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Podcast

Tech Editing & Gauge with Emily Reiter

Updated March 16, 2023
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Welcome back to the next episode of the Yarn Over podcast. If you’re a new listener, hello! You can catch up on the first episode here and if you’re a repeat listener, thank you for tuning back in. I really hope you’re enjoying it so far. Its been so amazing to see all of your lovely reviews and really means the world to me.

This week we’re chatting to Emily Reiter from @fiatfiberarts on all things technical – now I know what you might be thinking when I use the word technical but trust me, it’s super interesting to hear what goes on behind the scenes; especially when a new pattern is created and what Emily does that you might not realise helps you in your day to day crafting…

INTRODUCTION TO OUR GUEST

When I first started to crochet, I’d just make my own patterns up. I had no idea how to really read a pattern let alone write one – I just sort of put something together to create something pretty. Fast forward a few years and I’d be able to put them down onto paper but I had no idea what a tech editor was until Bella Coco grew bigger. Now, since having Emily on board, I’ve learnt so much about my own pattern style and understand how patterns are out together.

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Yarn Over Collection

WHAT IS TECH EDITING?

So what actually is a technical editor? It’s a like like a book editor but as Emily put it so well, she edits as pattern in three different languages, English to check for the usual like grammar, spelling and punctuation, crochet (yes it has its own language!) and math. It’s to check that what the maker is telling you to do results in what the maker is saying you should be able to create. However, instead of stitching the item like a tester would do, Emily reads, draws or sometimes mentally visualises the pattern and builds it in her head to make sure the instructions are accurate.

Emily did actually start out as a pattern tester. She would report back regularly on patterns about errors or mistakes she found, where others in the testing groups would say ‘I noticed that but I just did this instead’ which of course, isn’t accurate when it comes to the pattern you’re following and not everyone would know how to work around it or rectify. Plus it can hinder your credibility if you’re following a pattern and people can’t make it, they may not want to try another of your patterns. So as Emily would continuously catch these errors in patterns, after a few months a conversation was had with her about how she should think about going into technical editing. Like many of us, Emily had no idea this was ‘a thing’ but equally didn’t feel like she could contact yarn companies asking for work with zero experience.

But then after a few more months, she was sent a pattern that needed checking as the designer had the confidence that Emily would find any issues and make sure it was perfect ahead of its release. This was Emily’s first paid editing job and from there, this encouraged her to fully present herself as a Technical Editor and seek further opportunities with other designers and yarn companies.

I am not maths minded – me and numbers aren’t friends and it definitely takes someone with an analytical brain and mind for maths to be able to do it to that kind of level. Thankfully Emily has and I am so grateful to have her on board helping to create these beautiful designs for you to create at home.

If you’d like to learn more, you can get her book here:

MORE FROM EMILY

Want to learn more from Emily? You can find pattern and blog posts at fiatfiberarts.com and you can find tips and inspiration on Instagram and Facebook.

 
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