Test knitting with SmashKnits

I recently had the pleasure of test-knitting a pattern from the absolutely lovely Ashlee of SmashKnits fame.

When I announced this to my husband, he promptly rolled his eyes. Don't I have enough projects to be working on? Why should I spend my time doing something for someone else's business instead of moving forward on my own? After all, despite talking about my shop all the time, I don't have anything wonderful to show for it recently...

The thing is, that I find test knitting to be the perfect way to kick start my creative juices into gear when I'm feeling a little bit run down and uninspired. And that's exactly how I have been feeling over the past few weeks.

I've had a few hiccups on my own creative journey. A few projects I thought would be surefire winners turned out to be huge time-sucks (pink beanie hat, I'm looking at you). A couple of DIY projects spectacularly failed at the worst moments (see my fabric swatch wall calendar where the glass cracked as I was hanging it). And my husband was right, I haven't had a shop update lately. I haven't thought that anything has deserved to be there! I needed something to reassure myself that I am a good enough creative person, that I am good at my craft, and that I do add value to the creative community as a whole.

Which is why when the opportunity to test knit came through on my Instagram stories, it was like fate stepped in and said, "Girl, you've got this."

This particular project was a worsted weight yarn refresh of SmashKnits' popular Marmora hat pattern. This was ideal. I'm a cable fiend. I needed a new hat. I have an exhaustively large stash of worsted weight yarn. #sorrynotsorry

I picked a bold mustard shade - which is not a normal choice for me, as being a blond person, yellow often just looks bad on my face - and dove straight in with the pattern's double brimmed version. I couldn't believe how cathartic it was. I was making something that I was excited about. I was able to use my knitting knowledge to give (hopefully) helpful feedback to the pattern's designer. I was surprising myself.

I absolutely love how the finished product turned out. I loved the way it felt without a pom pom. I love the way it looks with a pom pom. I even love the way I look in mustard. And it turned out to be just the kick in the creative juices that I needed. Immediately upon finishing, I cast on for some matching fingerless gloves for the office, too, which were the perfect transition piece to get me through Great Britain's temperamental Spring weather.

But on a personal note, I will be working to get new patterns and updates

Have you ever participated in a pattern test-knit?

Happy Stitching,
Molly x


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