Herringbone Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial

Herringbone Crochet Stitch Tutorial

The Herringbone Double Crochet Stitch is one of my favorite stitches. It is fun to work up, provides a good coverage, and makes an awesome looking project! I have used the herringbone double crochet stitch in many of my crochet patterns including the Aspen Tunic, the Stacy Tee, and the Layla Tunic! Since it provides good coverage, and the stitches are pretty tightly woven together, so it’s great for garments!

Below you will find a video stitch tutorial for this stitch. This is a left-handed stitch tutorial. Although, you can still benefit from this tutorial if you are right-handed. The steps are exactly the same. You will just be working in the opposite direction as the video.

You can find my other crochet stitch tutorials HERE.

Kellie Cowl Free Crochet Pattern

The Kellie Cowl is another one-skein wonder that you can use any yarn in your stash to make! This cowl takes 200 yards or less of yarn! It has a light lacy stitch combo to it and can be made in any size you prefer!

You can purchase the ad-free, printable pdf on Ravelry!

Materials

  • 200 yards or less of any weight yarn
  • H/8 (5.00mm hook)
  • Measuring tape
  • Tapestry Needle for sewing ends together and weaving in loose ends.

Difficulty

  • Beginner

Gauge

  • Row 1 should be approximately 10”

Sizing

  • 28”x10”

Pattern Notes

  • Pattern can be used with any weight yarn and made to be any length or width.
  • To adjust width, chain in multiples of 8 + 6.
  • For more length, just continue to work your rows until desired length, ending on Row 3.
  • Instructions are for #2 weight yarn, with additional guidelines for #3 and #4 in parentheses.

Stitches Needed & Abbreviations

  • ch-chain
  • sc-single crochet
  • dc-double crochet

Cowl

Ch 46 (46 for #3, 38 for #4)

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, skip next 3, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next, ch 1, skip next 3, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next, *repeat across to last 4 chains, skip 3, (dc, ch 1, dc) in last. (28) (28 for #3, 23 for #4)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in 1st , ch 1, sc in next, * ch 5, skip {ch 1, (sc, ch 3, sc), ch1}, sc into next dc, sc in next 2 dc*, repeat across, sc in last. (43 sc and ch) (43 for #3, 35 for #4)

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in 1st, *ch 1, skip 1, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next, ch 1, skip 1,( sc, ch 3, sc) in ch 5 space*, repeat across to last 2, skip 1, (dc, ch 1, dc) in last. (28) (28 for #3, 23 for #4)

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you reach 28” or desired length, making sure to end on a repeat of row 3. Leaving a long tail for sewing, finish off. Stitch the starting chain and the last row of your scarf together, creating a circle. Weave in ends.

Blooming Buds Bandanna Free Crochet Pattern

Blooming Buds Bandanna

Ever had that one skein of hand dyed yarn or yarn you grabbed to try just sitting around waiting to be used? Well, I have just the project for that lonely skein of yarn! The Blooming Buds Bandanna crochet pattern is a simple workup that can use just about any weight yarn! You’ll just need at least 400 yards of the yarn to get close to the length I got for mine. But, it’s also super adjustable and can be made to your desired length.

You can purchase the ad-free, printable pdf version of this pattern on Ravelry or Etsy!

Materials

  • 400-500 yards of fingering, sport, dk, or worsted weight yarn (This will vary greatly depending on what weight yarn you use and how big you want it.)
  • H (5.0mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Tapestry needle

Difficulty

  • Easy

Gauge

  • Not needed (If you’re using a smaller weight yarn and want a tighter looking stitch, go down a hook size or two.)

Sizing

  • Approximately 34” across at last row or two desired length.

Pattern Notes

Starting chain one does not count as first stitch.

You will be increasing by one stitch every row.

Mini Bobble stitches are worked every 8th row, except for first one which is the 15th row.

Stitches Needed & Abbreviations

st(s)- stitch(es)

ch(s)- chain(s)

sc- single crochet

MB- mini bobble – working into one stitch only: (yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 3 times, yarn over, pull through all 4 loops.

