Here are my guidelines for participating in pattern test knitting for Tabitha’s Heart patterns. You must
agree to abide by these guidelines in order to be eligible for test knitting. I know this is long but I tried to
break it up for easy reading. I hope this document will ensure everyone has a clear understanding of my
expectations prior to testing. Please take the time to read this carefully before signing up for test
knitting. If you don’t like the testing requirements, please don’t volunteer for the test knit. Volunteering
for a test knit implies that you have read the testing requirements and agree to comply with them.
- Internet Access – You will need reliable internet access for the duration of the test. You will need
to access the tester’s section on my website and have reliable email access, particularly at the
beginning and end of the test. It is helpful if you are either a member of the Tabitha’s Heart
Ravelry group or my Tabitha’s Heart Tester’s Facebook group but, not required.
- Pattern Instructions – You will need to knit the pattern exactly as it is written unless the pattern
allows you a choice, or I specifically instruct you otherwise. Please do not change pattern
elements, construction methods, gauge, etc. unless I instruct you to do so.
- Pattern Gauge – You should match the gauge stated in the pattern, not the gauge
recommended for your yarn or your usual gauge. You may have to use a different needle size
than the one listed in the pattern to match the pattern gauge. If you can’t match both stitch and
row gauge, it is more important to match stitch gauge unless I tell you otherwise.
- Yarn – You provide the yarn for the test. If you can’t use the yarn specified in the pattern, please
use the yarn weight specified in the pattern. Please don’t substitute another yarn weight
- Finished project – The finished project for a test is yours to do with as you please unless it is a
Stealth test. In that case, you may not post photos of the project until publication of the pattern
without consulting me. I am flexible on yarn choices but I will need to approve substitutes.
- Copyright – Please respect the pattern copyright. You may not share the pattern with your
family or friends, post it on the internet, sell or give away copies, or in any way distribute or
share the pattern, in part or in whole, without my specific written permission.
- Information Sharing – Details of the pattern will be discussed in a private group. You will be
instructed where the discussion will take place in the Call for Testers.
- Additional Requirements – There may also be additional, pattern-specific requirements for each
test, such as specific knitting skills. These will be noted in the Call for Testers email.
- Numbers of Tests – So that everyone who wants to test has the opportunity, I must limit the
number of test knits each person can participate in simultaneously. Most testers will only be
allowed to do one test knit at a time. Frequent Flyers Club testers are allowed to sign up for two
tests at a time.
- Completion – You may sign up for another test as soon as you have completed all the
requirements of your current test, including feedback and photos.
o How Many – At least one reasonably clear photo of your completed test is required. It
o Where – Depending on the test, photos may be emailed, posted on my Facebook group,
posted in the Ravelry group thread, or posted in your project pages. Specifics will be
included in the Testing Call.
o Why – Photos are required because they provide proof that you actually completed the test and they let me verify my pattern instructions produced the desired results.
o Usage – I will not use your photos in the pattern or for any sort of publicity without your specific written consent. It doesn’t have to be super quality; it just needs to be clear enough to see the pattern detail.
- Negotiability – Generally, deadlines are pretty firm. Please consider whether you will be able to
complete the project by the deadline before you volunteer.
- Reasonability – If you feel a deadline is for a particular test is unreasonable, please discuss it
with me before you sign up. I do have occasional mental lapses or make a typo or two. So if you
think the deadline needs a reality check, let me know.
- When life happens– I realize that stuff happens. If something comes up that will prevent you
from finishing the project by the deadline, please contact me as soon as possible. I am willing
to make special arrangements when necessary, but only if you contact me.
- Lack Of – Lack of communication is the only “unpardonable sin” in my testing pool. I will adjust
deadlines, make allowances for mistakes or frogging, help you with techniques and, generally
bend over backward to work with you as you finish your test. However, if you take the pattern
and drop off the face of the earth, don’t expect to be selected for a future test.
- Updates – I require the following updates from each tester:
o Start of Test – You will need to confirm that you received the pattern and let me know what yarn you will be using.
o Progress – I will need an update at least once a week if only to say you are still alive. Updates may be posted on Ravelry (in my group or via PM), email, social media, or text.
o End of test – When your test is complete, filling out the feedback form and sending a photo counts as you final check in.
- Access – I am reachable on most social media. Ravelry (tabitha), Twitter (tabithaknits),
Facebook (Tabitha’s Heart), my Facebook page (Tabitha’s Heart Design), Google+ (Tabitha’s
Heart), Instagram (tabithasheart), as well as by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com) There is also a special Testers only section on my website. I check
my internet accounts a minimum of once daily (generally, hourly when I have an active test).
- Emergency Contact – In the event of a computer crash or family emergency, email me from the
local library or have a friend or family member contact me. As long as I know there is an excuse
for your silence, I am willing to work with you. If I have internet issues, I will have someone
post a notice on Ravelry and Facebook.
