Technical editors and designers, we are both people who need people. But we are often so different in our personalities and levels of introvert vs extrovert that we don’t travel in the same circles. Designers are often the people that are bubbling over with awesome new ideas and frequently claim that they aren’t “math people” or don’t want to mess around with the numbers. While Tech Editors are those who thrive on math and the technicalities of the craft. We may look at our craft in a different way, but we still need each other. I speak more about how designers and tech editors help each other here.
As I slowly venture into the world of the tech editor, I have come to meet (via the internet) some other tech editors and it seems that we are all, well, knit from the same cloth. (Oh Pun!!) But really, tech editors are the ones who love the numbers. L-O-V-E numbers. We love our craft and all the stitching and making pretty things, and playing with squishy fun yarns, but we might see it in a different way. We see how the numbers of certain stitches fall into place. We enjoy the repetition and appreciate the art, but we might see different details. When we come upon an error, it (at least in my case) can completely throw off our game!
If a stitch doesn’t fall in the right place or the pattern all of a sudden tells me to turn and stitch on the wrong side when I was just on the wrong side, or tells me to stitch in a chain space when there is no chain space…we are not happy people. Especially if we have followed every aspect of the pattern to the letter! Some stitchers might be able to overlook the error and fudge their way through it, but not TE’s. I believe this perfectionist drive is what led many tech editors to the job. We can’t abide errors in patterns. It just doesn’t fit in our world. Whatever we can do to prevent these errors from happening, we will, for the betterment of the stitching world.
But, since we are so different from designers, we might not meet each other. Therefore, I am introducing a series of posts where I will highlight another technical editor. Just like designers will have their own unique style, each technical editor will work slightly different. We also all have different schedules, availability and specialties. Some may be better at garments while others are better at accessories, or amigurumi. Most of the tech editors I’ve met also have a separate “day” job, even if it’s ‘mom’ like me. Our time is limited. So, don’t feel bad if you’re working with a tech editor and he or she recommends another TE for a certain pattern. They’re not necessarily breaking up, it might be that another TE is really better at that type of design, or the TE’s kids all got sick and they won’t make the deadline.
With that said, let me introduce you to the first tech editor in this series, Kristina McGrath. Kristina can be found at KristinaMamaKnits with a fabulous page for her technical editing business. In fact, I just signed up for her newsletter to get a great little ebook that she’s written called “Talking Tips with a Tech Editor.” It’s super!! You have to go sign up. Kristina specializes in knit patterns and can work on both US and UK terms.
She loves tech editing because it “lets me combine skills that come naturally to me, with my passion and love for knitting, and allows me to work at home.” This is so very important to Kristina because, as we see from her webpage, she has 2 little kids! Yay, mamma!
One fun thing about Kristina is that before motherhood, she was always a music and theater student. While she doesn’t currently work in those fields, she does still dabble on the piano when the mood strikes.
Rock on, Kristina! So, if you’ve been on the lookout for a knitting tech editor, please go give Kristina McGrath a visit.
P.S. As evidence that it is very difficult to edit your own work, there might be typos in this piece. If you find errors, please comment and tell me.