Before a pattern is published, test knitters “test drive” a pattern, to check if the instructions are correct, easy to follow and produce the same result as the designer’s sample. Test knitters have to carefully read through the entire pattern from start to finish, and knit their sample to pattern. Modifications are generally not allowed, so the results (including size and yardage) are comparable. Test knitting is an invaluable service to designers, and the test knitters’ samples are a great resource for knitters, so they can see how the design knits up in different yarns and colours.
Apart from the technical aspects, it’s also a lot of fun to work closely with knitters and the designer, to have a chance to influence a pattern and make it better.
Sign up to the Test Knitting e-mail newsletter below, and you will receive “Calls for Test Knitting” via e-mail.
Q: Where/How do I find info about pattern tests?
A: Singing up to the test knitter newsletter is your best option to be informed: you will receive “Calls for Test Knitters” to your e-mail inbox and will be the first to know about test knitting opportunities. Additionally, the call will also be posted on Social Media and/or in the SOSU Ravelry group if additional test knitters are needed.
Q: How do I sign up for a test?
A: Answer to the “Call for Test Knitters” e-mail or send an e-mail to email@example.com to sign up. Please carefully read all the available info (especially concerning yarn requirements, techniques & the deadline) before signing up! If a call ist posted in the SOSU Ravelry group, you can sign up by posting in the same thread.
Q: Who can become a test knitter?
A: All knitters are welcome and I don’t have a fixed group of test knitters, so with each call posted, you have a chance to join in! I like to work with a diverse group of test knitters: from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, mother tongues and English language skills, expert test knitters, or knitters just starting out: Because the knitters who will eventually knit the finished design will be just as diverse!
Q: How do you select testers?
A: There are frequently more volunteers than free spots in the test, so have to make some dicisions on who to invite. To do that, I usually have a look at your project page on Ravelry or your Instagram feed to get a feel for you and your knitting. I’m looking at the kind of projects you’ve knit before, your photos, project notes, and testing experience. A presence on Social Media is not a requirement, but in most cases this will the only way for me to get to know you a little, so a blank Ravelry profile an no or a locked Instagram account will most likely mean that I will not ask you to join the test, simply because I did not have a chance to see your work beforehand.
Q: What’s in it for me?
A: You’ll get to be among the first knitters to knit up a brand-new design, work closely with the designer (me) and your fellow test knitters.
Upon completion of the test (see testing needs), testers will receive the final version pattern and a coupon code for a free pattern of choice from my Ravelry store. Test knitters will also get a mention on social media as a thank you for your support.
Unfortunately, I cannot offer a financial remuneration for test knitting.
Q: Can I create a project page or post photos on social media?
A: Yes, please! Feel free to post pictures and share your progress. In rare cases I will specifically ask you not to share in the test announcement (secret tests are usually for print publication)! You can use the hashtag #sosuknits and tag me on instagram and twitter with @sosuknits.
Q: Can I modify a design while testing?
A: I usually encourage modifications to my patterns, but for the purpose of testing it is important that you stick to the pattern as it’s written. I’m usually okay with smaller modifications, like adjusting the (sleeve) length or using more/fewer colors, but just in case, please ask in the testing thread before you go ahead with any modifications. Please also explain the modification on your project page, so other knitters are aware of them and don’t assume they are part of the pattern. I very much appreciate all the help with testing a pattern and I want you to not only enjoy the process but also end up with a garment or accessory you love!
Q: I found a mistake, what do I do now?
A: In the “Call for Test Knitters” you will find info on where the test takes place: most previous tests have taken place in a Ravelry forum thread, so to report an issue or make suggestions, please post in the forum (in English, so all participating testers can follow the conversation). Some tests take place via group e-mails. When you have questions, find errors to share your progress, please then send a group e-mail to all participating test knitters, so we can all follow along and participate. If you are not sure how to proceed because of an error in the pattern, please don’t attempt to fix it yourself, but wait until I post the correction (unless it’s something minor)!
Q: What if I can’t finish a test (drop out completely or not meet the deadline)?
A: I understand that life can get in the way of knitting sometimes, so please just let me know if you eihter can’t finish before the deadline or can’t finish at all and want to drop out. You don’t have to explain why: it’s your time and resources, so if for whatever reason you don’t want to / can’t continue, please just let me know by sending a private e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can, of course, keep the testing pattern and finish the project at a later time if you want to. But if you drop out, you will not get a copy of the finished pattern and no coupon code for an additional pattern from my Ravelry store.
In some cases, it’s possible to push the deadline back and give all participating knitters more time to finish.
This is what I typically ask testers to have a look at, or info testers need to provide.