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.....