So about a month ago I was habitually browsing my most favourite App (Bloglovin) I usually scan through the posts till I either hit my favourite bloggers or spot something of possible interest. Most of my favourites are knitting but there the few sewing and lifestyle blogs thrown in there that I can’t live without.
One of my most watched blogs is Untangling Knots, Andi Satterlund is a beautiful and very talented designer based in Seattle. Her blog demonstrates all examples of crafts and is a showcase for her Hand knitting Patterns. What I love most about this designer is she shares with you parts of her development process or looks back throughout the making.
About a month and a half ago I spotted a post about ‘A Crop Top‘ she’d recently been making and adapting from a previous attempt.
Straight away I wanted one of my own, I loved the retro style and shape, the alter neck straps and cute buttons up the front. At one point in my past I was a bit bigger than I am now and would never have even attempted this number however over the past 6 months I’ve purchased a skirt and flared shorts that sit on the waist never mind a few old gems I have that would be a perfect garment match. I purely loved it only one problem I’d have to wait for the pattern release or would I?!
Andi had made the last note of needing Test Knitters, instantly I was thinking that could be me. I work in the knitting industry and know how to check and write patterns why not give a test knit a try. I had nothing to loose and got in touch with Andi over Ravely and asked if I could help at all. A month down the line when the PDF pattern was ready for us Test Knitters I got the exciting email I’d been waiting for. I can honestly say I was excited and in need of a new project to start. So I figured I’d share my progress with you all along the way. Part 1 of this test knit I’ll give you the ins and outs of my process before starting the knitty gritty!
It specifically mentioned in the pattern to not change yarn unless otherwise checked with Andi herself and recently we’d been having postal issues with our parcels being returned to sender and not even being dropped off with a neighbour or left a card. So when I read that the yarn to be used was Quince & Co Chickadee I knew I’d have issues and kindly asked if I could use an alternative and was suggested to use any 4ply of standard 28 stitches by 34 rows. I was so glad that the alternative was something I could pick up quite easily at my local yarn shop, I decided I didn’t want a yarn with a woolly content due to it coming into summer and then I can wear it throughout the warm days. I don’t like mercerised cotton it’s a bit too stiff and dense for my liking. So on my search I found by King Cole they’d released a Bamboo Cotton 4ply, not a massive range colours but whilst viewing other possibilities in store I settled on a sutble pink and nice teal green. I don’t have much pink in my wardrobe its a very girly colour to me but these two colours went so well together there was no doubt in my mind that the crop top wouldn’t look great.
Next step in working correctly as a knitter for any garment you make, test or design. You should try to get your tension, I once got told when I first started pattern writing that my knitting was too tight and to loosen off to get tension. Now when I look at my knitting it tends to be slightly loose and that’s because I worried and over compensated. I do find it hard to get tension in yarn weights I don’t use very often or even in different fibre contents.
For this I tried a few samples on the main needles and was having some trouble with the rows so I did a few test samples on different needles to adjust my tension and noticed I was spot on with the 3¼mm needles. Although it’s not the needles given it works for me and I got the tension and the garment will come out to the correct measurements so I could continue to test.
Before I started I made sure I had all of the needed materials and if not made sure to gather them when next shopping. I also read through the pattern from start to finish to get my head round where I start and finish and also to check if anything is missing which is important! I noticed whilst reading that the instructions mentioned Elastic but it wasn’t mentioned in the materials which without reading would have meant me waiting till I could get hold if some at the weekend. You can’t always do that when being an efficient test knitter and working to a deadline, time is crucial.
Part 2 I will be discussing my progress and techniques used in the first stages of my test knitting. See you all soon x