Ravelry is such a great resource for designers, especially the Free Pattern Testers group. I knew I would use this resource for my designs, but when the time came to send my first pattern out to test knitters I hesitated. Well, ok, I freaked out. I feared that my pattern would be full of so many mistakes, the test knitters would just stop in complete frustration and not even finish. Or, even worse, no one would even want to test knit my pattern!

Finally, and with the helpful prodding of a friend, I got over it. What’s the point of designing patterns if you’re not willing to put yourself and your work out there? Sure, there might be some criticism awaiting me in the future, but I should be able to take it. So I jumped in, and was quite pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what I learned: test knitters are awesome. All of my fears were totally unfounded. Before I knew it I had the number of testers I requested, along with a slew of others who couldn’t test but wanted to know when the pattern would be available for purchase. All of my testers were talented, thoughtful knitters who had valuable feedback to share, and the few issues they found with the pattern were easily resolved. Some even provided free advertising by taking their WIPs to their local knitting group and showing off my pattern. Plus, how cool is it to see other people knitting your pattern and loving it? Seriously, why was I so freaked out??

I’m so glad I got over it. And as soon as all my testers are finished, the pattern will be for sale. Look for it soon!