Sunday, May 17, 2009

Now the Fun Begins! (How I do the Technical Editing on my Patterns)

I have finished all the crochet work on both the Thread Potholder set and the Butterfly and Roses Pineapple Doily set. All that is left to do now is edit the patterns, photograph each item and do the layout. And while I could crochet happily from now on, I do not like the editing of patterns, even though I realize it is probably the most important part of publishing my own designs. After all, it doesn't matter how pretty a design is, if my customers can't follow my instructions to make it, it is worthless.
I worked in the technical editing department of Annie's Attic and the Needlecraft Shop for two years, and while it drove me crazy (I kept wanting to change all the designs that came in-the designer in me kept trying to get out), I learned how to write a workable crochet pattern, in what was called "Old Annie Style." This is what I still use to write my patterns, with a few modifications I have made to make them easier to follow (I hope).
There are several steps to editing my patterns. First, I enter the pattern into my computer. I try to do this soon after I finish a design, while it is still fresh in my mind and I can decipher the notes I make as I am actually crocheting. After all the crochet work is finished and the rough patterns are entered into the computer, I go in and do the preliminary editing, adding Materials lists, Special Stitches, etc. I have already finished this part on both of these sets.
Now I will print out copies of all the patterns and check style, which means all the titles and words that should be bolded and italicize are, spacing is correct, etc.
Then (and this is the most important part) I check for accuracy and clarity. This means I go over each line, checking each word of the pattern, making sure the math adds up and the instructions are as clear as I can possibly make them. I compare the pattern to the actual item, to make sure what I say is going on is actually what is happening. On sets this size, I am figuring it will take about a week on each set to go over them thoroughly.
Finally I will add all pictures and do a final read through. Then I will stress over it a day or two, read through it again, and finally, I will have to force myself to let it go. I have nightmares about errors slipping by me! But if all goes well, both sets will be ready to add to my Etsy shop by the middle of June, at least I am hoping!
All the potholders, ready to for final editing.

Butterfly and Roses Pineapple Doilies, each in it's own plastic bag. It will be easier to verify them before they are starched and assembled.


Unknown said...

Wow! What a lot of work. That is where the REAL work is I guess, huh!?

Your crocheted pieces are lovely!

crochethuahua said...

From the looks of the pictures everything is just gorgeous! It does sound like a lot of work but you're the best!

Brenda said...

I can't wait to see that doily book. The doilies look gorgeous even in plastic bags!