The Difference Between Tech Editing and Test Knitting

There’s a lot of confusion in the knitting world about the differences and similarities between tech editing and test knitting.

Tech editing and test knitting are two distinct steps in the knitting pattern design process. A truly excellent pattern generally will have gone through both before publication.

What is Tech Editing?

Tech editing (or technical editing, in more formal terms) is a process conducted by a trained, paid professional. A good knitting technical editor will spend years honing their craft and learning about garment construction, industry standards, and the minutiae of punctuation.

After you’ve finished writing a pattern, you’ll send it to a knitting technical editor for review. They will comb through your pattern to make sure your math is correct, your instructions make sense, and your pattern, if followed exactly, will create the item you expect it to create. They’ll then return the pattern to you with notations of errors and suggestions for improvement.

Test knitters are a group of knitters who take your pattern and actually knit their own versions of the item that pattern is meant to create. This process helps ensure your directions are clear to the average knitter. It also helps ferret out any issues you and your tech editor may have missed.

What is Test Knitting?

Test knitters, though, don’t have to have a specific level of experience and don’t have to undergo any particular training. In fact, I try to make sure I always have a range of experience levels, ages, and native languages in my tester groups. That helps ensure that my instructions are as clear as possible for as many people as possible.

Learn more about working with tech editors and test knitters on my blog. Plus, find helpful tips and tricks to improve your knitting, patterns, tutorials, and more.