Tuesday 9 July 2013

Refraction Shawl Test Knitters Required - Apply Within

I have had a shawl pattern design in the pipeline for what seems to be forever.  It is in fact only since October last year, so that's not quite as bad as I thought.  I finished my sample shawl and started typing up the pattern before grinding to a halt when they started messing with my meds.  I had a half written pattern for 8 months and this week I picked up where I had left off.

I finally finished typing up the written instructions for the pattern yesterday (the chart was done ages ago) and I do believe I am ready to start finding test knitters.  In the past I have always carried out my testing through the Free Pattern Testers Group on Ravelry, which is a fantastic group, but there are fairly strict requirements to adhere to, for both testers and designer, and I thought I might try independent testing for the first time!

The pattern in question is a shawl which is a simple triangular top down shape.  It uses a single skein of sock yarn - but as I got quite close to the end of my skein, using 394m, I've had to remove one of my chart repeats so I'd like confirmation on gauge and yardage.  This is the sample I knit, using Lord of Silk by Countess Ablaze, in the Coral colourway.  The yarn is 75% merino/25% silk, but you can knit it in whatever base of yarn you like, provided it is a sock weight yarn, or possibly a light fingering weight, such as Malabrigo Sock.  This sample is slightly larger because it has the additional repeat in it but it gives the general idea.

What I normally do with my patterns is leave them a couple of days after finishing the writing and then go back to tech edit and proof read.  It will then be turned into a PDF and emailed to my testers.  I like to have at least 2 testers for the written pattern and 2 testers for the charted pattern, though both sets of instructions will be included for clarity.  As it is such a long time since I made the sample I intend to also test it myself, so that I can work through any issues that arise during testing more easily, and to get a sample that reflects the final pattern.  As I need to proof read and tech edit before sending out the pattern, I propose to send the testers the pattern on Monday 15th July, which should give them plenty of time to source yarn.

I plan on running the test knit on Ravelry, so if you want to test this pattern you need to be a member of the Stitched Together Designs Group.  As this should be a relatively fast knit, I would like the tests to be completed by August 30th, so it will be completed before the Crafting Library KAL/CAL starts on 31st August.  (For information on the KAL, please check this thread on Ravelry.)

I'm hoping that people who have tested for me before will be able to help me out again.  I know it's a long time since I last released a pattern, but I'm hoping my previous testers still remember the experience fondly!

Here are another couple of photos to help you decide if you are interested in joining in with the test.

The shawl is quite a decent size for a single skein of sock yarn project, and the lace pattern is relatively simple to memorise, and to understand whilst knitting.  The lace pattern is only done on the right side rows, so each wrong side row is a simple straight forward purl row.

I have opened a thread in my Ravelry Group for anyone who is interested and that lays out the guidelines that I would like my testers to adhere to.  If you read the testers guidelines and you are still interested then you can PM me on Ravelry.

I hope that I can do this test independently, as I think it will be a much more relaxed process if it is conducted within my Ravelry group with people who already know me and my work.

If all goes according to plan, I hope to release the pattern in early September, so if you don't want to test, but still want to make the shawl, you shouldn't have to wait long.

Fingers crossed I hear from someone soon!


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