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Category: Tech Editing

  1. Why Use a Tech Editor?

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    Why use TE

    Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash


    Why use a tech editor?  That is a very good question.  Why should you.....

    My job as a tech editor is to check knitting and crocheting patterns to make them as concise and easy to use as possible.  It doesn’t matter how many times a designer checks over a pattern, things can easily get missed, so casting a fresh pair of eyes over it is always a good idea. 

    The first thing I do is give the pattern a good read through to familiarise myself with the style and content.  If a style sheet has been submitted, then I check the pattern against it, looking out for things like:

    • Making sure all abbreviations are listed and clear.
    • Check spelling, grammar and punctuation and general consistency through out the pattern.
    • All maths is correct in the stitch count, tension and sizing.
    • The pattern layout flows logically from section to section.
    • Photos, schematics and charts agree with the pattern.
    • Check any charts there may be against the written instructions.
    • Check stitch count is correct in the charts.
    • Make sure there is a key for the charts.

    I will let the designer know about any inconsistencies or errors found in the pattern, but it is not my job to re-write or alter the pattern in any way.  A common mantra amongst tech editors is “it's not my pattern” as there may be times when something doesn’t look right but, for whatever reason it has been designed that way.  In circumstances such as these I would talk it through with the designer, but ultimately I will to go with the designer’s decision. 

    The same tech editing skills can be used for crochet patterns as well as knitting patterns.  Although patterns are interchangeable these days between the English and American market, I need to bear in mind the fact that some of the terminology is different between the two types of pattern.  The main ones that spring to mind in knitting patterns are:

    English American
    Tension Gauge
    Cast On Bind On
    Cast Off Bind Off
    Stocking Stitch   Stockinette Stitch  
    Moss Stitch Seed Stitch
    Grafting Kitchener Stitch







    There are others, but I think you get the idea.  Crochet stitch names also differ between English and American patterns, so I always have my trusty conversion chart close to hand.  There are many international knitting and crochet guidelines on the internet which are invaluable when tech editing.  I use them a lot, along with my vast selection of reference books - all of which are a tech editor's friend. 

    Tech editing isn't just about checking patterns.  It also encompasses chart writing from written instructions, schematic drawing, size grading and style sheet creation.

    When all is said and done your tech editor is your pattern buddy and you will, over time, establish a friendly and trusting working relationship, both of you working towards creating the best pattern you possibly can.


  2. My Top Ten Tech Editor Check List

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    Top Ten List

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


    We all want the same thing - to create a pattern that is accurate, complete and a joy to work from.   

    So with this in mind here is my Top Ten Check List, in no particular order, of things you should check before sending your pattern off for editing.  This top ten works for crochet patterns too.

    1.  Layout is logical and clear and the pattern style is consistent.  Make sure everything that should be in capitals is in capitals and that abbreviations are consistent.  Have you switched between "rep" and "repeat" for instance.

    2.  All of the component parts of the pattern are there and in a logical order.  For example - back, front, sleeves.  Top down socks start at the leg and toe up socks start at the toes.  If the design has an unusual construction, are the instructions clear?

    3.  All of the materials used in the pattern are listed.  Needles, crochet hooks, how many stitch markers are needed, how many buttons (if used), stitch holders, tapestry needle.  Don't forget the unusual things like pompom or tassel makers.

    4.  Check that all abbreviations listed are used in the pattern.  Don't forget special abbreviations for special stitches or techniques.  If internet links are used, make sure they work.

    5.  Tension is given for all stitches used.  If your design has various different stitches,  it could be a good idea to suggest the tension for each stitch as all stitches knit/crochet differently.

    6.  All measurements should be in both metric and imperial.  This goes for yarn weight and length and needle/hook sizes too.

    7.  Make sure you send photos to your TE to back up the pattern.  They should be clear and include close up shots of stitch patterns.  These are vital for your TE in order for them to know exactly what they are editing.

    8.  All charts and schematics are included, if used.  If there isn't a schematic, then detailed finished measurements are essential.  Do the charts match written instructions and are the chart keys correct.    Make sure all of the stitches are listed in the key.  If you use Stitchmastery for your knitted charts don't forget that when just one knit or purl stitch is used, it shows them as K or P, without the 1 after them.  This is something that should be picked up and corrected.

    9.  Make sure rows/rounds are labelled correctly.  Check that all right and wrong side rows are labelled correctly and that all rounds are rounds and rows are rows.

    10.  All finishing instructions are included.  Make sure you explain all seams that need seaming or grafting.  Does your design need blocking?  Does your hat need a pompom or your shawl need tassels?

    These are all things I have encountered when editing patterns.  All it takes is a quick 5 minute check through this list.  It will save you time and, if your tech editor charges by the hour,  money too! 

    It may also be worth considering using a style sheet.  Not only will this make your patterns consistent, it will also help you to pick up on these things before you tech editor does.....