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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hiring and Paying Pattern Testers

As a Designer How Much 
Do I Pay Pattern Testers?

As a mentor for those having dreams of becoming a designer, I have been asked this question numerous times. I really do not know what the standard pay is, so I can only give you my thoughts from my own experience. When I was working on my book, Positively Crochet!, I wanted to have every pattern tested before mailing the projects  to the publisher and I too was in a delima over what to pay. Back then, I was pretty active on Crochetville, a social media site for crocheters, and people were talking about testing patterns. I posted that I was looking for testers and another designer  warned me to be very careful about having a stranger do it for me since she had someone steal a pattern that way. So then I decided to ask women I knew personally if they'd be intested. I still don't know what other people pay, but I wanted to be fair. I had already had designs in other designers books, such as Vickie Howell, Kim Welker  and their publisher paid each contributing designer $100, which is not much at all, but I knew it would also give me exposure since I was so new at the time and it was well worth it to me.

Based on all that and the fact I was paid only $100 to design it and stitch it up, this gave me some ideas. I figured that someone who had never tested a pattern or had anything published wouldn't be real particular about it. So I just started asking people I knew, including teenagers who were beginners. I told them I didn't have a lot of money, but if interested I would give them 2 choices.
1.  I'd pay them $30-$40 to test a pattern + they could have the pattern and keep the project, OR
2. I'd buy the yarn and they could keep the project for themselves.
Each one of them were very happy to do this. Some were beginners and most were thrilled that I'd even ask them. Since they knew me, they were happy with the pay, but I have no idea what someone else would expect to be paid to test a pattern. I'm sure it also has to do with the type of design and how large or small it is.  If you're a member of the national CGOA group, you could ask there. I know there are people who are professional pattern testers.

I actually prefer a person who hasn't crocheted long to test my patterns because they  notice the little things. For instance, they will make a note if I forget to say "sew seams", "fasten off" and other obvious things. Sometimes an experienced crocheter  would automatically go ahead and "sew seams",  but forget to make a note to me saying I left it off. This was frustrating.
On Crochet That Fits, I didn't have every pattern tested like I did on Positively Crochet  because so many of the patterns in that book are beginner level. Some people are surprised the "Little Black Dress" on the book cover and my famous Cap Sleeve Top, featured on the Knit and Crochet Now TV show are easy enough for a beginner. With my interview we demonstrated my Graduated Stitch Method of making shaped garments without having to use increases or decreases. The Cap Sleeve Top is one of my most known designs because my publisher (F+W) allowed  the show to put that pattern on the website for anyone  to have access to. It's been in several crochat alongs also, which made it more popular. I only had some of the intermediate patterns from that book tested.

On Colorful Crochet Lace, published Aug 2015, I had to hire some experienced people to stitch up 5 projects for the book, since I didn't have time myself. There were circumstances in my life that would have kept me from meeting my deadline if it hadn't been for these friends who came to the rescue. The gals who stitched those up were like pattern testers also, since they had to follow the pattern. Of course I paid them more because they stitched up the actual garment that was photographed for the book.

109 comments:

  1. MaryJane, I'd gladly do it for nothing as long as the yarn was supplied to me, since I'm on a tight budget. But I'm sure you must have dozens of pattern-testers in waiting, so I'm sure you can't use me--LOL
    blessings,
    Kathy

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  2. I'll keep you in mind Kathy! Thanks for offering!

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  3. It's an interesting post, MaryJane. It didn't occur to me that experienced crocheters would miss little things and that makes sense!

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    1. Yes, that's very true Natalia. Maybe it's because they assume people know a thing that was left off such as weave in ends, end off, sew seams, etc. But a pattern has to have all the info.

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    2. Yes, that's very true Natalia. Maybe it's because they assume people know a thing that was left off such as weave in ends, end off, sew seams, etc. But a pattern has to have all the info.

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  4. I'm very interested in testing patterns I've been crocheting for 3 years I can read patterns & am learning diagrams I love to learn new things that's one reason I love to crochet please keep me in mind my email is shipoffools73@gmail.com Ty so much hope to hear from u

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    1. I sure will keep you in mind too, Katina! Thanks so much!

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  5. Hi Mary Jane,

    My name is Elizabeth and I am an intermediate crocheter. I have been crocheting for about 3-4 years and would be delighted to test your crochet patterns for you. Thank you.

