A reader commented on my post about my technical editing work, asking how one becomes a tech editor.
There are two parts to this: how you get the required experience to be able to proudly describe yourself as a tech editor, and how you find the work?
How to get some experience and learn the trade:
1. Well, ok, the first one is obvious, but you should knit a lot. Knit from other people's patterns, all sorts of garments and accessories and items. Knit patterns published in different countries - UK standards can be very different than US standards; knit from European patterns - very, very different. Knit from different books and magazines and designers. And knit as many different things as you can, so that you're familiar with all sorts of garment constructions and types of patterns. A sock tech editor, for example, needs to know how to do toe-up and top-down.
2. Do some sample and test knitting. Designers are always looking for people (yes, me too!) to produce samples and to test knit patterns to review the instructions. This gets you in the position of being able to see patterns as they develop, and to provide feedback on how a pattern is written. Test knit instructions can often be rougher, less well articulated, than final patterns - and this gives you a chance to review for mistakes and missing info, and think through a pattern and how it can best be written.
3. Write some patterns of your own. You don't necessarily have to be designing complex garments, but write out a pattern for your favourite scarf or hat. Next time you make an on-the-fly modification to a pattern, write it down and then write the pattern for what you did.
3. i) When writing up a pattern, use formats/templates from different publications as a guide.
5. And last but not least, attend my "Writing Up A Awesome Sock Pattern" class at Sock Summit... You know, if you happen to be in Portland this summer.
As to finding the work, as with most things, it's about putting yourself in opportunity's way. Make contacts; get to know designers, through Ravelry, meeting them at local events, taking their classes. Talk the them! Volunteer your time - as a test knitter, as a tech editor, as a proofreader. Trust me, any designer will be thrilled with an offer of test knitting, and will be very grateful.
On that note... I've got a shawl pattern I need a sample worked up from... anyone?