Bandage Brigade
  The “Bandage Brigade” began in 2005 as a volunteer group working with crochet thread to create bandages for those suffering with leprosy in Vietnam. Since 2008 the D.O.V.E. Fund Bandage Brigade has delivered over 12,000 bandages to the lepers in Vietnam. If you would like to help make bandages for the lepers in Vietnam who desperately need them, the patterns and instructions are listed below.

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  Patterns/Instructions:  
 
Finished Size: approximately 3 ½ to 4 inches wide by 4 feet long. If it shrinks up to be a bit smaller when washed…don’t worry that is fine. They are used to wrap everything from tiny fingers to the stumps of lost legs and feet. No two applications are the same so our bandages can vary a bit as well.

Material specifications: 100% mercerized crochet cotton or polyester – size #10 - white, cream or ecru (no irritating dyes). This is commonly called “bedspread cotton” (1 'ball/skein' will usually make two bandages.)
Bandages
 
  Suggested brands include: South Maid D54, DMC Traditions, Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread, Cro Sheen and JP Coats. You can find these online as well as at your local Wal-Mart, fabric or craft store.  
     
  Tightness:  
  The bandages shown above are good examples of how they should look. It should be 'medium-tight', not strangling, but fairly close, with breathable holes If yours look Mesh-like they are too loose - please switch to a smaller crochet hook (size D) or knitting needle (size 2). These are tighter and made with smaller thread/yarn (no worsted weight) than the ones Global Health used to send to India as the climate and needs are different in Vietnam.  
     
  Knitted Leprosy Bandage:  
  Use size 2 (2.75 mm = UK 12) knitting needles if you knit loosely or average,
Use size 3 (3.25 mm = UK 10) needles if you knit tightly.
Cast on 24 to 28 stitches so the bandage measures about 4" across.
Knit every row until bandage is desired length of 48 inches long, and then bind off.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this.
 
     
  Crocheted Leprosy Bandage:  
  Use size D (3.00 mm = UK 11) or E (3.50 mm = UK 9) crochet hook (loose tension desirable).
Chain enough stitches to measure about 4" in width.
(I use 23 chs and an E hook, and it takes about 6 rows to equal one inch.)
Row 1: Single crochet into each chain. Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2: Single crochet into each sc across row. Ch 1 and turn. Continue to single crochet to end, chain 1 and turn. Repeat row 2 until bandage measures 48 inches long.
 
  PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by pulling thread through last loop, secure with a knot and weaving the end back through the stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this.  
     
  Finshed Bandages  
  AFTER you have woven the ends back into the stitches, wash the bandages, roll them and secure with a large safety pin. Put in plastic bag (several to a bag if desired), remove air, and seal.  
  NOTE: The bandages do NOT have to be 'perfect', so if you are afraid yours are not “straight” enough or you dropped a stitch 5 rows before, don't let that stop you. Relax and have fun making them  
  Please enclose in your box of finished bandages a sheet of paper (8 ½ x 11) with your name, address, phone and e-mail contact information (to save us postage, if you have an e-mail address). Mail your package to the following address:  
 
  D.O.V.E. Fund - Bandage Brigade
Roland and Celeste Southard
115 East Back Bay Road
Bowling Green , OH 43402
 
  Additional questions may be directed to Linda Stocker at sgtstocker@gmail.com  
     
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