5kcbwday1 – A Day in The Life


It’s day one of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2014 and I’ve decided already to take a different perspective on today’s topic.  I work in the knitting industry, and my day revolves around reading patterns and making sure they are going to work properly before they are printed.  Often this means (shock horror) that I don’t actually do any knitting or crochet when I get home, and I’m not sure blogging about how my WIPs are sitting untouched in a basket will be a particularly interesting post!

So instead I thought I’d talk about a day in my life, as a lot of people are surprised my job involves sitting at a desk and not just knitting pattern after pattern.


For those of you that don’t know, I work as the technical editor for The Knitter and Simply Knitting magazines.  Both mags are based in the same office, next to Simply Crochet, and between the two magazines we have around 12 members of staff. Both titles come out monthly, so depending on which week we are in days can vary slightly, usually meaning the closer to deadline we are the more crazy it gets! We tend to eat more cake at those times (I blame the office being 94% women for this, but that could be considered sexist.) I don’t think you need to hear about those days!

A day in my life at the beginning of an issue would probably go something like this: 

Screen shot 2014-05-11 at 20.38.31

Coffee! This is obviously an essential start. 

Patterns usually come in from the designer in a word or PDF format, and arrive in a variety of different styles.  Some like to use square brackets, some commas between sizes, some colons.  Just take a look at some of the different patterns on Ravelry and you’ll see what I mean.  Designers all have different preferences, and all the patterns printed need to be styled to look the same way.

I tend to stylise the pattern first and then check it all works.  Partly this is in case I’ve taken something out in the process, and also because I like the styles we use and find them much clearer to read when I’m checking all the maths works properly.  

I start at the beginning and work my way through each pattern, reading and checking it for errors.  Is the tension right? Will it fit? Do the stitch patterns fit into the stitch count? Will the measurement across the back be correct after the armholes have been decreased? Will the sleeves fit into the armholes?  I work most of these answers out on Excel and make any adjustments if necessary, checking with the designer that they are happy with this first.  Then there are other things to consider.  I check the charts, making sure they will come out as intended.  I can usually see this by comparing the chart with the sample, but will knit swatches to make sure if it looks confusing.  I also need to ensure an instruction for every piece is there, all abbreviations are explained and any special techniques are comprehensible.  Then I might go and make a cup of tea before going onto the next one!

This might sound like hell to a lot of you but tech editing really gets my brain ticking.  I love a puzzle, which some of these patterns often are, and I get to spend my working life surrounded by yarns and inspiring people, learning new tricks at the same time.

Outside of work this crochet blanket has been getting a lot of my attention recently, I’m enjoying the monotony and uncomplicated repetitiveness of it, but I’ve only been doing the odd row or two a week recently!


Click here to read more of the posts from Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2014 5kcbwday1


13 thoughts on “5kcbwday1 – A Day in The Life

  1. Real interesting to look at your day and work! one doesn’t always think about the work going into a knitting/crochet magazine.
    (Love the aeropress – we were so desperate on a recent jaunt away that we bought one to use in the hotel room 😉

  2. Thank you for giving insight into your work. I found it fascinating as I too love a good puzzle and never really knew the full scope of what tech editors do.

  3. I like the spin you put on the topic. I’ve always wondered about technical editing on the crafting side since I’m familiar with the writing side. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you for for a fascinating read. As a former editor and proofreader (but not of knitting patterns), it was very interesting to see how you adjust the task specifically for knitting. Of course, you need to have a good working knowledge of knitting patterns and garment construction but your technical editing work differs from regular editing because you are extrapolating 3D concepts from 2D documents, using maths and spatial skills in addition to your language skills. Wow! I am very impressed. How lucky you are to have a job you enjoy. I’ve often wondered about technical editing. Thank you for the insight into your world.

    1. Thanks! It’s good to hear so many people are interested, I forget it’s not the most obvious job for people to understand! It can be a bit puzzling sometimes but it’s worth it 🙂

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