am in!! I am a uterine cancer survivor and my dad has lung cancer. I am going to pledge at least 31 hats. I am in Idaho, so I will be donating to St. Luke’s cancer center in Boise.
    I am already getting your newsletter.

  3. Cheryl

    Thank you for the giveaway on Facebook! Love your designs!

  4. Linda Bowers

    I pledge to make the 31 hats. I have a sister who went through breast cancer. My daughter just went through treatment for breast cancer and still has one surgery to go. My nephew is fighting leukema right now and will be having bone marrow transplant soon. I have lost many members of my family from cancer so it is very important to me to do this. I have been making many hats thru the years and one thing that I have been told is that not many are made for men.

  5. Darlene Clark

    We have lost several family members to cancer. I will be glad to pledge hats, I will make at least 15. I am in the Houston, TX area, so will donate to MD Anderson Cancer Center. I am already getting your newsletter.

  6. Brittany

    I lost my grandma to brain cancer on July 22. I will be making for her. I have a contact for our local children’s hospital, so my hats will go to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY.

  7. Sharon

    This will be my first year doing this (officially, anyway). I am a cancer survivor of lymphoma, cervical, and skin cancers (still battling skin cancer). My 81 yr old mom just finished chemo for lymphoma and is still suffering from the aftereffects. I’ve made her several chemo caps. I’ve lost 4 uncles to different kinds of cancer. I will be donating to the McKee Cancer and Wellness Center in my local city.

    1. Chris Harms

      What a brave champion you are! And how kind to do this for so many others!

  8. Joyce Brown

    Im a breast cancer survivor and I made a lot of my hats in cotton as it is absorbent and easier washed it was summer in Ga but I really enjoyed all of my hats and will be joining you for the challenge

  9. Christina Tuhy

    In years past I have made my hats in memory of both my parents who died from cancer.

    This year I’m making hats in honor of my husband who is just starting his battle of prostrate cancer.

  10. Cynthia

    I had cancer and I would wear a hat to bed every night , because when you don’t have any hair your pillow is extremely cold.

  11. Paula Jalbert-Ferris

    My hats will honor two of my sisters, Vicki who is a breast cancer survivor and Donna who is going through chemo now for breast cancer !! I pledge to make 31 hats (one of each pattern if possible) and would like to pass them on to you ! Thank you so very much !!! <3

    1. SweetPotato3

      Paula, you can definitely send them to me to donate in honor of your sisters. When you have them completed send me a message and I will give you a mailing address. Thank you so much for your generous donation this year.

  12. Rosetta Williams

    I make hats each year for donation through my church. I feel like I’m blessed to be able to do so.

  13. Debbie Parker

    I am a breast cancer survivor and I pledge to make 31 hats and donated them to the Cowell Cancer Center in Traverse City, Michigan

  14. Connie

    Cancer has hit home with me through family and friends over a dozen times. So heartbreaking and the very least I can do is make a hat to make them feel good even if for just a bit. The last family member we lost was my cousin’s husband. He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, the most aggressive brain cancer, and was deceased 2 weeks later. So I try to keep a few things ready because you just never know.

  15. Diana

    I have done your challenge the past couple years. This far I have donated 60 hats to chemo patients at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore in honor of my friend who was battling Ovarian cancer. She passsed away this past June, so in her honor, this year I had friends and family “purchase” a hat, which paid for the yarn and tags and the rest of the money for them is being donated to Ovarian cancer research at the end of this month and the hat itself is being donated, once again to Mercy patients . So far I have $50 to donate and many hats waiting to be donated along side the hats from this event.

  16. Katrina

    I just learned how to crochet January 2016. So this is the first that I’m seeing this challenge. I lost my mom to bladder cancer in 2011. I’ve been lost ever since but crocheting has helped a lot. And now I see this challenge! I just know God had this all planned. I would’ve never seen me crocheting but a friend posted the temperature blanket and that changed my life. I’m doing the challenge in memory of my Mommy Connie Rojahn. Thank you for doing this for those that need it.

  17. Marge Green

    I’m in. I will find someplace in Denver. I’ll try for a hat a day.

    1. Melissa Phariss

      The Children’s Hospital needs them!

  18. Kelly James

    Can we make our own beanie or do we have to make the pattern u supply.

    1. SweetPotato3

      Any hat is wonderful! We just help provide a variety of patterns and style to try to appeal to as many people as we can.

  19. Judy Jackson

    I survived breast cancer at 34 and 37. I am now 71. Include me in.

  20. laura

    My mum has just been diagnosed and started treatment for lung cancer this week. Its not great timing but this has come at a perfect time as iv been asked to make hats.

