There are several things you should check before you send your pattern off to your tech editor. There are many reasons for this but in my opinion the big one is that it will help your tech editor spend less time on the little errors and this will also save you money.
I can probably spot about 95% of all mistakes. So the more errors that there are in a pattern the more chance that a mistake will be missed.
These are a few things that you should check before you send your pattern off:
- Photo – do you have one on the pattern. Even if you don’t have the official photos make sure to take some quick photos. One should be of the full design so that the editor can see what is going on. You should also include some detail shots of any interesting sections. The tech editor will be comparing your picture to your instructions to check that they match.
- Description – check that it is for the pattern that is being shown. It’s very easy to use a template and forget to change this.
- Yarn – Have you included the yardage, weight, what’s the yarn that you use in your photos. What are good qualities for this pattern (Stretch, Twist, Smooth etc.)? This will help someone decide whether they want to make the pattern.
- Needles – Do you include the size, do you need a specific type and how many (i.e. circular – how long does the circular need to be, DPNs, Straights).
- Gauge – What is the stitch and row gauge for the sample (it should be at least 10cm / 4”). What stitch pattern is it in? Do you use multiple strands of yarn for the gauge – make sure to include this. Do you knit the final pattern in the round, then your swatch should be gauged in the round? Is it a fair isle pattern, then your swatch should include fair isle.
- Size(s) – how big should the item be it is blocked out. What size person should it fit? If it is a sized item it is useful to have both sizes, size of the finished garment and what size person do you expect it to fit (do you have any positive or negative ease)?
- Notions – what do you need? Does your pattern need stitch markers, scrap yarn, cable needle (remember this even if you don’t use one for cables)? Any other items? How many do you need? Do you need 2 buttons or 8 buttons if someone says buttons on the pattern?
- Are you using the correct one throughout the pattern – rounds, rows
- Have you included all the abbreviations that you’ve used? Have you got abbreviations in your pattern that you haven’t used?
- Casting on – Have you included instructions for this? If joining in the round have you mentioned this?
- Binding off – How do you expect them to bind off? Should it be a stretchy bind off or a fancier bind off like picot or icord? Or is it using the Kitchener stitch?
- Finishing Instructions – remember to tell them to weave in their ends. Do you need anything seamed together? Or do you need to add any notions to the end result (buttons)?
- Blocking – does your item need blocking? If it does how heavily would you like it blocked, what size should it be blocked too (do you have a schematic that they could use)?
- Special instructions – do you say to make a buttonhole and then say no more. Does your audience know how to make a buttonhole?
- Key – make sure that this included and that all symbols used are on it.
- Readable – print it out. Make sure that it can be read so the symbols are not too small or that the colours are too similar that it’s hard to tell which colour is which.
- Colour Blindness – Have you thought about this. Some people can’t see the difference. If printed in black and white are the colours very different.
- Support and Policies
- How do you want people to contact you if they have a problem (or find a problem)
- What’s your copyright policy
Here are a few things that I think is a good idea to think about before you even start writing out your pattern. I will be talking about some of these in future posts.
- Have a list of your abbreviations and descriptions so you don’t have to figure them out each time.
- Use sites like Craft Yarn Council for checking standards.
- Who is your audience? Who are you aiming the pattern too? Do they print the pattern or do they work off a screen? How experienced knitter are they?
If you feel that I could help you with checking your pattern please feel free to contact me and we can talk about what you would like and need.