Many factors weigh into the decision to buy a pattern, especially if that designer is new to knitting sweaters. Customers want to know that they are getting a quality pattern that will result in a sweater that is worth the time, energy, and money that they put into their project. They need to know if the pattern has a schematic, if it is presented in metric and imperial measurements, if the cables are charted or written, and if the pattern has been test knit and/or tech-edited.
Ravelry makes it possible to know many of these answers prior to making a purchase. You can exclude patterns that are presented without charts if you are accustomed to working with charts or vice-versa. You can look at the projects and see how the test knitters felt about the pattern, and how their sweaters turned out. You can even check out the designers other patterns and see how people feel about his or her previously released patterns. A careful look at the photos may reveal issues with fit.
All of these things are really helpful, but they cannot tell you the one thing that you really want to know: How will this sweater fit me?
Here is where I need a little help. I am releasing my first self-published women's sweater design, Wawona, at the end of September. The pattern is a deep v-neck pullover, with traveling cables that create a flattering shape on the wearer. The pattern has been thoroughly tech-edited and tested, but I feel like more customers would give the pattern a chance if they could have an idea of how the sweater will fit them.
So, in cooperation with The Studio, I am hosting a Try-It-On Thursday event on September 24th, from 4pm -- 7pm at The Studio (9555 Nall, Overland Park, KS). I will have two sweater samples, sizes 37" and 49" available for you to try on. These sample sizes should fit those with a 33-40" bust and a 45-52" bust, so most everyone will be able to see how this sweater will work for them. I would like to take a couple of photos of each person in the sweater and have a short survey for you to fill out. I will also talk to you about what you like about the sweater fit, and what you might change. I plan to use this information, including the photos, on a future blog post, when the pattern is introduced.
In exchange for your help, I am giving away free copies of the pattern to all participants. I will have a few printed copies available, for those that want to cast-on immediately, but I am asking that you leave your Ravelry ID, and I will gift the patterns to you via Ravelry to help with printing costs. The Studio has ordered multiple sweater quantities of Anzula Cricket in twelve colors, so your help at this event allows you first choice of colors. First choice of an amazing yarn and the chance to try on a brand-spankin' new sweater design. . . what could be better?!
If you live in the Kansas City area, please place this event on your calendar. Your support would really help make this design a success, and hopefully it will inspire you to cast on for a sweater project for this autumn.