Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Ins & Outs of Pattern Testing

I write many of my own crochet patterns but I LOVE to occasionally test and even purchase patterns from other designers. Normally designers will post a "testing call" on their Facebook business page. The designer will ask you to join a FB or Ravelry group that they've created or they may simply ask you to respond directly to the FB post. Each designer has their own way of choosing testers. Some do a random draw or choose by the alphabet and your last name while others request to see a sample of your work.

Tips for Being Chosen
  • Provide a clickable link to your crochet/knitting page. Don't tag your page by using the @ symbol. Instead, type the entire URL of your page into the comment. Doing this will provide a thumbnail image of the profile picture on your business page.
  • Be sure that your crochet/knitting business page, especially the profile picture, looks professional. The designers are looking for someone who can provide quality pictures. They don't have to be taken with a professional camera but you don't want to submit cell phone quality pictures.
  • Provide your email address, along with the link to your page. Many designers are super busy and they want to get the patterns tested quickly. By providing your email the designer will be able to quickly send the pattern to the testers they have chosen.
  • If you've tested before, don't be afraid to say so. Yes that's right....don't be afraid to name drop the previous designers you've tested for.
  • If the test has a desired time frame, be sure to state that you can accomplish the test in the time frame provided and be sure to actually commit to it! If you fail to meet the time frame you will, more than likely, be charged for the pattern.
  • If you have access to models be sure to list the ages of the models you can provide pictures of using the testing item.
  • Bonus- If you are a yarn freak, like me, let the designer know you have the required materials already on hand.
  • Example response: I would love to test for you! I have testing experience and have recently tested for *. I can have this item tested in the time frame you require. I can also provide clear pictures and I have a model for sizes * and *. I have all the materials required on hand. My email is * and you can find examples of my work at
Tips for Being a Successful Tester
  • Choose the yarn colors first. If the designer gives you the choice of color...choose it wisely. It's okay to use unexpected colors but don't go completely crazy.
  • Start as soon as you receive the pattern. Also be sure to send a quick little email response stating that you received the pattern and you are excited and ready to begin.
  • Print the pattern and read through it entirely, checking for spelling/grammar errors, before you start. Unless the designer prefers a specific editing style, mark and correct all errors directly onto the printed pattern with a red pen.
  • Mark any pattern errors as you are testing so that you do not forget.
  • After you have completed the test, scan the pattern, with errors marked in red, into your computer. The designer will appreciate you marking directly on the pattern because it's much easier for them to find the errors and correct them.
  • Take 2-3 photos of the item in use. If the lighting in your house is dim, take the photos outside in natural light instead. Be mindful of what's in the background of your photo. No designer wants to see what you had for lunch or the dirty dishes you didn't finish the night before because you were up until 3am finishing the testing of their item, lol. For most designers, the photos are just as important as the pattern edits you are submitting to them. Edit the photos using a free online editing tool like Resize the photos to 800 X 800 or less in case the designer has a picky email server.
Turning in Your Photos & Edits
  • Start the email with something positive. If you felt like the pattern was exciting, tell the designer that!
  • Attach the photos you took.
  • Attach the pattern, with the edits in red, that you scanned in.
  • In the body of the email describe the fit or turn out of the item. This is also a good place to offer any suggestions that you may have.
  • Thank the designer for the opportunity to test. In most cases the designer has quite a few testers to choose from. So consider yourself lucky if you are chosen.
  • If you were part of a personal group which was created by the designer you tested for, be sure to post your photos in the group. If you finish early this will help other testers who may be struggling on a step, if there is no visual to go by on the pattern draft.
  • Post one of the photos on your personal Facebook page, with a nice comment about the pattern and provide a link to the designer's page. This will help promote the pattern and will be greatly appreciated by the designer.
  • Be sure to get written permission from the designer before posting the item for sale anywhere online or at local craft fairs. Most designers allow you to sell your finished items as a courtesy of testing the pattern.
  • Good luck and HAPPY TESTING!!!!
Below are a few of the items I have tested.
Polka Dot Cowl (Pattern by Tricia Dodge of Cuddlepie Crochet)

You or your child will look amazing in this one of a kind cowl. Its innovative design features 3-d  polka dots in a contrasting color which really sets it apart. This design is awaiting its debut. I'll update the post when its released. For now you can browse other Cuddlepie Crochet creations at 
Chevron Dog Sweater (Pattern by Sara Sach Posh Pooch Designs)

This was such a fun pattern! This pattern is designed to fit a dog between 2-20lbs. The color combinations are endless. You can find the pattern here
Halter Dress w/ Flirty Ruffle Skirt (Pattern by Sara Sach of Posh Pooch Designs)
I loved this pattern for my little pooch because it was something different that I had never seen before. Can you imagine walking your dog in this at the park during spring/summer? ADORABLE! You can find the pattern here
Midsummer Wrap (Pattern by Salena Baca of Baca Creations)
Sadly I didn't have a model for this wrap but you can imagine how pretty this would be draped around your shoulders on a cool summer evening. This can be done in many colors and made to match any outfit. The pattern is clear and simple to read. The wrap can be made in different sizes to fit all ages. You can find the pattern here
Princess Hat (Pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy of Flushed with Rosy Colour)
This sweet little hat is made with 100% cotton so it would be perfect during any season. The design of the brim adds a little extra flare and the flower attachment completes the look. You can find the pattern here in 6 different sizes.