April 29, 2014

Testy Knitting

Lacy&The Leaves Baby Blanket, Gabrielle Danskknit
One of the things I have tried out over the last several months was test knitting.  I joined the group "Free Pattern Testers" on Ravelry back in the late fall of last year and promptly spent too much time looking in from the outside, believing that I would probably not be of very much help to anyone writing new patterns.

Once I got over my irrational fear of failure, I grabbed a pattern from the long list in the group called "Lacy& the Leaves" baby blanket. I took a deep breath and dove in. After all, how hard could a baby blanket be? While the pattern was not hard to knit (and the instructions were just fine, even though it was a test knit), I did not do a good job managing my time on the project. We had planned a camping trip not long after I accepted the test knit and I wound up knitting madly most of the trip, to my family's chagrin, since I am the one who cooks all the camping meals.

After several family meals of granola bars and Capri Suns, I finally finished the blanket at Fort Stevens in Warrenton, Oregon and took some photos of it. My family, who had no pictures of their own from that trip, looked on during the test knit photo shoot, munching on the now barley palatable Nature Valley Oats n' Honey bars in silence and dreaming of a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon that may yet come even if only on the last day of the trip.

The camp ground had wi-fi, which I had mostly been using to apologize to the designer, whose test this was,
for my tardiness in finishing the test. I finally was able to finish up and post photos and fill out the paperwork for the project and head out with my family on my bicycle and into the camping activities sunset.

Since then, I have test knitted a few more projects, including some hats and socks, seen here in this blog post. (Links to my project pages and to the patterns are provided under each photo where available)

Test knitting is a really good learning experience for anyone wanting to know more about design, or even just about knitting. It can be eye opening and even affirming; like in school when you are asked to "grade" another person's paper and you realize just how much you know about commas after all.

I currently am about to test another pattern for a lovely cowl for Gabrielle Danskknit of Montreal, Canada. Look out for another new pattern soon and I will keep looking for fun ways to learn more about knitting!

John's Aviator Hat, Gabrielle Danskknit

Jules for Aviators and Explorers

Embrace the Socks, Gabrielle Danskknit

Alpine Flowers Fair Isle Hat

Tiptoe Slippers, Hanna Tjukanov

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