Info and Application for Contract Crocheters

Welcome!

This is the information page regarding working as a contract crocheter for Charles Voth Designs.

There are no links to this page from elsewhere on the website, so you will have arrived here because a friend shared the link with you or you saw a “help wanted” post somewhere online. Regardless, thanks for stopping by and looking to see whether this is something you’d like to do.

 A little orientation info.

Some of you already know what contract crocheting is, but to some, this may be a new term, or at least you may want to know a little more about what’s involved.

Contract crocheting is not the same thing as pattern testing. When you are a pattern tester, you generally work with your own yarn and as payment you receive a free copy of the pattern, and perhaps a thank-you in the acknowledgements of the pattern. It is largely volunteer in nature, and for many, deadlines are flexible or non-existent. You may have had a different experience than what I’m describing here, however.

A contract crocheter instead receives the yarn necessary to make the sample model and is expected to make the item by the established deadline. Because the item is going to be used for a publication (in my case, I rarely use a contractor for a self-published pattern), and the model will be going in for a scheduled photoshoot, the deadlines are not negotiable. So there is a small amount of stress associated with the job potentially. And as the name suggests, there are contracts that are binding. This is where crocheting isn’t so much a hobby as it is a business.

Payment

A contractor working for me will be paid when the magazine pays me. This is the one drawback to designing for publication, because some publishers don’t pay until the magazine is on the store shelves or in the mail, which can be a period of months from when the piece was crocheted. In some cases, I try to pay sooner, but I can’t guarantee it.

I follow the unofficial current guidelines for pay levels in the industry. I pay by the yard of yarn used, not by time. This way fast crocheters don’t get paid less than slow crocheters. So a pattern that’s designated easy/beginners/basic, etc will come to $0.15 per yard, one that’s designated intermediate will come to $0.18 per yard and one that’s designated advanced will come to $0.22 per yard.

Finding errors

When a contractor finds an error in a pattern, she or he should let me know before proceeding. Then we can discuss a correction, determine if something needs to be unraveled, or if we will fudge the sample to make it work, but change the pattern text to say what should have happened.

If a contractor knows a better or different way of working something in the pattern, she or he should consult with me before stitching it in that different way, because if I agree to go with the suggestion, the pattern text will need to reflect this accurately.

Things to think about before applying.

  • Do you crochet in a smoke-free home?
  • Can you multi-task to meet deadlines?
  • Can you read crochet patterns?
  • Are you rarely/never thrown off by a pattern that may have an error or two in it because it hasn’t had a technical edit yet?
  • Are you willing to learn things that you might not know yet (i.e. reading stitch diagrams, new-to-you stitches or techniques)?
  • Is it easy for you to get to a postal service office or UPS dropoff location?
  • Are you willing to use internet technology for sharing information that can’t be shared by email such as dropbox or google drive?
  • Do you live in the continental United States or Canada? (I can’t afford to pay for shipping from other locations, sorry)
  • Can you keep a secret?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these then proceed if you are still interested. Also, let me know by email that you are proceeding with the next steps at charles@charlesvothdesigns.ca

The next steps are to work on some swatches, to fill in an application form, and to fill out a survey of skills and preferences. You don’t necessarily have to be super skilled or knowledgeable to become a contractor; it just helps me to know which project and which contractor are a good match.

The swatches

I would like to see a sample of your workmanship. If you have some good (well-lit, clearly focused, non-distracting background) digital photos of pieces that you have made, including some close-ups or macro-shots, I would love to see them when you submit the application. If I can tell clearly from the photos what your evenness of tension is like, and your finishing skills, then we may be able to skip the swatches part.

There are 3 swatches I’d like you to make, block, and send to me for consideration. One swatch needs to be in worsted-weight acrylic, one swatch needs to be in cotton (any weight worsted or finer) and one can be in any yarn of your choice.

