Sample Knitting vs Test Knitting

Recently I posted in my Ravelry group that I was in search of Sample Knitters.  I find that there is a lot of confusion in what a Sample Knitter does and what a Test Knitter does, what is expected of them and how they are compensated.  I have previously written about the differences between Tech Editing and Test Knitting and today I’m going to touch on the differences between Sample Knitting and Test Knitting. Both involve a lot of responsibility and communication.

IMG_6598These are based on my own personal experience working primarily with independent designers and test knitters – details may change based on the situation and folks involved.

Sample Knitting:

  • Designer provides pattern and pattern support
  • Designer typically provides yarn
  • Sample Knitter knits the pattern exactly as it is written and if there are any questions whatsoever, they contact the designer to clarify before moving forward
  • Sample Knitter sends finished project and remaining yarn back to designer
  • Designer usually keeps the sample (or sends off to publication if that’s the case)
  • Designer pays Sample Knitter (range varies depending on the project – accessories vs garments, complexity, size, etc)

Test Knitting:

  • Designer provides pattern and pattern support
  • Designer does not typically provide yarn
  • Test Knitter knits the pattern as written unless he or she has previously clarified with the designer that modifications are allowed
  • Test Knitter keeps finished project and yarn
  • Test Knitters are usually compensated with free patterns – the number and type of pattern(s) are up to the designer’s discretion and are usually discussed before the test knit begins

Again, much of these terms are based on the individual and the work being completed – everything is subjective.  I hope this helps clear up some of the most common sources of confusion!

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