Recently I mentioned I was going to take part in a test knit. Well, the time has finally come to begin and I’m rather excited. One of the reasons for the big push to finish my Coraline (and thank you for so many lovely comments!) was so that I could get started on this test knit ASAP.
You see, I think, and I might be wrong, that I’m the only southern hemisphere knitter participating in this exercise. Everyone else will be knitting their cardigans in preparation for autumn and winter up north. Me, I want to knit it now so that I can get some wear out of it before the days warm up again. Given we reached the Winter Solstice this week, the days will indeed start to warm up, although not really for a while.
So I have time. But I’m impatient to begin. Let me tell you what I’m doing. I’ve checked with the designer about what it’s ok to say or not say and it seems I’m allowed to talk about all the good stuff and not the bad, which sounds fair enough to me!
First up, the yarn. Awkwardly lit Cascade 220 Heathers in Mallard. Six skeins of. Purchased not for this project but fortuitously, just after it arrived, the test knit details did too and I knew what I was going to do with it.
The designer is Thea Colman of BabyCocktails. Thea designed the Golden Vintage cardigan I finished a few months ago and we first had contact when I discovered a small numerical error in the pattern and wrote to her to ask for advice/support. After that, Thea thought perhaps I might be a good candidate for her test knitter team and I said sure!
And here we are.
What I can tell you is that the pattern is a cardigan called Shiraz (so fitting for a winter knit for me, no?) and there’s an hourglassish theme happening in some of the details. It’s pretty, but ultimately a very good go-everywhere kind of cardigan pattern, I think. It’s top down, and after the fine gauge of Coraline, I have to say I’m thinking this’ll be a doddle, time-wise. If Coraline was a six-week knit, on 3.5mm needles, then I think a worsted weight top down is gonna fly by.
Not that it’s a race. This is a test knit after all. I’m helping get something ready for eventual release as a pattern for sale. It’s got to be right. But if I get excited and race through it, that’s a good thing for me isn’t it? A new winter weight cardigan in winter!
So all of this is by way of saying that I’m really interested in what this test knitting process is like and I’ve read and thought about it, mulling over the intricacies of pattern development, and I hope to share them as I go in what will hopefully be an illuminating way!
In the meantime, I’m curious to hear what you think are the things to be mindful of when test knitting. I found that once I started thinking about it, the issues were a little more complex than I first thought.
Stay tuned. I’m off to knit a square.
ps I had the pleasure of submitting a guest post here. English blogger Rachel Cotterill has gone to Iceland and she wanted guest posters to keep her blog ticking over for the month. Long time readers might recognise the post as it’s an old one I recycled. I thought it was a good chance to give an old favourite post a new audience.