Frequently Asked Questions
Q Why is there a password requirement on the patterns pages? Is it available to anyone?
A Knit-for-Nowt's patterns are available only to our registered team of knitters and sewers. At first sight this may seem a rather uncharitable stance for a charitable body (albeit, in our case, a very small one) to adopt, and our trustees did so only after taking professional advice – in particular from our insurers and from Trading Standards as to potential liabilities and safety requirements.
Q When there are so many requests for items why does Knit-for-Nowt operate a waiting list for knitters? Surely as many as possible are needed?
A Knit-for-Nowt is only a very small charity, run single handed from a family home, with about 500 registered makers working away, all at their own speed, all over the country. The power of social media is such that when it became known that we had 1000+ requests to try to fulfil, lots of kind-hearted people showered us with hand made items. As with all charities that depend on individual donor skills, sadly a large number of donations were not fit for purpose. Our recipient therapists etc and the children deserve a good standard and we always try to meet that. We also have to abide by the requirements of Trading Standards. Although we never charge for our items, we are still the providers and are held responsible for their quality and safety by law.
All these items that are not fit for purpose take up a great deal of time, as their donor’s kindness must still be acknowledged, and tactfully discouraged. If possible more work must be done at this end to make items usable, or at worst they must be disposed of, which is such a waste of effort, materials, time and kind intent. It was to try to stem this that we called a halt to accepting all new makers indiscriminately and started asking willing volunteers to send a trial item and offer them a period of mentoring as they became familiar with requirements.
Q Can I join the Knit-for-Nowt Facebook group?
A We only accept knitters/makers who are first registered with KfN, and no therapists, sorry.
Q How can I know what items are in particular need at any time?
A Please just contact Clare, either by emailing via the website, using the gmail address firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning her on 07538 157487 and she’ll let you know the latest requests for items.
Q I would like to donate my items directly to my local Social Services. So what’s the advantage of sending them to Knit-for-Nowt?
A It’s perfectly possible to donate items directly, however you must ensure that you are following all the many safety guidelines required. Knit-for-Nowt has been inspected by Trading Standards (we don’t trade, but the rules are the same for charities) and complies with their safety recommendations. Knit-for-Nowt is covered by public liability and product liability insurance. We also know what the need for items is at any one time because we have regular contact with recipient teams. If you wish to send your items locally we’re afraid it must not be under the Knit-forNowt name, as, having not seen the items, we can’t vouch for them. We are advised that as you then become "the distributor" you should take out your own insurance.
Q I have some brand new bought items. Does Knit-for-Nowt accept these?
A We promise the therapists that we make items ourselves. As this is what they're expecting, we prefer not to receive those thank you.
Q I have some items which are not on the website list. Are these accepted?
A Afraid not – please stick to the list of items needed, which you can find on the website.
Q I have some yarn I would like to donate. Does Knit-for-Nowt accept yarn donations?
A Sorry but it's not possible logistically for wool/yarn to be distributed from KfN, as our knitters are spread out all over the UK. Please donate it in your own local area.
Q What kind of fibres would be best to use for Knit-for-Nowt items?
A In general most knitting yarns will be OK, but please avoid the use of hairy fibres such as mohair, as the fibres can become detached and are then a choking hazard to young children.
Q Which puppets need to be happy and sad sided?
A The only puppets which need happy and sad sides are the people puppets such as Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandad, boy, girl. It's not necessary on police, doctor, nurse, judge, social worker, teacher or animal puppets, which preferably should have a happy face. It's also not essential on finger puppets, although if you wish to do so that's fine on those.
Q What coloured yarn should I use for the families of puppets?
A For white families any light coloured yarn, including white and pale pink is suitable. For other ethnic skin tones please use any brown (light or dark) shades, but not black thanks.
Q Can I donate money to Knit-for-Nowt?
A Donations of money to help with running costs of the charity are very welcome. Please contact Clare for details of how to pay.
Q Why are the address details for posting items not displayed on the website or on Facebook?
A This is for reasons of security. The postal address for sending items is only sent out by email to genuine knitters.