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Knitting Group

"It has been the high point of every week; something to look forward to everyday. Cancer is secondary to knitting."


- Seattle Cancer Alliance caregiver


Knit For Life is a network of volunteers who use the healing experience of knitting to enhance the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers during treatment and recovery.  It provides a program of instruction for beginning and experienced knitters and crocheters in a nontraditional therapeutic environment.


Through knitting, patients escape isolation as they share their experiences and concerns. They receive both mental and physical support, and they learn about the cancer process in ways that help support thoughtful decision-making and self-advocacy.  New friendships are founded and support for each other begins to grow and flourish.


Our work began in 1997 in Seattle through programs that have reached hundreds of people in Western Washington communities.  Knit for Life is presently offering programs in 8 hospitals and cancer centers in the region.  Through the work of its founder, cancer survivor Tanya Parieaux, the work of Knit for Life is expanding to other cities and hospitals and inpatient settings.

Founder Tanya Parieaux

Founding Knit for Life in 1997 began as a way to give back after having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, and again in 2009 and realizing the incredible healing power of knitting throughout my treatment and recovery. What I realize now is that Knit For Life has been a great gift to me as well. 


When the University of Washington Medical Center asked me to start knitting classes for cancer patients and caregivers, I was able to share the healing and meditative experience of knitting with other patients and caregivers. I am very grateful to my grandmother for passing this wonderful craft to me! It is so soothing to my soul, quieting the fears and angst of dealing with a life threatening diagnosis ... providing a way to create and reach forward in the “new” life that continues to unfold.


Today I have the privilege of using my knitting skills to help other patients in hospital settings find joy and laughter while they are going through treatment and recovery. Knit for Life grew out of my passion and it has become my career.


The 2019 Swedish-Issaquah Holiday Craft Fair is on Thursday, December 5th and 6th from 9am – 5pm in the main lobby of Swedish Hospital, Highlands, Issaquah.


KFL is the recipient of the proceeds from the knitters group booth at the craft fair. So come sip some hot cocoa and shop for those last minute holiday treats and gifts while supporting Knit For Life.


To support and enhance the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers while going through the process of treatment and recovery by the gentle and healing experience of knitting. This program enables patients and caregivers to come together and share experiences and concerns in a relaxed and suppportive environment.

Balls of yarn


Tanya L. Parieaux

Executive Director


Cindi Jay



Scott Ballinger



Andrea Furedy



Christopher S. Fors



Kelly Keydel



Shelby Ward



Anna Blaney


Deborah Yand


Anchor 1

Our sweet toy lady, Selena, has been creating wonderful knitted toys for the Holiday Craft Fair for the past two years!! Here she is with Easton and the Spiderman toy she knitted for him. Easton, 4 years old, has attended our Knit for Life class each week since he was two weeks old!

Jane Lusk, Diane Adams, Deborah Yand

Marit Bakken, a Knit for Life Volunteer at St. Jospeh Hospital in Tacoma, WA. and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way. WA has been knitting baby hats and preemie hats for the NICU at St. Francis Hospital and Swedish Issaquah NICU. In the past four months she has donated 300+ hats. She is our secret knitting weapon!!  Thank you dear Marit.

"When you're knitting, the repetitive motions block the hormone noradrenalin. That lowers blood pressure and our heart rate, leaving you feeling peaceful."


- Natural Living Today magazine, on findings from Harvard Medical School research



"Knit For Life groups are totally different than other cancer support groups. There is so much laughter in the groups and this is really healing. I still remember we had a young female patient with pain out-of-control who was admitted for IV pain medication.  The nurse wheeled her into the Knit for Life group with her IV's and she sat entirely entranced and involved in knitting for the entire two hours - never once having any pain or discomfort.  She really enjoyed it.  Something about knitting blocks mental and physical pain and allows you to be present in that

moment of creating something beautiful."  

- Tricia Sinek, Manager, Community Cancer Program, Franciscan Health Services

Knit For Life thanks its sponsors for their continued support and donations:
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