The Role of a Tech Editor

There are many indie knitting and crocheting Designers in our Yarny World these days, each with their own way of doing things.

The job of a Tech Editor (TE) is to check their patterns to make them as concise and easy to use as possible. It doesn’t matter how many time 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 a TE should do is give the pattern a good read through to familiarise themselves with the style and content. If a style sheet has been submitted, then the TE should check the pattern against it, looking out for things like:

  • 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.

It is the responsibility of the TE to advise the Designer of any inconsistencies or errors found in the pattern.

It is not the Tech editor’s responsibility 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 the Tech Editor should talk it through with the Designer, but ultimately should 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, the TE needs 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

Tension
Cast On
Cast Off
Stocking Stitch
Moss Stitch
Grafting

American

Gauge
Bind on
Bind off
Stockinette Stitch
Seed Stitch
Kitchener Stitch

There are others, but I think you get the idea.

Crochet stitch names also differ between English and American patterns, so it always a good idea to have a conversion chart close to hand. There are many International knitting and crochet guidelines on the internet which are invaluable to a Tech Editor, along with a good selection of reference books, which are always useful as memory joggers. Other services a Tech Editor may offer are chart writing from the written instructions, schematic drawing and size grading.

When all is said and done the Tech Editor is the Designer’s friend and they should establish a friendly and trusting working relationship, both working towards creating the best pattern they possibly can.

You can learn more about Linda’s services at her website www.tabathathomas.co.uk

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About the Author

Linda has a serious passion for knitting and crocheting having been shown how to do both as a small child and is never happier than when she is surrounded by yarn. She always has several projects on the go, ranging from socks to jumpers and all points in between. She loves to share her passion and knowledge and has taught many very successful workshops. She currently runs a monthly knit and natter group complete with a Knitting Surgery to help with pesky knitting and crocheting problems. This passion and knowledge has led her to Tech Editing and yarn dyeing. When not indulging in yarny pursuits Linda can be found whipping up a storm in the kitchen. She lives on the South Coast of England with her partner of many years who is as obsessed with playing his guitars as she is obsessed with her yarn!

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