A few months ago a friend of mine introduced me to a group on Ravelry-Test Knitters. It sounded like a fun idea. Pattern developers get their pattern tested for free and the tester gets a free pattern (and the opportunity to suggest ways to make the pattern better or easier to understand). I signed up and started my first test knit, the Kaelin Bear. Turned out really cute.
I gave the bear to one of my many nieces. The next test was a shawl. I cursed this thing the entire time I knitted it. Full of short rows and took forever. The biggest downside to test knitting is that it turns a happy hobby into another job that you have to get done and you have to get it done on time. I told myself that I would not sign up for another test knit. I enjoy knitting and I don't want to hate a project or be responsible for letting someone else down. The designer is counting on you to finish the project and give feedback that is helpful.
I must have temporarily lost my mind because I not only signed up for another test knit, but I signed up to do a sweater. This is a hooded cardigan knit in one piece from the bottom up (and not in the round). So far it is turning out really well. There have been a few changes but nothing that caused too many problems. I am using 8 colors and doing stripes. The pattern was originally done in stripes of primary colors (bright blue, yellow, red, white, etc...). I'm using variations of grey and blue.
I really do love the way it is turning out and wish I never agreed to do it. Mainly because my hands are getting sore from the constant knitting and because I have a list of projects that I am itching to get moving on. I think I'll take a break this weekend and whip out a hat. Possibly "that other hat"on Ravelry:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/that-other-hat. We'll have to see. Mike and I have a full weekend planned-which will include plenty of knitting time (gotta love multi-tasking). Including knitting at Home Depot while Mike is searching for whatever random piece of wood of hardware that will work for his projects. Happy knitting everyone.