Updated May 2024

RLFA Test Knits

Test knitting is an integral part of the process of developing patterns that are easy and enjoyable to knit. For this reason, I invite a group of knitters to test drive the final, edited version of each new pattern before it is released to the general public.

Test knitters will receive a copy of the pattern and access to a private discussion channel on Slack where they can interact with other test knitters in the fun and collaborative style of a knit-a-long.

Since my goal is for you to end up with a handmade piece you absolutely love, I provide a pattern that has been thoroughly tech edited, and test knitters are then encouraged to make each test knit project their own by substituting yarns, making modifications, etc. In exchange you provide feedback on your experience with the pattern.

Knitters of all skill levels are invited to apply, whether you're a seasoned knitter with years of experience or wanting a try a new-to-you technique or project type for the first time. I will be present throughout the process to provide support, coaching, and guidance for those who need or want it.

Priority is given to applicants who are newsletter subscribers, so if you have a pattern you really want to test, then I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter.

What You Can Expect From Me

The success of a test knitting experience depends largely on clear expectations between designer and knitter. I also understand that agreeing to test knit a pattern is a significant commitment. So, here is what you can expect from me when you sign up to test knit one of my patterns:

  • You will receive a fully tech edited pattern.
  • I will do my best to answer questions as quickly as possible and commit to answering within 2 business days, except in the case of a personal/family emergency or pre-communicated time away.
  • I will post adjustments/errata that arise during test knitting to the private Slack channel. If major adjustments need to be made to the pattern, I will post an updated PDF version of the pattern.
  • I will moderate a space where all are welcome and participants treat each other with kindness and respect.
  • Upon completion of the test knit, you will receive a free copy of the finalized pattern as well as another of my self-published patterns for free. These patterns can be either gifted to you on Ravelry or emailed to your preferred email address.

What I Expect From You

An enjoyable knitting experience depends on many factors, and that's why I give test knitters the freedom to make my patterns their own. That said, I wouldn't be asking for your help if I didn't need something in exchange for the patterns and support that I provide. So here's what I expect from my test knitters:

  • Knitters agree to create and block a swatch.
  • Knitters are expected to communicate throughout the process, including if you are unable to finish the test knit for any reason. I understand that life happens, and sometimes we aren't able to finish things we've started. Letting me know you won't be able to finish may give me the opportunity to offer your spot to another applicant.
  • Modifications are always welcome.
  • Knitters are expected to complete their projects by the last day of the test knit.
  • Knitters are expected to provide modeled photos of their project by the last day of the test knit. (See more details in the "Photos" section below.)
  • Knitters are expected to fill out the feedback form by the last day of the test knit, even if you are unable to complete your project for some reason.

In addition to the requirements above, the following is a list of things that are encouraged, though not required:

  • Creating a Ravelry project page. Information will be provided at the beginning of the test knit for those who would like to link their projects to the pattern page.
  • Sharing photos of your project on social media.


Photos are an essential part of any knitting pattern and the test knitting process. As a designer, it is important for me to see how my garments and accessories fit on different bodies to ensure consistency across sizes. However, you are under no obligation to share photos for marketing purposes or to have a public social media profile. That said, I love to share photos from my test knitters, and other knitters certainly benefit from seeing patterns on a range of bodies. Here is how I handle the submission of photos during test knitting:

  • You must submit a modeled photo of your project.
  • Your photos may be cropped to exclude the model's face.
  • You may indicate whether or not I have permission to share your photos publicly for marketing purposes. If you do not want your photos shared publicly, then I will use them solely for myself to evaluate the fit and quality of my pattern.
  • You may choose whether or not to share your own photos online (either progress or finished object photos). I do not require secrecy during test knits for my self-published patterns.
  • If you do decide to share your photos on social media, I encourage you to tag me and the pattern, but this is not required.

Upcoming Test Knits

Nessa Raglan Test Knit

June 1-August 1

This raglan features compound shaping for a more natural fit in the yoke, and thoughtful details such as contrasting collar and cuffs, tubular cast-on and bind-off, and a bold colorwork pattern in the body. It is intended to be worn with 2-4in positive ease, though it could certainly be worn with more ease for a looser fit.

The pattern is graded for 9 sizes, and the schematic and sizing chart give the measurements for each size, so you can begin planning now if you would like to sign up to test.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at ethanpyle@refractedlightfiberarts.com.

Download the Pattern Brief