This is part one in our Crochet Pattern Tester Series here on Sweet Bird Crochet. I posted a question sticker in my Instagram stories awhile back asking my followers to submit questions about pattern testing. I was overwhelmed with how many questions everyone had! You all know that I am a teacher at heart, so I knew from the responses that I needed to write a series of blog posts to address each question!
Each post in this series, I’ll share the knowledge I have on the subject OR I’ll share the knowledge I found through research! This entire series will focus on crochet pattern testing. Many of the things I share could be applied to knit pattern testing as well. However, since I don’t knit, I don’t want to make assumptions. Maybe one of my knitter friends could chime in on this! With that being said, each post will be focused strictly on crochet pattern testing! Before we go any further….are you subscribed to the Sweet Bird Crochet Newsletter? If not and you want to join my flock, click below to join!
I remember the first time I ever heard the term “crochet pattern tester”, I had NO idea what that meant. Even after I began testing patterns, I really had no idea what I was doing or what was even expected of me! All I knew was that I loved to crochet! Times have definitely changed in how designers advertise for pattern tests. Back in my day, (ugh….I feel so old saying that!) we didn’t have the same kind of opportunities that you do now. The internet and social media have really made a designers job a lot easier to find testers and a testers job easier to find testing opportunities.
It’s inevitable, when scrolling through Instagram or Tik Tok, to come across a reel or post about crochet pattern testing. Especially, if all you search for on social media is crochet related things! You might see a designer showing off a new sweater, blanket, or an amigurumi they just finished! You might see the words, “Pattern Testers Needed” in BIG BOLD letters and wonder what it means. Let’s jump in and answer the very first and basic of questions:
What is a crochet pattern tester?
A pattern tester is someone who works up an unpublished pattern for a crochet designer. Testers answer the most important question for a designer, “Does my pattern make what I intend it to make?” Basically, testers test to see if the pattern “works”!
As a designer myself, I rarely publish a pattern unless it’s been tested by a handful of crochet testers. Once I’m finished working up my design, I’ll sit down with notes in hand and type up my crochet pattern. Of course, I’ll edit it about 1000 times because I’m a perfectionist…then I send it to my tech editor. A tech editor is NOT a pattern tester. A tech editor doesn’t crochet the pattern but will go through the pattern to look for errors, consistency issues, accuracy and so much more! Designers should have their patterns tech edited before sending it to pattern testers. Many designers will depend on their pattern testers to do the job of a tech editor, and that simply isn’t right. I plan on writing a blog post about the roles of pattern testers vs tech editors in the near future! Once all the tech edits are complete THEN I will start the pattern testing process.
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How do designers find crochet pattern testers?
There are several ways designers call for pattern testers. In this post, I’ll share three different ways that seem to be the most common.
- Social Media Tester Calls: Many designers will use social media as a way to find crochet pattern testers. They may create a post or reel showing off the new design and, in their captions, it reads “crochet pattern testers wanted”. They may share a bit of info about the design then ask for you to apply to be a tester. The designer may provide a link to fill out a tester application in their bio or ask to simply DM them. Here are few hashtags you can follow that designers will use when they need a pattern to be tested. #crochetpatterntesterwanted #crochetpatterntesterneeded #patterntesterswanted #patterntestersneeded #patterntesters Be aware that following the hashtags that are not crochet specific, you’ll also see designers for knit, sewing, and quilting patterns.
- Private Pattern Tester Group: Some designers, like myself, will call for pattern testers to become a part of their exclusive testing group. They will have an open call for testers that usually involves a detailed application process. Once they go through all the applicants and find the testers they desire to work with, they will close the application process. Each time they need a pattern tested, they will email the group of pattern testers directly.
- Tester Groups on the Web: Other designers will create posts in testers groups on Ravelry, Ribblr, or Yarnpond. It’s free to create an account on each of these sites. It may take a bit of searching for the right group on Ravelry but one group I found to be the most helpful is The Testing Pool. On Ribblr, visit the Testing Zone and find out to how to use this platform to find testing opportunities. Yarnpond has an Open Calls tab that features both knit and crochet testing opportunities. You can set up your preferences to see only crochet testing calls.
Want to become a pattern tester for Sweet Bird Crochet?
Are you interested in testing patterns for Sweet Bird Crochet? You can do so by filling out the SBC application here. If chosen to become part of the SBC testing flock, you’ll be notified via email within 24-48 hours. I’m currently looking to accept 5-7 crochet pattern testers who love to make crochet blankets and bags! Once slots are filled, I will close the application.
Do pattern testers get paid?
No. A pattern tester is a volunteer who is willing to work up the unpublished pattern and also provide feedback about the pattern. Not only do they NOT get paid to test a pattern, but they also have to purchase their own materials to complete the test. Your “payment” as a crochet pattern tester is a final copy of the tested pattern. You also get to keep your finished project! Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you can become a professionally paid pattern tester. This is just not true. You can, however, get paid to be a sample maker. A sample maker is someone who makes the crochet project exactly as the designer wants it and works under a deadline. The sample maker will send the finished project to the designer to use for product photos and such. How can you become a sample maker? Become a REALLY good pattern tester! Many times designers find their sample makers through working with pattern testers or by word of mouth!
Why should I become a crochet pattern tester?
Why not!? Being a crochet pattern tester has so many benefits and can be quite rewarding! Here’s several benefits of becoming a pattern tester:
- You get to meet other testers that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
- You’ll learn new crochet skills and techniques.
- You’ll gain confidence in reading a variety of patterns.
- You get the privilege of working up new designs before it goes public.
- You’ll get exposed to a variety of pattern styles, especially if you work with more than one designer.
- You’ll develop relationships with crochet designers.
- You’ll be able to build your pattern testing resume.
- And, last but not least, FREE CROCHET PATTERNS!
Do you have questions about crochet pattern testing that you would like me to address in future posts? Drop your questions in the comments below and I’ll add them to my list!
I hope this post was useful if you’re not familiar with crochet pattern testing or if you’re considering becoming a pattern tester. Make sure to subscribe to the SBC Blog to get future Pattern Tester Series Posts sent right to your inbox!