Saturday, March 12, 2011

Testing...testing...

Its probably a bit of a strange thing but I LOVE pattern testing!

I love it.

I hated tests at school, I hated my driving test and uni exams but pattern testing...love it!

I've been thinking about it quite a bit lately because recently I've been lucky enough to test a sewing pattern, two crochet patterns and a couple of knitting patterns.

I'm not sure if I love it so much because of the excitement of getting to work on a pattern only a few people have seen before, because I feel like its only a step away from the actual design process, because I like the interaction with the designer and sometimes the other testers or because in some cases I get something for free that other people will have to pay for.

Its probably a bit of all of the above.

I have seen pattern testing go a bit bad. I have been on testing forums where there are so many problems with the design. Where the designer has to constantly change the pattern to fix up the problems. Where other testers get cranky with how many times they have to rip back their knitting and start again. When testing times have been lengthened to accommodate all the issues and testers have sometimes dropped out.

Not me though, that's what the testing process is there for after all.

And most of the tests I have been involved in have finished happily ever after.

Miss Pepper is wearing The Bobolink test knit in these photos. It is a great little light weight knit with pockets. I love it as a t'shirt and I think it'll look great over a stripey long sleeved top in winter. And did I mention it has pockets!

When I asked the designer about a tunic length version she even explained how I should do it.

Have you ever tested a pattern or had a pattern of your own tested? Or maybe have you proof read or edited something? Did you enjoy it? Do you think you would? Do you understand my obsession?

So today I am grateful for pattern testing.

And I'm grateful for visits from friends we hadn't seen for about eight years, for drinking coffee outside cafes, for a house full of giggling girlies playing Twister, for pizza dough rising, for knitting, for health, for love.

I hope your weekend is all kinds of wonderful.

Love Kate X

31 comments:

  1. Oh what a cute knit and Pepper looks lovely in purple! I have to agree with you Kate and say that I love pattern testing too, and always working out the pattern, and knitting something before anyone else has too. You have been very busy with all your testing. Hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy your pizza and knitting.

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  2. I've never tested a pattern of any sort before, but it sounds like a bit of fun. Cute little top you've made. Just whipped it up over night did you? Cute photo of your girls.

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  3. I have never tested a pattern but it is something I have thought about doing. I do love the cute top though!

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  4. SUch a beautiful colour that purple! I lvoe your grateful list and especially your making me smile list (it make sme smile too) xx

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  5. So cute! I loved the pics up on Ravelry. I'm so fortunated to have tested patterns for some very talented designers. Starting testing for a new secret, major project for a designer soon and can't wait.

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  6. I have tested knitting patterns, and most of the time I love it. It can depend on the designer a little but most of the time it is great. And I think it really helped my knitting, to have to think about each step and not blindly follow a pattern.

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  7. I am eternally grateful for people like you Kate who like to test patterns. Without them -where would we be?..I'd be sending patterns out into the world that had weird typos and legs hanging from the wrong place.
    I have done a bit of testing myself and I did enjoy it ...I liked the rawness of it !

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  8. That last photo is all kinds of wonderful, look at your girls! Hope you are having a happy weekend, it's pretty noisy here in town! xo

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  9. Wow! You are patient - I don't think I could knit a pattern if I knew it may not work out properly!

    I am making my first ever pattern at the moment - if you would like to test it once I have finished - I would be delighted!
    xo Rach

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  10. I have done a small amount of pattern testing- sewing- and absolutely loved it too. Loved it. I loved the combo of words (for sewing patterns) and sewing. What a great combo! And the secret squirrel aspect of it, I liked that too!

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  11. That last photo is a gem. And a gorgeous test knit too.

    I am one of the world's worst pattern testers. I am great at proof reading them because I am a good speller but because I tend to skim patterns and possibly not have the best sewing/knitting habits in the world
    (like, I don't think that I have ever knitted a stitch gauge square thingamajig...) I can't say that I am the best. I have done a couple and I have put my heart and soul into them but I feel so much pressure lol.

