When I’m tech editing, I’m always conscious of the fact that the longer I take to edit, the more it will cost the designer. More errors in a pattern means I’m going to have to spend more time writing notes, and that time does add up.
So before you send your pattern off to a tech editor, give it a look to make sure you’ve listed all the correct information, and that all the information a knitter needs is also there.
Here’s a list of things I consider to be important on a pattern. If these things are missing, I’ll make note of it. So including them before you send over your pattern helps cut down on the notes I make.
- Pattern name / designer name listed on the pattern
- Type? DPNs, circulars, straight needles? If circulars, what cable length is needed?
- Specify what weight is needed
- Specify what brand and line of yarn if you have a suggested yarn
- Have a note about what colorway your sample is knitted in
- Generally this includes things like a darning needle, stitch markers, and blocking materials
- Finished sizes and to-fit measurements (if applicable)
- Include both inches and cm, but make sure when you’re converting from inches to cm you multiply by 2.5, not 2.54.
- Your gauge section should specify what stitch pattern gauge is in, if it’s knit flat or in the round, and if measurements are taken pre- or post-blocking.
- Make sure you update this! A common mistake I see is that designers will use a template for their patterns and forget to add new abbreviations in or remove ones that aren’t in the pattern.
- There are two ways to organize your abbreviations: alphabetically or by section (IE increases/decreases go together, stitch marker abbreviations go together, other similar types of stitches go together – I would suggest only doing this if you have 10 or fewer abbreviations in your list). As an editor (and as a knitter), I prefer alphabetical because it’s just easier to find what I’m looking for.
- The pattern instructions itself
- Make sure you have cast on / bind off instructions
- Finishing details
- Notes on weaving in loose ends
- Specify if the item needs to be blocked.