I use volunteer pattern testers in advance of any new pattern release, to ensure the pattern is as clear, polished, and lovely as it can be. Testers are chosen from those who apply (by email, or comment on the Facebook post announcing the test) on a pattern-by-pattern basis. As a thank-you they receive the final version of the pattern they’ve tested, as well as a coupon code for any other single pattern from my shop, good both on this site and on Ravelry!
If you are interested in volunteering to test new Toys of Earth patterns in preparation for their release, here’s what you need to know!
- Must be reasonably experienced in knitting and/or crochet. I prefer testers to have at least a few years’ experience, and be competent in common amigurumi techniques (for crochet) and sock techniques (for knitting). This includes short rows and grafting/Kitchener stitch, as most of my knitting patterns use both gratuitously.
- Must be able to communicate regularly throughout the duration of the test. (Most tests will last between 1-4 weeks.) This means the capability to take and send progress pictures of your work, as well as making us (myself and the other testers) aware of any bugs, unclear instructions, or other problems you detect in the pattern along the way.
- Must be able to check the test file (here or on the Facebook group) at least every few days, for any new errata you may have missed.
- Must be able to receive and open at least one of the following document formats: .pdf, .txt, .docx
Here’s how tests will generally go down:
- I will post a call for testers here on toysofearth.com, and on the Toys of Earth Facebook group.
- If you are interested in testing that pattern, you can respond by email (email@example.com), or by commenting on the Facebook post. Please include basic info like your experience level, years knitting/crocheting, and a confirmation that you will be able to commit to the requirements above. If you can include a couple of pictures of your past work, that’s even better!
- Preference is given to those who have tested for me previously and have done an outstanding job, but I try to make sure there are new faces too, so everyone will have a shot.
- Once the testers have been announced, you will receive info for a password-protected “Testers’ Room” page on this site. This page will include the most recent weekly pattern download, as well as found errata, and extra instructions for any vague spots the other testers have found in the pattern (explanations will all be incorporated into the final draft!). Please visit this page every few days, or if you encounter a trouble spot in the pattern – maybe someone else has already found and fixed the issue!
- I will create a Ravelry pattern page in advance of the test. Please create a Ravelry project for your test project. 🙂 your Ravelry account is also how I gift the finished pattern to testers.
- I split up the pattern week-by-week throughout the test. So, each week I will post the next section of the pattern on the Testers’ Room page. Please make sure to send me your progress report (comments and preferably pictures) before the end of the week, so I know you are ready to begin the next section. I will not make the pattern chunks too big to reasonably complete well within the allotted time. 🙂
- If you find any error or issue with the pattern, and there is no mention of it in the errata, please make sure to alert me and the other testers right away through the Facebook discussion thread for that pattern test. (You will have a link to the post so it doesn’t get buried.) I monitor the group closely, and I will handle it and respond with a fix as soon as I can. **Note: I strongly encourage testers to keep this discussion in the public thread. Many are inclined to private message me instead, but it makes things much easier on the other testers, if they can all see our conversations about bug fixes!
- When the test is over, give me a few weeks to process the final draft of the pattern- then you should be receiving your gifted pattern and coupon code as a big thank-you for all your help and hard work!
If you are up for the challenge and interested in testing a Toys of Earth design, just stay tuned here and/or in the Facebook group. As each new pattern is ready for testing, I’ll post about it, and you’ll have a few days to put your name in the hat before I choose testers and begin. If you are not chosen, or if you will be too busy to commit to that particular testing time frame, never fear; there will always be another opportunity!