Do you know how to crochet or knit, and love to do it? Have an eye for detail and enjoy solving problems? You can make anywhere from $30 to $150 as a test knitter or crocheter—that’s when designers and yarn companies pay you to make sure their patterns are on point.
Here’s how to get stitching--and stitch your way to making big money!
Start creating. Set up an account at sites 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, Positively Crochet blogger 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 get to keep the finished product. Also smart: 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 on your social media, too. 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. And it’s important for crafters not to take it personally. "You need to be okay 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. And be sure to work to 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!