WI members 'can't donate knitted village due to health and safety fears'

Winchcombe hit by yarnbombing (Comstock)

Knitting for a good cause is a popular pastime for many community groups and craft societies, however it is important to do your research first in order to ensure everything goes to plan.

Tired of making knitted hats, scarves and blankets, the ladies of Sidford's Women's Institute decided to attempt something more adventurous as their annual charitable donation.

Sidmouth Herald reports that the women spent the best part of a year making a knitted village with the intention of giving it to a children's hospice or hospital as a comfort to poorly youngsters.

The 6ft by 4ft design boasted intricate woollen houses, trees, animals, a church and even a tiny duck pond and beehives.

However the group were unable to give the village away as the soft materials it is made from cannot be sterilised.

The publication reports that the 30 members of Sidford WI who had made the scene from wool and cardboard are now at a loss as to what to do with the impressive structure.

WI secretary Beryl Kingman, 72, told the newspaper: "We were fed up of knitting scarves. We've been doing it [the village scene] since last September. Everybody has had a go at knitting something - even hedges. It really is quite a feature and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

"Our idea was to give it to a school, hospital or children's hospice. Because of health and safety issues it cannot be sterilised or disinfected, so you would have a problem with a children's hospice or waiting rooms."

She admitted that the group had not thought of these problems when they began knitting but understood the reasons hospitals and hospices could not use it.

It is important to consult with the intended beneficiaries of charitable knitted gifts before making them to find out any particularly specifications or design information you need to be aware of.

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