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I love crochet diagrams. They’re a great, visual way of showing how a crochet design comes together. Some magazines and books include them and some don’t. Every wonder why? My guess is that the decision often comes down to cost.
Cost of creating the diagram: There really is no quick and easy software to create professional diagrams. Most professional tech editors I know who do diagrams use vector drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator to hand draw the diagrams. Even a basic shawl design can take an experienced tech editor up to 4 hrs to diagram. Tech editing generally goes for $25-$45 an hour, so you’re talking about adding up to $120 in cost for one pattern. For most patterns that’s probably closer to the $60-80 range, but when you multiply that times the number of patterns in a magazine or book….it adds up.
Cost of printing the diagram: Most magazines and books need to stay within a certain page limit. More pages cost more money. While some projects only need small diagrams, many others can generate enough diagrams to fill a whole page, or more!
While I can see how the cost can dissuade certain publications, I’m very happy that an increasing large number of crochet publications are working to make it happen. I think the increasing prevalence of crochet diagrams is a great thing.