Test Knit and Tech Editing
How many of your design and publish patterns for knitting or crochet? If you do, how many of your designs are test knit by others? Is there any pattern tech editing done?
Fair Warning – I Do My Own Test Knitting and Tech Editing
Perhaps all my published patterns should have a warning on them.
I recognize that I have a lot of blind spots when it comes to reviewing my own work. Collaborating with others on simple things like typos would help to eliminate errors. I mean, I know what it’s SUPPOSED to say, so I often replace words in my mind with what I know should be there.
But I also came of age in the knitting world when it wasn’t a travesty to find a mistake in a pattern. There are VOLUMES of knitting pattern errata out there proving my point.
But here is what I do:
- Keep up on current trends in pattern publishing:
- Include charts when they’re helpful.
- Use metric measurements as well as imperial (for needles, sizes, gauge, etc.).
- Adapt to changing layout trends.
- Re-do all the math in my pattern before publishing – making sure total stitch count and gauge equal measurements.
- Remake garments following my own instructions as if I didn’t know how to make it without them.
- Stay VERY receptive and responsive to feedback and questions on a pattern.
- Publish new versions of a corrected pattern within a day (or sometimes hours).
- Refund the purchase price of anyone pointing out an error in my pattern. I consider that they’ve become unwitting test knitters, and shouldn’t have to pay for the design.
- Revisit my patterns and update them. As my knitting skills grew, my ability to write a better pattern grew as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t sell a million patterns. So releasing a pattern with a mistake doesn’t affect hundreds of people. Perhaps if I went through a vetting process for a new pattern, it would generate a lot more buzz and sales.
What Prompted All This?
I’m test-knitting a cowl design for an amazingly talented new designer right now. He’s using YarnPond.com to find and organize test-knitters. It seems like Yarn Pond is filling a need I never knew existing. Matching up designers with test-knitters and tech editors. It also allows designers to determine what they require of testers/editors. And also to pull together all the feedback and questions. There is also messaging within the web site.
Perhaps I’ll consider using this the next time I look to publish a design.
I was able to finish my test knitting. And it came out fantastically well. To be honest, I don’t think this pattern needed to be test-knit or tech edited. But the designer did the responsible thing and made sure.
So now I’m back working on finishing the Shaker Rib Cardigan.
This is the front-right section. It’s not a surprise if you didn’t remember this WIP. Last time I worked on it was mid-November.
Finn insisted on participating this morning. But this photo shows I just have half the front-right section to finish and then sleeves, button-band and pocket edge.
Hopefully I won’t get too distracted on something else.