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 What are the goals of test knitting?
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2012 :  6:11:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would someone please explain what's involved?

I am test knitting a pattern right now. I'm getting the distinct impression that all this designer wants are the numbers checked. But the language, punctuation and spelling are both MUCH less to be desired, and I have four pages full of red ink. Plus information is missing. I have asked for seaming information and >cannot get it<. There is also a marker on a needle that >would< very useful--IF it was acknowledged after being placed! And when I ask for placement to sew something onto the piece, I'm told "anywhere you want".

Is this REALLY what test knitting is all about? I'm a writer, and am bothered by what I see on the page. (This, btw, is a home publishing job, not for a mag.) Just what AM I testing?

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.

Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  02:40:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At a rough guess: Whatever the author of the pattern wants you to test - it's he/her who pays you (I hope!) I (technical writer) would also be bothered by spelling etc. mistakes - but proof reading is hard enough work that one shouldn't do it for free (unless as a favor for friends etc.) and definetely not when it's possibly not even wanted. In any case, what you describe does not sound like a pattern ready for publication - home or elsewhere.

Bon courage! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  07:29:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks. I hope others who have test knitted will weigh in.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
549 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  6:18:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ceil, I haven't test-knit anything (yet), but I am encouraged that you are bothered by less-than-perfect writing. IMO, the quality of the written instructions is part of a professional-looking pattern; unfortunately, some designers never seem to think of that aspect. As a retired editor, sometimes I just can't see the forest for the trees, I suppose. Perhaps you can suggest that the designer also have someone proofread her written instructions.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  9:13:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I offered to do it, in exchange for ANYTHING, because I figured it would probably take me about 3 hours. The offer was refused. Go figure. Even the formatting is bad: it starts with two columns and then shifts to one across the page, for no apparent reason.

Seems to me if some of the stitch numbers are wrong and the pattern is written well, it's an annoyance but at least there's some visual integrity. But because the writing, spelling, punctuation and formatting look sub-standard, I somehow don't care how good the numbers are (and these are good). I just plain have a hard time trusting what's on the page when a command of the English language is lacking.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2012 :  11:13:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As most probably the blog/website/wherever the pattern is going to be sold (?) won't be any better written, nobody will read it anyway. At least I won't...

http://www.lahottee.info
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1260 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2012 :  05:41:26 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agree with Kade and you, Ceil. Patterns are like resumes, and if it looks like he** and shows a lack of commend of the English language (or whatever other language it purports to be in) then this isn't the person/pattern I'm looking for. Honestly, I just don't want to muddle through the mess. I know you don't need fuel for your fire, Ceil, I just totally agree with your instincts and would want to proof it myself. But maybe this is one time you have to throw your hands up and say, "Ok, whatever..." and the pattern will perform on its merits, whatever they are...

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  03:21:38 AM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Clean and concise - that's what I want in a pattern. I just bought one online, and the flippin' thing is EIGHT PAGES LONG! It's a HAT pattern!! If I'd known, I wouldn't have bought it.

Jan
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kkknitter
Seriously Hooked

699 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  03:56:04 AM  Show Profile Send kkknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A lot of patterns are almost illiterate, and as somebody who did not have English as a first language I often wonder what the pattern is asking me to do. There should be a standard way of expressing things in the world of knitting.

Kristina
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  06:11:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think there pretty much is - the patterns in books I read every know and then are all pretty similarly written. However, as on-line publishing has made it possible for everybody and their cat to publish whatever they want, it's now up to the reader to sift through the trash to find the pearls. For books and magazines it's somebody at the publishers who does it, and the buyers get only the pearls (well, mostly). For a price...

Happy knitting, Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4395 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2012 :  07:50:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I understand your dilemma. Ceil. Knitting relies on understanding a certain kind of "language," and if we can't read the pattern, it doesn't matter if the numbers add up. When I put a pattern together, I make sure that the terms, the structure, and the layout are presented correctly. If I'm not sure how to word something I look at other published patterns of the same type. There's no excuse for publishing a poorly written pattern when there are so many excellent examples available.

I feel the same way about self-published authors who don't think they need an editor. Badly written books have become an epidemic!

