Is It Time to Tech Edit?

Are you in the middle of designing a knitting pattern? If you are, congratulations! You may be wondering, “When should I send my pattern to the tech editor?” Let me explain when I recommend you should send off your design and why!

First, if you are a budding designer with no current tech editor relationship, contact tech editors you may be interested in working with even if you are still sketching your design. Some editors have busy schedules. If you have a deadline for getting your pattern edited, book ahead of time.

You can find tech editors on Ravelry groups, The Tech Editor Hub, and even on Instagram. I would enjoy “meeting” any of you interested in building a relationship with a tech editor for your designs. No matter what stage your design is in, make friends with a tech editor!

Now, you’ve begun establishing a relationship with a tech editor. When is your pattern ready to send off?

“From my experience, a knitting pattern is ready to be sent for tech editing when it has been graded for all intended sizes, had at least one sample knit from it, and be formatted as planned for publishing. Tech editing is best to have done before it has been in test knitters’ hands!”

Hannah Middleton

Why should my pattern be graded to all desired sizes before tech editing?

If you a designing a colorwork hat pattern in multiple sizes yet send the pattern to the editor with only the size you knit a sample for, more than double the math for stitch counts, yardage, and more is not getting checked. Having all sizes present in a pattern for tech editing is so important.

Why should I have at least one sample knit from my pattern?

By knitting a sample before editing, you finalize that you like the stitch pattern, fit, and overall design. You may become aware of details you didn’t include in the instructions or modifications you want to make when sample knitting.

Why should I have my pattern formatted as if it were publishing day?

Most tech editors will do much more than check that the lace pattern works across a row, the needles called for in the materials are the same as used in the pattern, and the yardage listed is adequate. Often, tech editors give suggestions on phrases that can clarified, creating consistency when various names are used for the same word, or where to place certain instructions. By having your pattern formatted to your style guide or as desired for release day, you are getting the most from your editor.

Why should I edit before sending the pattern to test knitters?

Often, test knitters are fellow knitters who are willing to knit your soon-to-be-released pattern. Test knitters get the chance to knit up your pattern free of charge before being released though often on a deadline. You get feedback, and sometimes finished object pictures, from fellow knitters on their experience with your pattern.

It’s not considerate of test knitters, who invest money into yarn and time into knitting, to discover that to work the rest of the pattern, they should have 100 stitches when they have 120 stitches! By tech editing before testing, hopefully, errors have been corrected within the pattern allowing your testers to give feedback without uncovering project affecting mistakes.

As I said in the intro, this is my recommendation. You can send your pattern to a tech editor at other stages in the design process too. If timing is everything, I hope this post was educating on when sending your pattern for editing will be the most impactful for the success of your pattern’s future. Wishing you the best!

Sharing an editing smile from me to you.

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