Thursday, July 23, 2009

Test knitting???

I've often seen projects tagged as 'test knits' on rav. It has struck me as exciting to be among the first to try out a pattern. Alas, it has also seemed to me that those who test knit ought to be very, very good knitters, with a fine eye for detail and a good degree of perfectionism. So, you know - very, very not me.

Yet somehow... there are two projects I've started - as a test knitter. My dear friend Karen from the Rav boards (who designed the Viking Bag) teased us with a photo of a baby cardigan featuring the viking cable. I immediately wanted to make one up in a pink yarn. She hadn't written up the pattern at the time, but said she planned to do so. Soon after the tease, a co-worker shared she was pregnant with a girl baby. Well, I became very ardent in soliciting the pattern, in English and she finally wrote it up and translated it to English. All she needed was test knitters. Can you say amen?!?!? So, now I am test knitting it. I fell in love with a deep magenta yarn from Jojoland.

Karen is a goddess of design and so I expected absolutely no snags. She's got that eye for detail and perfectionism I wish I had. I was weirdly proud of myself for finding a tiny miscount/typo and alerting her. It made me feel useful in an odd way. Now, I've never knit a top down sweater and am a little nervous now that I've gotten to the section that divides out the sleeves, etc. Thank goodness she's just an email away to talk me through it!

At the same time, my favorites list was exploding with shawls in my attempt to find the perfect project for the Silk Noir I'd picked up. I think I've fav'd well over 100 shawls trying to find the one that would demand to be made - while also getting me past my fear of large lace projects and triangular knitting. And then I came across the perfect, dreamy beyond dreams shawl...

And it was available for free download...!

ummm... in Finnish.


So, being tenacious (right?) I began scouring the net for an English translation. And... there was none to be found. I wrote pretty much every English speaking person who'd made the shawl. None could provide a translated pattern. Most said it was easy enough to follow the charts. That's great, except I've never done a large, lacey, triangular shawl and so charts without very detailed instruction were insufficient - no matter how clear they were to others. argh, argh, argh.

Eventually, I wrote the designer, expressing my deep admiration of her creation and asking her to please let me know should she ever translate it to English.

Lo and behold, as it turns out she was in the process of translating it and needed.... (can you guess) test knitters! I explained I was a complete novice at large, lace, triangular shawls but was willing if she felt such a perspective would be useful. I got the pattern two days later - yahooo-ey!!!!

Here's the super yummy Silk Noir:

Fingers crossed!

1 comment: