Sunday, 4 December 2016

Advent-ures: Number Four, Test Knitting

I love test-knitting.

It is an opportunity to challenge myself to knit something I might not otherwise knit, learning new techniques and often stash-busting along the way.

And it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to think I am helping a new designer develop a pattern to the point of being knit-ready.

I know there are debates about whether testers should be paid for their work, and I suppose that if you are working for someone who earns lots of money from selling their designs that is only fair.

But I tend to offer my services to less well-known designers, the ones I think might be "up and coming", who can't afford to give me anything other than the pattern I have tested and therefore my own Finished Object.

And that is more than enough when it turns out to be something gorgeous, like my Brioche Crush shawl!

My most recent test-knit was for a more well-known designer.
I don't think I am authorised to tell you who that was, quite yet.

However, the first details of the Big Project of which my test was a part have now been announced.

Old Maiden Aunt, Lilith, is publishing a book to celebrate ten years of dye-ing.

And those mitts on the front cover?
I didn't knit that pair, but I did knit a test pair in the same pattern.
They are really long and cosy!
I used some JC Rennie Unique Shetland wool to knit mine.
The red and the pink were a couple of mini balls, little knitty treats that you need in your life!

Now that I see the designer's pair, I am really looking forward to making another set in brighter colours.  They remind me so strongly of the tiny violets that grow in the top field in summer.

My pair don't have the same inspired energy to the colour choice, which is of course the downside of knitting something "blind" from stash.
You can't always tell where you are heading.

But that's all part of the Advent-ure!

Oh - and in this case, I did receive a "payment" for my work - I was invited to choose a skein of yarn from Lilith's online shop - woo hoo!

This is 2-ply Shetland laceweight in the colour "Something Herbal".


  1. I am totally in awe!

    I used to be very fortunate in living near to Rowan's mill in Yorkshire, and I bought the most beautifully made ex-display garments at their occasional sales. (My word you had to be there early!)

    I often wondered about the people who had tested the patterns and made the garments, and if they were paid. But I don't know how you would begin to recompense the hours and hours of intricate work in some of the garments. Your designers are lucky ladies!

    Yours is one of the first blogs I ever discovered and one of the few I still read regularly. It has been heartbreaking to read at times, but it is wonderful to see you now flourishing in your new life.

  2. I love seeing your knits! You inspired me to try knitting socks, I didn't get on with the 4 needles and donated them, yarn and pattern to my local RSPCA charity shop to be sold as a set. However, now that it's colder I'm trying to complete a sweater started last year.

    1. Some people prefer circular needles for socks - might be worth trying? Good luck with your sweater.