- Naughty List – If more than two weeks pass without any form of communication, you will be
added to the Naughty List. For instructions on escaping from the Naughty List, see below.
- You will be required to fill out a short feedback form after each test. The test will not be
considered complete until the form is filled out.
- Please be as specific as possible with feedback. General statements like the “pattern was great”
or “it really stunk” don’t help me improve my pattern writing skills. But specific statements like
“the thumb is uncomfortable” or “the stitch count is incorrect” do help.
- Negative feedback is acceptable and even encouraged. If you don’t like something about the
pattern, please tell me. I have thick skin and negative feedback will NOT prevent you from
testing for me again, provided it is done politely. However, remember that, I am still human.
Please don’t be rude. There is a huge difference between being told “the decreases are uneven
or incorrect” and being told “these are the stupidest decreases I have ever seen.” You are more
likely to be chosen for future tests if you can be honest and polite at the same time.
- Don’t think I’m upset with you if I ask questions about your feedback. Questions mean I want to
make sure I understand your point of view. Sometimes, I have to ask a lot of questions to
understand exactly what you are saying Don’t panic; this usually just means I need more coffee.
- Occasionally, I will list a pattern for testing that I has been submitted for publication in a
book or magazine. These tests will have a few special rules.
- Publishers normally require that a design be completely unpublished before it can be
accepted. This means that no photo can be publicly posted anywhere on the internet –
no blogs, no Ravelry projects, no discussions boards, no Twitter or Facebook and no
publicly accessible photo hosting sites (Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, etc).
- To participate in one of these tests, you must agree not to post ANY information about
the test on your blog, Ravelry, any social media or anywhere else on the internet
without my specific written permission. This includes photos as well as any details of the
design. If you post this information prematurely, it can void my publication contract. You
really wouldn’t want me to lose my spot in Knitty because you wanted to post photos of
your test knit, now would you? Yes, publishers are that serious about the secrecy clauses
of their contracts.
- There may be a huge amount of time that passes between the testing and the actual
publication of the pattern – a year to 18 months is not unusual for magazines and it can
be even longer for books.
- In other words, if you can’t keep a secret, these are not the tests for you.
What You Can Expect from Me
- Support – I’m here to help you make your test knit a success. I am open to any and all
questions, and I will help you however I can.
- Communication – I try to be completely available to you for questions, to discuss
problems or to listen to suggestions for improvement of the pattern. I am easy to reach
via email and social media. However, I prefer that discussions of specific pattern details
be kept private.
- Encouragement – I will be your biggest cheerleader. I am willing to accept testers who
are trying out new techniques and who are stretching themselves.
- Pattern – If you complete the test, you will receive a copy of the completed pattern
when it is released. This may not be immediately at the end of the test if the pattern
needs revisions. If the pattern is a stealth knit, it could be a year or longer before the
final pattern is released. If you do not complete the test, you will not receive a copy of
the final pattern
Frequent Flyers Club
- Because I want to build a solid, dependable testing pool, I will be offering incentives to
those who test for me.
- Periodically, I will give out a coupon code to frequent testers. This code will be good for
one free single pattern or a significant discount on an e-book or product from my Etsy
store depending on my mood at the moment.
- Periodically, I will also offer other prizes and incentives for my loyal testers.
- This program applies to all testing done in 2015 and forward.
- You don’t want to be on the Naughty List. I don’t want to put you on the Naughty List.
And I really wish it weren’t necessary to even have a Naughty List.
- Reasons for being put on the Naughty List
o Not communicating in a timely manner during the test.
o Not completing all test requirements.
- How to avoid being put on the Naughty List.
o Keep the lines of communication open. As long as you keep me updated, I will
work with you through almost any situation.
o Complete the test.
- How to escape from the Naughty List
o If placed on the Naughty List due to lack of communication:
You can only be removed from the list if you can provide a very, very, very good excuse. (“The dog ate my homework” type excuse isn’t going to cut it here). Acceptance of your excuse is completely at my discretion.
Forgiveness for lack of communication will only happen once. If you get on the list a second time for lack of communication, there is no reprieve.
o If placed on the Naughty List for failure to complete test:
You can be removed from the list by completing all the testing requirements, as long as you kept the lines of communication open.
- Removal from the Naughty List is entirely up to me. Getting nasty with me or bashing
me publicly will not convince me to change my mind about using you or recommending
you as a tester in the future (yes, designers do talk). If the bashing is done publicly
though, it could result in you getting reported to social media authorities.
These rules are designed to protect us both. I want to make the testing process fun for
both of us; some of my closest friends have come from the test knitting experience. In
the interest of fairness though, I can’t let the same person test every pattern. If I don’t
select you for a particular test, please understand that it isn’t personal. Please be
patient. Your turn will come. Thanks again for test knitting for me.