- Clarity & consistency of writing
- Number of errors (The more errors you have, the longer it takes)
- Amount of math to be checked (shaped garments need more time)
- Complexity of the stitches (fully lace shawls take a LONG TIME because every row of the chart has to be checked against every row of the written instructions)
As you can see, the shawls have a relatively smooth range in their time to edit, with 9 of the 17 taking less than an hour (5 of these took 36 minutes), and 8 of the 17 taking an hour or more. Shawls are interesting to edit (and knit) because, while their shaping is usually pretty simple (short-row ones notwithstanding), their stitches are often very complex. Included in this count are stockinette-plus-lace-border as well as true-lace-patterning-on-both-sides-all-the-way-through ones. The latter take a lot longer.
Adult tops, on the other hand, are mostly clustered somewhere in the 1-2 hour range, with two obvious outliers at under an hour and nearly 5 hours. That 5 hour one was for a new designer with an unusual construction and several different lace stitches; the 45 minute one was an extremely simple tee with minimal shaping. To be even more precise, of the 11 that I did in the last six months, 6 took 84-96 minutes total.
So what should I be telling clients about how long their edits will take? I suppose I can use these stats to give an average amount of time by type of garment, but even then there are going to be outliers one way or the other. Also keep in mind that not all of my clients receive their invoices online (this only counts PayPal invoices), and I'm not done with a bunch of ones that just came in this week, so the methodology isn't perfect (but when is it?).