Knitting hints: Do's & Don'ts

I prepared this list some time ago after a few years experience collecting many hundreds of items for a charity group, just to make a few suggestions. It does not refer to the work of anyone in particular but is just a general observation of how to always try to maintain a good standard of work. 

Knitting hints: Do's & Don'ts

Making the item
Do select the appropriate yarn and colour for the item you intend making. 12 ply is suitable for rugs and slippers but less suited for children’s garments as it is too thick and heavy. 8ply is a good choice for most items and 4ply is best for baby garments.
Do select an item requested by the charity from the list supplied.

Do splice wool when joining a new ball of yarn.
Don’t join yarn with knots in centre of row.
Do join yarn at beginning or end of row and leave sufficient ends to weave into garment.

Don’t overfill toys so that they are hard and heavy. Keep them firm but soft and cuddly.
Don’t sew on buttons or plastic eyes on toys as they can be chewed off by small children and swallowed.
Do embroider a few stitches with wool for eyes and mouth before filling head.
Don’t wrap yarn tightly around neck or waist of toy as small children can catch their fingers.
Do darn yarn ends into body of toy instead.
Do use bright colours for toys and make them smile!

Casting off
Do use a needle two sizes larger than you used to make the item and cast off loosely. This particularly applies to gloves, socks, slippers, scarves and the necks of jumpers.

Don’t pull seams tight when sewing or they will be hard and uncomfortable.
Do sew seams with a flat stitch from the right side, for a smooth, minimal seam.

Do weave ends of threads several cms. into seam and back several cms. to secure neatly.
Don’t just knot threads to finish or cut too short.

Before sending
Do check that the item is well finished to a high standard and practical, and is something you would wear yourself.
Do try on gloves and beanies for size. If they don’t fit you because they are too tight they probably won’t fit anyone else either.
Don’t send beanies that are too loose and keep falling off your head. Pull them down and try a better shape.
Do tie pairs of socks, slippers and gloves together with a length of yarn before sending.
Do wash item in a fabric softener if you have used old wool or a hard yarn.

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