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  6. Hi Elizabeth,

    I will definitely keep you in mind next time I need a pattern tester! I haven't used one in a while. I sent my newest book to the tech editor without having the patterns tested. But then I did have some people stitch up some patterns that are actually in the book, so if thee were mistakes they let me know.

    Thanks!

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  7. Been crocheting 20+years I just done a test pattern first time I have lots of time I'm travel in 18 wheeler that make time go for me I don't do clothes just not interesting in that

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  8. Been crocheting 20+years I just done a test pattern first time I have lots of time I'm travel in 18 wheeler that make time go for me I don't do clothes just not interesting in that

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  9. I would love to be a tester. I have been knitting for 6 years and crocheting for 5. I am also able to read written patterns, abbreviations, and graphs. I have some pictures on my personal Facebook page as well as personal photos.

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  10. I wish I'd known you could get paid to do that! I've been doing this for years for friends and family and helped several people write up patterns. Just having the yarn paid for would be fabulous. I love trying out new patterns. I'll link the FB page for my business below. The profile picture of the crocheted choker is of my own design and a favorite of my customers:
    https://www.facebook.com/knickknackicanmakethat
    If you're ever looking for experienced crocheters to test patterns feel free to message me at knickknackicanmakethat@gmail.com Mary Jane!

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  11. I'll keep you in mind ebonynicole! I rarely use pattern testers anymore, but that does'the mean I won't need to in the future. Can yon send me a link to your FB
    page?

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    1. facebook.com/ebonynicole.pierre

      Thank you.

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  12. Rachel I'll keep you in mind too! I "liked" your FB page. Are we friends on FB? I saw your choker. It's beautiful.

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  13. Rachel I'll keep you in mind too! I "liked" your FB page. Are we friends on FB? I saw your choker. It's beautiful.

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  14. I'll keep you in mind ebonynicole! I rarely use pattern testers anymore, but that does'the mean I won't need to in the future. Can yon send me a link to your FB
    page?

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  15. Hi, love your blog. I just discovered it! Following you on Google! If you need any testers in the future, please keep me in mind. Been crocheting over 20 years and in the last year have picked it up and starting some of my own designs. We are both in Ohio also! Jackie. https://www.facebook.com/TheKnottyParlor

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  16. Hi Jackie! I sure will keep you in mind. as I've told others who have asked, even though Im dying to do a new book of all Boho Chic clothing & accessories, but don't tell anyone. I even have all my designs sketches out, but I really have to take a break! I hope its still in style by the time I can do it. After a couple months break from designing I may start making those projects and just sell them here on my blog and on Ravelry. If I do that, I will need pattern testers. Thanks for asking and for the FB connection!. Im glad you like my blog. i haven't heard many people say that. Thanks!

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  17. Love your blog Jane. It was nice speaking with you. Just a little about myself I have been crocheting for over 35+ years. Self taught at around 9 years old. Learned knitting about 5 years ago but I my niche is crochet. I've won several ribbons I KY stats fair my blue ribbon of a lace table runner . My boys are grow and only one child left in the next full time my beautiful 10yo. Dtr.. I'm a retired RN. due to health issues so there is plenty of ti,etc to crochet. I currently test for several designers and enjoy this so much. I love to watch ideas grow into beautiful pieces of art be it clothing, textiles, toys and so on. I own very few of NY pieces for I give most away. I find joy when I can give someone a part of me and know they will treasure it as well. I need to post more pictures on my face book page and currently waiting for 3 patterns to be released by the designers so I can post those as well . P,ease consider me when preparing to test I would so enjoy it. My hubby tells me to put my ideas on paper and publish patterns but I truly enjoy my current role as a tester and find joy in watching designers flourish . I was on the front line long enough and like the behind the scenes just as well. Thank you for the links and I look forward to following you as you put your creative side forward and grow. My email cassandrabotner@gmail.com, .you ravelry. ID. CassandraBotner. No spaces between. Have a beautiful day!

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    1. Hi Cassandra,
      Thanks for leaving me your info and all the compliments! I will keep you mind as well!

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    2. Hi Cassandra,
      Thanks for leaving me your info and all the compliments! I will keep you mind as well!

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    3. Just send me some information and let's get started Debra L Jackson

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  18. Hi my name is Lorraine. My passion is crocheting. I would love to become a tester. I have some of my work on etsy.com. My store name is craftsbylor. I hope you will consider me as a tester.

