Pattern Testing FAQ's
Before a new knit or crochet pattern becomes publicly available, it goes through a few different processes to be sure it's as accurate and clear as possible.
Pattern testing is done by crafters (like you) who knit/crochet a sample following the pattern exactly as it's written and provide feedback to the designer about their experience and results.
We gather together—like a small KAL—in my Ravelry group, and chat about the process as you make the project. I'm there to assist with any snags, and it's usually a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Testing calls are emailed about once every 6 weeks.
When the call arrives in your inbox, if the pattern is something you're interested in making and you believe you can complete it by the deadline, simply reply to the call by applying to the test.
Within a few days you'll hear from me about if you've been selected to join the testing group for that project. I usually select 2-3 testers for each size of the pattern being tested.
Who can sign up as a pattern tester?
Everyone is welcome to sign up as a pattern tester, provided that you:
• understand the English language well enough to follow the pattern and to provide feedback.
• be communicative in the testing group.
• have the skill level appropriate for the pattern.
• realistically think you'll be able to complete the project within the testing period.
You do not need prior testing experience.
No-one is discriminated against — nor in favor of — age, gender, sexual orientation, body shape or size, mental or physical ability or disability, nationality, race or ethnic background, religious or political convictions, or similar in pattern tester selection or in fulfilling testing requirements.
How are pattern testers selected?
As I review the applications, I consider the following
• knitting experience and skill level
• how many times you've withdrawn from a previous test / reliability
• quality of Ravelry project photos & pages
• frequency and quality of social media activity (especially on instagram)
• whether you have outstanding or concurrent test knits for me or for any other designer
I do not choose testers on a first-come-first-serve basis. All applications are gathered, then considered based on the above criteria. I aim to choose test knitters within 24 hours of receiving all the applications.
What makes a good pattern tester?
Here are the top things I enjoy when working with pattern testers:
• Communication! Share your thoughts about what you're experiencing. If you like it, post about it. If you don't like it: post about it. The more you share about what you're experiencing the better choices I can make as a designer to make this pattern (and future patterns) into an enjoyable experience.
• Read everything I send you. I know… I can be wordy. But if I'm telling you something, there's probably a good reason for it. Please read all the requirements and follow them to the best of your ability.
• Follow the pattern exactly. I'm requesting that you test the pattern as-is. I want to know how it turns out as I've written it. If changes are made, then the pattern isn't really tested.
• Share your project. A picture is worth a thousand words. I love seeing what you are creating—so do other crafters. When you share the project—during and after the testing—it sparks interest in the crafting community and increases the success of the pattern.
Do I have to use the same yarn?
No, you don’t need to use the yarn suggested in the pattern. You are absolutely welcome to substitute the yarn you use for your project, provided of course it fits the gauge, weight, and any other suggestions offered in the pattern.
I do not supply you with yarn to make your test project. You get to keep what you make, so feel free to choose something you like.
How is the testing done?
All my pattern tests used to be conducted in my Ravelry group. I archive the thread, and email you the link to the thread. It's not accessible directly from my main group page.
I'm currently trying out testing on Yarn Pond, to make the testing process accessible to those who choose not to use Ravelry.
It's a group setting—somewhat like a knit-a-long—where everyone in the group is working on the same project, discussing what they experience and sharing thoughts about the pattern.
What are the requirements during the test?
There are a few things you absolutely MUST do to remain in the test:
• All communication about the test needs to be kept in the testing thread (rather than in private messages or email). Otherwise it gets lost and probably overlooked.
• Post in the testing thread at least once a week with a project update. If I don't hear from you for more than 14 days then you will be dropped from the test and not accepted in any future tests.
• Create a Ravelry project page, including photos of the completed project, and link it to the draft page of the pattern using the testing code provided. I provide instructions on how to do this at the beginning of the test.
• Try to complete the project by the deadline, or communicate with me about a possible extension. I'm flexible about this, so long as we're communicating. Don't ghost on me, of you'll end up on the black list. Communicating is the most important part of these tests!
• Give the pattern a rating on my website and on Ravelry.
• Complete a survey when you've completed your project.
Some larger pattern tests are divided into segments. The pieces of the pattern are distributed separately over the first few weeks of the test.
Large garment tests also come with a weekly testing schedule. Each Friday I send an email with a link to download the next piece of the pattern, with any relevant information for that week.
Accessory project tests generally run for about 2–4 weeks depending on their size and difficulty. Sweater pattern tests will usually run for 6–8 weeks. The dates and length of the test are always given when I issue the Call for Pattern Testers.
What if I can’t finish the test knit within the deadline?
Life happens, and I completely understand if you fall behind on your testing project. Please communicate with me about it. I won't judge—it happens to all of us now and then. I can usually offer an extension if necessary. But you must finish the project to receive your compensation.
How am I compensated for pattern testing?
When the pattern test is completed you will receive a coupon code for one free pattern, to apply to any of the published patterns available for sale in my Ravelry store (excluding ebooks). You will also receive a completed PDF file of the tested pattern once it's published.