Yes, Contract Crochet Work IS a real job.
Did you know there is a shortage of contract crochet workers?
If you ever wondered how some designers manage to crank out designs, it’s because they contract with crochet workers to create the finished items that are used in trunk shows, photo shoots and more. If you’ve ever tried your hand at writing crochet patterns then you will completely understand that there is no way in heaven that you can create enough designs and patterns if you’re doing EVERYTHING yourself. One of the things I see designers asking for all of the time, and many of them are CLF members, is for more contract crocheters.
Currently there are publications, designs and patterns backlogged, because there is more contract crochet work available than contract crocheters. Sure there are a few lists out there, but designers are often nervous about hiring new people because of the frequency of low skill sets, smoking (it gets in the yarn), and missed deadlines. So in honor of this we’re going really start working on educating people about how they can become contract crocheters, make money for what they love and build a great reputation with designers. Yes, we will be offering classes on this subject taught by CLF Pro Plus members who are well known designers! In the meantime here’s what you need to know:
1. Know your skill level. You might have crocheted for 30 years, but do you have the skill set for any design? Are you better at small projects? Have you ever created a garment? Have you used lots of different yarns? Do you understand how to read charts, patterns and symbols? Do you block your swatches? Do you swatch? (You’d better swatch if you’re working with a designer!) Even if you’re not an experienced crocheter, you may be really great at thread, lace, bulky, home decor, afghans, hats or scarves, amigurumi, or socks or slippers. Don’t let lack of experience stop you, but be honest with yourself and the designer about what you can do very well and what you would find a challenge.
2. Have a portfolio of your own work Take pictures of your finished crochet pieces so that you can show your work. Many designers look for finishing skills, having nice, clear photos will show them you know your stuff (and the kind of projects you work on the most.)
3. Be ready to sign a contract and fill out a 1099 The term is contract crochet because you are a service provider. If a designer loves your work they will hire you more than once in a year. A good contract has a list of duties, expectations, payment agreements (percentages of design fees by the designer or per yard of yarn are two common payment methods). The contract should be clear, easy to understand and something that helps you keep a professional relationship with the designer. It’s a good idea to have agreements with designers even when they are your buddy, it’s just good business sense. If you get paid more than $500 in a year then the designer needs to file a 1099 form. They keep these on file because it’s part of employment law. Contract workers are not employees, they are service providers.
4. If you’re new to the industry or relatively unknown, remember you are just starting out. It’s a good idea to join message boards, social networking sites, and get to know the terms, jargon and make connections.
5. Invest in yourself, take classes! The more you know how to do the more jobs will become available! If you specialize in a specific technique (tunisian, wire, beading, tapestry, garment making, afghans) then great, but it won’t hurt to expand your knowledge base. Are you already a contract crocheter? Are you for hire? CLF members are encouraged to list their services in our new
Stay tuned for more posts about becoming a contract crochet worker! Classes begin this February.