I am embarking on a new career as a technical editor and designer of knitting patterns. What makes me think I am suited for this career? Lots of things – my recent career, my education and my general personality.
I recently retired for a 25-year career in the homeowners assocaition industry where I was a General Manager, Controller and Systems Analyst. Prior to that I was a Accounting and Data Systems Manager for a social service agency that helped high functioning mentally handicapped individuals live independently. My previous work life revolved around social service, working to help make other peoples lives better. In particular in the homeowners association (HOAs)industry, you are in the business of helping communities work together to create a wonderful place to call home. This means when families move in they agree to a certain set of rules to live by, some willing abide and others choose to buck the system. Oh and by the way you have to pay to have these additional restrictions enforced. Yes, in the big picture you get to see that you are creating a better community, but the reality is more often than not you are telling someone they are doing something wrong and need to stop. I got very good at delivering bitter pills and then working to find compromises to satify everyone. The other aspect of HOAs is they are run by volunteer boards and my job as staff member was to make them look good. This means putting out error free publications, board packets and presentations,keeping their discussion confidential and never openingly criticzing them. My supervision style has been that of team builder. I would seek out ideas from my team, involve them in any change process and use errors as teaching opportunities. My job was extremely stressful, but I went out of my way to present a positive front to everyone I dealt with during the day. A truism I live by, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
My undergraduate degree is in computer science and my graduate degree in business had a focus in database design. I built a 75 node network and property owner database. The one thing about building a network and a program is they are very precise, if you don’t have the logic right it doesn’t work.
Lastly, I also have the education my Mom imparted – a love of all things crafty. She always has something going and is always trying the newest DYI fade. I am definitely her daughter! I can’t tell you the countless hours we have spent in Joann’s and Michael’s over the years. As I said in a previous post my Mom is an extremely intelligent woman, she has a very scientific mind. She showed me that you can be very logical and very creative at the same time. Prior to issues with her hand that prohibit knitting now she constructed some of the best Aran and Fair Isle sweaters. While I learned from Mommy Babbs basic knitting, Mom taught me cables and texture stitches, and put the wow in knitting for me.
While I love several forms of crafts – beading, quilting, embroidery, drawing and painting, in the last six months I have come to the conclusion you can’t do it all and succeed, so I decided to concentrate in my first love and the thing I have been doing the longest, knitting! If you are interested in seeing some of my other interests check out my Pinterest Board called My Creations. https://www.pinterest.com/hummingbirdlace/my-creations/
So how does this all translate to making a decision to go for a new career as a technical editor and designer of knitting patterns? I love knitting first and foremost. I love the detail and math involved in particular in constructing shawls, especially lace shawls. I like to make others look good. I know the importance of delivereing an error free product. I don’t have a critical or criticizing manner, more of a coach or aide. One life lesson I learned early on, if I make the other person look good, I look good too.
In particular as a technical editor, I want to specialize in shawl and accessory designs. If the client is open to a full critque I will look at the pattern from the knitters perspective – would the use of color help? would the layout of the written instructions make it easier for the knitter to use? And of course the standard stuff does ther math work, do the chart and written instruction match, etc. Oh and I have all the geez wiz gadgets and programs to get the job done.