By Sara Duggan
More and more people are finding creative ways to earn a living. With jobs being limited people are turning to crafts and hobbies to earn money. Some people are using their crochet hook and yarn to make a living. Surprisingly, you don't have to start a business to sell your crochet projects. There are plenty of other ways in which you can earn money with this hobby.
1. Be a Crochet Pattern Tester
Most people think of pattern testing as being unpaid with the only payment being the pattern. Depending on who you contract with, payment might be an option. For instance, many local yarn stores and independent designers employ pattern testers because they want the best "crocheters". They don't want people who are just learning or who can't read patterns yet.
The purpose of a pattern tester is to see if the pattern is understandable, error free and easily made. Another reason pattern testers are needed is for store samples. In order to showcase a particular yarn it needs to be worked up in a gauge swatch as well as real projects. You can be the person who does this.
2. Design Your Own Patterns
Many people who crochet find that after a number of years they start to make their own designs. Eventually they may try writing down their patterns. Finally, they may take the plunge and submit their projects to magazines or contests.
Once their confidence is built up they move on to publishing in magazines or self publishing. Books and leaflets are the goal of many crochet designers and it can be yours if you enjoy making your own designs.
3. State and National Art Projects
If you watch the news you will find that at times you will see stories about calls for art projects. The Coral Reef Project is one example of such a project. "Olek", the ultimate yarn bomber, is an artist that frequently holds large crochet events. She is best known for her work covering the Financial District's "Charging Bull". Another example is Shauna Richardson who was commissioned to create a piece of art for the London 2012 Olympics.
In some cases these calls for art are paid and in other cases they are volunteer projects. If you want to break into this type of art, you might try applying for a grant and be the next Olek of the crochet world.
4. Piece Work
In times past many people provided for their families by doing piece work. Instead of being paid an hourly rate you are paid based on your production rate. For example, you might be paid $1.00 per crochet hat that you make. If you were to make 100 hats in a day you would be paid $100 however if you only made 25 hats your pay would only be $25.
Piece work jobs reward hard work. Finding piece work in the United States is rare but it is possible. You're more likely to find work like this in foreign countries.
Small businesses might need work done for them seasonally or during a particularly busy time. Contact local crochet business owners to find out if your assistance is needed on a work order.
Look outside the box. For example, instead of looking at various shops who sell crocheted items you can work something out with a photographer. Right now photo props are really popular for babies and young children. This is something you can do one piece at a time.
5. Write about the Crochet Industry
If you enjoy writing and blogging, article writing might be a great job for you. Enlighten people about the joys of crochet. Be a technical writer and create charts or written patterns for designers.
Blog about crocheting, teaching crochet, product reviews and designer interviews. Adding advertisements or sponsors to your site will earn you some extra income.
You can also write eBook tutorials filled with great photographs of the techniques and stitches you use for a particular pattern. Sell these on the Kindle, Nook and iPad for a profit.
6. Open Your Own Business
Right now might be the perfect time for you to open up your own business either online or in your local town. Your job loss can be seen as a blessing instead of a curse.
Take this time to review your budget and weigh your options. Know that this is probably the most difficult of all the choices because demand can easily overwhelm the supply. If you have the finances consider hiring a few crocheters or take them on as independent contractors or piece workers.
To see if this option is viable for you, you might try selling your crochet projects at craft fairs, in local boutiques, and at farmers markets to begin with. See what customers like, get feedback and tweak your product until you have a winning piece that is in high demand for a living wage.
7. Become a Teacher to the Next Generation
Don't you love the resurgence of the handicraft industry? This is the perfect time to start teaching others for a fee. You can teach privately or within groups. Alternatively you can host craft parties with a theme.
For example, young children can crochet a cute little owl amigurumi. All you need to do is gather the materials, teach them how to make it and after the 2 - 3 hour session they can go home with their very own owl.
Teaching groups of adults in churches, your local parks and recreations department or at local community colleges is another option you have. People want to learn how to crochet why not be the person to teach them.
Tough times call for ingenuity. You need to lay your fear of the future aside and do something outside of the norm. Hobbies are a viable career choice for many people. If you prepare properly, have the right support and plenty of motivation you can create your own job.
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