I'm a fangirl for a good user experience (aka UX). My favorite recipes are the ones that organize the ingredients in order of appearance and bold them in the written instructions (bonus points if the ingredients are grouped by component, like Cake and Frosting 😍).
I have the same desire for good UX in knitting patterns. This doesn't necessarily mean that I want patterns to be flashy or "graphic designy." It means that the knitter should have just about everything they need at their fingertips to successfully work the pattern.
I bring my love of good UX to my work as a technical editor. At a baseline, any good tech editor you hire will check your pattern for accuracy and style consistency. Beyond the math and logic of a pattern, I review the pattern from a knitter's perspective to flag anything that might trip them up.
My goal is for you to publish your patterns with confidence, so you can spend less time on pattern support and focus on your next design.
Let's dig into the details
Here's the nitty gritty of what I look out for as I edit:
- Checking all the math and logic of your pattern.
- Making sure the pattern matches the schematic at each size, and that the grading makes sense at each size.
- Ensuring consistency in style and layout.
- Checking all the fine details. Does your cable pattern flow from the ribbing hem? Are all the abbreviations listed and used in the pattern? Do you have the right number of buttons at each size of your cardigan?
- Making sure the specified yarn amounts will work for each size.
- Checking that written instructions match any charts, and that the charts match the photos of the sample.
- Looking for ways to improve the clarity of the instructions to avoid confusion.
The end result:
- Your pattern is clear and accurate, leading to a more enjoyable experience for your knitters and boosting your reputation as a designer.
- Your pattern is free from errors, reducing the time you spend on knitter support.
You don't have to take my word for it:
— Jen Parroccini, One Wild Designs
— Elizabeth Margaret, One Wild Designs
— Sara, Azariah's Fibre Arts
— Helen, Helen Keith Designs
— Olivia, ThisHandmadeLife
I am a tech editor myself, so naturally, when I started the process of finding a tech editor I was really particular about finding someone who could do a great job. Once I saw her comments I was put at ease because it was clear she knew what she was doing and was very thorough in looking through everything in a fairly complicated pattern.
— Jenna Barron
— Jules, Juliette Pécaut Designs
I was nervous about the math and pattern layout designing, given it was my first pattern. I felt a million times better after working with Sarah.
— Annabeth Suchy
Creating inclusive patterns that work for bodies of all shapes and sizes, and in particular for trans and disabled folks, is really important to me, and Sarah is able to help me edit my patterns while still keeping the spirit of that mission and giving me the space to decide what works best for my patterns fit-wise.
— Catherine Meyer, Ginger Dog Knits
— Rikki, Knitty Possum
The fine print:
What kinds of patterns I edit
- I love editing garments - sweaters, cardigans, vests, etc.
- I can also edit accessories like hats, cowls, shawls, and socks.
- Beyond basic stitch patterns, I have experience knitting and/or editing relatively simple lace, brioche, and cables, as well as stranded and mosaic colorwork.
My timeline and process
- When you send me your pattern I will provide an estimate of the amount of time I expect it to take me. I will reach out to you as soon as possible if it seems that I might need more time to get your input on how you'd like to proceed.
- I work best when I have a generous turnaround time to edit patterns, I ask for a minimum of 5-7 business days for most garment patterns. I do not offer rush editing services.
- Since user experience is such a core focus for me, I prefer to work off of a PDF copy of your pattern in its final layout. Please make sure that all components are finished and included before sending the pattern to me for editing. (The exception being your final photos - a simple photo of your pattern that clearly displays all the components is sufficient.)
- I will make annotations directly in the PDF, using different colors to separate errors vs. suggestions.
- Once I send my first pass of edits back to you, I will ask you to make revisions and send the pattern back to me for a final review.
- My estimate includes my first pass as well as all subsequent reviews.
- I will invoice for the project once we're both satisfied that the pattern is ready to go. I use Wave for invoicing, which is a secure payment platform that can accept ACH and credit card payments.
- This is my full-time job, so my working hours are M-F roughly 10am-5pm Mountain Time. That said, the beauty of being my own boss is that I can adjust depending on my energy levels, so you may occasionally get an email response from me on the weekend or during the evening.
My rate and rough time estimates
My rate for tech editing is USD $35/hour, billed in 15 minute increments, with a 1 hour minimum.
My editing process is thorough and methodical.
- Socks and accessories typically take me 1-3 hours
- Garments can take between 5-10+ hours depending on complexity
These estimates include my first pass of editing, 1-2 rounds of revisions, as well as a final review after your testing process, if applicable.
The fun stuff (policies!)
- As a recovering perfectionist, my ability to notice tiny details makes me great at tech editing, but as a human, I cannot guarantee perfection. If you encounter any errors either during testing or after publishing, please get in touch with me so that I can make it right at no extra cost to you.
- If you send me a copy of your pattern in order for me to provide an estimate but ultimately choose to work with a different editor, I will not retain a copy of your pattern.
- If we do work together I retain all copies of edited and revised patterns in case we need to go back and review something after publication.
- I will not share your patterns with anyone else without your express permission (e.g. if you hire me to coordinate with another editor for a second review of your pattern).
As of July 2023, I am not currently taking new clients. Please sign up for my newsletter to be updated when I have availability for new clients.
More fine print:
For more details about my process and what I need from you for a successful edit, you can find a sample copy of my agreement below.
Drop me a note with a copy of your pattern, as well as anything you want to note about your timeline, any parts of the pattern that you want an especially close eye on, etc. I'll get back to you with my availability and an estimate.
Don't have a pattern ready for editing yet but want to get updates about my availability for editing future patterns? 👇🏻
Subscribe for the latest
Sign up for monthly-ish updates about my availability for tech editing and spotlights on patterns I've edited.
No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.