Who are the unsung heroes of the pattern design process?

I know. You just wish I would tell you already. But you will have to be patient for just a wee bit longer.

These are the people without whom knitting patterns might be frustrating, wrong or just plain unknittable. These are the heroes who help perfect the designer’s work into something other people want to knit and actually can knit. These are the people who ensure that

  • sections aren’t missing, that all the information that should be there is there,
  • things are worded clearly,
  • the numbers work,
  • instructions make sense,
  • when the pattern says it will make a cowl, you don’t end up with a pair of socks (OK, I would really have to off my game for that one to happen!)
  • and tons of other little things that make the patterns better..

Who are they already!

These heroes? They are the tech editors and test knitters that check the pattern and actually knit the projects before the pattern gets released into the world. Together, they help to create awesome patterns that are easy to follow and that produce what you expect them to produce.

Getting a pattern ready to publish is a very long and labour intensive process, involving lots of different people. There are:

  • the designer (me),
  • models,
  • photographers (usually also me),
  • graphic designers (sometimes also me),
  • editors,
  • inspirers,
  • knitters,
  • yarn dyers and producers,
  • friends, family and other supporter,
  • lots of knitting and lots of technology, and so on.

However, none of it would be possible or at least none of it would be as polished if it were not for tech editors and test knitters. These amazing people take the pattern that the designer has lovingly crafted and scour it for errors, misunderstandings, and the general knitability of the project.A collage of test knitter's lace Plumed Cowl.

The test knitters further take on the risk of putting a lot of effort and yarn into a knitted project and not having it turn out the way they expect so that you, the buyer of the final pattern doesn’t have that happen. Test knitters

  • take the risks,
  • suggest improvements,
  • create examples for you to admire when deciding whether you want to make the project, and
  • give you confidence that your project will turn out as you expect it to.

The Plumed Cowl (read more about it in the post “Want to Knit an Elegant and Warm Cowl?“) is the polished and clear pattern that it is because of the tech editor and because of these amazing knitters. Each of these amazing knitters created their own fabulous version of the Plumed Cowl. Any errors or issues with the pattern are firmly my own.

Take a look at their fabulous projects!

stitchingcrazy knit this gorgeous lavender cowl. She even got her son to model it for her. How cool it that?!?

Back of head view of purple lacey knit cowl. A young man wearing the Plumed Cowl.

She made the small size and used about 310 meters of yarn.

mayasa7272 made this fabulous red version. She made the medium size and used about 300 meters.

A red knitted lace Plumed Cowl on the needles being knit in the round. A young woman wearing the Plumed cowl as a cape.To

Bettyboop55 created this lovely self-striping version of the cowl. I love how subtle the pattern is on the red sections compared to how the pattern stands out on the lighter sections.

Woman wearing a colourful knitted lace cowl and black hat. Woman wearing colourful knitted lace

Yladybird created this beautiful yellow-green version of the cowl. And take a look at how cosy she looks when she is wearing it as a snood!

A woman wearing a beautiful, knitted pale yellow lace cowl/cape, A woman wearing a beautiful, knitted pale yellow lace cowl, A closeup of the Plumed Cowl knit by yladybird.

It’s always amazing how the same pattern can look totally different depending on the yarn and even the lighting!

Some Words from our Wonderful Test Knitters

Also, on top of all that, these lovely ladies had such nice things to say about the Plumed Cowl pattern. Thank you. You cannot know how much your hard work and your kind words mean.

“The pattern itself was very easy to read. I loved the comments and suggestions concerning shrugs and infinity Cowls and how the pattern could be adapted” – yladybird

“Thank you for letting me do this testing knit. I really enjoyed the challenge of the large decreases and the construction of the lacey panels” – yladybird

“I like the way the garter stitch border continued the design.” – stitchingcrazy

“I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. The best part was seeing the project develop.  The least was getting and keeping gauge.”  – bettyboop55

“I loved knitting this pattern.  Thank you for including me.”  – bettyboop55

“I enjoyed working on this project. The pattern is easy to memorize yet unique and creates a very pretty textures.” – mayasa7272

“A perfect pattern to make for a special last-minute gift.” – mayasa7272


And finally, a Word About the Tech Editor

Allison O’Mahoney of Kniterations was a delight to work with and her editing has made my pattern better. Thank you Allison.

Above all. this post is to say thank you so much to my amazing tech editor and my incredible test knitters. Thank you one and all!!!!

This entry was posted in Cowls, Lace, and tagged design, knit, knit pattern.

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