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    1. I forgot to mention I have been crocheting since 1986. I taught myself how to crochet.

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    2. Hi Mary Jane.
      I really do like your blog. I understand why you prefer crocheter with not a lot of experience. I have read a lot about the correct way to crochet and how to make it look professional as I tried to start a business crocheting. I think it would really be enjoyable being a tester. Receiving pay for my time is not necessary, although compensation for the yarn would be helpful as my husband only gets paid once a month on disability and I do not work. Crocheting is my greatest passion second to God.

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    3. Hi Lorraine, I definitely will consider you next time I need pattern testers. It will be a while hough because I'm taking a break :)

      Thanks!

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  19. I would be interested in being a pattern tester. Ive crocheted for the last 15 years and am able to teach people how to crochet, both left and right handed. Recently ive started a small side business called "The Legal Stitch" and have both a facebook and etsy page. Please keep me in mind if you require pattern testers in the future. My email is amy_e_shields@hotmail.com

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    1. I sure will keep you in mind too Amy! I appreciate everyone leaving me their name! It's going to be a while though since I'm taking a break

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    2. I sure will keep you in mind too Amy! I appreciate everyone leaving me their name! It's going to be a while though since I'm taking a break

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  20. Good to know God is at the top, Lorraine!

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  21. Good to know God is at the top, Lorraine!

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  22. I am interested in becoming a test crocheter. I am the crochet teacher at The Sheepy Yarn Shoppe in White Bear Lake, MN. I have been crocheting for 15 years.

    Greta.hysjulien@gmail.com

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  23. Hi Greta,
    I will keep you in mind too! Thanks!

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  27. I'm interested in testing your patterns for you! I'm an intermediate crocheter and have been crocheting for about 3 years maybe less. If you're in need of a pattern tester in the future please feel free to email me at amsterbunny@gmail.com.

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    1. Thank you Amber! I'll keep your name along with the others!

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  28. Hi Mary Jane, I am 57 & have been crocheting since i've been 8. i have been a pattern tester for several designers, via Facebook, as well as designing my own items. i am honest, reliable, talented and experienced. if you have availability in the future, i would be honored to reply. thanks.

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  29. Hi Mary Jane, I am 57 & have been crocheting since i've been 8. i have been a pattern tester for several designers, via Facebook, as well as designing my own items. i am honest, reliable, talented and experienced. if you have availability in the future, i would be honored to reply. thanks.

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  30. Thank you CrowShades.com! I'll keep you in mind along with the others!

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  32. I'm fairly new to crochet. As a child, I was taught to make granny squares by my mom and those were our coasters. hahaha! Now 30 years later I've picked up crocheting again. I'm just loving it!

    If you still need pattern testers I'd be honored to be added to your list.

    Thanks!

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    1. I will put you on my list! Thank you Nicki.

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    2. I will put you on my list! Thank you Nicki.

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  33. Im extremely interested ive crocheted off n on since 2003 more steady now since ive started a online shop on etsy. Knotjuststring1234. Just like that. Would love for new oatterns for new things and getting paid would helo alot.

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  34. My email is knotjuststring1234@gmail.com

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    1. I'll keep you in mind too, Kim. Thanks!

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    2. I'll keep you in mind too, Kim. Thanks!

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  35. Mary Jane, are you still looking for tester's? I have been crocheting for more than 25 years now and I'm always looking for the next pattern. My email is sybil78552@gmail, send me a message if interested. Gayle

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  36. Hi Gayle,

    I'm not looking for testers right now, bease I haven't been designing. Just taking a break and submitting to magazines. Bit I will keep you in mind and put you on the list for when I do need a tester.
    Thanks for offering. There are 3 patterns in my new book that have errors and we've been working on correcting them. They aren't my errors which of course really upsets me and has made me really stressed out. I'm still not satusfied, and even though I am not expected to do this, I may have some people test the corrected patterns. Since they are in different sizes I want to make sure the corrections are right for all the sizes. I'm wondering if anyone is interested in this. At the moment I can't pay any testers for doing this, and the only thing I can offer is that they would get a free pattrrn.

