Lessons learned from test knits

I've had a few patterns test knit by now and most have gone really well. One, however, did not. Serves me right for calling a pattern the Everyday Rockstar! It ended up all fine in the end and I had some great test knitters with plenty of grace and patience, but just about everything that can go wrong did go wrong.

You know I pride myself on sharing both the ups and downs with you here, that's the purpose of the blog after all. But while I knew I wanted to share the experience with you at some point, I also felt a need to distance myself a little from it first.

A little time has now past and I'm ready to share the lessons I've learned:

Always get more testers than you 'need'

Someone will drop off of the face of the earth, someone will get very sick, someone will simply not make it. It's a lot easier to handle all those someones with grace when it doesn't mean your entire test knit process has failed. 

Be Santa Clause 

Check that list time and again. Somehow a computer glitch resulted in me sending out an old version of the pattern at first, I only realised this after a lot of mistakes had been corrected, mistakes that felt familiar. Why? Because I had in deed already corrected them and then promptly lost the file it appears.

Be Firm

Don't set flexible deadlines. I learned that the hard way. Give people plenty of time to do the test, and hold them to that non-flexible date. 

Be thankful

People are working for you for free. Yes they do get the pattern, but they also have to deal with the mistakes. Please and thank you's never hurt anybody.

Everyday Rockstar will be out next Friday. The proceeds will go to the Danish Cancer Foundation, since cancer fighters and survivors are true rockstars, but more on that next week.


  1. Too bad this hasn't been the greatest experience with a test knit, but it looks like you've learned a thing or two from it, so it was still useful. Also the hat looks so cool, so it all has a happy ending. And I'm so impressed you're donating the proceeds, that is such a great gesture!

    1. I learned so much from it and felt so much support from my testers. thank of your kind words on the hat, I like it too :) Really, this donation is the least I feel I can do for a society that does so much in this field and has helped my family personally... Now I just hope people will join forces with me!

  2. I'm nearing the end of my 2nd test knit, and I'm nodding at your post. This morning I'm cringeing at how many errors and tweaks I'm needing to make to what I was *sure* was a mistake-free pattern. Ouch...

    1. Yeah that is not a fun feeling, but it is why such a thing as a test knit exists. My current test is going a lot smoother, issues here are more clarification than errors and I'm thankful for that. It always helps when you have kind and gracious testers who understand what their role is.