The purpose of technical editing is to reduce the number of errors.
When I edit a pattern I look at every aspect to help you make it as perfect as possible.
I do not guarantee absolute perfection (no-one can), but I do my very best to ensure your pattern is as complete, as clear, as consistent, and as error free as we can make it together.
My background
I spent 30 years working as an IT analyst before escaping from the corporate world. 
I worked with highly technical development teams, and not-at-all-technical end-user departments. I would translate and document information and questions from each for the other. This required excellent attention to detail, clear and unambiguous communication, constant checking for completeness, and anticipating potential misunderstandings. All excellent skills for a tech editor!
I completed courses in pattern grading and tech editing in 2012, but wasn't able to leave full time work then. I did, however, publish a couple of my own patterns in 2013.
In 2018, I jumped in at the deep end with my first credited tech editing job which was the tutorials section of the fabulous book Åsa Tricosa Ziggurats.
You can find details of some of my editing projects and clients here.
What can I edit?
I mainly edit knitting books and patterns, but one of my recent projects was a sewing book of soft toys.
I have extensive experience of many other textile crafts. Please get in touch if you'd like to discuss a project in another textile craft.
What do I check when editing?
Introduction
 - Yarn: Are the yarn details complete, do the quantities look reasonable for the pattern?
 - Tools: Are all needles and other tools mentioned in the pattern listed?
 - Gauge: Is this within the range I would expect for the yarn and needles?
 - Abbreviations: Are all abbreviations used in the pattern listed; are there any others (not used) included; have they been used consistently within the pattern?
 - Special techniques: If any special techniques are used, are they explained or is a link to a tutorial provided?
Instructions
 - Numbers: I will 'virtually knit' the pattern (for every size) via a spreadsheet, to ensure that each instruction has the desired effect on the stitch count and row count.
 - Charts (colourwork, cables, or lace): Is the key complete, does the chart fit the number of stitches the specified number of times? Do the written instructions match the chart?
 - Are the finishing instructions present/complete?
Measurements
 - Imperial and metric measurements: How have the conversions have been done? Are the numbers correct?
 - Sizes: Do the stitch and row counts match any measurements stated? How do they compare with size standards? For garments I use Ysolda’s sizing chart unless you provide a different reference to use. For hats I refer to Woolly Wormhead.
Words
 - Have the instructions been written in a consistent manner throughout? 
 - Is there any scope for confusion or misunderstanding? 
 - I also check the spelling, punctuation and grammar.
How do I work?
What I need
The pattern: It's easiest for me if the pattern is in an editable format (word or google docs). This way I can use the comments feature to provide my feedback, and make simple punctuation changes directly in the document. However, I can work from a pdf if that's your preference.
Your concerns: If there is an aspect of the pattern that you are worried about, please let me know so that I can pay particular attention to that.
Charts: If you haven't embedded your charts in the main pattern yet, please send the charts as pdfs
Photos: It really helps to have photos of the finished item from all sides, with a close up of any details. These don't need to be your final photos, just enough to show what it's supposed to look like. A flat photo of the front and back is often enough.
Your calculations: It's also really useful to have a copy of any spreadsheet (excel or google sheets) which you used to calculate your numbers. This is so I can quickly check whether any discrepancies I find are down to an error on my part, an error made when transcribing the numbers into the pattern, or an error in the original calculations. I can then correct the pattern, or refer it back to you as appropriate. 
The estimate
When I first receive your pattern, I will read it through to see whether it looks ready for editing, and will provide an estimate for the work. I will also let you know whether I can meet any deadlines you have. Once we have agreed terms I will start work. 
Note: I don't need all of the above in order to provide an estimate, but the more I have, the more accurate the estimate will be.
The editing
I will then work through the pattern as described. For larger, more complex patterns, I generally work in small blocks of time, tackling it in sections. I record the actual time taken as I go.  
If I find an issue that I believe will have a larger effect on the pattern, I will stop work and ask you about it. I will not re-start work until you have clarified the question. An example of this might be a mis-calculation of the stitch count at the split for body and sleeves on a top-down sweater. This could mean that the stitch pattern no longer fits onto the body or sleeves. 
If I need to increase the estimate for any reason, I will let you know as soon as I know.
Once the pattern edit is complete, I will return the pattern with my comments and suggestions which you are free to incorporate or ignore. It's your pattern after all.
I will often look at the pattern more than once in order to check the changes made after the first edit.
Final proofread
Once your pattern has been updated and is ready for publication, I like to give it a final proofread to ensure that no errors have snuck in with late changes.
If I receive the final pattern within one month of completing the original edit, this service is free. After a month it will be at my usual per-hour rate, but this is unlikely to take more than one hour (often only 30 minutes).
How much will it cost?
I charge £30 per hour. 
How many hours will my pattern take?
The number of hours a pattern takes depends on many factors, but the following should give you some idea.
 - An unshaped cowl with a small and simple colourwork or lace repeat, might take me just an hour.
 - A simple triangle, crescent, or rectangle shawl is likely to take two or three hours depending on the number of different stitch patterns.
 - A sweater in 16 sizes with a colourwork yoke, or a shawl in a non-repeating all-over lace pattern with written and charted instructions can take up to 14 hours.
Other factors that will influence the time it takes include: 
 - how complete the pattern is when I receive it, 
 - how many questions arise that I need answered before I can continue,
 - how much feedback I need to provide,
 - whether you will need my help with any parts of the pattern (e.g. calculating yarn requirements for each size from the amount used for your sample).
The first time I work with a designer it can be difficult to estimate how long the editing will take. This is because we need to get used to working together. In this case I will cap the amount time that I will charge for (though not the actual time I spend).
New designers
If you are new to writing patterns, this can all seem very daunting. I know, I did it once, and can still remember that fear when sending off my pattern not knowing how much the editing was going to cost me. 
I really like to work with new designers, and to help them grow. If this is you, please don't be afraid to get in touch. I would love to talk to you about how I can help you.
Saving time (and money)
One very simple thing you can do which could save me time and you money, would be to use the list at the top of this page to check your pattern yourself, before sending it to me. Anything you find and correct yourself is one less thing for me to find and write feedback on.
Invoicing
For single patterns, I invoice once the pattern is complete (after the proofread), usually in the first week of the following month unless we agree otherwise. 
For larger projects we can discuss the terms.
Payment should be by direct bank transfer if possible. PayPal is acceptable only if you are unable to pay by bank transfer. Payment is required in Sterling (GBP).
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