Advice on starting a knitting business?

Hello all,

I’m brand new to knitting, but have been doing some form of creative crafts and art for years! I went to an arts High School and am just one of those artsy-fartsy types. I’m learning how to knit because it’s something I’ve wanted to learn, but also to start my own business in the future when I get good enough at making things. I have two serious chronic illnesses and can’t work outside of the home. Being only 22, and needing to pay the bills, I thought this would be a great way to do something when I feel sicky on the couch and make some moola.

Has anyone else started or have any tips on having a knits business? My amazing boyfriend is learning to crochet to help with this business idea. His ex wife and him used to have a candle business and sold at craft shows in our area. They shared a booth once with these two college students who made hats by knitting and crocheting and did extremely well at the shows. I also used to Role Play (I’m such a nerd) and went to conventions and thought that I could also sell in their dealer’s rooms. They usually have cheap entrance fees for the dealer’s room, and I know that some of the knit clothing I could make would do extremely well there.

So what do you guys think? Any tips or ideas to help a newbie out who’s trying to learn professional quality knitting? Anyone ever have a knitting business that didn’t do so well? Let me know! THANKS SO MUCH!


PS Thank You for this GREAT AMAZING SITE!

Hi Alexis,

I think you’ve got a good idea to do fairs and shows. It can be hard to get people pay what an item is worth. My advice is:

~make small objects for sale, hat’s etc. Large objects cost a lot in yarn (and labor), by the time you add up even the yarn, no one wants to spend that much on your object! The fact is, yarn for a sweater usually costs far more than a store bought sweater, so unless you’re making a very unusual product for an eager market, it’s best to do small projects. Generally small things sell better because they’re approachable in price, and are also faster to make, and less investment for you. :thumbsup:

~Another good route to consider is pattern designing. Write up any designs you invent yourself, and make sure you get good pictures before even thinking of parting with them. Designing is satisfying, because you create it once and can sell the patter over and over, if you have a means to sell it. Marnie MacLean (one of our mods here) has a knitting blog that gets especially good traffic, and she sells her own patterns online on her blog. They are “pay to download,” so she doesn’t even have to mail anything, and she uses paypal and an online pay-to-download system called payloadz. She says she’s made better money selling them that way then if she were to sell them to a magazine. (I believe magazines pay $50-$250 depending on difficulty of pattern, that’s what I’ve heard anyway). Another perk about designing, is if you approach a yarn manufacturer, they’ll often agree to give you yarn for free to design your patterns because all yarn companies like to have designs done in their yarns!

One of my dreams is to have a section on this site where folks can put up their patterns for sale, and where folks can buy the patterns, and rate the patterns and comment on them etc. It would be a good venue for designers if I could get Sheldon to design such a complex system for me.

What a great idea! I agree with Amy - make things small enough that they are affordable to your target customers. I’m a sci-fi writer nerd, so you aren’t alone on that front. I know at most sci-fi writing conventions (that have lots of sci-fi-wri-wannabees) the attendees have very little pocket change, but will buy something that is unique (and purple :roflhard: ) So things that are just slightly out of the ordinary (and purple) tend to sell better than “same old same old” (in green). Scarves are big sellers as are shawls, wraps, and funky hats (what is it with nerds and funky hats? - and no I wont’ show you my collection of funky hats!) :XY: