Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WHY HIRE A TECHNICAL EDITOR FOR YOUR CROCHET PATTERN?






Well, there may be any of a number of reasons.
  1. You're new to pattern writing and aren't sure where to start.
  2. You're an experienced pattern writer and know that a second set of eyes is invaluable.
  3. You've had your patterns tested, but customers are still not giving glowing reviews to your pattern writing, or are finding errors.
  4. There's always something else that needs correcting.
  5. You want to bounce ideas off of somebody that understands crochet completely.
I can help you with all of these reasons, and probably others that you haven't even thought of.

Well, probably the first thing you're thinking is: "How much is this going to cost me?"
If you are an independent designer, I charge $20/hour and normally use PayPal to invoice.  If you have another favorite way to pay, then let me know.

The next thing you're probably wondering is: "How long will it take?"
  • That's tricky.  A pattern with a lot of errors will take a lot longer than one that's mostly error free.  A pattern with multiple sizes will take longer than a simple scarf.  
  • Mostly between 1.5 and 3.5 hours.

"That sounds fine, so, what do you do with my pattern that takes all that time?"
Many things!
  • First I read through looking for actual pattern errors.
  1. Does the gauge match the finished size? (Gauge always matters! yes, even for that scarf.)
  2. If told to work into the next 3 sc, are those 3 sc there to work into?
  3. If told to make 5 rpts of a st pattern, is there enough room for all 5 rpts?
  4. Is it symmetrical (or not, if it's not a symmetrical pattern)?
  5. Is it sc and not dc?
  6. Is all the math correct?
  7. Is that the actual name for the yarn? is it really that color number? is it available in the color you listed?
  8. and on and on, so many potential technical errors.
  • I make sure all the abbreviations used are in the list and all those in the list are used.
  • Are all the periods there? how about the commas? spaces, are there one or two? are all your hyphens the same size? are all the hyphens there (worsted-weight yarn vs yarn that is worsted weight)
  • After I've read it through the first time, I read it again checking for all the little things that might have slipped through with the first reading since the main focus of the first read is the correctness of the instructions rather than grammarish things.  (OK, grammarish isn't a word, but it looks good here.)
  • Which leads me to: It's your pattern. I'm not the crochet police. Do you really want US instead of U.S.?  OK.  You really hate tr for treble crochet and want to use trc instead.  OK.  Do you want 10cm or 10 cm?  
  1. I'll point things out to you that fit my preference, but some things are best left to you, the designer.
  2. Do you have a style guide?  Then I'll check it and follow it so you won't have to have me ask you about your well-thought-out choices.
  3. Do you have stitch diagrams?  I'll compare them to the written instructions to make sure they "say" the same thing.
"Hey, wait a minute! didn't you just say you weren't the crochet police, shouldn't you be checking to see if I follow the crochet standards?"
  • Yes, I'm not the crochet police, I'm a technical editor.  I'm here to make sure your pattern is as professional as possible.  I want you to publish a pattern that is free from errors, consistent throughout, and easy to follow.  If you have a style that is not standard, but is still easy to follow, then I'm happy to support your style.  

"OK, so why do you think you should be my technical editor?"
  • Well, because I love crochet and I want your patterns to be lovely.
  • As an avid crocheter I have a passion for error-free patterns.
  • My current clients are very happy with my work, so I would expect you to be, too.
  • I am fully proficient in regular crochet, Tunisian crochet, hairpin lace, and double-ended hook crochet (maybe this is a subset of Tunisian).
  • I am very comfortable with amigurumi, but have edited only a handful or so of these patterns and have crocheted about the same amount. 
  • If something is vexing me in your pattern, I'll stop the clock and make a little swatch.
"I'd really like to include stitch diagrams, can you do those, too?"
  • Yes, I can.  They cost extra, based on the number of rows and type of drawing (curved rows cost a bit more than "flat" rows, but circles with a simple rpt are as easy as "flat" rows).  They take me longer than they cost, so they are mostly a service to designers who hire me for technical editing.
  • I use Inkscape and draw all my own sts.
"Well, do you have anything else that will convince me to try you out?"
  • Yes!  I give a 20% discount to new clients on their first pattern.  
  • Also, if you refer a new client to me and they use my technical-editing services, you will receive 20% off your next pattern (the designer you referred will still have 20% off their first pattern).
"Well, I'm in the UK and we use different st names, so can you do that?"
  • Yes!  I am very comfortable with UK st/technique terms.
"Great!  How do I contact you?"

  • You can send an e-mail to me by clicking this link.
  • If you prefer, you can leave a comment below with your Ravelry name, or contact me on Ravelry directly,  I'm Amerz.

Notice that I work only with crochet patterns. (I did do a knitting pattern once for a long-time client, she was happy with my work and the pattern is very popular, so... maybe if you become a long-time client and really want me to look at your pattern, I'll do it, but otherwise it's best if I stick with crochet for now. 😉)

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