If you know how to crochet or knit, you might be sitting on a potential gold mine without even realizing it. One of the best-kept stitching secrets is that you can make anywhere from $30 to $150 on a test-knitting or crocheting assignment for a designer or yarn company. As a test knitter or crocheter, it’s up to you to confirm that certain patterns for the company or designer are all on point. Here are all the best tips on how to stitch your way to making more cash, straight from the experts.
How to Crochet or Knit for Money
Start creating. Set up accounts at websites like Ravelry.com and Crochetville.com, where you can find forums that connect designers and pattern testers. “If you’re just starting out, consider offering your services for free,” recommends Mary Jane Hall, a blogger at Positively Crochet and author of several crochet books. In addition to getting the experience you need, you’ll often get the yarn and the pattern for free (and sometimes you’ll get to keep the finished product). Another idea: If you have a favorite yarn store, tell them you’re interested in pattern testing. They may know some local designers they can put you in touch with.
Show your stuff. Post photos of your stitched creations — a few simple designs and two or three more complicated ones will do — on your Ravelry or Crochetville site, and also on your social media pages. Hall says companies like to see the type of work a potential tester does before giving them an assignment.
Find your speediest technique. The faster you can knit or crochet, the more you’ll earn. To rev his process, test knitter Keith Ryder checks the pattern up front: “Before I even cast on, I do a thorough proofread of the pattern and then do a tech edit, verifying that the stitch count isn’t off from row to row and so on. By the time I have yarn and needles in my hand, I’m working from a pattern I can feel reasonably sure will work!”
Be willing to redo. A test pattern has to be perfect, says Laura Lough, co-owner of yarn company The Unique Sheep. So if a designer finds an error in your work, you may have to go back and redo. But it’s important for crafters not to take it personally. “You need to be OK with our saying, ‘Oh, you didn’t do that exactly right,’” says Lough.
Put yourself at the top of the list. Designers have hard deadlines. Hall, for example, has print deadlines for her crochet books; others post patterns on their blogs; and yarn companies like Lough’s have club members waiting for patterns. So you’ll get kudos (and repeat gigs) for getting your work in a day or two ahead of time. Be sure to mention your strengths: Love knitting with silky or lace-weight yarn? Prefer a thick gauge? Can’t handle bulky weight because of arthritic hands? Let a designer know your preferences. It’ll help you land gigs you enjoy — which helps you work faster!
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