Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dear designers:

As many of you may know, I have been doing lots of test knitting/crocheting lately.  I do this mostly because I am crazy, and partially because I have a mild obsession with getting free patterns.  That's ugly in a designer, but I digress.  The point is, I have several tips for you designers out there, to make sure you are ready to test your design.
  1. If you pattern isn't finished, you are not ready to test.  It can be rough.  It can have mistakes (heck, I expect mistakes).  But you have to have the whole pattern written before you send it to your testers, and send the whole thing to your testers.  Some of us like to skim the whole pattern so we know what we're doing before we start.
  2. Put your instructions in the order you want me to do them.  Sometimes I have Mom Brain.  It is not fun to spend half an hour trying to figure out part one, only to find out that you have to do part two first.
  3. Be ready to answer your email/rav messages/whatever in a timely fashion.  I am working hard to meet your deadline, and it freaks me out when I can't continue because I need more information from you.  I understand you have a life, but please try to be available.  If your silence can be measured in days, it has gone on too long.
I like testing patterns, really.  I learn interesting things from my fellow designers, and if you want to start designing, I highly recommend doing a few pattern tests first.  If nothing else, it will let you know what you are in for.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right on the money! I totally agree with you as a newbie(ish) designer. If people are willing to test knit one of my designs for FREE, I make sure the pdf pattern I email them is what a paying customer would expect from a professional designer. Layout, photos, charts, abbreviations, stitch key guides and techniques used fully explained are all there. Mind you, this will look like the final version, but usually my excellent testers will catch a math error or a typo. If they do, I immediately update the version and email it to all the testers. I watch my Ravelry thread for my test patterns like a hawk! For my sanity and for my testers too, I name my patterns like the current one that's out for testing "MelisandresFlamesV1.pdf" So, if I do an update, which I did, I rename the pdf file MelisandresFlamesV2.pdf ... I'd hate to have a SUPER MOMMY BRAIN moment and upload a prior version to my pattern stores thinking it is the final. Yikes!!!! This keeps that from happening. :)