**- Repeat from

RS- Right Side

Cowl

Ch 3

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and next ch. (2)

Row 2: (RS) Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in 1st st, 2 sc in next. (3)

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each st across. (4)

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each st across to last st, 2 sc in last. (5)

Rows 5-14: Repeat rows 3 and 4.

Row 15: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next, *MB in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts*, repeat across to last st, sc in last. (16) (Your MB will stick out on the RS. If it is not, push it through so that it does.)

Row 16: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each st across to last st, 2 sc in last. (17)

Row 17: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each st across. (18)

Rows 18-22: Repeat 16 and 17.

Row 23: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in next, *MB in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts*, repeat across to last st, sc in last. (24)

Repeat rows 16-23, increasing each row by 1 st, until you reach 135 sts or desired length. Fasten off. Weave in ends. Block cowl to reduce the curl the stitches create.

Blooming Buds Bandanna

Bindi Poncho Free Crochet Pattern + CAL

This post- Bindi Poncho Free Crochet Pattern-  may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from the links below, I will get a small percentage of the sales at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support!

bindi poncho crochet pattern

I think it’s safe to say that the weather is warming up in most parts of the country. (Sorry to those of you still dealing with the cold!) I’ve been in full spring mode for a while now, but to those are you who are just now pulling out your lightweight yarns, I’ve got the perfect project for you to start with!

The Bindi Poncho is my newest free crochet pattern and it is going to be a new spring staple! I used the Vidalana Ambient Sock yarn in the colorway Robin’s Promise for my Bindi Poncho. This yarn is a fingering weight yarn in gorgeous hues of blue. I worked up the size M/L and it took 4 skeins of this yarn.

The Bindi Poncho is going to be our Spring 2019 Crochet Along! We will start the CAL on April 1st and it will run the entire month. It will be taking place in my Two Brothers Blankets Crochet Community group. If you would like to participate please go ahead and join the group! There will be opportunities to share your progress, ask questions, and win prizes!

You can purchase the ad-free, printable pdf version on both Ravelry and Etsy!

Materials

  • 1100-2000 yards fingering weight (#1) yarn
  • F/5(3.75mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn needle

Difficulty

  • Easy

Gauge

  •  See page 2 for gauge pattern.

Sizing & Yardage

  •  XS/S- 28-34” bust 1120- 1200 yards
  • M/L- 36-42” bust 1600- 1900 yards
  • XL/2X- 44-50” bust 1900- 2000 yards

Pattern Notes

Pattern is worked in multiples of 12 + 3.

Starting chain counts as the first stitch unless stated otherwise within the pattern.

You will make 2 rectangles and sew them together to create the poncho.

Pattern is written in the smallest size with additional sizes in parentheses. Final stitch count for all sizes will be in parentheses at the end of each row.

Video tutorial: https://youtu.be/h0L7xBNBaRQ

Joining video tutorial: https://youtu.be/PBsuB4NHFvQ

Stitches Needed & Abbreviations

st(s)- stitch(es)

ch(s)- chain(s)

sc- single crochet

dc- double crochet

dc3tog- double crochet 3 together

Gauge

Ch 27

Row 1: 1 dc in 4th ch from hook and each st across. (25)

Row 2: ch 5 (counts as 1 dc + ch 2), turn, skip 2, 1 dc in next, skip 2, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next, skip 2 sts, dc in next, [ch 2, skip 2, dc in next] twice, skip 2 (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, skip 2, dc in next, ch 2, skip 2, dc in last. (13 dc)

Row 3: Ch 4 (counts as dc + 1), turn, *skip ch-2 space, 3 dc in next dc, skip next dc, 3 dc in next dc, skip next dc, 3 dc in next, ch 1, dc in next dc*, repeat across. (21 dc)

Row 4: Ch 3, turn, *dc3tog, (ch 4, dc3tog) twice, dc in next st*, repeat across. (9 sts- does not count chs)

Row 5: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in next st, 4 dc in ch-4 space, 1 dc in next st, 4 dc in ch-4 space, 1 dc in next 3 sts, 4 dc in ch-4 space, 1 dc in next st, 4 dc in ch-4 space, 1 dc in last 2 sts. (25 dc)

Repeat rows 2-5 one more time.

You should have a 5” x 4.5” rectangle.

