Having never considered myself a fast or really accomplished knitter I always shied away from opportunities to test knit something.
We once spoke about the act of test knitting at my local knit night. Some people who knit samples get paid for doing so, but is this a viable other income? Some designers will provide the yarn as payment. It just depends who and what it is I guess. I don’t have much experience. Also often a sample or test knit needs to be secret and I like taking my projects to knit night or out and about and want to be able to share what I am doing, so in short test knitting wasn’t really something I ever considered I’d be doing.
But then Blacker Yarns came along and showed a line drawing of a cabled jumper, ideally knit in shetland yarn and you got to knit as much as you could in the given time and just had to give feedback on a regular basis and you were encouraged to share pics on instagram! I was in!
We got a discount code for the yarn for 20%. I have been meaning to try shetland yarn so I was more than happy with that and I love cables so knew this would be a nice project for me.
We were a small group of test knitters regularly posting in the dedicated revelry forum and sharing yarn choices and progress and also problem solving techniques when we found something we stumbled on in the pattern. Katie from Blacker yarns was also always on hand to guide us and answer questions and clarify anything.
The whole process was rather enjoyable and I actually got to the yoke by the deadline. I did not quite finish in the 3-4 weeks but took a week longer which I think for an all over cabled design was pretty impressive.
To be honest this project made me feel more confident in my knitting ability and my ability to understand challenging patterns and make up my own mind how it could be written. I am no tech editor yet though, mind. One day maybe?
Fav bits of the pattern:
My favourite part of the pattern were the sleeves! Look at those cables all the way along. So interesting.
I also liked finished the neck with elisabeth Zimmermann’s elastic bind off method. After attempting it on 3 socks I finally understood how to do it and how it looks nice. 🙂
What I learned:
My favourite new stitch discovery was the broken rib, mostly seen on the underside of the sleeve. Really nice and interesting effect.
I also learned how to fix a cable even if you only notice 6-8 rows later. It was a bit fiddly but do-able.
Another discovery I made was that I can knit in the car! Yay! I was worried I’d feel travel sick but I was fine.
Here my finished details pre blocking:
- Size made: 38
- Yoke depth – 23 cms
- Body length – 30 cms (note I did shorten this by emitting one repeat, so I am happy)
- Body circumference – 98 cm
- Arm length – 48 cms
- Cuff – 22cm
- Neck circumference – 45cm
Here my finished details post blocking:
- Size made: 38
- Yoke depth – 26 cms
- Body length – 45 cms
- Body circumference – 105cms
- Arm length – 51 cms
- Cuff – 22cm
- Neck circumference – 46.5cm
Mods I’d make:
If I hadn’t test knitted the project I would have made a couple of changes. The back would be plain for one. I may have also played with attempting to knit the pattern top down instead which I much prefer.
I’d also try knitting the sleeves flat 2 at a time and then seam them.
Also the yoke is a tad deep for my liking but actually great for wearing a jersey jumper underneath.
In summary though I loved knitting this project and the interaction with everyone. My day job is all about usability and making things better for user of software so this was a nice way to combine my hobby of knitting with some of the skills I have gained from my work. 🙂