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!

Tech Editing vs. Test Knitting

Working with designers and knitters of all skill levels, I’ve come to find that there seems to be a lot of confusion about what exactly a Tech Editor does, what test knitters are expected to do, why they can be helpful and who to choose. Sometimes even the differences between the two can seem blurred. Tech Editors and Test Knitters are expected to do completely different jobs and, although not all designs need both, the input from each can be invaluable.IMG_7700

In the process of designing a knitting pattern, it is highly suggested that designers seek out the help of a qualified Technical Editor (TE). This person will not only copy edit and seek out spelling mistakes, but a TE should always double check every single number – stitch counts, row counts, measurements – and verify that the pattern will, in fact, make the thing it says it’ll make. This includes checking the math on every stitch calculation, confirming the gauge and that the stated stitch counts correlate with the measurements given in the schematic. Tech Editors should compare the pattern draft to a style sheet or previously published patterns to maintain consistency between wording and format and should also have a grasp on industry standards. Tech Editors can sometimes assist with schematic and chart creation, perhaps even grading for pieces that come in multiple sizes.

Test knitters, on the other hand, will knit up a sample of the garment or accessory using the pattern. Good test knitters will knit the thing exactly as written and not make their own alterations so that the designer can get good feedback on the clarity and construction of the piece. Test knitters can help a designer with confusing wording or to check that all sizes meet the expected measurements, yarn quantities, etc. One of the major benefits of having test knitters for a design is that once it’s uploaded to Ravelry, testers can link their projects to it and this will give future knitters an even better grasp of what the garment or accessory looks like in various colors, sizes and yarn choices.

Both Tech Editors and Test Knitters can be valuable to designers for entirely different reasons.  In order to get the most accurate pattern, I recommend using a Tech Editor first, then a few test knitters to use that tech edited pattern to create the thing.  If they come across any issues, the TE can revisit the pattern and get everything corrected before it’s published for the masses.

(Are you looking for a Tech Editor for upcoming patterns?  Feel free to send me an email (sillylittlelady(at)gmail(dot)com and we can pencil you in!)

Testers Needed

Oh dear readers, the time has come again during which I need some testers. I need 4 total, 1 to just test a small portion of a design and 3 to test the entire thing.

laceweight delicious

The small portion test I would like to be completed within a week and the 3 full tests I would like to be completed as soon as possible, within a month or two preferably.

diamonds are for now

The design to be tested is a rectangular shawl with lace details.  Much of the pattern includes charts and some written instructions.  The pattern needs to be tested as written with no modifications so that I know that it makes sense, etc.

The project requires 32″ circular size US 6 needles and about 1500 yds of laceweight yarn (preferably in the yarn called for in the design: Bittersweet Woolery’s Stardust Lace in Merfolk, but any laceweight yarn that gets gauge will suffice).

every stitch counts

From testers, I expect regular communication, photos and Ravelry projects to be uploaded and linked once the design is published.

Compensation for the test-knit will include a final version of the pattern once tech-edited as well as another of my patterns of your choosing.

Please email me at sillylittlelady(at)gmail(dot)com if you’d like to participate!  Thank you all so so much 🙂

FO Friday: Plaited, Braided and Opinionated

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I’m bringing you the orange hat I was working on and showed you last week!  The design is complete and its even ready for test knitters, so if you’re interested, please check out this thread in my Ravelry group to find out all the details and volunteer to test for me!

mmm squishy texture

I’m having a hard time deciding on which buttons to put on the hat so I figured I’d ask you, my dear blog readers, which buttons you like the most.

The Flowers:

pretty little white and green flowers

The Brass:

The brass section in this little orchestra

Thoughts? Opinions?

To find more FO Friday posts, visit Tami’s blog!

WIP Wednesday: Something a Little Different

Welcome back for another WIP Wednesday!  Wanna find out more about them or how to join in?  Tami’s blog has all the details!

My WIP is a little different today than normal.  Instead of sharing my current knitting projects (because I have yet to take decent pictures of them) I’m going to share a Pattern in Progress!

The Scholarly Cardigan

What does that mean exactly?  Just that I’m finally in need of test knitters for the cardigan I showed you some time ago!  I meant to get the numbers in line ages ago, but in true school-form, classwork got in the way and I’ve had the time to sit down and figure out the math for the various sizes.

Interested in test-knitting for me?  Check out this thread in my Ravelry Group!

All Grown Up

Remember this little guy I found a while back?

He's just a wittle guy

Well he’s all grown up now and even has a twin sister! They’ve been adopted into a loving home (by way of a Christmas gifting) and now the pattern for the pair is being written up and will need some test knitters.

now he's all growed up!

There are two sizes, S/M and L/XL, the small only takes one skein of Patons  Kroy Socks FX (166 yds), the larger size shouldn’t require much more (but that’s what the test knitting is for, to find out!).

and he's versatile!

To find out more or if you’re interested, let me know in the Ravelry Group!

New Hat Pattern Needing To Be Tested

Remember that super slouchy beanie I made as a custom order?  I love it so much I’m making another for myself and figured that you’d all love it too so I’ve written up the pattern for it and will be releasing it for free to the public just as soon as its been test knitted.

you know you want to make one for yourself 🙂

How do you join the fun?  Check out the discussion in my group on Ravelry!