Rectangle (Make 2)

Ch 147 (159, 183)

Row 1: 1 dc in 4th ch from hook and each ch across. (145, 157, 181 dc)

Row 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc + ch 2), turn, skip 2 sts, dc in next st, *skip 2 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next, skip 2 sts, dc in next, [ch 2, skip 2 sts, dc in next] twice*, repeat from * across to last 9 sts, skip 2, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, skip 2, dc in next, skip 2, ch 2, dc in last. (73, 79, 91 dc)

Row 3: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc + ch 1), turn, skip ch-2 space, *3 dc in next dc, [skip 1 dc, 3 dc in next dc] twice, ch 1, 1 dc in next, ch 1*, repeat across to last 3dc worked, ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of starting ch 5. (121, 131, 151 dc)

Row 4: Ch 3, turn, *dc3tog, (ch 4, dc3tog) twice, dc in next st*, repeat from * across. (49, 52, 61 sts)

Row 5: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in next st, 4 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in next st, 4 dc in next ch-4 space, *1 dc in next 3 sts, 4 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in next, 4 dc in ch-4 space*, repeat across, 1 dc in last 2 sts. (145, 157, 181 dc)

Repeat rows 2-5 (10, 11, 12) more times or to desired length.

Ch 1, turn, sc evenly around entire rectangle.

Fasten off. Weave in ends. Block before sewing if you are going to block your project.

Sewing

Lay your rectangles with one directly on top of each other.

Sew each side of the top of the rectangles together, leaving 10-12” unsewn in the middle for your head to go through.

Optional: Sew the sides of the rectangles together from the bottom up, leaving an 8-10” hole at the top of each side for your arms to go through.

bindi poncho crochet pattern
Bindi Poncho crochet pattern

How to Care for your Crocheted Garments

crocheted garments by Two Brothers Blankets

I’ve shared my best tips for crocheting garments. Now you have started crocheting your own garments and it feels so great! You’ve accomplished something amazing and you should be very proud of yourself! You want this garment that you’ve crocheted to last and to keep it’s shape and look great on you every time you wear it! So how do you do that? It’s not as hard as it seems to keep your crocheted garments nice! Below are my best tips for taking care of your crocheted garments so they look great and last!

Choose your yarn wisely.

Sometimes the best work is your prep work. Before you begin your garment project, make sure you are choosing a yarn that will work well for that garment. If you want something that is sturdy and will hold it’s shape, then choose something like an acrylic yarn or a thicker weight yarn. If you want something that is lightweight and flowy, choose a fingering or sport weight yarn. Also, check the washing instructions of the yarn. Do you need to hand wash it or can it be washed in the machine? Does it pill? You can even work up a swatch and wash it to see how it looks and feels after washing.

When in doubt, hand wash.

Let’s face it, hand washing is not going to be as hard on the crocheted garments as machine washing will be. Even on the delicate cycle. So unless you are certain that your yarn will be okay in the machine, I’d go with hand washing. You can hand wash in your sink or bath tub with some cool water and a small amount of mild soap or detergent.

Always lay flat to dry.

Some yarns say that it is safe to dry in the dryer and that might be the case, but you’ve seen what the dryer does to regular clothes right? It shrinks them, wears them out, fades them, etc. I just don’t want to take any chances with my crocheted garments so I always lay them flat to dry. You could lay them on a table or even your blocking mat to dry. It usually only takes a couple of hours for it to dry.

Fold instead of hanging.

Crochet stretches over time, and hanging your garments will cause that to happen even quicker. Fold your garments instead of hanging. You can place them in a drawer or on a shelf, folded and piled on top of each other. Hanging will cause them to stretch out, lose their shape, and not fit anymore.

Never cut!

If your weaved in ends start to come out after washing or over time, instead of cutting them, pull them out and re-weave them back in securely. If you cut them you risk cutting it too short and the ends sticking out permanently, or worse, the entire garment unraveling.

These are my very best tips for caring for your crocheted garments so that they last and continue to look great with each wear! You can watch my live show on this subject below!

Springtime Sweater Crochet Pattern

This post- Springtime Sweater-  may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from the links below, I will get a small percentage of the sales at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support!