Jane

Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2012 :  7:55:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oddly, as a musician, I have only bad things to say about written tune sources on the Internet. Mistakes abound--and I'm talking rhythm/meter errors, beyond "folk process"--and as a result, the bibliographies in my book list only printed sources.

As for an eight-page hat pattern: It might >not< be out of line if the texture/color pattern is complex. As long as it's clear, that's the thing. I need to think really hard about getting my socks pattern, "JAWS", published. It's all written out, but it's TEN pages. Although I haven't examined the pattern in a while, it seems to me that everything in there needs to be in there. so, a pattern is about clarity more than length. (Believe me, we'd all like to keep our patterns short!)

And yes, I need an editor for my latest book. Anyone out there? Experience with music notation will be very helpful.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Deborah Tomasello
Warming Up

58 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  03:50:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Deborah Tomasello's Homepage Send Deborah Tomasello a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I have someone test-knit a pattern, I welcome any and all feedback. I read and re-read my patterns many times, but I always overlook some typo or odd phrasing. Extra alert eyes are always appreciated. I haven't been publishing my designs for very long, but at this point, what I look for in a test knitter is someone who is a neat kniiter who will complete the project in a timely fashion. Proof-reading text is a bonus for me!
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sjanova
Seriously Hooked

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  04:03:03 AM  Show Profile Send sjanova a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps I've been lucky. I've done a bit of test knitting and enjoyed it all, but I haven't run into a pattern as badly written as what you described here.

Usually, I think, test knitting is to identify any errors in the pattern (numbers of sts, numbers of rows or inches/cm, special sts, etc.) and any confusing instructions. Missing information is critical and not being able to get seaming instructions -- yikes! If I find grammar that needs fixing, I usually also comment on that, but I haven't run into the major deficiencies you describe. Most of the designers I've test knit for have responded appreciatively.

Hmm. I haven't tested anything in a while. A wonderful octopus this past fall and a matinee jacket and a little toddler top last spring were the most recent. The matinee jacket was challenging since the pattern writing style was new to me, but the result was a very pretty little lace jacket. My great niece wore the top last summer and fall but I suspect it won't fit this spring. I had a list of knitting to get done so didn't want to take on anything after the octopus, but I guess I could look around now.

sja
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Grand-moogi
Seriously Hooked

Australia
783 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  04:05:03 AM  Show Profile Send Grand-moogi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have never test knitted a pattern but I have followed many many patterns and I must say I agree with Jane above. How can you know that the numbers are right if the words are suss?
"1 and 1 are two" but "a 1 and a 1 is 11" As an experienced knitter you might be making assumptions about what is required and coming up with what is intended by the instructions where a less experienced person will make no such assumptions and will not be able to follow the pattern.




I knit a hug into every stitch
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marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2012 :  05:09:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have designed a couple of items and written patterns for them that have been both tech-edited and test knitted. First of all, I use a tech-editor to check the language, punctuation and all that. The tech-editor is also great for the checking the numbers in a "dry" manner and that the pattern is written in a consistent manner. This first editing will really bring the pattern to a readable & correct state and it will check that there are no major boohoos.
The test knitters come in to check the different sizes and are often much better to get the small details in place. the editor will not knit the piece, and sometimes while knitting it one sees that a certain sentence that seemed so clear, isn't really. Also they are a real good resource to see whether all the sizes work as they should.

I find that the combination of using these two resources works the best for me, since I do expect different things. I do not think that checking language is the job for a test-knitter, but knitting 5 different sizes is not do-able for a tech-editor...


Marjolein

http://kantajour.blogspot.com
my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
On Ravelry: Marjotse
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  8:58:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah Tomasello

When I have someone test-knit a pattern, I welcome any and all feedback. I read and re-read my patterns many times, but I always overlook some typo or odd phrasing. Extra alert eyes are always appreciated. I haven't been publishing my designs for very long, but at this point, what I look for in a test knitter is someone who is a neat kniiter who will complete the project in a timely fashion. Proof-reading text is a bonus for me!



Good for you! Keep up the good work!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1842 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2012 :  9:00:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm thinking seriously about being a pattern editor rather than a test knitter. Any takers?

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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