Use the Yarn Specified

Yarns and plys do differ. They knit to different tensions and therefore using a different yarn can change the measurements.

The Shepherd team use their skills and know-how to create and test patterns suitable for the yarn recommended.

Selecting The Right Size

Don’t guess – measure your child’s chest just below the underarm. Match this with the sizes in the instruction, allowing room for growth. The Actual Size is the finished measurement of the garment.

By selecting the right size and knitting to the correct tension, you will achieve the fit pictured.

Check Your Tension

Knitters are rarely ‘average’ in tension. Even the Shepherd expert knitters check their tension – and adjust their needle size if needed – before starting each new garment.

We include how to check your tension at the beginning of each design instruction. The short test will show if you need to adjust your needle size to achieve the correct measurements.

Inaccurate tension results in a garment either too big or too small. Even a variation of half a stitch makes a difference and could result in your garment stretching, pilling or rubbing.


Never tie knots in the middle of a row. It’s amazing how they always seem to work their way to the front, making your knitting look uneven and messy. Knots can also come undone, leaving a hole that will allow your knitting to unravel

Check The Dye Lots

The dye lot is printed on the ball band. Check that each ball of the same colour is from the same dye lot.

Buy or reserve enough yarn to complete your garment. With any brand, shade variations can occur between dye lots.

Retain Ball Bands

It’s a good idea to keep all the ball bands – to help us to help you if you have an enquiry.

Understanding The Steps

Before you start knitting, we suggest reading through the instructions to familiarise yourself with the steps and terms. You will find it helpful to circle or highlight your size throughout the instruction before you begin. This avoids working the instructions for the wrong size.

Take Care With Finishing

Sewing together a garment is the last important step where care is needed to produce a professional finish. We include an explanation and illustrations for the techniques used in each book.