If you hang around Ravelry long enough, you’ll eventually get the opportunity to test knit something.
My latest test knit is for sunnyspirit23, who I met via the Go Fast, Knit Left (NASCAR racing) group. She posted an OT request for test knitters and was pretty much buried with enthusiastic offers to try out her first pattern.
Her Un-Purled Cables pattern called for Malabrigo Chunky, which I now have in my stash. However, as I was searching for my size 13 dpns (to finish off pumpkin mania), I discovered some yarn in my stash that I’d purchased about three years ago. At the time, I loved the look and feel of the GGH Savanna, but when I tried knitting with it, I found that it didn’t want to be mittens or a hat. So I stuffed it in the bottom of my stash and forgot about it until today. There I was, three years later, with it calling, “I want to be pretty cables!”
Different people have different ideas about test knitting. Some designers want you to use exactly the yarn that they suggest so that the resuls are predictable. I think a little differently. In my opinion, the quality of the pattern is only tested when people do unexpected things with it. (Example: The clapotis is an awesome pattern because it can be used with tons of different yarns!) Besides, Sara had so many offers for test knitting that I figured she could put up with one weirdo coloring outside the lines.
I’m really glad that I listened to the yarn rather than the pattern. I’m sure the Malabrigo Chunky would have been spectacular, but I love the way the Savanna worked with the cables. My result is a bit more airy and a bit less structured than the samples shown on the pattern. However, my resulting cowl is soft and the cables seem to just flow…
I think the pattern also shows off the unique look of the yarn, which is what made me impulse buy it in the first place. It has a subtle texture that gives the resulting garment character. It almost makes me want an entire sweater out of it. (Almost… According to the tag on the label, I paid over $10 for an 80m ball! Imagine the cost of a sweater!)
I really enjoyed knitting the pattern. Unlike some test knits I’ve done, the pattern was fairly clean. I have a couple small suggestions, but there was nothing that made me stop and scratch my head. The very best thing about the pattern is that it’s quick! I’m the world’s slowest knitter, but I knocked it out in a few hours! I’m interested in seeing how the pattern works with some other yarns in my stash!
In other test-knitting news, I heard from an old contact who has some critter patterns for me to try. I can’t wait! Stay tuned for the results!