Piet the Walrus in Testing

Jan 21, 2016 | Designing Knits | 3 comments


January has felt crazy busy this year! Not the least because I’ve been working hard over the past 3 weeks with 5 amazing test knitters to perfect my Piet the Walrus pattern. 


Pattern testing for me is such an intensely emotional process. It’s the first time someone other than me looks at the words and symbols I’ve written on the page and uses them for (hopefully) creating a cute finished knit and having a fun, joyful knitting experience. Obviously I know, and my testers know, that the pattern isn’t perfect yet. Still I am super nervous each day as I check the testing page, hoping no one has gotten confused or mislead by an error in my pattern. 

Knit Walrus

Of course, there have been plenty of mistakes to correct, plenty of moments where the testers have asked for clarification and pushed me to improve my pattern to make it better. Even as I feel bad for each of my mistakes, I’m thankful for these honest suggestions. It feels so huge, so right, not just to be knitting in my own little bubble, but to be learning how to connect to others through knitting. This is my passion! I want so deeply to be able to pass on the joy of toy knitting to others. That’s why the test knitting process is so scary and emotional for me -the intense wanting comes with a fear of failure, a fear that I can’t be good enough to write knitting patterns that others enjoy. 


I still have a bit of work to do to make Piet the Walrus the pattern I want to be, but I know I’m moving forward and that is deeply satisfying. I felt so honored to read today the comment from one of my testers that: “everyone wants to steal my walrus…. seriously, one of my favorite patterns I’ve ever made.”