How to make money with Knitting
This blog post is a masterpost of lots of ways you can make money with knitting! I will outline lots of ideas and summarise them. I hope you find this list helpful and it inspires you to make money with knitting!
Sell knitting patterns
One of the best ways to make money with knitting is to design and sell your own patterns. If you can design a knitting item and write down the pattern then you can sell it to other knitters who want to make it! The great thing about selling patterns is that it’s a passive income stream. Once you do the work once to create your pattern it can sell many times without you doing anything more.
There are many platforms like LoveCrafts, Ravelry and Makerist that host your pattern pdfs for you. In this way you reach a wider audience of buyers who are specifically looking for knitting patterns. You can also set up your own store on a website or blog to sell your patterns to your audience.
Start a knitting blog
Similar to selling your patterns, you can also share them for free on a blog. If your blog is monetized with adverts, affiliate links and sponsored posts you can still earn money from your patterns. It’s just a different way from selling your patterns as a product.
Some designers use a combination of selling patterns and sharing some free on a blog. Others might only sell patterns but use their blog to share other aspects of knitting like stitch tutorials with links to their patterns. There are so many different ways you can use a knitting blog to gain income.
Sell knitted items online and at craft fairs
One way to make money knitting is to knit items to sell! They could be small like hats or large like a beautiful heirloom blanket. If you want to make money this way you have to consider the cost of your materials and the cost of your labour. If you are happy with those two things then go ahead and sell! You could make items to sell online for example on Etsy, or at craft fairs in your area. You can also have things made ready to sell or sell to order.
It can be hard to know what to price your items at but if you can find a good balance between what you are willing to be paid and what people are willing to pay you should be fine!
Get patterns published in knitting magazines
Knitting magazines are looking for patterns! And they will pay you for your designs! This is freelance knitting work. It isn’t a guaranteed income. It depends on whether your pattern is chosen. However, it’s a great way to make money from your designs.
Knitting magazines put out Submission Calls regularly. If you know of a magazine, find their submission information on their website and go from there. They often have a designer email list you can sign up for so you will see all of their Submission Calls in the future. Magazines are usually planning a year or more ahead so it could be the Summer but you will be submitting a design for the Autumn of the next year!
Teach knitting in person
You know how to knit? Teach it! People want to learn to knit and you have the skill. You could do one-on-one classes or even get a group together to teach a class to a small group. If you look online you will also find courses for learning how to teach knitting and brush up your skills. Some are accredited and you can become an accredited teacher with a Knitting Guild. Look up what’s available in your area.
Publish a book
There are a couple of options here. You could have a book published with a publishing company. Obviously, this is quite niche and it will take a lot of work. However, there are authors and designers out there who sell physical books. This could be a collection of their patterns or a ‘how to’ knitting book or a whole myriad of other knitting-related topics. If this is something you are interested in, look into it further.
There is also the self-publishing route, particularly ebooks. Amazon has an option where you can self-publish an ebook that also has a print on demand service. A lot of designers self-publish ebooks. They could be a collection of their previously published patterns or a whole new pattern collection around a particular theme.
You don’t have to be a designer for this either. Maybe you have another fabulous knitting related idea that would make a good ebook. If so, go for it!
Become a tech editor
This is great for people who have an eye for detail. Knitting designers need tech editors! Tech editors are to the knitting world what proofreaders and copy editors are to the writing world. They will look over patterns and find mistakes, improve formatting, and so much more!
There are lots of courses you can take to help you become qualified to do tech editing. Once you know what you are doing all you have to do is get started. Start your business and find clients who want you to tech edit their patterns.
Become a costume designer or prop maker in the film and TV industry
I don’t know quite how you crack into this business but I do know that there are knitters out there who design and make props and costumes for films and TV series. For example, the recent Little Women (2019) film featured some beautiful knitted shawls and the designer put the pattern of a couple of the shawls she designed on Ravelry after the film came out. Also, if you have ever watched the Outlander series you can’t help but notice all the gorgeous knitted shawls. You would have to look into it more as I don’t know a lot about it but someone is making these props and costumes! Maybe it could be you.
Make props for photographers
Again, I don’t know exactly how you do this as I haven’t tried it. I assume you could contact local photographers in your area and find out if they are interested in you knitting items for them to use in their photo shoots. This could be garments for models or even cute, newborn baby photo shoot props like little hats. If you pitch it right, you could have a good working relationship with a photographer where you provide knitted items, maybe even your own designs!
Become a knitting youtuber
This is similar to starting a knitting blog. You are putting out free content but you can monetize your Youtube channel with Adsense. You can also add affiliate links to your video descriptions and have sponsors for your videos.
Not everyone wants to work from written patterns. For some people, video is the best way to learn to knit something! You could put out video tutorials of your own patterns. However, you don’t have to design patterns to be a knitting youtuber. You could review yarns on your channel or put out knitting tips or stitch tutorials. There are so many creative options for video content.
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Become a paid tester for a knitting designer
Knitting designers who self-publish patterns are always looking for testers. This means that you test a pattern of theirs before they publish it. You are not a tech editor but you may notice inconsistencies. You test the pattern and see if it makes sense. Plus, you make the garment or item, often in different sizes and this helps the designer know if the pattern is accurate and easy to read.
Anyone who can knit and read a pattern can test a pattern. Not all designers are looking for paid testers. Some want testers for free but you won’t walk away empty handed. They might provide you with that pattern for free, or another pattern of theirs as payment. They might even provide the yarn for you to test.
If you are a reliable tester you might be able to find a designer who is willing to pay you to test their patterns. You could also advertise your services as a tester on sites like Fiverr.
Make samples for knitting designers
This goes hand in hand with the idea above. Instead of testing the pattern, you could be the person who makes up the final item or garment for the designer. This will usually be a paid job and it should be paid! You are making the item in place of the designer for them to photograph and usually to keep. You could also be creating the item that gets sent to a magazine for photography. This work is knit by you but it is the designer’s pattern and the designer will be credited for the item. As a sample knitter, you will usually not be credited. You are the hands of the designer to make the item! So you should definitely be compensated for your work. If you want to get paid to knit, this is a great way to do it.
Write articles for knitting magazines and websites
If you’re passionate about knitting you could write about it! Knitting magazines and websites don’t just need patterns, they need written articles too. There are so many topics related to knitting that you could write about. Think of what interests you about knitting and submit an article about it!
I hope you found this blog post helpful. Let me know in the comments more ideas for making money from knitting that I have missed! I would love to hear them.