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  37. Hi Gayle,

    I'm not looking for testers right now, bease I haven't been designing. Just taking a break and submitting to magazines. Bit I will keep you in mind and put you on the list for when I do need a tester.
    Thanks for offering. There are 3 patterns in my new book that have errors and we've been working on correcting them. They aren't my errors which of course really upsets me and has made me really stressed out. I'm still not satusfied, and even though I am not expected to do this, I may have some people test the corrected patterns. Since they are in different sizes I want to make sure the corrections are right for all the sizes. I'm wondering if anyone is interested in this. At the moment I can't pay any testers for doing this, and the only thing I can offer is that they would get a free pattrrn.

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    Replies
    1. I really wish I had seen this sooner. I would have been glad to do this, for you, for free. If you ever need help like this in the future, feel free to let me know.

      Delete
  38. Aloha,
    I just started crocheting this summer and have set up an instagram and fb "semi shop" where i have sold some things. I am trying to make money from home since i'm a full time online student and full time mom. I never even knew that crochet pattern testing was a thing until literally tonight. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do this. My email is Kaylarox93@gmail.com. Let me know if you still need someone :)
    Mahalo

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  39. I will keep you in mind Mahalo! Thanks

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  40. I will keep you in mind Mahalo! Thanks

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  41. I have just recently started back to crocheting. I have made an afghan here or there but nothing to serious. I would love to test patterns.I have just set up a fb page and have sold a couple of items. Testing patterns would give me a way to build up my confidence and get experience at crocheting.

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    1. for contact info my email is suzettecma@yahoo.com

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    2. Thank you Suzette. At the moment I don't have any patterns to have tested but have another proposition for anyone wanting to test my patterns.

      My newest book, Colorful Crochet Lace, has some errors due to what the tech editor changed and of course I have been very upset and stressed about that. Eve though we're trying to make corrections I have no way of knowing if the corrections are right unless I were to make the project all over again in every size! I would really like to have some people test those patterns (in the different sizes), but am not in a position right now to pay the tester. But I can give someone interested the pattern for free, especially if they don't have that book. This would really help give me peace of mind. Would you, or anyone else reading this, be interested?

      Delete
  42. Mary Jane,

    I would love to be a pattern tester for you, preferably for the paid scale, negotiable of course. Please let me know if you need anything tested. My email is hines.feliciam@gmail.com.

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  43. Mary Jane,
    I have been crocheting for a couple of years now, but with the limited resources where I am it is difficult for me to really learn, on Maui there is only two stores that I have found that sells yarn. I would love the opportunity to grow and learn by being a pattern tester for you. my email is liliyoshisato@gmail.com

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  44. Mary Jane,
    I have been crocheting for a couple of years now, but with the limited resources where I am it is difficult for me to really learn, on Maui there is only two stores that I have found that sells yarn. I would love the opportunity to grow and learn by being a pattern tester for you. my email is liliyoshisato@gmail.com

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  45. Hi Mary Jane. I've learned to crochet 45 years ago, but haven't picked up my hook for 12 years until very recently. I would say my skill level is intermediate. You can find my recent work on Ravely, where I am JardinPrayer. I would absolutely love to be considered as a tester!

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  46. Thank you Lynn! I will keep you in mind too. I am currently working on self publishing a Boho Crochet book and don't need any pattern testers yet. I'm trying to set my own deadlines, but since I don't have the publishers deadlines, it's easy to allow other things to slow me down. Thanks for offering!

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  47. Thank you Lynn! I will keep you in mind too. I am currently working on self publishing a Boho Crochet book and don't need any pattern testers yet. I'm trying to set my own deadlines, but since I don't have the publishers deadlines, it's easy to allow other things to slow me down. Thanks for offering!

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  48. I would love to be a pattern tester. I have applied to be a tester to one designer today. Not sure myself what the going rate is. I would be happy to be supplied with the wool to test pattern and then to keep any excess for my own use.

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  49. If you would like to see my crochet work then please follow this link https://www.instagram.com/tangle_tree_creative/

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  50. You're projects are beautiful Gina! I will keep you in mind when I need pattern testers. Thanks!

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  51. You're projects are beautiful Gina! I will keep you in mind when I need pattern testers. Thanks!

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  52. I have been crocheting for a little over a year, and want to expand on my craft. I am not working right now, so I am on a tight budget, but would LOVE to try out your patterns.

