Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

What’s In It For Me?

Posted by notthatkat on October 17, 2007

Excuse me while  I wax a bit philosophic in this post.  I’ll try not to do it too often, but every now and then ideas rattling around in my brain just scream to get out.

Snow on Cedars Mitts

When I told a non-knitting co-worker (we’ll refer to her as C) that I was test knitting a pattern for Anne, her first comment was, “What are you getting for doing this?”  I was a bit taken aback, and mumbled something about getting a free copy of the pattern, but in my head I wondered, why do I have to get anything out of it?

C is a mundane and probably has no concept of the knitting and fiber community both local and online that I’ve come to know and love so much.  I thought that was that, but I found myself pondering this question over the next few days. (while happily knitting away on the mitts).  Why did I offer to test knit to begin with, or agree to do this project when asked?  What am I looking to get out of doing this?  After much reflection I’ve decided that I do get a lot more out of doing this than might be immediately apparent.

The response I gave to C is the most tangible benefit.  I do get a free copy of a pattern that I almost certainly would have bought at some point.  Many of Anne’s patterns have made their way into my inbox, and I have nebulous plans to buy more in the future, (once I work some of those patiently waiting their turn).  I don’t mind paying for patterns in general, or Anne’s specifically.  I find them well worth the cost, well written, and easy to  follow.  Not to mention beautiful designs that go hand in glove with my own knitting tastes and preferences.

I also get to be one of the first people to knit it.  In exchange, the pattern did contain a few errors, hence the reason for test knitting.  I actually enjoy the challenge presented by sussing out the errors and figuring out how to correct them.  While I realize this is not everyone’s cup of tea (and I would have been annoyed to find many such errors in a finalized pattern), I like puzzles.  Also, the errors in this pattern were minor and easily figured out by comparing charts to written instructions (none of the errors were repeated in both)  Had the pattern been a complete mess and I needed to practically re-write the whole thing, I doubt I would have enjoyed it.  But that was not the case (nor would I expect to receive such a pattern from Anne).  Your millage may vary.

I consider it a huge complement that she chose me to test knit for her.  It is a validation of my knitting skills and a bit of an ego stroke.  Those who know me well know I’m not all about the ego.  I tend to under-estimate my skills and abilities in lots of areas, not just knitting.  Not so much that I don’t think I have skills; more that I tend to consider my skills to be not that extraordinary.  We all need a boost now and then, and this provided a bit of one to me.

On a more esoteric level, I get to help out a fellow knitter who I like and admire.  I like helping others – in work, in crafty endeavors, in life in general.  I’m not the only one, as this is one of the reasons for charitable acts and contributions.  When you help someone else, you feel good about yourself.

Finally, I consider it good kharma.  Not to get all hippie-dippy on you, but I think that what you send out into the universe affects what you get back.  I had 5 test knitters for the sock pattern I released yesterday, and several more volunteers.  This was for a pattern I stated from the start would be offered up for free.  I found their input to be invaluable, and lead to such changes as adding sizing options (not a specific suggestion, but a comment from one of my testers got my brain going in that direction).  If I continue to design and release patterns (and I hope to), I will need such help from my fellow knitters in the future.  I consider part of being a member of the global community of knitters to help when I can.

And in the end, I’ll be one of the first on the block to have this really kewl pair of mitts.

Bad Hair Day

You thought you were having a bad hair day? 


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