Did you ever wonder what it takes to be a test knitter?

Frankly speaking, I have never ever test knitted for a designer, as I always thought that:

1) My knitting time is too scarce, and since I became the mother of two smaller children, the risk of not being able to deliver on a deadline is too big.

2) I wasn’t skilled enough (!)

Now, a knitting designer myself, I surely appreciate the highly qualified test knitters that help me improve my patterns. Recently I sent the Sweet Valentine off for test knitting, and soon Spring Hunter and Leafed are on their way too. Whilst preparing the patterns, it struck me that there might be skilled knitters that are considering becoming test knitters but are uncertain what it takes and would like to learn more before joining.

Below you find part of the text that I send to test knitters along with the pattern itself:

Dear XX

Thank you very much for helping me in testing and improving my knitting pattern!

Before you start, please revise the size table and measurements and consider if they seem reasonable to you. If you find that the sizes are way off, please let me know before you start knitting to allow me to make corrections before you spend your valuable knitting time.

I kindly ask you to follow the pattern guidelines thoroughly as well as making notes in case you find mistakes, i.e. miscalculations or incomplete instructions. I would also like you to make a remark if you find that the pattern lacks information, photos or tutorials.

If there is anything in the descriptions that you don’t understand, please let me know before you continue. If it is unclear to you, it will most likely also be unclear to others future knitters of the same pattern, hence it is important for me to know to be able to correct.

Furthermore, I’m grateful for any suggestions for different – or even better – techniques that may improve the pattern.

I would like to receive good photos of the final product. Please, bear in mind that you only send me photos that you feel confident with are shared on the Internet. The photos can show a face or body parts but this is not a requirement.

If you have a social media profile I will be happy to tag you, but only if you approve. Likewise, I would be grateful if you tag me on your profile, but this is not required of you.

I’m looking forward to receiving your feedback!

I always seek to work with both experienced and less experienced knitters as they help me in different ways. An experienced knitter will typically be able to support with ideas and suggestions for better techniques and the less experienced knitter will often be good at pointing out what I need to explain (better). As my knitting patterns are intended for knitters on different skills levels, it makes sense to work with test knitters on different skills levels too.

Did you know, by the way, that I’m always on the lookout for test knitters, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in becoming a test knitter; hello@handsonknits.com

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