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    1. Thank you Jaclyn. I am taking a little break from designing this summer, but need to get some things finished. I'll keep you in mind :)

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    2. Thank you Jaclyn. I am taking a little break from designing this summer, but need to get some things finished. I'll keep you in mind :)

      Delete
  53. Hi Mary,

    I'm a self taught crocheter, started learning since a year. I learned from websites and youtube videos. I would love to test your patterns for nothing in return as I love crocheting and I'm always looking for new patterns to try.

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    1. Hi Ekta,
      I will keep you in mind! Thanks for commenting :)

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    2. Hi Ekta,
      I will keep you in mind! Thanks for commenting :)

      Delete
  54. Hello, I am a self taught crocheter and have expanded my abilities through online tutorial videos. I have learned through these videos to read patterns. I am also a seasoned procedural writer for companies so I am very experienced in testing policies and procedures to make sure they can be understood and used by just about anyone. I would love to assist you should you still need help.

    Cathryn

    Csdaisy@Hotmail.com

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  55. Hello, I am a self taught crocheter and have expanded my abilities through online tutorial videos. I have learned through these videos to read patterns. I am also a seasoned procedural writer for companies so I am very experienced in testing policies and procedures to make sure they can be understood and used by just about anyone. I would love to assist you should you still need help.

    Cathryn

    Csdaisy@Hotmail.com

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  56. Thank you Cathryn. I have a long list of people who want to test my patterns, but I'll keep you in mind!

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  57. Thank you Cathryn. I have a long list of people who want to test my patterns, but I'll keep you in mind!

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  58. Are you still using pattern testers? id love to be one

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    1. Thanks for leaving your name Angela! At the moment I don't need anyone, but may need a tester in the next few months.
      Thanks!

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  59. If you need more pattern resters, I would love to be one.

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  60. Are you still looking for pattern testers? I would love to be one...

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    1. Hi Ladybugs!
      I'm behind with reading these comments, so I apologize. I've been sick this year with different health issues due to the stress of doing my last bok and so I've been trying to rest and get better. I will let everyone know when I need testers. Thanks for leaving your name!

      Delete
  61. Hi I'm a crocheter for the past 25 years and would love to work as a pattern tester. Please email me at elv567@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for leaving your nane and comment!

      Delete
  62. I would love to be a pattern tester. If you are looking for someone email me at s.tripoli63@yahoo. com. I've been crocheting for a while. Thanks Steph

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    1. Hi Steohanie,
      Sorry I'm just now seeing your comment! I took off a yr from designing due to health issues and plan to start back with my designing soon. Thanks for leaving your name & email!

      Delete
  63. Mary Jane,

    I haven't been crocheting for long and would love to be considered to test your patterns.

    Thank you in advance,
    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah,
      Sorry I'm just now seeing your comment! I took off a yr from designing due to health issues and plan to start back with my designing soon. Thanks for leaving your name!

      Delete
  64. Hi, Mary Jane - Are you still seeking testers? I consider myself an advanced beginner. All the best to you. My emai: dino0726@aol.com

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  65. Hi Diane,
    I really appreciate you leaving a comment, but as much as I had intended to work on another book, the stress of designing & deadlines ended up with me in the hospital with a heart problem last year. Dealing with errors, not made by me, just took everything out of me. Those errors have been corrected on the new book, Colourful Crochet Lace, so things have calmed down a bit, but I have taken a year off from designing. Now I found out I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimitos, which makes me extra tired. All the health issues were triggered by stress. I'm going on a new diet which should help me feel better, but still trying to get back into designing.
    Thanks for leaving your name. I'm just struggling right now, after 11 yrs of non stop designing for books and magazines.

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  66. Does this job still have a vacancy?

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  67. Sorry, but at the moment I don't need any pattern testers, but still in the future :)
    Thanks for asking.

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  68. I would love to crochet some patterns for you if you'd like to hire someone in the future. Feel free to email me at my crochet email: nataliescrochet@gmail.com. I look forward from hearing from you in the future.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Natalie. It will definitely be someone who leaves their email address :)

      Delete
  69. I would love to become a pattern tester if your able to design again. I understand your taking a year off as I am cancer free for 3 years now. I love to crochet and would love to test patterns for you. Crocheting keeps me calm. Thank you

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  70. Thanks for your comment Nora. I'm so happy you are cancer free! I don't need any testrs at the moment, but I'll put you on the list.
    God bless :)

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  71. Thanks Mary Jane, every day is a blessing.

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