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Test Knit or not Test Knit that is the question!

After rediscovering knitting at the end of last year I decided to apply to test knit for knitting designers. The main reason for this was the opportunity to expand my knitting skills/ knowledge. Although test knitting gives you access to brand new patterns for free from designers you admire the downside is the need to follow the pattern, not make any adjustments, knit to gauge, make a note of the amount of yarn used and most importantly finish the knit according to the deadline set by the designer. Test knitting does eat into to your own creative time and if you discover that the pattern isn’t all its cracked up to be then the continuing demands on ones creative time became a rather pain.

Highway Cowl test knit for Madebytollow

On the plus side as a result of test knitting I have learnt new techniques including: how to knit brioche, follow a crochet amigurumi pattern written in German, knit a colour work hat……… Most of these experiences have been enjoyable. Luckily the designers I have test knit for have been proactive amenable people.

To find out about test knitting opportunities you need to follow/ subscribe to designers you admire on social media as they will often posts opportunities on platforms such as Instagram. There are also specific sites such as Yarnpond which post test knitting opportunities. When you read some application forms you can tell whether the process is going to be an enjoyable one or not.

Getting accepted as a test knitter can be rather hit and miss. Some designers want you to use the yarn they designed the pattern for. OK they will often state that this is not a prerequisite but it does help. This may seem an acceptable demand but increasingly I have noticed that some designers expect the usage of yarn only available in the USA/ hand dyed with the associated financial implications. Also designers will check out your Instagram postings to see if you meet their ‘design aspirations’. You may laugh but when you see the people who are posting during a test knit you can soon work out what the designer is seeking in a test knitter. Having a social media presence is a vital ingredient to being accepted as a tester. At the end of the test period when the pattern goes live the designer will expect you to post your own knitting of the pattern and promote the design.

The test process is a partnership between the designer and the tester. Sometimes it can develop so that you are part of a stable of trusted testers for that designer.

The only way that you can decide whether testing is for you is to give it a go. You need to be realistic in your time allocation. If you know that you are not going to meet the deadline then you need to be upfront with the designer immediately.

As with everything in life honesty and maintaining a good communication with the designer is vital.

I have enjoyed test knitting why not give it a go yourself?

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Why am I doing this?… Or The Ego has landed…

Well its day two of my plan to attempt to post a current blog. The pressure is on to keep up the momentum.

I am composing this post at 6am as rather than surf Instagram mindlessly until I get up and on with my day I decided I could be creative and write an entry.

Why blog?

Why am I doing this?

Is it for my mental health? It is said that it is helpful in mental health terms to journal/ write down your thoughts…..

Is it purely my ego wanting to express itself…… NOBODY IS LISTENING TO MEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I WANT TO BE HEARD

ME ME ME……..

Am I typically jumping onto a trend once it has passed. A late adopter. The world isn’t interested in written blogs anymore its all about podcasts these days.

If you use social media to keep up to date with current trends in craft its amazing the rise of YouTube as a major platform for craft. With the USA being the biggest adopter/ promoter of social media there influence on the language of craft is fascinating.

Knitters/ Crocheters all now talk about WIPs (Works In Progress), FOs (Finished Objects) Frogging (taking back back your knitting / crochet back either to a previous stage or to the beginning). The accessories market is phenomenal. From stitch markers to project bags.

I realise that I have gone off on bit of a tangent here but I can’t deny that some, any, if not all of the above reasons are influencing my motivation to begin blogging.

I know from my experience that if you are beginning a new craft its is hard to find information on what tools to use ~ do you really need all that equipment ~ what thread yarn should I use…………?

As I use and experiment I aim to put my discoveries on this blog to hopefully inspire and help people like me who want to simply have fun making.

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Welcome to MarGorsson

‘MarGorsson’ is my own tribute to my parents especially my mother who encouraged me and was my tireless champion in everything I did. 

I have published on the internet under MarGorsson for a number of years but I never updated the content and it was rather static.

I decided to relaunch MarGorsson using WordPress as I thought it would hopefully encourage me to add add content and attempt to keep it current.

My aim is to demonstrate that creating/ making is a fascinating and exciting journey of discovery and delight. Seeing a textile grow and blossom as you make whether you: knit; crochet; make lace; quilt or weave is always a thrill. 

Most IMPORTANTLY that making is a constant journey of discovery both delightful and sometimes frustrating. More often than not I will pull something out and start again developing my technique and knowledge. The process of making is just as exciting (and frustrating) as the end product.

You can create handmade textiles using a myriad of techniques. I like to concentrate on : bobbin lace; crochet; knitting; needle tatting; whole cloth quilting; tapestry weaving.