Our community of knitting and crocheting is growing strong and fast!
We have an awesome array of dyers providing us with amazing colour, texture and oh! the feel of the yarn!
Then we have the incredible talented designers, many have been quenching our thirst for patterns for a long time now, and many new designers are attracting us with new ideas.
Yarn gives us texture, colour, and creativity.
Many new patterns are 'test' knit. What this means is that you agree to knit a new (or updated) pattern for a designer to ensure the accuracy of their pattern (as written/charted).
To test knit/crochet for a designer is incredibly helpful and if you are a good test knitter you can be sure to do more!
Their are several points to consider when deciding whether to test knit/crochet a pattern. See my top five below.
I've knit a lot of test knits, and continue to do so - it can be fun, but also very discouraging. Eventually... you will have a finished project, but that isn't the goal - so being patient and excited are helpful in all instances!
1. Read the pattern - MANY times.
It's most important that you don't just skim the instructions - this isn't about your project, this is about the pattern as it is written.
2. Take your time - knit the best you can!
This isn't a race. You don't have to be the first finished, although you might be under a deadline! Go through all instructions step by step, and review each line. Does it make sense stitch by stitch?
3. Review EVERYTHING!
The font, the spelling, alignment, everything! If you see something that doesn't make sense tell the designer. But be as certain as you can in your correction or suggestion. Don't be offended if you get corrected! It might point out a clarification in how something is written.
4. Be sensitive.
Designers are people too! This pattern that you are knitting for them, is their baby! You really have to point out the obvious and not obvious, but be gentle. We all make mistakes and test knits are meant to point them all out. Designers really want to avoid having to send an update on their patterns.
5. Don't take on more than you can actually finish!!
Most test knits have a deadline and it is quite important that you can reasonably finish within that time frame. They want to publish the pattern and starting generating some income. If there is a chance life can could get in the way. If you think you could do it, but deep down you know it would be tight - don't volunteer. Yes! Life can send up a boomerang that we could never have expected, and when that does happen, let the designer know right away (you could be one of only a very few test knitters).
Most of all... ENJOY! This is an amazing craft we have and without a doubt something that gives us joy ever day. Isn't it amazing that we can reach out and be a part of something that can last through season, life, and in some cases, death.
If you think you are ready, go to Ravelry.com and look through the following Forums. Sign up and READ the rules.
Many designers also have their own Ravelry groups and run their own test knits. - join the group of your favorite designers and watch the posts for test knits, they are happening all the time!
Note: Don't expect compensation. In many cases you will need to provide your own yarn, and good pictures. You will get the (final) pattern. Some designers offer a pattern or two,many just need your help and expertise!
Here are a couple of very popular groups. Remember, designers run their own test knits, check those groups too!
Free Pattern Testers - http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-testing-pool
The Testing Pool - http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-testing-pool