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Pattern Testing

THANK YOU

I first just want to take the time to thank you for taking an interest in the opportunity to pattern test for me. I know that pattern testing takes a great deal of time, effort, and money, and it means so much that you're willing to help out. You are a ginormous part of the success of a pattern - and that's a big deal! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

With that said, in order to have a successful pattern test, it's important that testers take the process as seriously as the designer, so there are a number of standards that I require, and I've included some tips and advice, as well. These standards are not only essential for me and my livelihood, but are also essential when it comes to collaborations with companies that require pattern testing, so I ask that you only apply if you're able and willing to meet the minimum requirements below.

Before You Apply

  1. Do you have a public profile? | I personally will only select testers who have public profiles. This is because some of the requirements for testing involve marketing, which is a really important part of testing - it's only successful when your profile is not private.

  2. Read the time requirements | Only apply to test if you have the time to complete the test. I try to provide both the number of minimum hours it takes to crochet the project and how many days/weeks you have to get those hours in. Along the same lines, if you're testing (or apply to test) a number of other patterns simultaneously, honestly decide whether it's realistic for you to apply for and give quality time and effort to them all equally.

  3. Note about yarn and shipping | Think about whether you plan on having yarn shipped to you, shopping at your local store, or using something you currently have in your stash. I ask you to consider this because shipping delays are pretty significant right now and this may significantly delay your ability to start and complete the test. Please understand that if you choose to have your yarn shipped and you cannot finish the testing process due to shipping delays, you will be charged for the cost of the pattern.

  4. Are you physically able to test? | Please consider anything that might interfere with your ability to complete the testing process. Circumstances that may interfere with completion might include (but are not limited to) vacations, any major events coming up, health conditions, moving/relocating, a job (or starting a new job), etc. If you are aware of anything, please decide whether you realistically have the ability to test. If you don't, please consider applying to test another time.

Before You Begin

  1. Print the pattern | It's always a good idea to print the pattern. This way, you can make notes or highlight directly on the pattern.

  2. Skim the pattern | Skimming the pattern allows you to quickly see the pattern elements and gives you an idea of how the pattern is worked and written before you get started.

  3. Try to use the same yarn | There is often a reason why a designer selects a specific yarn for a specific design. It may have to do with the stitch used, the weight of the yarn, the drape, the shape, etc. Using the same yarn helps you achieve as close to the same result as the designer's sample as possible. If you don't have access to the same yarn, try and use something that has characteristics as similar as possible to the suggested yarn.

  4. Make a swatch (required) | I know it can feel like a hassle, but when pattern testing, it is SO important that you match the designer's gauge - so making a swatch so you can adjust hook size and tension (if needed) is absolutely critical before you begin!

During Testing

DO:

  • Make notes while you're working up the pattern | Don't assume you'll remember all your notes by the time you finish.

  • Start right away | I will often give you an appropriate amount of time to finish a pattern test. If you put off starting or wait until the last minute, you will rush your way through the test (which stresses you out and doesn't provide me with the quality test I may need).

  • Take your time | Taking your time helps ensure better attention to detail, consistent gauge, and quality work.

  • Treat every instruction without assumption | Even if you see a sequence emerging for part or all of the pattern (and don't need to read/follow the pattern anymore), it's crucial to read/follow it anyway! Read every stitch, note, and instruction as if you have no idea what's next. If you don't, you could miss errors.

  • Engage and encourage | Support and encourage your fellow testers! That's part of the fun of testing! And if you happen to be a quiet tester who prefers to diligently work and focus on your own, that's totally okay...just let me know so I don't think you've ghosted me.

  • Ask questions | Don't wait to ask questions (and no question is a dumb question). If you need help or see something that doesn't make sense to you, post the question to the test group. If you are questioning it, it's very possible someone else might be, too!

  • Finish the pattern | I know this might sound obvious, but it happens quite often that a pattern tester doesn't finish the project to completion.

  • Expect adjustments or even starting over | If the design was perfect, there would be no need for the tester process, so go into testing knowing that you may have to frog part or all of your work - and be willing to!

DON'T:

  • Rush through the project | Rushing the project often results in negligence, errors, and missed steps, etc., which, as I mentioned above, stresses you out and lowers the quality of the test.

  • Ghost the designer | Completely ghosting me is not okay. Don't be afraid to let me know you can't finish and why. I usually really appreciate it more than I am upset by it. Ghosting totally stresses me out! And letting me know you can't finish ASAP allows me to potentially have time to select another tester in your place.

  • Alter the pattern to your liking | Test the pattern as it is written and only customize where the pattern allows or encourages you to customize.

  • Tweak the pattern and market/sell it as your own | For obvious reasons...JUST. NOT. COOL (and totally illegal).

  • Apply just to get a free pattern | Although a free pattern is a perk to being a tester, it's shouldn't be your main purpose for testing. Apply because you enjoy the process - the process of helping, the process of editing and searching for errors, the process of engaging in the group. Giving you a free pattern that is not yet published is like trusting you with my precious baby. So treat that like the privilege and responsibility that it is.

  • Not send any feedback | I let you know exactly what specific notes I need or want from you, so there is no excuse to give blank feedback, say that feedback is not applicable, or say "Everything looks great!"

Required Feedback

NOTES

  1. What yarn brand and style did you use?

  2. If size is applicable, what size did you test?

  3. Did your swatch match the pattern gauge? If not, what adjustments did you have to make to match?

  4. What is the exact yardage you used (if you're unsure how to figure this out, follow this link)?

  5. What did you like/dislike about the pattern or final fit/appearance?

  6. Did you find any mathematical errors?

  7. Did you find any grammatical errors?

  8. What are the finished dimensions of your project (refer to the chart in the pattern)?

  9. What do you feel the pattern difficulty rating is (beg, int, adv)?

  10. Are the photographic references (if available) helpful? Are there any places where they would be helpful if they were included?

  11. If there are links, did they function properly?

  12. Is the pattern design/font/formatting aesthetically pleasing, but also clear to read/look at?

  13. Does the pattern translate well to a mobile device?

  14. If printing the pattern, does the pattern print well (colors/black and white)?

  15. Any other constructive criticism you'd like to add/mention?

PHOTOS

Send me a minimum of 1 photo of you (or a friend/family member, etc.) wearing the garment (but the more photos the better and very appreciated).

INSTAGRAM POSTING
1. I ask that you post 1 finished photo on IG on the pattern release date using the hashtags I provide AND tag me on the photo (not in the caption, but actually ON the photo) @thecozyknot.
2. I ask that you post 1 story on IG on the pattern release date tagging me @thecozyknot.
3. You are welcome to post your progress of the project on social media before the release date - I just ask that you not share photos of the pattern pages themselves (beyond the title page).

INCOMPLETE TESTING

If you are unable to complete the testing for ANY reason, or are unable to complete ANY of the above requirements or conditions in the tester application, you will be invoiced for the cost of the pattern. This does not mean I'm mad at or upset with you at all, but testing patterns costs designers lots of time and money, and you not completing a test sometimes also puts us in a tough position with important design projects where other people are relying on us, too. Pattern testing is a contract of an exchange of tasks/services/items, and if the terms of that exchange are not met, we need to recover some of that cost.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through all of this. I tried to be as thorough as possible to give you the best idea of what this process entails and what to expect. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about anything. However, if you're ready to apply for an upcoming pattern test, you'll find a list of available opportunities below. 

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Tester Applications

This is where you'll find the list of current opportunities for testing patterns.

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