  21. Amy choong

    My group has been making fun hats for cancer children in Singapore Hospitals & also adult hats for cancer patients
    Read about your challenge & will adopt a Sim Iliad concept here if you don’t mind

    1. SweetPotato3

      Amy, I would love for you to join the challenge and donate them to your local hospital in Singapore. However the challenge can help, I am happy to encourage you and everyone to join forces making hats to donate all around the world <3

  22. Janet Weidner

    I am now 9yrs cancer free & I will be participating in your challenge! This effort does my heart good!
    Thank you for letting everyone know- the softer the yarn the better– in my experience almost everything made my head hurt– the dreaded chemos made my skin so sensitive.
    Thank you again for creating this challenge! ??

  23. Joy Gerbode

    Love this idea, and I will certainly try at least the first one. Then we’ll see how many I can do.

  24. Amy Hooper

    I am currently fighting breast cancer. In month 5 of 6 of chemo with a long journey to go. I hope to make 31 hats to help put a smile on faces during a rough time. Cancer sucks!

  25. Karin

    I am a cancer survivor (malignant melanoma) and there are several of my church family who are currently going through cancer treatments, so I am happy to make hats. I have been making hats for years, ever since my friend Lucy was diagnosed. She preferred the ones sewn from a soft jersey knit, but I have made many crocheted hats for other friends. Thank you for hosting this.

  26. Tammy

    My mom is a cancer survivor, but have lost grandfather, aunt, uncle and many friends to this horrible disease. In honor of those lost and those still fighting… I love to crochet for charity…thank you for doing this again this year

  27. Karen

    I am a newbie in crocheting. I am going to try make some hats for the challenge. I hope at least some of the patterns are simple. At this time I don’t know where I will donate the hats. I am looking forward to the challenge.

  28. Melissa Phariss

    I am pledging to make 31 hats. I might do 62. I am sending 31 hats to the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Where my nephew recently completed treatment for Leukemia. I will also attempt to make a few hats for The Cancer Care Center of Idaho where multiple family members have been treated including myself. I am the first survivor of cancer in my family. I am hoping that my nephew follows in my footsteps. I have recruited a few friends to join me in this challenge. My nephew has asked that I make hats for boys his age cause every other age group had hats.

  29. Kyla

    I’m pledging for my Mom who passed away from a rare thyroid cancer. I would much rather contribute this way than to fundraisers for “cancer research.” These are going directly to the patients. I have some strong feelings about “research” that I won’t get into here. With that said, my love and gratitude goes out to those who do the fund raising. However, this is how I’m choosing to give because I know FOR SURE that my contribution is going towards those who need it.

  30. Stacey Kent

    I just made a cancer awareness afghan for an event as a donation! I will do these hats as well for community members fighting cancer – the area school is making comfort bags so they can be included in those! Thank you!

  31. Janet

    I have wanted to do something like this for years,but i didnt think my crocheting would be good enough,but i have decided that i am going to try. I want to help other people.

  32. Nene

    I have lost many family members to cancer, mum even battled through cancer 4 times before she lost her fight, i will be pledging for my mum, aunties, grandma,, friend and neighbor who all lost their fights to cancer, and my father in law who is hanging in there.

  33. James

    I do hats year round for patients who have life altering diseases including cancer.
    My wife is a survivor after battling two cancers at once, (uterine and cervical), I make and donate the hats in her honor.
    I also design and write patterns and they are free on my blog.
    Thank you for supporting us with patterns.

  34. Alet

    I am a breast cancer survivor for 17 years, this month of October. I have lost my mother in law to breast cancer many years ago. Also lost my younger brother to advanced Leukemia 7 years ago. And the love of my life, my dear husband, lost his battle to advanced bone marrow cancer 15 years ago. I still miss him so much, and tend to shy away from anything to do with cancer, because it still makes me very sad to hear and see people suffering with this ugly cancers.
    My neighbour told my yesterday that her breast cancer has come back, but she does not want any treatment this time, because she had had enough of the side effects. I feel so sad for her and her husband and family.
    Thus, for all the above mentioned, I pledge to try and make a hat/beanie with every pattern you will make available to us, and donate them to our local Cancer Chemo Clinic.
    Thank you to all the designers, and you, for this Blessed gesture.
    May you all be Blessed, as well as all who are touched by cancer one way or the other.

  35. Christine Blasko

    This is wonderful testimony. I crochet hats and afghans for our cancer center

  36. Imogene Parker

    Thank you for the free patterns. I crochet chemo caps in memory of my daughter. She requested I do them in her memory. She designed the he tags she wanted me to use on them: “Cynthia’s Caps”. By Imogene
    On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand…
    I donate the caps to Texhoma Oncology Center in Wichita Falls, Tx

  37. Leslie Stahlhut

    Thank you for including my crochet ribbon design in your round up.

  38. Leslie Stahlhut

    Thank you for including my crochet ribbon design in your round up.

  39. Bonnie McClintic

    I lost my Mom to Breast Cancer in September 2008 & my Dad to Lymphoma February 2007. Also lost my Father-in-law to Brain Cancer in January 1997. How great to see this! Just last night at my Church we signed up for a community Service event Oct 28th & 29th. I will be Crocheting Hats to place in the Chemo kits we will be delivering to Marion Hospital in Santa Maria California. I’ve been working on one most of today. I have to make 20. Thanks for everything!

