I recently finished a crochet pattern test for Malena of Straight Hooked. Her Friendship Prayer Shawl pattern is absolutely wonderful and makes a gorgeous shawl. (It’s the one in the image I’m using for this post.)
It occurred to me that people might not know about testing crochet patterns or even how to start if they were interested, so I thought I would talk about three reasons why you might want to be a crochet pattern tester.
1. It tests your skills.
When a designer puts out a call for testers, they will usually say what skill level you need to be in order to work with them for the test. If something is too far beyond your crochet skills, it would be best to wait until a test comes along that is more suited to your current skill level. However, if doing the test would just make you stretch your skills a little bit, go for it. Just be certain you meet the other criteria the designer sets and that you can meet a deadline.
2. It helps establish you in the crochet community.
With a few exceptions (that I will not get into because they’re outside the scope of this post), the knit/crochet community is pretty accepting. Please note: This has been my experience. As I write this, I realize that other people may have different experiences and may not have been as accepted as I have been. For that, I am sorry.
Testing patterns gets you directly involved in the community, whether you test knit or crochet patterns. You work directly with designers on their upcoming projects. It gives you a look behind the scenes. This is especially helpful if you also want to design your own patterns at some point.
3. It gives you insight into what is up and coming/possible trends.
There are a few different ways to figure out what is going to be trendy. Being a crochet pattern tester is only one of those ways. If you keep up with the What’s Hot section on Ravelry, you can see which designers are usually on there. When they have a call out for testers, you can probably get a good idea of what’s coming up in the trends forecast if you can work with them.
Please note the “if” in that sentence. Some designers already have a stable of testers they work with. If they’re popular, they have a waiting list of people who want to work with them. It might not be possible to work with your favorite designer as a tester. That’s okay. Support them and buy their patterns anyway. They have a stable group of testers that give them great feedback. That’s why so many people want to work with them.
How to Start as a Crochet Pattern Tester
I know, I know. You have your own reasons for wanting to be a crochet pattern tester, so get to the point. How do you get started?
Look for calls for testers. There are groups on Facebook that exist only to match testers with designers. There are also calls put out on Instagram. Some designers do blog posts for calls for testers. (I did that last month.)
There is also a website dedicated to helping designers find testers for their patterns. It’s called YarnPond. It’s free for testers to use. When calls go up, you apply to test for that pattern.
That’s another thing. Some designers have applications for testers to fill out. It helps weed out the ones that are in it just for a free pattern but will ghost on you after they get it. It’s a thing that happens. I wish it didn’t, but there it is.
I know it’s not a lot, but that’s pretty much all you need to do to be a crochet pattern tester. There are more reasons to do it that what I mentioned, but I think they’re all pretty good reasons.
Have you ever been a pattern tester? Is it something you would like to do again?