This is part two in our Crochet Pattern Tester Series! In Part One, I shared what a crochet pattern tester is and the #1 question testers answer for a designer. You can read about it here! In Part Two, I’m going to share five simple ways that will increase your chances of getting accepted as a pattern tester!
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Imagine this scenario: Debbie’s sitting in bed one night, finishing a few rows on her most recent project, she decides to scroll through Instagram, catching up on the latest posts in her ‘favorites’ list. As she’s scrolling through her feed, she shoots straight up in bed clinging to the covers in awe and bewilderment! Excitement shoots through her veins as she watches the most recent Reel from a crochet designer. “She has a new pattern AND she needs testers! I’m a tester! She needs ME!”, she screams in a whisper, so she doesn’t wake her snoring husband next to her! She looks over at him quickly wondering if her excitement stirred him awake. Assured he’s dead asleep, Debbie lifts the covers and sneaks quietly out of bed while the Reel replays repeatedly. Hurrying downstairs, she sits on the living room couch and reads through the caption to find out what the designer typed. The caption reads,
Crochet Pattern Testers Wanted! The Highland Shawl Tester Call is Open!
This is officially my favorite design of the year! Not only does the stitch pattern make me swoon but this color speaks to my soul!
If you’re interested in testing this beauty, head to the link in my bio and fill out the application. I promise, you’ll love how easy it is to work up!”
She heads to the designer’s profile and shoots her a quick DM.
Hey! I’d really love to test this pattern!
The following day, she checks her notifications and sees the designer hasn’t even seen her DM! She heads to the designer’s profile again and clicks the Reel she saw the night before. Debbie clicks the comment button. “Hey! I sent you a DM, I’d love to test this pattern for you! Oh, this pattern in stunning, btw!” Hoping that by leaving a compliment, she’ll take notice of her!
A few days later, Debbie finally gets a notification showing that a few people replied to the comment she left on the Reel AND the designer has finally replied to her DM! With sheer excitement she opens the message to see the words, “Testing is now closed”. Disappointment and frustration washes over her and in her frustration, she unfollows the designer.
This may not be your story, but if you’ve ever applied to test a crochet pattern and your application wasn’t accepted, I believe these five easy tips will help to increase your chances! Let’s dive right in!
1. Pay Attention to the Directions!
Your ability to follow directions from the very beginning will automatically increase your chances of being chosen as a tester! Pay attention to HOW the designer wants you to apply as a tester. Designers use various methods for calling on testers. We’ve covered the different ways and resources you can tap into to find opportunities in Part One. In the story above, the designer specifically wanted testers to go to the link in her bio. The link probably pulled up an application with various questions testers needed to answer. By not going to the link in the designer’s profile, Debbie missed out on the opportunity all together!
Maybe Debbie thought by sending the designer a DM, she could increase her chances of being chosen. However, designers actually frown upon such practices. If a designer asks testers to comment on their post, and a tester sends them a DM, it shows that the tester can’t follow simple instructions. So, think of the tester call as a “mini test” the designer puts you through. If you pass the mini test, you’re one step closer to being accepted as a pattern tester!
2. Fill Out the Application Thoroughly!
If a designer asks you to click the link in their bio, it’s likely you will be virtually directed to an application to fill out. Sometimes the applications are pretty simple and other times they are very in-depth. Let me walk you through several questions you may come across as you fill out the application.
- Basic Info: This may seem really basic, but it’s worth talking about. Of course, the very first space for you to fill out will be your basic information; this will be things like your first and last name, your email address, and maybe even your business name. I would highly recommend you use your real name and list both first and last name. If you go by a nickname, you could list this in (parenthesis) letting the designer know you prefer being called by your nickname.
- Instagram Profile: It’s important to pay attention to how the designer wants you to list your Instagram handle. They will normally specify which way they want you to list it in the placeholder. You might see @instagramhandle which means they simply want you to list your Instagram username. Or you might see http://www.instagram.com/your_handle_here which means they want you to type out the full URL. To find your Instagram URL, log on to your account through the desktop website and not the app. Once logged in, go to your profile then copy the URL to paste it in the placeholder.
- Ravelry Profile Link: Designers may ask you if you have a Ravelry and if you’d be willing to post your projects on that platform. Having a Ravelry account is helpful but not necessary. Some people prefer not to utilize this platform and that’s okay. Designers will post their patterns on this platform as a way to get more exposure. During the testing process, the designer will share a ‘tester-code’ with the tester group. Testers who are on Ravelry, can use the code to link their finished project to the pattern. If you don’t have a Ravelry, it should reduce your chances of being chosen as a tester.
