Monday, August 10, 2015

Testing. Testing. 1...2...3... (Testing a crochet project this week)

Very spontaneously last week I volunteered to be a test crocheter for a pretty and unique scarf that hasn't yet gone public.  Actually several of us on Ravelry pestered encouraged the creator of the scarf to write the pattern and offered ourselves as testers, and she took us up on it!  I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was excited to do this thing.  (Once the pattern goes public I will identify the designer - and provide a link to how you can get the pattern if you're interested.)



So... the designer began transferring her personal notes into a pattern for public consumption and then shared it with us.  And thus began the testing process.

I'm enjoying doing this - honored, actually.  But it is work.  Of course, there are starts and stops and head scratchings and communications about what we're confused about, possibly a little mind-reading on everyone's parts, ripping out on the crocheters' parts, edits and re-edits on the designer's part...and eventually, the hope is that we've helped the designer refine a pattern into something that anyone can read and will love making.  No small feat.  But a rewarding one.

And it makes me appreciate something I had taken completely for granted before now - how a knitted or crocheted item grows from an idea to something you and I can easily create.  I'm still mystified and in awe over how a person actual goes from conceiving a crochet (or knit) item to writing a pattern - that, frankly, looks like something akin to short-hand instructions for how to attach a severed limb....

Ch 2. 1 hdc in first hdc – inc made. *1 hdc in back loop of next hdc. 1 hdc in front loop of next hdc. Rep from * to last 2 sts. 1 hdc in back loop of next hdc. 2 hdc in top of turning ch – inc made. Turn.  (This, by the way, is not from the test pattern I'm working on).

And that's easy crocheting.  I am just happy to be able to understand crochet code, and am content for now to be a tester. A cog in the design wheel, so to speak.

The picture below shows all the further I've gotten, but this has taken about 2 1/2 hours (over the course of the weekend).  I'm doing this shawl in a lace-weight yarn, and it's going to be hours more before I'm done.



At the moment, I'm at a standstill until I hear back from the designer - I think I've found a mistake.  Not a mistake in the design, but a mistake in the written pattern.  While I want nothing more than to get back to crocheting it, I can't deny there's a bit of satisfaction in feeling like I've uncovered something very important.  Not the secret to world peace, or anything like that, I know... but something that will make both the designer happy and any future crocheters of this pattern happy.  I feel like a partner, in some sense, in a private backstage world that had previously been a complete mystery to me.  After all, it's the little, private and unseen things that make the world go 'round, don'tcha know?

Over the weekend whenever there were stops in the test-crocheting, and frankly, I needed a break from studying and deciphering the first draft of the written scarf pattern, I turned to some simple dishcloth crocheting.  I played around with my remnants of cotton yarn and produced these fun cloths:

Aaaahhh...   A little happy instant gratification for the tired crochet soul.

Looking forward to now seeing what other YOP5ers are up to this week.  I hear we have some new YOPers!  Yippee!

If the link above does not work for you, it's because you're either not a Ravelry member, or not signed in.  If you'd like to get a taste for what other YOPers (my term, that they may just be rolling their eyes over - lol), click on the names of the posters in the comments below.  Chances are, they are part of the 2015-16 Year or Projects Blogging challenge, too.  If you like what you see, feel free to join us!

And whether or not you're a part of YOP5 or a member of Ravelry, please leave a comment below yourself!   I love seeing that you came by, and being able to explore your blog in return.

13 comments:

  1. Oh the test looks lovely, beautiful colours. The dishcloths are lovely and cheerful.

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    1. Thank you, Lucy. I'm a little embarrassed now to realize I have picked blue and gray again for a project (remember my project back from a couple weeks ago?). But I do love blue, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me. I hope when I finish this scarf I'm happy with the combination.

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  2. Looks like you've been a busy yoper this past week, test knitting is always an exciting process and for me as a designer (knitted) I enjoy the process with my testers just as much as hopefully they do, it's a tiny glimpse into seeing whether what I envisaged months and months previously can be made just the same by others. I hope you continue to enjoy the process. Love those simple yet colourful cloths. I've been crocheting one or two this past week also

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    1. I'm glad to know the testing process is enjoyable for the designer, too. I feel like I might be annoying when I find an issue and have to explain it. But then I remind myself that's the whole point. And I get over it. :^) It really is very fun being on this side of things.

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  3. I've tested a few small items and I can say it's fun to be in on the beginning of something! Can't wait to see the finished project! Dishcloths are my go to project for car trips and such. I always have a few hanging around for gifts and such. I love your happy colors!

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    1. Crocheted dishcloths are so soothing to make. And fun to use - especially in pretty colors!

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  4. How exciting to be a tester! I have yet to make anything out of laceweight yarn so I am impressed. Smart of you to take a break and crochet some fun dish cloths. Small quick projects can soothe the soul :)

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    1. Oh wow! I've never had any hopes of actually impressing anyone in the YOP group. lol Even though I've crocheted for years, I feel like such a beginner in the company of this group. I'm finding the laceweight yarn easier than I thought to crochet with. The time it takes is the only daunting part.

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  5. It's actually awesome that you're a pattern tester. The rest of us really owe you a debt of gratitude. I am a terrible tester, mostly because I tend to work the pattern based on how I think it should go rather than what is written and often just sail past errors. Besides I just love modifying to make everything just how I like it.

    Lovely blue yarn!

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    1. I tend to modify things I'm crocheting, too. I've had to remind myself several times not to "play around" with the pattern, but once I do I actually sense a freedom to just go with it. I can understand, though, that this isn't something everyone would enjoy doing.

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  6. I love testing patterns.. Knit... Crochet... Doesn't matter...
    But those instant gratification pieces are so necessary... I totally get where you are coming from.

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    1. Glad to know I'm in good company. :^)

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  7. It's always so exciting to be a part of the creating a pattern! Only when you get into this process you realize how hard it is! I love the colors of your yarn - I am slightly obsessed with blue/green shades now.

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