How to Decrease Tech Editing Costs: Your Knitting Pattern Editing Checklist
Wanting to decrease your tech editing costs but still publish high quality knitting patterns? The key is to pre-edit your pattern yourself before you send the pattern to your tech editor. This will help reduce your tech editor's workload by catching many of the smaller mistakes and reduce the amount of back-and-forth communication required for finalizing your pattern.
So what are the most important things to check in your knitting pattern before sending it to your tech editor?
What Mistakes Do You Tend to Make in Your Knitting Patterns?
If you've worked with a tech editor before, you are likely aware of mistakes that you commonly make. Do you forget to check your headers, add alt text to your photos, or link tutorials in your pattern? Start making a list of the things your tech editor most commonly catches in your patterns. That's a great place to start. Then follow this checklist to catch other details you might've missed.
Tip: Put your pattern aside for a few days before working through your checklist. Looking at your pattern with a fresh set of eyes will help you catch more mistakes than if you edit the pattern immediately after writing it.
#1: Check your math.
An error in your math can lead to additional errors. Perhaps your tech editor misinterprets your intent and then thinks the rest of your pattern is also incorrect, but really it was just a simple error at the beginning that doesn't affect the rest of your pattern. Whether that's the case or not, math errors can take up a lot of time and may require a bit of back-and-forth communication before realizing a solution. The easiest way to avoid that time, cost, and frustration is to doublecheck your math before you send your pattern to the tech editor.
This can include:
number of rows or rounds for each size
number of stitches in each row or round for each size (are you calculating increases and decreases properly?)
number of stitches worked in each row or round (do you provide instructions for every existing stitch? do your instructions require more stitches than exist from the previous row or row?)
the sizing information
the gauge information
conversions between metric and imperial measuring systems
#2: Check your grammar.
This one can be a bit quicker to check since most of the programs we use already check our spelling and grammar for us. However, it's always a good idea to re-read all of your pattern instructions... both for grammar and to ensure the instructions are easy to understand.
Tip: If you write the pattern before you knit your sample, you can essentially test knit the pattern as you knit. This can be a great way to catch math and grammar errors, at least for the size you're working.
#3: Check that your charts and written instructions match.
Checking that your charts and written instructions match is an easy way to reduce the time your tech editor has to spend editing your pattern. Either pull up the charts and written instructions so they both show on your computer or print one out, so you can easily look back and for between the two instructions without scrolling or toggling between platforms.
#4: Check your pattern against your style sheet.
Let your style sheet be your guide. Your style sheet will remind you of all the information you want to include in your pattern (pattern name, designer name, contact information, yarn information, gauge information, needle information, etc) as well as the formatting you want to use (which fonts and text sizes you use, how you word your abbreviations and their descriptions, how you choose to link to outside sources, how you word your instructions, how the page is laid out, etc). By checking your pattern against your style sheet, you will catch the majority of the inconsistencies that your tech editor would discover.
#5: Check your headers and footers.
Somehow, it seems like there's always some sort of an issue with a header and/or footer. Check that they're lining up correctly, your page numbers are numbered correctly, the correct pattern name is listed on every page, and that the copyright year is correct.
And that's it! The five things to check in your knitting pattern before sending your pattern to your tech editor, to help reduce the time and cost associated with tech editing.
Is there anything else you'd add to this list? Share it in the comments!