I noticed on Instagram that a pattern designer/indie dyer that I follow was developing a new pattern and wanted some folks to test it and see how it worked up.
I had heard that pattern testers existed, but I had no idea it was so easy to become one. I messaged her that I was interested, and what size I’d like to make, and after
stalking checking out my previous projects on Ravelry to make sure I knew what I was doing, she gave me the pattern to get started. (I won’t link it here since it’s not available for purchase yet.)
Some testers also give you the yarn to use, but since we had to use our own, I got to keep the finished product (fine by me!). It took me three tries to get the right gauge for the pattern (which means I had to knit a 4×4″ square each time, then unravel it and do it again) which anyone who knows me knows was a Herculean task. If I had not already given my word to do this, I would have thrown the needles against the wall and called the whole thing off at this point. I dislike swatching like vampires dislike sunshine.
There was a lot of back-and-forth with the other testers on the Ravelry discussion board, which was very helpful for me, as I started a week later than most of them due to my yarn delivery time. That way I was able to avoid all their initial pitfalls and had relatively smooth sailing once I cast on.
Unless you count this…
Not happy with my stitches, I decided to rip back to the edge of the sleeve and use small circular needles to do it right. Much happier with the result.
It took a solid three weeks to get the thing done (a few freelance design projects in-between rows slowed me down a bit). It was supposed to be an “airy pullover” but with the required gauge, it ended up as a very close-fitting sweater. Which, it turns out, I love even more. Especially the single purl stitch at each side to simulate side seams while knitting the whole thing in the round.
Maybe there’s something to this gauge swatching thing after all?