Top 3 Things Designers Forget Before Publishing a Pattern Test
There are lots of little details to keep straight when publishing a crochet or knitting pattern. And doubley so when you are putting out the call for a pattern test. Often times you are still in the middle of formatting the pattern, spell checking, etc. It can be easy to forget little things that make a big difference. Here are my top three items that designers forget when publishing a pattern test.
1. Not Having a Pattern Name
This is so important! Putting out a pattern test call is the first step in marketing your pattern. The people who test your pattern will be your champions, even if it is only to their small circle of friends. When publishing a pattern test with no name, you cut your initial reach by 10X.
Let’s do the math: If you have 10 testers for a sweater (one for each size), let’s say that conservatively they know 10 other knitters. That means that you have a potential reach of 110 people, just from your pattern test.
But, if you don’t have a name to the pattern, then it will be much harder for that reach to find you. They won’t know what to search for after you have published the final pattern. And you’ll end up only reaching the initial 10, who you gave the pattern to for free.
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2. Skipping the Description
Testers want to know about the pattern they are going to test. They want to know the background, how it’s constructed, etc. Skipping this step may keep testers away, because they don’t have enough information to make the jump.
Here is an example of a good description from a Snickerdoodle Knits pattern test:
This project is the perfect stash buster, especially with mini skeins! The scarf is designed to use (7) 20-gram mini-skeins. I used 7 differing colors, but feel free to adjust the color numbers and combinations as you wish. This pattern is easy to adjust in length — just knit until you want to end that section! Section lengths differ.
This pattern includes both written instructions and charted instruction. This test knit is a re-test knit, meaning the pattern is already published, but I’ve just recently had it tech edited and want to re-test knit it before re-releasing the pattern.
Deadline is flexible.
You will be asked to complete a survey after the pattern test.
Some key information to include:
- Why did you designed the pattern, what inspired you?
- How is it supposed to fit?
- Do you require them to complete the entire pattern? Or only work to a certain point by the deadline?
- What are your expectations during the pattern test?
3. Giving Very Short Deadlines
When you are publishing a pattern test, it is essential that you give testers enough time. I have seen a lot of pattern testers put off by a 2 week deadline. Most testers simply don’t have enough time (or finger endurance) to complete a medium size project in that amount of time.
Be realistic with your deadline. Your testers may need to order yarn or pick up the size hook you requested. They are also doing this on the side and may not have 15 hours a week to devote to hustling through a deadline.
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