I am still quite new to pattern designing. Even though I've been "designing" patterns pretty much since I started knitting, it's only been in the past year or so that I've started selling them on Ravelry and Etsy. The start, well...., didn't go so well.
We launched our patterns while we were at Knit City and we sold quite a few of a particular one on the first day. That night, before we even got home from the show the emails started coming in. One woman told me that she had been knitting for a million years and just can't get the pattern right, the stitch count keeps being off. Another, more novice knitter, had a question about whether she was doing it right because it was just. not. working. There were 2-3 more along those lines as well. Now, if you've ever seen any of our work, these are not intricate patterns we're talking about here. These are fairly beginner, knit-in-a-night things, so I knew right away it was me.
It took me awhile to find it. I had to really read my own pattern, which is a pretty difficult thing to do because it's mine, I had knit a thousand of these things and I could probably make one in my sleep, so to sit down and have to go through every step, one by one, just pretending I didn't know anything was really tough. Eventually though I found it.
There it was. Row 2. A missing Yarn Forward.
That's it. Two little letters, YF, that made me feel like a jerk for selling a pattern that wasn't even right. And it's not like I was selling it online so I could just email the people and give them the corrected version. These were out there, hard copy. Even this year I found two or three people just by talking to them at my booth who had bought that pattern the first day and never could get it to work. Of course, they got a free copy of the new pattern and my sincerest apologies.
Super long story short: I found a group on Ravelry the other day who does free pattern testing. You just post your pattern, people tell you they want to test it for you, you send them a free pattern and they in turn let you know if there's anything they find wrong with it. Win-win.
I've decided, before releasing any of my new patterns, to get all of my old pattern tested just to be sure. (There's only six so it shouldn't take too long) And then, of course, test any new patterns in the future. How did I not know about this? Absolutely brilliant.
(And if there's anyone on Ravelry who wants me to let them know when my patterns are being tested, just send me a PM!)