- Experience Level: Designers often ask about your experience level. Many designers welcome a wide range of skill level, while others prefer to work with testers who have more experience. I will say that in all my years of experience, most designers accept all skill levels. So don’t get discouraged if you’re new to the craft or have just a year or two under your belt. When you’re filling out your experience level…..be honest! Your experience level is based on your crochet knowledge and how well you can execute that knowledge into skills. What if you don’t know what your skill level is? Good question! Here’s some info that might help you determine what skill level you’re at:
- Beginner: You know how to complete the basic stitches (single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet) and simple increases and decreases. You also know how to complete stitch patterns (popcorn stitch, shells, clusters, or a combo of the basic stitches) with basic color work and shaping. Projects you may know how to complete would be: washcloths, scarves, cowls, hats/beanies, basic amigurumi characters.
- Intermediate: You know how to complete projects that have involved stitch patterns. These would be any stitch patterns that have a lot of texture. You also know how to complete projects working with more involved colorwork and shaping. Projects you may know how to complete would be: Blankets with variety of stitches, triangle shawls with special stitches, more involved amigurumi characters, beanies/hats with cables.
- Advanced: You know how to complete more complex stitch patterns using a variety of techniques at the same time. You also know how to complete projects with complex color work and shaping. Projects you may know how to complete would be: Multipiece garments, fair isle sweater, more involved tapestry crochet.
- Previous Testing Experience: It’s inevitable that you’ll be asked this question when applying as a pattern tester. If you’ve tested pattern in the past, that’s great! Simply list the name of the pattern and the designer. However, if you’ve never tested a pattern before, don’t worry! You can use this space to write a short message to the designer as to why you’re wanting to become a pattern tester. Here’s an example of what you can type in that blank space: Hi, __designer’s name__. I’m new to pattern testing and if given the opportunity to work with you as a tester, I believe you would not be disappointed. Thank you for your consideration. Whatever you chose to write, make sure that it’s short and to the point.
- Share Photos: When filing out a tester application, you’ll come across a section where the designer wants you to share photos of your recent work or photos of projects you’ve tested. Make sure to choose good quality photos that really showcase your project. If you haven’t tested patterns before post pictures of recent projects you’ve completed!
Click to Apply as a Pattern Tester for SBC
3. Make Your Instagram Public!
If a designer goes to your Instagram profile and finds that it’s private page, your chances of being chosen as a tester decrease greatly. Designers will scroll through your IG page to see your projects and to check out your picture taking skills! If a designer goes to your page and all they see are pictures of your kids and cute puppy, they might scroll right over you as an applicant. If you’re wanting to become a pattern tester, I would highly suggest you start an Instagram account dedicated solely to your crochet projects! Your crochet IG page can be used as a portfolio of all the beautiful work you do! It’s a visual resume for designers to scroll through! Here’s a few tips for your crochet IG page:
- List your name in your profile.
- Write a clear description of who you are and include ‘Pattern Tester’ as a part of the description.
- Be active on your page. Try to post consistently, even it’s your progress on the same project!
- Post good quality photos. You don’t need fancy equipment to produce great photos! Good lighting is really key!
Something else to note: Designers will use Instagram group chats as a way of communication during the testing process. If your IG is private, they can’t add you to the group.
4. Be Totally Honest in Your Answers!
You’ve heard the saying, ‘honesty is the best policy’? I’d like to change the saying to ‘honesty is the ONLY policy’! Being honest in all your answers is best practice, as you know! Being honest builds integrity, even if answering honestly means you won’t get chosen as a tester. If you don’t answer honestly in the application process, it may bite you in the booty during the testing process! Let’s say on the tester application Debbie stated that she’s advanced in crochet. When testing starts, she finds herself in over her head because the pattern is too difficult for her. She either begins to ask a lot of questions that causes the designer to question her abilities OR she tells the designer that she can’t complete the test because of a family issue (which is another lie!) Don’t be a Debbie!
5. Get Really Good at One Kind of Project!
If you’re new to the pattern testing world or you’ve started on your journey but want direction, this is the best advice I can give you: Get really good at one kind of project! Don’t jump into applying for any and every tester opportunity that comes along. Start off by asking yourself, “What do I love to crochet more than anything else?” If it’s blankets, then get really good at making blankets. Start off with easier patterns and once you’ve mastered them, start making more complex patterns. Not only will this help you to practice certain skills, but it will also help build up your Instagram portfolio. Then, when you apply to test a blanket pattern for your favorite designer, they’ll see the incredible skills you have and want you to test all their patterns!
I hope these 5 tips will help you to get accepted to test for your favorite crochet designers! Make sure to subscribe to the SBC Blog to get future Pattern Tester Posts sent right to your inbox!