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.


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