Sunday, August 29, 2010

So...you want to be an Inner Hooker tester?

My apologies to my newer fans/likers for never explaining what this is! I actually don't think I have ever given a full explanation, so now is probably a good time!

The Life of a Pattern
When I release a new pattern it goes through phases. Me creating it (which could take a few days or....weeks) which can be a bit sloppy. I crochet, pull out, crochet more, sometimes pull out more. All while jotting the pattern and notes down with my trusty bic pen in my notebook. A laptop is seriously in my NEAR future...wanna donate ;) After I have the finished product I type it up (which can be confusing if it has taken more than a few days to write and my notes get too sloppy) and typically make it one more time from the typed pattern. Like anything that you write you start to read what you know it should say...not necessarily what it does say so I need proofreaders/testers to help me out. I have 2 behind the scenes people that I pretty much always use. Then I also like to find a few from my fanpage.
I love offering this for so many reasons.
1. more feedback never hurts
2. I get people with different skill levels and interpretations which really helps me to be clear that the pattern is clearly written even for the brand new beginner.
3. It offers the fans a sneak peak which is always fun, a free pattern, and a chance to be involved in the process

I consider my testers almost like market research. Some patterns come back perfect and some come back with clear evidence that I typed it at 1am ;) I am so grateful to everyone for their efforts.

When I am looking for testers I look for a few things.

1.
you do need to know how to crochet. these patterns do not teach you how to crochet.

2.
I typically have a rough time line anywhere from a few days to a week that I need the pattern back. I am realistic and do know that sometimes things will come up and someone may not be able to finish at all or just may need a little more time. In the event this happens I do ask that you just shoot me a quick email and let me know.

3.
a sharp eye; most of my issues that need fixed are simple typos (ex. I will type sc instead of dc in a random place when all the rest has been dc). I also ask that my stitch counts be checked closely. There is nothing worse than getting a pattern where the stitch count is completely wrong. I create, crochet, count, and type usually late into the night, I am not perfect (sssh don't tell!)

4.
someone not afraid to give honest feedback. Like I said I am not perfect. I understand exactly what my patterns are saying...I wrote them and live in my brain :) If you are testing and you think the wording sounds confusing or maybe you think a step would be easier if it included a picture to help explain GREAT!!! Make a note of it! I read and consider all of the feedback from testers. Some I agree with and some I don't. Sometimes I will take that advice and edit the pattern and sometimes I won't. Bottom line, I love the input from you all.

A few questions that do come up

1.
What if I change my mind and don't want to test?
Well, not much I can do about this :) I do ask that you only volunteer if you are pretty sure you will have the time to do it. I offer plenty of new chances so if you are busy this go round there will always be another time. In the event this does happen please simply email me. Failure to contact may result in a loss of testing fun for you. I rely on my testers to follow through. Plus, it's just not nice to take the free pattern and never say anything again.

2.
Can I sell items made from test patterns?
Sure you can! Like all of my patterns you are welcome to sell as many finished items as you'd like, wherever you'd like! In fact, I wish you much success. From time to time I even will ask if someone is selling a particular item for a buyer that has contacted me. I do ask that you not spam the Hooker fan page or try to solicit your business there.

3.
Can my friends help me?
Nope. Like any of my sold patterns they are my property. You are not allowed to share, sell, copy, or redistribute my patterns in any way, shape, or form. Even just forwarding it via email is stealing. I keep my prices very low in hopes of them being affordable to everyone. Plus, that's just bad karma and who wants that?!?

If you have any other questions about this or anything else please feel free to email me at innerhooker@yahoo.com and I'll be happy to help!

6 comments:

Erin Springer said...

I would love to be a tester. I read on your facebook page that you were needing one now. I don't have a facebook account... maybe I'll get one even my dad has one. I read and understand all your instructions so I would like to be entered in the drawing to be a tester. Thanks so much. -Erin

Elisabeth S. said...

Fabulous post! Keep up the good work!

Kendra said...

I would like to be a pattern tester. I have already made several of your beanie patterns. ♥

Laurithree said...

I would love to be a tester. Actually have a couple questions/comments about the patterns I have. I've been meaning to message you my questions.

dshidel said...

How do we sign up to be a tester? I am a left handed crocheter and sometimes find there are some "quirks" in a pattern for me.

Lori said...

I would love to be a tester some day! :D