Springtime Sweater Crochet Pattern

The Springtime Sweater crochet pattern is a fun, lightweight, sweater that is great for the end of winter and the transition into spring! It has 3/4 sleeves and a simple trim to give it a super classy look! This pattern comes in children’s sizes 2-10 and adult sizes XS-2X. It is worked from the bottom up, with sleeves added at the end. There is just a tiny bit of seaming done at the shoulders.

I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn from Hobby Lobby. It is a DK (#3) weight yarn that I really enjoy using. I’ve used it before in designs like the Katie Cardi and the Derby Duster Vest. It’s soft and comfortable against my skin. This yarn also has a really nice drape, even before blocking. It’s a 60% acrylic, 40% polyamide blend. Sweet Delight comes in a huge variety of colors including neutrals, pastels, and brights.

The Springtime Sweater uses the extended single crochet stitch. You can find a video tutorial I made for this stitch HERE. This is a really easy stitch and it gives your rounds a little bit more height than the basic single crochet stitch. Plus the added height gives it a nice stretch as well. I love this stitch and have used it in a few of my previous designs such as the Parker Baseball Tee and the KJ Hat.

You can purchase this crochet pattern on Ravelry and Etsy!

Five Yarns I am Loving For Spring!

This post- Five Yarns I am Loving for Spring-  may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from the links below, I will get a small percentage of the sales at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support!

Five Yarns I am Loving for Spring!

It’s the first day of spring and I am loving it! Here in Florida, it actually feels like spring today, instead of hot and humid like usual! It’s quite enjoyable! I’ve had my spring crochet patterns planned out for quite a while now, so I’ve been working with lightweight yarns for that long as well! Today, I want to share with you five yarns I am loving for spring! Yarns that work great for the warming weather, and have great color choices for spring! Some of these yarns listed are very specific, others are just a general type of yarn.

Hand- Dyed Yarns

I am currently obsessed with hand-dyed yarns. I am just in awe of how dyers can create these beautiful array of colors in one simple skein of yarn. It just amazes me! Fingering weight or sport weights are great lightweight yarns for spring. And with hand dyed yarn you can pretty much find any colorway, color combo, or fade that you’re looking for! My favorite blend to work with is a Superwash Merino Wool and Nylon blend. I love the softness of merino and the sturdiness of nylon! There are so many indie yarn dyers out there, but a few of my favorites include KT and the Squid and Montana Crochet.

Knit Picks Stroll Tweed

I am currently designing with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed and I am really liking it. It is a fingering weight yarn consisting of 65% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon, and 10% Donegal Tweed. It’s soft, and lightweight which is great for the spring garment I am designing. The tweed specks can sometimes be a bit difficult to work with, but that’s something I’m willing to tackle for the awesome look the tweed gives.

Knit Picks Brava Sport

Knit Picks Brava Sport has been a go to lightweight yarn of mine for years. It’s lightweight (duh!), soft, and super affordable! It’s 100% acrylic and has a huge selection of colors. I’ve used it to design so many patterns including all of my Magnolia top patterns, the Aspen Tunic, and the Celtic Weave Tee. I’ve also included it in my Five Budget Friendly Yarns list. It’s a great yarn if you’re on a budget!

Baby Bee Sweet Delight

Baby Bee Sweet Delight is a DK (#3) weight yarn that works really well for spring. It is a 60% acrylic and 40% polyamide blend. This yarn has a very light, flowing feel to it. It comes in a large variety of colors ranging from brights, to neutrals, to pastels. One skein also has 377 yards, which is awesome! I used this yarn for my latest design, the Springtime Sweater, and some older designs like the Katie Cardi and Derby Duster Vest. You can find this yarn at your local Hobby Lobby or online at their website.

Cotton Blends

Any lightweight cotton blend is great for spring! Some of my favorites are Premier Yarns Cotton Fair, and Lion Brand Yarns Comfy Cotton Blend. They are comfortable to wear in the spring and summer and usually do okay if they get wet. I have used cotton blends for a number of my spring designs including the Sarasota Swimsuit Cover.

Those are the five yarns I am loving for spring this year! I’m so excited to be make lightweight, sleeves, and cool projects for the next few months! What are your favorite yarns for spring?

Here is a the replay of the live show I did on these yarns!

Extended Single Crochet Tutorial

extended single crochet

The Extended Single Crochet stitch is one of my favorite stitches. It it simple like the regular single crochet stitch but has a bit more height and stretch than the regular sc. I have used the esc stitch in a number of my patterns, including the Parker Baseball Tee and the KJ hat. I also use this stitch in an upcoming pattern, the Springtime Sweater.

I’ve created a video tutorial for this stitch to help you while you make these patterns or any other projects. I am left-handed, but the steps are still the same. Right-handed crocheters will just be going in the opposite direction when working their yarn.

Written instructions:

ESC: insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop (2 loops on your hook), yarn over and pull through one loops (2 loops on your hook), yarn over and pull through both loops.

Video Tutorial:

I hope this tutorial is helpful! You can find my other left-handed crochet tutorials HERE. Let me know what other stitch tutorials you would like to see!

Cherry Blossom Shawl Free Crochet Pattern

The Cherry Blossom shawl is my first design using both hand dyed yarn and fingering (#1) weight yarn! I purchased the beautiful yarn pictured above from Ashleigh and CJ of Handmade Home Fibers, during one of their updates. The names of the yarn were Georgia and Peach Cobbler, and being from the state of Georgia, I was in love already! This yarn is wonderful to work with. It has an amazing drape, even before blocking! The colors were just stunning! I love how the solid color was truly solid and very saturated. There wasn’t any spots of yarn that didn’t have color or color that wasn’t as bright. And the speckles on the other color were my favorite! They worked together perfectly! The Cherry Blossom Shawl is perfectly customizable to your size preferences. You’ll love the workup as much as the finished project!

You can purchase the ad-free, printable, pdf version of the pattern on Ravelry and Etsy!

Materials

  • 700-750 yards fingering (#1) weight yarn
  • G/4.0mm crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn needle

Difficulty

  • Easy

Gauge

  •  Rows 1-5 = 4” across the top

Sizing

  • 52” across the top unblocked

Pattern Notes

Starting chain does count as first stitch unless stated otherwise within the pattern.

Each row should increase by 6 dc.

Sample shawl changes colors every 8 rows.

Stitches Needed & Abbreviations

st(s)- stitch(es)

ch(s)- chain(s)

sc- single crochet

dc- double crochet

puff st- yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through all 7 loops.

MC- magic circle

*- repeat from

Shawl

Create a MC.

Row 1: Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3dc in magic circle, pull tight. (6 dc)

Row 2: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in next 2 (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 2, 2 dc in last st (the starting ch). (12 dc)

Row 3: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in next 5, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 5, 2 dc in last st. (18 dc)

Row 4: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in next 8, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 8, 2 dc in last st. (24 dc)

Row 5: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in next 11, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 11, 2 dc in last st. (30 dc)

Row 6: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, ch 3, skip 2 sts, *1 dc in next, ch 3, skip 2 sts*, repeat from * to last 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, ch 3, skip 2 sts, *1 dc in next, ch 3, skip 2 sts*, repeat from * to last st, 2 dc in last st.(10 ch spaces, 16 dc)

Row 7: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3, *sc in next ch space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3*, repeat from * to last ch space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3, *sc in next ch space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3*, repeat from * to last st, 2 dc in last st. (12 ch spaces)

Row 8: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, skip next st, *3 dc in ch-3 space*, repeat from * to last ch-3 space on that side, 1 dc in next 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 2 sts, *3 dc in ch-3 space*, repeat from * to last ch-3 space, skip next st, 2 dc in last st. (48 dc)

Rows 9-13: Ch 3, turn, turn, 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in each st across to ch-2 space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in each st across to last st, 2 dc in last st. (stitch count will increase by 6 for each row.)

Row 14: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, ch 3, skip 2 sts, *1 dc in next, ch 3, skip 2 sts*, repeat from * to last 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, ch 3, skip 2 sts, *1 dc in next, ch 3, skip 2 sts*, repeat from * to last st, 2 dc in last st.

Row 15: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3, *sc in next ch space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3*, repeat from * to last ch space, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3, *sc in next ch space, ch 3, puff st in next ch space, ch 3*, repeat from * to last st, 2 dc in last st.

Row 16: Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in same st, skip next st, *3 dc in ch-3 space*, repeat from * to last ch-3 space on that side, 1 dc in next 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 space, 1 dc in next 2 sts, *3 dc in ch-3 space*, repeat from * to last ch-3 space, skip next st, 2 dc in last st. Repeat rows 9-16 until shawl measures 52” across the top or to desired length. Fasten off, weave in ends, and block.

Video tutorial of steps 1-8: (Correction at 10:54 in video, it should be a ch 3, sc in next ch-3 space. See written pattern row 7 for more details.)

Pattern is a copyright of Two Brothers Blankets. Please do not sell or alter this pattern in any way.

The Dos and Don’ts of Pattern Testing

One of the key components to my crochet pattern designing process is pattern testing. Over the years I’ve gathered a great group of reliable, talented pattern testers that I work with each time I design a pattern. But it wasn’t always that way. I’ve had my share of dealing with bad tests and difficult testers. Or the worst, pattern thieves. So I’m going to share, what I believe are, 10 key components to being a good pattern tester.

The Do’s

  1. Complete your test in a timely manner. Meaning complete the test by or before the due date. Before committing to a test, ensure that you will be able to complete it in time. Yes, life situations may happen that are beyond your control. But for the most part, make sure you will have enough time to commit to completing the project in time.
  2. Treat it as a job commitment. You may not be getting paid in a monetary manner, but you do get a free pattern out of the deal. So treat this pattern test as a true commitment and treat it as you would a job for your own business or career.
  3. Communicate with the designer. If you are confused on a part of the pattern or if you run into a deadline issue or anything else, contact the designer. Reaching out is going to create that relationship with the designer and will help your chances of being chosen again or the designer giving you a good reference. Keep those lines of communication open at all times.
  4. Take good pictures. In most cases, designers don’t expect you to have a professional photographer take your test photos, but they do want to see a good quality photo. This means natural lighting, preferably outdoors. If indoors, use a window to give you the natural light. Also, don’t take a photo with clutter or lots of items in the background. You want to showcase the project, and only the project.
  5. Work up the pattern exactly as it is written. The whole point of pattern testing is so that the designer can ensure that the pattern works out as it is written. Now, if there is an error or a problem, go to the designer and ask if it is okay to fix it or make changes. Just do not make changes without letting the designer know.

The Don’ts

  1. Disappear if you cannot complete the test. Life happens and it is impossible to complete a test. Designers understand that. So communicate with the designer if something comes up and you cannot complete the test. Do not just disappear or not respond. This will ruin your chances of ever testing for that designer again and possibly other designers. Tell the designer the truth and, more often than not, they will be understanding.
  2. Share the pattern. This is just a big no. Don’t share any patterns with others. But even more so, don’t share a pattern you are being trusted to test. This is sure way to ruin the trust and respect the designer has for you as a tester, and you will not be asked to test again.
  3. Share project progress without permission. Sometimes designers don’t mind you sharing your test progress on social media but always make sure to ask them before you do. I usually don’t mind if I have already shared on my own social media, but there are other times I don’t want it shared at all until I am ready for a full reveal. Get permission to share first, and respect the wishes of the designer.
  4. Change the pattern during testing. If there is an error or problem with the work up of the pattern, go to the designer and let them know what it is. Then wait to receive further instruction from the designer. Don’t just change the pattern because you don’t like the way it is written or the way it looks. You can let the designer know these things, but always check with the designer before making any changes.
  5. Tear the pattern/design to pieces because you don’t like it or you think it would be better the way you would do it. If you don’t like a design, don’t test it. Designers love feedback but not if it’s just ripping the pattern to shreds. Necessary and constructive feedback is key. If it’s just your opinion, think first about whether it absolutely needs to be said. The point of testing is to see if the written pattern can be worked up, not changed to be something else.

So those are my personal do’s and don’ts of pattern testing. I think if you stick the do’s you’re on your way to being a great pattern tester. What do you think? Are you a tester or a designer? What other things would you add to these lists?