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  1. Allison Q&A Header

    This week we are getting to know Tech Editor and Knitwear Designer Allison O’Mahony of Kniterations.

    Allison designs knitting patterns for functional, modern pieces and has many publishing credits to her name. Allison also provides a wide range of technical editing services to knitting designers.

    When you knit from a pattern, chances are that it has been tech edited. But what does this job entail and why are the services of a tech editor so valuable to a designer looking to publish a pattern?

    Let’s find out more about Allison and her role as a tech editor.

    When and why were you first inspired to pick up the knitting needles?

    My grandmother taught me when I was a child, but I didn't really pick it back up again until I was university. I'm not sure what inspired me, but it's changed my life!

    What was first thing you ever made?

    The usual - a scarf!

    What is the role of a knitting tech editor?

    A tech editor is responsible for making sure a pattern is ready to be published. This involves everything from checking grammar and spelling to verifying stitch counts to giving suggestions for clarity and consistency. Just like with any published work, having a knowledgable editor check things over is critical.

    How did you get into tech editing?

    When I first start writing patterns I was advised to have them tech edited. At that point I had no idea what a tech editor was, or what they did! But the more I researched the topic, the more I realized it was the perfect job for me. 

    What aspect of being a tech editor do you most enjoy?

    I love helping designers. To say I love finding mistakes sounds cruel, but honestly, when I find a mistake in a pattern, I really feel like I am helping the designer improve their finished product, which then in turns help them gain the trust of knitters. Even something as minor as a spelling error looks unprofessional and could affect the designer's reputation. As a knitter, I'm quite turned off by mistakes in patterns, so being able to help designers polish their work is very rewarding.

    What are the most challenging aspects of being a tech editor?

    For designers, their pattern is their baby, and some are more sensitive to criticism than others. I am a very detail-oriented, no-nonsense person, so when I encounter a designer who is on the sensitive side, I have to adjust the way I approach things and be very careful in the way I word my comments. My advice to designers is to be open to all the constructive criticism your editor provides. Their only job is to help you, and they have your best interests at heart. You won't always make every change your editor suggests, and that's fine, but your pattern will be all the better if you can put your ego aside and seriously consider every comment your editor makes.

    As a designer too, do you tech edit your own patterns?

    I have them edited by another editor (of course!) and she ALWAYS gives me a ton of helpful feedback. Even with an editor's eye, it's impossible to edit one's own work. Every time I think I've done an exceptional job and "oh, she shouldn't have too many comments on this one", I am always wrong! I would never publish a pattern without having it tech edited by another editor.

    What’s on your needles at the moment?

    About three new designs (a shawl, a blanket, and a pair of mitts), and a Brooklyn Tweed sweater (Ronan by Andrea Mowry)!

    Thanks Allison!

    You can check out Allisons beautiful designs by following the links below.

     

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  2. KNL

    This week we are getting to know Camilla, owner of Knitting Needle Lane  – an online knitting shop and Market Stall in Cambridge, UK.

    Camilla launched Knitting Needle Lane in September 2017 and since then has been going from strength to strength offering of a wide range of knitting yarns, books, needles, accessories and much more. Camilla has also recently turned her hand to sewing and has started selling a gorgeous range of project bags and cushions in fun, contemporary patterns.  

    Let's find out more about Camilla and Knitting Needle Lane.

    When and why were you first inspired to first pick up the knitting needles?

    My Nan taught me how to knit when I was 7 - she bought me a beautiful kids starter kit one Christmas and it went from there!

    What was first thing you ever made?

    I made scarfs and little squares to see together to make blankets for a very long time! 

    How did the idea for Knitting Needle Lane come about?

    Our local yarn shop closed - It went up for sale - I really wanted to buy it as I’ve always loved the idea of having a beautiful wool shop - however there is only one of me and at that time I was running 3 businesses and knew I wouldn’t have the time or head space to own a shop - so I thought why not launch online!
     
    I applied for a Market stall to keep it local and supplement online sales - I knew I could commit to one day a week and luckily this is working for me.
     
    I love Market life it’s so different from my office life - I sit and knit and chat to customers!

    What do you look for in the products that you stock?

    I’m learning what products sell and which products don’t. I look for good quality and super soft yarns/wools - I never purchase anything that isn’t soft or squishy!

    What aspect of running your business do you most enjoy?

    I enjoy every aspect of Knitting Needle Lane - now in its 8th month it’s still very much a baby.

    What has been the most challenging aspect of running Knitting Needle Lane?

    It’s very hard work but I firmly believe you only ever get out of a business the amount you put in - nothing is ever down to luck !

    What do people and other businesses locally think about the market stall – are people curious about knitting?

    Everybody who visits my stall are delighted with the array of colours - I live in a very colourful world and I wanted to portray this with my online shop and Market stall.
     
    People who don’t knit or crochet comment how lovely it is and generally most people have a friend or family member who knits or crochets.

    Many people tell me how trendy it’s become - but for me this isn’t a trend it’s been a huge part of my life for a very long time.

    What’s the best thing about being so closely involved in the local knitting community?

    I love being part of the Market community and I fiercely promote shopping local and independent.

    It’s also lovely to be part of the crafting community in Cambridge.

    What’s on your needles at the moment?

    I’ve got 2 projects on the go! One is a colourful summer cardigan for myself using Jemma’s 4 ply yarn and the other is a jumper for my 6 year old in unicorn colours using Boho by Cygnet !

    What can we look forward to from Knitting Needle Lane in the future?

    I am constantly thinking of new ideas and angles for KNL - despite this being exhausting - I think there is a method to my madness. I have achieved great things in a very small amount of time and I hope to continue to do so!
     
    I’m currently creating ‘create your own’ packs and am looking into the possibility of enamel pins.
     
    Thanks Camilla!
     
    If you local to Cambridge, do pop by the market stall on an Sunday and say Hi, otherwise why not check out the Knitting Needle Lane website!
     
    You can also follow Knitting Needle Lane on Facebook  and Instagram.
     
    Camilla