How to improve your crochet skills (and get free patterns too)

blog hop Crochet Pattern testing

Happy Friday! I don't claim to study the calendar or anything, but I believe this is the second "Friday the 13th" of 2020, and if my awful memory serves me correctly, the last one was right before we all went under lockdown. I would say that perhaps this one is the cure, but we were just notified that we are going back to the restrictions just slightly above total lockdown here where I live.

 

(ad disclosure: I’m a blogger. We have ads. If you click one, I might get some small compensation. Standard issue, but you can read all about it in my boring privacy policy if you really want to.) 

 

So let's just ignore the stigma of today, and play with yarn, right? Playing with yarn has been proven (at least in my life) to rid one of stress and take your mind off of all the terrible things in the world- you know, like having to do the dishes!

Straight Hooked How to Improve your Crochet Skills 

I get asked a lot, "How do I become better at crocheting? You're so talented. I could never make my projects so pretty!" Yes, you absolutely can! In addition to watching tutorials online, reading stitch books and acquiring new patterns, one of the very best ways to improve your crochet skill is to become a pattern tester. Most designers use testers to make projects from their patterns before they publish. As a designer, I don't want to rush to put out a pattern and later find that it doesn't make any sense or has errors. Not only would that frustrate the folks who purchased the pattern (or even the ones who spent time working up a free one), but it would make me look like an amateur who doesn't know how to write a pattern. So in order to produce the best patterns possible, I have my patterns tested (and in some cases, I also have them tech-edited, but that's a post for another day).

 Straight Hooked How to Improve your Crochet Skills graphic

I am so blessed to have an amazing group of reliable testers. They are thorough, quick, take amazing photos for me, and always have fantastic feedback. The thing about pattern writing is that as the designer, I totally know what I meant and how to do a specific stitch, but sometimes translating my thoughts and ideas to written form that everyone can understand can be a challenge. I always know when I've written something confusing because like clockwork, each tester will get confused at a certain part. That's when I work to re-word it and make sure that everyone can understand me. My testers double check my stitch counts, wording, and sometimes even my tutorial photos when I put them in the wrong order. Then they take stunning photos of their finished projects for me to share on my social media channels. I truly can't thank them enough, but I try. Once I publish the final draft, I give my testers a free copy of the PDF.

 Straight Hooked How to Improve your Crochet Skills and Get FREE Patterns

So why should you be a pattern tester? Well, there are many reasons you might want to consider it:

*Learn new techniques

*Get new patterns before they are released

*Promote yourself as a crocheter

*Have one-on-one support from the designer as you work through the pattern

*Make new yarny friends

*Improve your skills

 

I know there are more, but in all honesty the coffee has not yet kicked in and my brain is only working at about 72% right now.

 Straight Hooked How to Improve your Crochet Skills

If you're still reading this, you might be wondering if I am ever going to tell you how to become a Straight Hooked pattern tester. Yes, I am! I have a private group on Facebook exclusively for my testers. You can find it HERE. Please note, I do not accept anyone who does not answer all of the questions. Once you have been accepted into the group, keep an eye out for testing calls. I typically post testing calls in the middle of the week and send patterns out on Sundays. I always ask for testers in my group before I widen my net, so my testers get "first dibs" before I ask outside of the group for additional testers, if needed.

 

So what kinds of patterns will I have testing calls for? Well, mostly they will be fashionable accessories for the modern trendsetter, but occasionally I will surprise you with a blanket or home decor item. My daughter is also a designer, and she creates amazing amigurimi. She works full-time and has a social life outside of yarn, so she doesn't come up with patterns quite as often as her mother, but she does use my group to run her tests as well.

Here are a few examples of the patterns that have been tested this year:

Straight Hooked Spring Breeze No-Fall Shawl

Spring Breeze (no-fall) Shawl

 

 

 

Spiral Donut Cowl

 

 

Pen and Gwen Baby Penguins

 

 

Mermaid Waves Shawl

 

 

Friendship Triangle Scarf

 

 

Brain Freeze Beanie

 

 

Ice Cap Headband and Ice Cap Gloves

 

Straight Hooked Secret Santa Hat

Secret Santa Hat (coming soon!)

 

 

 You can grab a FREE pattern if you join my mailing list. Full disclosure, I am really bad about sending out newsletters, which means that I will only send you an email if I have something super exciting to share with you!

Next week, I will have another FREE pattern for you (and an awesome surprise), so be sure to bookmark Straight Hooked and come back every week for more yarny awesomeness!

Until Next Week,

Happy Hooking!

~Malena

 


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