What is “Testing”?
Pattern testing is a vital part of the design process whereby a fully written, edited and charted pattern is sent to a small band of trusted makers to ensure the pattern makes sense before it is released for sale to the public.
Testers will look out for odd phrasing, stitch count errors and will check any linked videos for accuracy as they make their own pieces. I encourage my testers to tell me when they are confused, or if they’re unsure of an instruction. That way I can be sure to alter it for clarity.
What’s in it for the testers?
My testers get a copy of the fully-complete pattern in exchange for their help and my thanks. They also have the opportunity to get their hands on the pattern in question long before anyone else.
As there is no obligation to test, people tend only to volunteer for patterns they want to make, and this is a good way of getting a premium pattern without paying for it.
Testing is also an excellent way for new designers to see how the pattern-writing process works, and in fact, several of my own past testers have gone on to become successful designers in their own right!
I wanna test a pattern. What now?
Click here, to add your name to the pot!
If I’m actively looking for testers right now, you’ll find my call for testers in one of my latest posts. I’m not shy about it.
If I’m not, it’s best to keep an eye out for a call, then volunteer.
I enjoying running a test with a wide range of makers. I think there is a lot to be gained by including both experienced and beginner makers, so everyone is in with a chance. By including a broad spectrum of crocheters, I can be sure that my pattern is accessible to the greatest number of people.
How does this work?
I am glad you asked!
OK, so I used to run all my tests on Ravelry, but as that site has become a problem for many, I now run my tests on Google Sheets.
Who doesn’t love a spreadsheet, right?!
By setting up a spreadsheet with each tester assigned a column, and the sections of the pattern numbered, we can work out the pattern’s kinks in an ordered manner.
Testers will add their thoughts in annotations within the spreadsheet, and I’ll reply to their notes, fix what they point out and make a new draft available as we work though the pattern.
I check in every 24 hours, so no-one is left with a question for long.