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!

NOT a WIP Wednesday

I don’t know why, but I have this mental block where I feel like it “isn’t right” for me to blog on Wednesdays if I don’t have a WIP to share, or on a Friday if I don’t have an FO.  I realize this train of thought doesn’t exactly make sense and so today, with lack of WIP to show you (the pants are in sad shape, they’ve definitely been ignored due to some Sooper Seekrit knitting, but I can’t show you the stuff I have been working on either! Gah!) I’m posting about a yarn supplier I was introduced to at Stitches South.

We were just cruising the isles of the marketplace, minding our own business, discussing the subtleties of knitting, life, boys or booze (or some such nonsense) when BLAM!

Something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.

The colorway. Gorgeous.

The weight. Perfect.

The colorway: Cleopatra (image from

The broke-student budget. Pissed.

The supplier? Miss Babs.

And you know what? I came away with a small sampling of their yarn in such a way that my broke-student status didn’t cry (and no I didn’t steal it!).

They had a very nice woman handing out samples of their yarn.  Samples!  Like, samples of food in the grocery store, samples of yarn at the Stitches South marketplace.

Definitely one of the best modes of getting your name out there if I do say so myself.  Its a great way to play with a yarn, maybe even knit up a tiny swatch and see how the colors knit up and then fall in love and go back with your checkbook to get some more and know you’re going to love it.