In the crochet industry, many of us wear more than one hat. I started crocheting just to make gifts for others, then I added pattern designer to my crochet resume, and most recently I have become a tech editor. Some crocheters choose to be contract crocheters. Many more sell finished products. If you’re thinking about turning your hobby into a business, decide what direction you have in mind and set a goal. At some point you can reevaluate your path and see if you’d like to change/alter your course, but for now you’ll have a starting point. Below is a list of the most common job titles that a crocheter can have.
Gift Giver – The gift giver uses her/his hands to make things for others. The recipient may be a family member, friend, or charitable organization.
Gift givers get no monetary compensation. They purchase the yarn and then get to work creating, just for the pure pleasure of helping/giving to others. Most people start crocheting as a hobby and are gift givers. I hope on some level all crocheter’s stay gift givers in one form or another.
Retail Sales – Anyone who makes, and then sells, finished crocheted items would (at least for this post) be classified as retail sales.
Many moms love this line of work because they can stay home with their children and possibly even help out financially. Crocheter’s love to be able to create, and this allows many to do what they love and purchase tons of yarn. (Yay!) If you are looking to have a crochet business like this consider one thing for me. You may think your business is growing too slowly one day and the next day you’re buried in orders and you are stressed out because you don’t know how you’ll finish them all by their deadlines. My advice: draw out a plan and stick with it.
Contract Crocheter – Do you love to crochet? Do you have attention to detail and good finishing skills? Contract crocheters get paid to make a finished piece for yarn companies, retail stores, publishers, and designers.
Attention to detail is a must! And you probably can’t plan on making it your full time job. If you’re looking for more information on this contract crocheters, the CGOA recently did an excellent article on just this topic. Click here to read the article.
Designer – Do you have all these design ideas floating around in your head, or (for more organized people) drawn in a sketchbook? Do you love to come up with your own project and wonder if you could sell the pattern?
Let me ask you this. Do you like math? If you don’t, you may find designing difficult. There is a lot of math involved in stitch counts, sizing, etc. The other piece of advice I have is to ask what your friends/family think of your designs. If they love them have a few crocheters test out your pattern and see what they think of how it’s written. Designing should be just as fun as crocheting! If you love designing, but not writing out the patterns, you can always incorporate it into your retail sales and just sell the finished product. Be creative!
Tech Editor – Tech editors (sometimes referred to as pattern editors depending on the publisher) review patterns, fix errors, and write the pattern according to the publishers layout guidelines.
Math skills are a must, as well as attention to detail. Finding one error in a pattern is different than finding all the errors in a pattern. (not to dissuade you, just being realistic). You also need to be well versed in all forms of crochet and techniques. If you think you’d like to try to get into tech editing, start with designers on fb. Ask around and see if there are any that would be willing to let you look over their patterns.
If you’re not sure what professional niche would be a good fit for you, just continue doing what you love! If you’re just starting out on your crochet journey start and you’re not sure where you hope to land, I suggest trying them in this order. Spend a while on each one. They are (to some extent) in order of experience. You may find that you’re happy just making gifts for people! I, for one, think the world needs more of a givers heart.
If you’ve only done this as a hobby so far, but you think you’re ready to take the leap at making your crocheting a business, check out my post Starting a Crochet Business.