Behind the scenes: What makes a good sample knitter?

At UK Hand Knitting we are often asked about sample knitting for designers ad yarn companies. So in our latest look behind the scenes we talked to David MacLeod, Design Manager at Rowan about working with sample knitters and what the job entails.

How important are good quality sample knitters?

It’s very important to have good quality knitters because their work represents us in our brochures and pictures, also it costs time and money if garments are not knitted correctly as we may have to have them reknitted.

sample knits
It is essential that sample garments are well knitted or crocheted for photography as well as to test that the patterns work. Patterns: Felbrigg, Mie and Hiyama from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 59

What skills are important in a sample knitter  – being able to knit to tension, following instructions precisely, etc?

The skills are exactly as you’ve said – being precise and working to tension – and also it’s nice to have someone who  takes pride in what they’re knitting.

We do have a regular group of knitters and some ladies who like to knit more than others. It’s very hard to find good knitters who are experienced enough to knit our garments and knitters that are prepared to do any project.

One of the most important skills is feedback which may include feedback on the yarn itself or on the pattern or design, so our knitters need to be good communicators.

How do you find your sample knitters? Do you work with a regular group of them?

We sometimes get emails from people asking if they can knit for us, or we send out an email to ask for applicants. All knitters have to pass a knitting skills test.

We do have bank of sample knitters that we use on a regular basis.



2 thoughts on “Behind the scenes: What makes a good sample knitter?”

    1. You could try contacting the different yarn companies and talking to designers on Ravelry – you’ll some times find requests there. Some smaller designers also look for test knitters where you aren’t paid but are given free yarn and pattern – this can be a good way to see if you are suited to sample knitting. Also contact t find out how to join the list of paid knitters


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