Friday, February 7, 2014

Special Friday Focus: Burgundy Bonner

A lot of work goes into pattern writing. It is very important to me that my patterns are of high quality, so the large amount of work is both necessary and fulfilling. The process begins with an idea. Some ideas practically slap me in the face while others grow quietly and gently. The idea rolls around in my brain for a long time, maybe even months. I morph it, change it, and play with it in my head while I'm doing dishes, taking a shower, and even working on other patterns.

One morning when I wake up my idea is finally ready. I know the yarn I want to use, the stitches I'll use, the shape I want, the size, the colors, the whole shebang. I begin my work with purpose and excitement, handwriting my instructions in my rainbow notebook as I go. Sometimes I "Mozart" it, meaning that the idea I have in my head comes out fully formed with no editing. Other times I frog and scribble out the first few rows several times before I like the direction of the piece. Day after day I put in hours of work, taking pictures all the way, writing and crocheting until my vision is realized and I hold my idea in my hands. It's a magical feeling to create.

And yet, I'm still not done. Not by far. I upload all of my photos, culling and editing them so that they are as clear and useful as possible. I painstakingly transfer the pattern instructions from my notebook to my digital document. I arrange, edit, explain, and revise. Converting my pattern to PDF at the end of it all is probably one of the best feelings in the world. I'm done.

What now? Up to this point the pattern has been only mine. My ideas, my thoughts, my words. How useful will it be to someone else? Will they be able to read it? Does it make sense? Are there errors that my brain has sneakily glazed over? If this pattern is going to be meaningful to others it needs to be tested by someone other than myself. Like a light in the darkness, enter Burgundy Bonner.

Burgundy is my primary pattern tester. She is the first one to take a crack at the project before I send it to my secondary tester and eventually publish it for the public. She is incredible. She can find the three errors in 121 lines of tapestry instructions. She finds the typos and the missing words. She knows what might be confusing to others. I have never known anyone who crochets so quickly and yet with such accuracy and consistent tension. Sending my patterns to her is so exciting because I know she'll do a good job and that her feedback will be useful. I trust her with the important job of making sure my patterns are of high quality. Above all that she is kind, fun, friendly, positive... and so modest about her skills! She comforts me through my mini-panics and is a good friend. Today I want to feature Burgundy to thank her for her stellar work as my primary tester. I know that she and I will go far together! Here's what she had to share with us.

 A bit about me: I grew up in the country in Montana. Being outdoors with my kids and being creative are very important to me. I have always had the urge to crochet but I never knew how. I taught myself to crochet using YouTube videos :-) I've been crocheting for almost two years now. I crochet to create and to relax. I love the movement of it. My goals are to improve on my abilities, write some of my own patterns, and eventually become a professional tester.
Here are a few things that Burgundy has made that were not based on my patterns. She's made many other items as well. You can check them out on her Ravelry page. Sometimes she's willing to sell a finished object. Ravelry would be a good place to contact her about that.

This is my favorite one :) The pattern is from myntkat on Ravelry.

Here's a close up of my dragon.

 A scarf I made up as I went along... It's all made with a continuous strand... No sewing together.

Here's a Spiderman hat I made for my son.

Next I wanted to share pictures of the pattern tests that Burgundy has completed for me. I am ever so grateful!

It's amazing. She's done all of this work and she is still willing to continue testing for me. She is working on several tests right now! She does have an advantage, though...she gets to see all of my patterns before anyone else! She also gets all of my patterns for free. That adds up to almost $50 so far. 

Burgundy, thank you so much for everything you do. I am so happy to have connected with you and I'm delighted to have you as a friend. It will be a pleasure to continue collaborating with you as I move forward in my design career. Everyone, please give Burgundy a round of applause! *claps* :)

Happy Hooking!

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