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  12. Looks lovely. Well done. I think you are very generous to test others designs. All that time, effort, expertise and materials given freely.
    I did apply once to be a pattern tester but was rejected. Never had the heart to apply again. Plus I'm selfish with my time these days, there's never enough time for my own craft to be taking on someone elses.

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  13. See, there's that 'journey' enjoyment coming out again, Kate! It's wonderful, really and I am still inspired by your ability to love the process. x

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  14. I love testing. It stretched my brain, and I feel like I'm helping the designer out. I did a test last year, and some of the other testers got VERY nasty and rude because the pattern was wrong. The designer and I were fine though. It got to the point where I couldn't wait to finish it to get away from these nasty freaks.

    The top is lovely. Gosh I love that colour purple. Reminds me of your purple carrots!

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  15. Your little Pepper's hair is getting so long, she looks so cute in that top and with her stripy tights. Did you knit the other cardigan as well??
    I haven't done a test pattern but it sounds like fun :-)

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  16. oh she look super cute in the first pic =D.seems like you had great fun time =).

    And, I love testing sewing patterns, I feel like I am learning so much from this process, much more I guess =)

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  17. I am doing my first pattern testing right now...and yes all your reasons I get ...it has been fun.

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  18. Never tested a pattern so can't comment, but I love the first photo. Wondering why if I tried to put all those colours together it would look terrible but on your daughter it looks gorgeous.

    cheers Kate

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  19. meeeee tooooooo! I love it. I feel so excited that people will being seeing my knits as a first run of something and reading a new pattern and chatting with the designer its all so much fun!! As you know I adore this one and that cute green and orange combo on your cuties skirt...perfect!

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  20. I like the sign in the window for Breakfast and Beer at 3pm on Saturday...

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  21. How very interesting! Never even thought about pattern testing. Your photos are gorgeous (helps to have very cute subjects too though, doesn't it!).

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  22. I imagine pattern testing would be pretty exciting. I would like to do it, I've thought about it in the past but worried I wouldn't commit the time necessary and now I definately don't have the time, but one day.
    I proof read all of my brothers essays and reports for him when he was at uni, he writes so well it was easy to do and I learned about topics I never would have gone near.
    And pockets! yay! they make anything more awesome. I want to retrofit my whole wardrobe with pockets.

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  23. What a great post! I never thought about patterns needing testing (possibly because I never knit or crochet). Thank heavens for people like you who love it!

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  24. Gorgeous photos of gorgeous girls Kate . I have all of my sewing patterns tested before they get printed , good testers are treasures !

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  25. Beautiful photos. I'm another who loves to pattern test for lots of the reasons you mentioned. I also like helping out friends (as they often are) I like the technical aspects of the process and it encourages me to really think about matching yarn to pattern, how diff gauge makes a diff fabric. Learning new techniques and seeing the variations of a pattern evolve as it is test knitted. Also enjoy proof reading and editing but I don't get to do that very often anymore.

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  26. I could eat Pepper. She is too cute. your daughters are following in your footsteps with ace pattern testing skills. x

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  27. Cute as a bugs ear she is. How do you cope with that much cuteness?
    I couldn't follow a pattern to save myself, but I understand your excitement.

    (thanks for the kind words regarding the little fella too.)

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  28. Its a cute little top, but i think for my girls this is too low in the neckline, even for summer, some adjustment needed there for us.
    Experimentation is always great.
    Have fun with all your test knits and crochets

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  29. I did not realise that you love testing, but I imagine how fun it can be, especially interacting with the designers and following the process of creation.

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  30. Since I'm a very slow knitter, I don't think I would have the patience to test a pattern. Though I used to test software programs and that wasn't too bad - kind of fun finding the mistakes, specially when I was able to figure out how they could be fixed.

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  31. Thanks a ton, Joyce!

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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