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.
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?