Ever wonder how crochet patterns get to the point where they are ready for you to use them? From creating my own pattern (for the Adventure Time Dog Harness), I can tell you that it's not as simple as just writing it down and repeating. As I worked through different versions of the harness and began to reuse the final pattern, the notes I made that I thought would be obvious the next go around, just weren't. I was confused by my own pattern!! All of which is a good reason that it wasn't the harness pattern itself I am offering up (at least not at this time 😉).
So how is it that when you find patterns (either free or that you pay for), they do seem pretty straight forward? And sometimes even include pictures?! Is it because the person who wrote them is a wizard? I mean that could be true, but it's because most designers go through a process of having other people test their patterns before they publish.
If you love to crochet or knit, you can help designers by testing their patterns! Regardless of your current skill level, there are usually patterns available for you to test- you just have to know where to find them!
To the left here are some images of patterns I have tested- including in-progress pics I provided to the designer and finished product images, some that I posted on my Instagram.
Aside from being helpful to a designer, you get a few things in return-
You get a FREE pattern
You get access to the designer during the testing period, so if there is something confusing, you can ask them directly and even offer other recommended ways of approaching it so it's not confusing for others
Sometimes you get connected with other crafters who are also testing the pattern. Some designers create special Instagram message groups or Facebook groups with the testers, so there's open dialogue during the testing period. If you're looking for community in this craft, this can be a great way to find it!
And the really cool thing if you decide to test patterns? It operates in a marketplace sort of model, so you only sign up for patterns you are interested in testing, and you only sign up when you have the time/resources to complete it. In other words, you are in control!
While there are many ways to find access to pattern testing, I have found the most success through Facebook groups. Designers post with pictures of their product, and the requirements for the test (i.e. amount of time you will have, the amount of yarn you will need, the skill level needed, the hook required, type of yarn- i.e. size and material, as well as any additional requirements- like posting finished product pics on social media.
Are you ready to try testing patterns? Here are some of the Facebook groups I am in and respond to a pattern when I am super interested in the finished product, or in the type of pattern/stitch: