First Test Knit


I’ve always been curious about how designers actualize their designs. It’s one thing to come up with great idea, but translating that idea into a set of charts and written instructions is easier said than done. I’ve been lurking on the testing pool forum of Ravelry for a while, curious to see the variety of patterns that are being developed out there. But when I saw the opportunity to test knit for Tincan Knits, one of my favorite design duos, I jumped at the chance. They are partly based out of Vancouver, BC, and many of their designs draw inspiration from the Pacific Northwest.

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I like to think that the stars were aligned for this test knitting to happen. The timing was right, and I knew that I had a stash of this lovely Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in “Bloomsbury” that would be perfect for the project. Also, sleeves are optional, which is another plus! But what’s more important is that Little A loves this sweater, and I really enjoyed knitting it.


This pattern is tentatively called “Prairie Fire,” and it was a really quick knit. The lace pattern was simple yet varied enough to be interesting but easy to memorize.  I love how the lace pattern starts at the top front and wraps around in the back. I can see myself doing more test knitting. It was fun to knit with other knitters and to try to decipher certain sections or offer suggestions on clarity. It totally appeals to the nerdy editor in me.

As for this pattern, I’m not sure when it will be released, but I’m guessing it will be soon. And what’s more, it will be available in sizes from infant to adult extra-large! That’s the part that blows my mind–calculating the stitch counts for the various sizes. This sweater, which is sized 6-8 year old, is a little big on Little A at the moment, but there is a lot of room to grow. And since it is already getting too hot to wear it in San Antonio, it might fit just right when we return to the Pacific Northwest!



6 thoughts on “First Test Knit

    • Thank you! It was a really lovely knit, and I highly recommend it! As for the model, I would agree with you, but I’m TOTALLY biased! 🙂

  1. Oooh, I LOVE it! I really want to make one for myself… looks like a nice cool summer piece (says the NW girl). But of course I won’t look as cute in it as your sweet girl. 🙂 Did you find many errors while test knitting the pattern?

    • You should totally make one for yourself. There are a few adult sweaters that were tested, and they look gorgeous too! It is totally a NW summer piece! 🙂

      As for errors, there were a few. Nothing major, and it helped me personally that there were a few testers who were further ahead and found the errors and then alerted the rest of us.

  2. LOL – I think sometimes designers don’t know for sure how they got from point A to point B. I know I spend a lot of time fussing with stuff on the needles, but having great test knitters is a HUGE HELP! All those things that seem crystal clear inside one’s head sometimes aren’t to anyone else once they arrive on paper. 🙂 This is such a lovely little piece – and obviously loved by the wearer as well. Win/Win.

    • Ha ha! I know about all about how things can seem clear in one’s head but those ideas emerge in a format that is not always intelligible to others! I’m starting to see the extent to which pattern design is totally a merging of right and left brain, and it’s fascinating to me how designs are then translated into patterns that are repeatable and understandable to a wide range of people.

      I responded to your post about test knitters in the Wooly Wonka group. Count me in! 🙂

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