Digital Low-Down: Surving the Test Phase

*Hi, Jenny Brown has moved to  Please come on over to read this post and see our new content!*

Some of you may already know that my interest in pattern design started way back in the day (let’s not say how many years, OK?) when my mom taught me to crochet.  Soon after, I started making berets for my best friend’s entire My Little Pony collection.  Unfortunately, there are no photos of these crochet-covered ponies, just the memory of making berets because I “invented” crocheting in a circle.  Some circles were better than others, but I remember that for each new one, I tried to match the good points of the previous attempt, then improve on it just a bit.  I didn’t realize it then, but this was my first foray in pattern  testing.

pattern wip - hijennybrownThat scene is not too different from the past few months, where I’ve been crocheting the same things over, and over, and over again.  Getting a few rows in, tearing it out, scrawling notes in pink pen throughout my notebook, picking up my favorite hook, and doing it all again.  pattern notes - hijennybrownFor me, getting through the testing phase is definitely the most difficult part of creating downloadable patterns – but nothing makes me happier (seriously) than knowing everyone crocheting that pattern is getting perfect directions that will help them make exactly what they had in mind.  Pattern testing can be a slog, but that moment when you crochet the last sample and realize everything is exactly how you imagined and your stitch count is just right…ah, that’s heaven.

3 Pattern Multipack: Uppercase Alphabet, Lowercase Alphabet, and Number & Punctuation Motif Patterns - Electronic DownloadFor my alphabet and number patterns, I did all this checking and rechecking myself.  With my newest pattern, which will be released soon (yeah!), I wanted to get a fresh perspective on the directions to ensure they were as good as they could be.  My first choice was Casey of Plus 3 Crochet and It’s Crochet, and I’m overjoyed she agreed to test the new pattern set!  If you already know her work, you know exactly why I asked her (and if you aren’t familiar, please do some clicky clicking and check her out.). Craft Husband also lent a hand and did a lot of the measuring and yarn estimates.

craft husband estimates - hijennybrownPhew – it is so nice to have such great help, and we are so close to releasing this pattern.  If, like me, you can’t wait for this new pattern set, please join the mailing list so I can tell you before anyone else (with a discount code, of course)! Casey’s already given me a little feedback, and she used my favorite word: “perfect.”  Ah, that’s heaven.

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This post was inspired by the amazing April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle, who will be teaching a class about creating digital products on Creative Live November 10-11. You better believe I’ll be watching and hopefully learning some new ways to streamline the digital release process! Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.,
Jenny Brown


27 thoughts on “Digital Low-Down: Surving the Test Phase

  1. Hi, Jenny Brown! I have never ever gotten the hang of crochet, so I am thoroughly impressed. And creating a crochet pattern? You seem like a magician to me. I am so happy we got to know each other though CL! I love your whimsical style.

    1. Richelle, you are too sweet! I am so glad we met, too! I feel the same way about jewelry making – I am in awe of the beautiful work you do. And if you ever want to give crochet another try, let me know 🙂

  2. I second Richelle! Being able to create crochet patterns seems incredibly intensive and magic-like. Thank you so very much for participating in the blog tour and sharing your latest pattern set with all of us.

    1. Aw, shucks – thanks, April! I am so happy to be part of this tour and absolutely can’t wait for the class! Selling digital patterns has been great, and I’m so grateful to all the folks who have used them. I’m looking forward to doing even more!

  3. Great post Jenny Brown ! Love your patterns and i totally Woow ! the effort that you put into every pattern. Wish you all the best 🙂

  4. My mother and daughter crochet and so I really appreciate it. LOVE your alphabets and numbers! They are amazing. So unusual. And your site is beautiful too. All the best to you!

  5. I have so much respect for crafters who knit and crochet! I can sit and edit photos all day, but the idea of making loops with yarn and turning those into something to wear blows my mind. Mad skills.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I’m the opposite – my photos are the worst. If it’s not the light, it’s the composition, and if both are right, it’s probably blurry 🙂 My photographer/friend, Erin, takes all my product shots.

  6. I agree with everyone….crochet seems so far out of my creative skill set and I love your work! I also truly admire how you’ve taken your work one step further by creating digital downloads! You are a great example! I look forward to “seeing” you online for April’s class and I suspect your business will continue to grow! Best of luck to you!!

  7. Oh so exciting to find another crochet site to follow. I picked up crochet last year and I am still a newbie at it but I absolutely love crocheting. I still find some patterns extremely hard to read.

    1. Hi, Beth! Woo- hoo, another crocheter! 🙂 Some patterns are downright impossible, but I would say the key is to start with pretty established patterns that use standard language. What kind of things do you get hung up on, and what do you like to make? I love talking crochet, so I can help you find some good patterns to learn from, if you want 🙂

      1. I get hung up on what am i supposed to do next sometimes and their are plenty of times where i have not made something because i cant follow the pattern. For the life of me i can’t find a small heart pattern that is easy to follow. I want to make small hearts for my scrapbook layouts but every pattern I have tried has come out wonky because I can’t understand it.

      2. Beth, I’ve been there before! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a pattern and thought “now what?” There are patterns out there that are written more as notes than a pattern, expecting you to already know what to do between, how large something should be, what kind of turn to use, etc. I would suggest looking for patterns in books (like, free from the library 🙂 until you find ones you want to buy) that have step-by-step pictures. That’s how I started reading patterns. For online pattens, I like getting patterns off someone’s individual blog (more likely to have pictures and an explanation of how it’s made) rather than the giant crochet pattern sites where you’re just getting a few lines of confusing text. As far as hearts, this is my favorite pattern – I’ve made millions of them. Unfortunately, it’s really confusing 🙂 I’ve done it with crochet thread and small hook, and they’ve been the perfect size. Give it a try and let me know how you do. If you get stuck, I’ll help you out (you can email hijennybrown[at]

  8. Oh my goodness I adore crocheting, but I’m absolutely in awe of anyone who can create a whole new pattern…I frequently modify patterns I’m using, but the idea of completely starting from scratch…mind blowing!!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Amanda Sue! That’s how I started out – modifying existing patterns. Then I realized I could do it myself, so you’re not too far from designing 🙂

  9. I love to crochet, but I’m not exactly very educated about it so when I see a pattern that I would like to make, half the time I don’t even know how to read it or it leaves a lot of guesswork. I spend more time finding videos or tutorials online than I do actually crocheting the pattern. I bet that your patterns must be different though because it sounds like you put a ton of love and time into them to make sure they are perfect. For as much time as you put into them, you need to have digital patterns. I hope this class will help you out.

    1. Hi, Renay! Thank you so much for stopping in & for your kind compliments! Crochet patterns do vary in the style, wording, and level of detail. I updated two of the patterns to include more detail and photos to make things that much easier.
      I hate when I spend time searching for the right pattern, then have to spend even more time trying to figure out what they want me to do! But it is so nice to have so much on YouTube in case I get stuck!

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