  40. Helena

    Do you perhaps have a centre in South Africa?

    1. SweetPotato3

      I would check with your local hospital and see if they take donations or if they can recommend somewhere close to you. 🙂

  41. Debra

    I’m going to try and make the 31 hats in honor of my father who died from cancer, my sister-in-law and my aunt both breast cancer survivors.

  42. Grace

    I am crocheting pink ribbon shawls as well as pink ribbon keychains. I may do hats to go along with the shawls.

  43. Susan Anderson

    My mom recently lost her battle to Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. I have been making hats to donate to my local cancer center in her memory and am excited to add this hat to my list! Thank you for sharing the pattern.


  44. Joy Nissen

    I lost my dad to bone cancer that had spread everywhere so quickly, then my grandmother the following summer to colon cancer after having beat stomach cancer previously! She informed me she refused to watch another of her children die before her! My aunt passed from liver cancer, my mom had some rare form of cancer that was very aggressive and pretty much untreatable! My brother is currently cancer free, but has said that it would come back at some point non-hodgkins lymphoma! So many more I could name here!! Thank you so much!

  45. Mandie Lee

    I’m so glad there are fellow artists that want to give back in such a way. Now, it’s my turn to join in and pay it forward; especially as a survivor myself (1 yr since I finished chemo treatments for Hodgkins Lymphoma).
    Thank you

  46. Karen

    I have lost so many family members to cancer, and have some that are still fighting. I will be donating to my local cancer institute.

  47. Keri

    I will make some hats! I will be making them in honor of my (almost 4 year old) daughter. She was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma April 2015. She is doing great now! I will donate mine to her cancer clinic in Illinois.

  48. Alexis Scarlett

    2 years ago on October 5th my father lost his battle to colon cancer. In his honor I pledge to make 10 hats and donate them to a cancer ward in Denver Co where he passed away. Thank you for such a worthwhile challenge.

  49. Kim Mattox

    This is amazing! I will be crocheting a number of hats, all in honor of different people. My brother-in-law, who died of pancreatic cancer. My friend, Caroline, who died of stomach cancer. My friend, Faith, who survived ovarian cancer. And so many others. Thank you for this opportunity!

  50. Colleen s.

    I’ll be making hats for a family member and boss that recently found out they have cancer. Also to donate to local cancer centers.

  51. Colleen s.

    Also making hats in honor of my mother that passed away in 2002 from non-hodgkins lymphoma.

  52. Vicki James

    I pledge to make 31 hat’s for cancer patients here in Portland, Oregon. I’m honoring my best friend, childhood friend who passed away in 1996 after a long battle with breast and then bone cancer. I’m also honoring my sister Becky who is currently under treatment for breast cancer. Lastly I’m doing it because I am a survivor and I want to give back the many kind things that were done to me. Thank you so much for sponsoring and the beautiful patterns. Bless you!

  53. Antonia

    I just had surgery on my right hand, and I’m having surgery on my left in a few weeks. I may not get done by the end of 2017, but I’ll keep plugging along making hats as I can. Thank you!

  54. Wilhelmina

    Just found you this Sunday october15/17 Over the years have made many chemo caps and donated them This year my work will be a blue blanket soft for a child to cuddle under and a few ponchos so easy to put on as well as chemo caps My donation is going to Hearth Place located in Oshawa Ontario ( outside of Toronto) My go to place for support for caregivers as well as those being challenged by this wretched disease

  55. Janelle

    I am a bit late to know about this cancer challenge, but I am onboard to make at least a few! My family has been hit hard by the evil cancer and it would be a blessing and honor to donate. I have downloaded one pattern, but will make at least one infant, child and adult size from that pattern for donating. I will do this to celebrate that my father, who is battling skin cancer/lymphoma/and prostate cancer, is doing AMAZING!

  56. Theresa

    I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t comment there. Thank you to all the designers for their generosity. I’ve downloaded a few patterns and already made two of the hats. They will be donated just in time for Christmas.

  57. ~RG

    I’m so bummed I just found out about this challenge just now so unable to get all of the patterns except for one ? However, I’m still going to pledge in memory of my dear awesome Grandma Lina, in honor of Torri, Kathy & Fred, Mrs. Pimentel, & so many more friends family.

    1. SweetPotato3

      I will be doing this challenge annually, so follow my blog and you will be notified of the Cancer Challenge in 2018 <3

  58. Tracey M

    With my pledge, I am honouring my mother who passed away 7 years ago from cancer. What a great way to raise awareness, honour those we have lost, and support those in need. ❤️ (1 hat done, ??? To go!). Thank you!

  59. Linda Tubbs

    Still working at getting ALL 31 hats done and probably a couple extras. Haven’t had time to post pictures but I’ll get there. Haven’t decided where they’ll be going yet. I actually have family in Idaho and may bring them out there.
    FYI – the link to the Cancer Center of Idaho is bad.

    This has been fun!

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