There's been a lot of this
going on for the past couple of weeks. I think it is the last time I'm going to see my manuscript until it is in the actual book form. Luckily the weather was nice and I was able to sit in my little fenced garden and read through all the patterns again. See the kitchen timer there? That's to give me an idea of how long it takes me to do a pattern. The post-its work nicely for corrections - I just have to be sure to write legibly. What you can't see is the little kittens playing at my feet and a hen and a rooster chasing them around. The kittens have just begun going outside and they are treating my overly large hostas as sun and rain umbrellas. So cute.
A knitting book goes through many phases, many of which I know knitters never think about. Mostly knitters gripe about mistakes in the patterns which I realize is totally frustrating. It's not like we authors and the publishers try to make mistakes to frustrate knitters. Sometimes, they just happen.
Just to give you a little insight into what I do to a pattern and then what happens to it after me, here's knitting pattern and book timeline.
1. I swatch and take notes and then write a pattern for a knitter to follow and test-knit.
2. The knitter makes the project, sends it back with notes for changes and mistakes.
3. I tweak the pattern and get it ready for the publisher. I calculate yarn amounts, adjust sizing, and re-check the pattern.
4. I send the entire collection of patterns to my editor at the publisher. For Kristin Knits, there are 27 patterns.
5. The editor sends it to a technical editor. This person is someone who specializes in correcting knitting patterns and making sure everything is okay for the knitter. They also fit the pattern into the publisher's style (every publisher has a different one). A good tech editor is worth their weight in gold.
6. The "tech-edited" patterns go back to the editor at the publisher.
7. A sample layout is designed for all the patterns to fit into. A book designer does this. They are called sample pages.
8. After the layout has been tweaked a few (or a zillion) times, the patterns are dropped into the format. For me, this is a critical time which I have no control over. It makes me kind of crazy to think about and so I try not to. Patterns have to be massaged to fit into the pages given for a particular project. This means words can be cut. I always just hope important words aren't cut so that the pattern is do-able.
9. Finally, the pages come back to me and I get to read them and try to catch any errors, ommissions, etc. I try my best but by this point, I haven't looked at the projects in a very long time and have designed many more since. It almost gets to a blurry, hazy point - almost like trying to remember what I did back in high school or before I had a child. I send the pages back and won't see anything more until I have a finished book in my hands.
10. A copy editor reads everything and tries to make sure everything is perfect.
11. Someone compiles an index.
12. After a few more steps, which I am totally not clear on, the book finally goes to print.
Who was to know it would be so complicated but trust me, it is. As we speak, I am hoping for the best. Hoping for no mistakes. Hoping for beautiful color reproduction. And hoping you and lots of other knitters will like it.