Good pattern testers are critical to the success of crochet designers. Knitters and crocheters who consistently perform well are always at the front of the line for the next time a designer needs a pattern tested. As someone who has been part of the process both as a tester and as a designer, I have some hot tips to help aspiring pattern testers perform their very best and get regularly chosen to test new patterns by establishing a reputation as a rockstar pattern tester.
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Tip #1 – Fill out the application exactly as requested
This is super easy but hugely important: if you are answering a call for testers in a Facebook group (check out one of my favorite Facebook Pattern Tester groups here) or elsewhere, be sure to give the designer all the info that they ask for. If they are asking for your public crochet Instagram handle, Ravelry link, and size you would like to test, be sure to comment back with all of those. Replying “me!” or “interested!” usually isn’t enough. If you aren’t sure which size you would like to test, just pick one – try to make your application require as little clarification as possible. Lastly, make sure your crochet Instagram is public – otherwise, the designer won’t be able to see it. Showing off your attention to detail and ability to follow instructions with the application will make a great first impression!
Tip #2 – Don’t ghost on the designer
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but this is not Tinder: there is no ghosting allowed in the pattern testing world. If at any point you think you might have difficulties with completing the pattern, let the designer know! Communication is very important throughout the testing process, and that includes communicating any possible problems. Designers understand that life happens and won’t be mad at you for hitting a roadblock– worst case scenario, you might have to pay for the pattern. However, going dark or not responding is considered very unprofessional and might even get you removed from pattern testing groups. Communication is key!
Tip #3 – Don’t “take liberties” with the pattern
One of the best parts of knit and crochet is experimenting creatively and making projects your own; however, pattern testing is not the time. It is important that you follow the pattern precisely as it is written. Some designers may be okay with small changes to elements like sleeve length or addition of buttons, but you should check with them first. However, things like the type of stitch, number of stitches, and other technical aspects are non-negotiable and being exact with them is critical to successful pattern test.
Tip #4 – Finish the test on time
Typically, the designer will have their own deadline to meet with the test, such as needing to get the finished pattern to a publisher. For that reason, the deadline for a pattern test is very important. Pattern testing is supposed to be fun – if you volunteer for patterns that you like and are interested in, it should bring you joy to work on it. As always, if you see any potential challenges or hurdles with completing the project on time, be sure to let the designer know as soon as you can.
Most designers have a short list of go-to testers for when they are planning to roll out a new and exciting pattern. With these four simple tips, you should be able to quickly establish yourself as a reliable and desirable pattern tester and find your way onto that go-to list. And, if you’re interested in being on my Pattern Tester List, check out the application here!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE seeing your makes! If you make any Herr Stitches patterns, then tag me and then I’ll share them!
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