1. For the worsted weight acrylic, please make the granny square from this pattern: http://goo.gl/dySQFR more than one colour is optional. One colour is fine. Diagram: http://goo.gl/7LNLjw

2. With the cotton (you don’t have to use 3 different colours, but you can use yarns A, B, & C.

Sampler Block

Note:

Please loosely carry yarn along edges to the next row it is used rather than cutting and weaving in ends.

 Techniques

Standing double crochet stitch (sdc): Use this stitch to start a round or row with a new colour where indicated. Place slip knot on hook and hold in place with finger. Yarn over hook and insert hook where indicated, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice.

Standing half-double crochet stitch (shdc): Use this stitch to start a round or row with a new colour where indicated. Place slip knot on hook and hold in place with finger. Yarn over hook and insert hook where indicated, yarn over and draw through 3 loops on hook.

Special Stitches

3 double crochet cluster (3dc-cl): [yo, insert hook in indicated st, yo, pull up loop, yo, draw through first 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo, draw through all 4 loops on hook.

Double Crochet 2 together (dc2tog): [Yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through first 2 loops on hook] twice, yo, draw through 3 loops on hook.

Row 1 (RS): With A, ch 28, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, fasten off, do not turn {26 dc}.

Row 2 (RS): With C, Shdc (see Techniques) in first st on RS, hdc in each st across, turn {26 hdc}.

Row 3: Ch 3, 3dc-cl (see Special Stitches) in next st, *ch 1, sk 1 st, 3dc-cl in next st; rep from * across to last 2 sts, sk 1 st, 2dc-cl in next st, turn. Do not cut yarn.

Row 4 (WS): With B, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, *sc in next ch-sp, sc in next 3dc-cl; rep from * across, sc in top of ch-3, turn {26 sc}. Do not cut yarn.

Row 5: With A, sdc (see Techniques) in first st, *dc2tog (see Special Stitches) in next 2 sts, ch 1; rep from * across to last st, dc in last st, turn. Do not cut yarn.

Row 6: With C, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, *sc in next ch-sp, sc in next st; rep from * across to last st, sc in top of ch-3, turn.

Row 7: With B, sl st in first st, ch 3, sk 1 st, *(2dc, ch 1, 1dc) in next st, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last 2 sts, dc in last st. turn.

Row 8: With A, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in first ch-sp, *sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st, sc in ch-sp; rep from * across to last st, sc in ch-3, turn.

Row 9: With C, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, *(sc, ch 2, dc) in next st, sk 2 sts; rep from * across, sc in last st., turn.

Row 10: With B, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, (sc, hdc, sc) in each ch-2 sp across, sc in last st, turn.

Row 11: With A, sl st in first st, ch 3, dc in each st across, turn.

Row 12: With C, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st (or ch-sp), *ch 1, sk 1 st, sc in next st; rep from * across.

Row 13: With B, rep Row 12.

Row 14: With A, rep Row 12.

Row 15: Rep Row 12.

Row 16: With B, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next ch-sp, *3dc in next ch-sp, sc in next ch-sp; rep from * across, 2dc in last st, turn.

Row 17: With A, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, sk 1 st, *3dc in next sc, sk 1 dc, sc in next dc, sk 1 dc; rep from * across, end with 1 dc in 2nd to last st, dc2tog with first leg going into same st as one just worked and 2nd leg going into last st, turn.

Row 18: With C, sl st in first st, ch 1, sc in same st, *3dc in next sc, sk 1 dc, sc in next dc, sk 1 dc; rep from * across, end with sc in last st

Row 19: With B, sc in first st, ch 2, 3dc-cl in next st, *ch 1, sk 1 st, 3dc-cl in next st; rep from * across to last 2 sts, sk 1 st, 2dc-cl in next st, turn.

Row 20: With A, sc in first st, ch 2, dc in each st across. Do not fasten off A, cut other yarns.

Edging

Rotate piece to work along sides of rows, with A, ch 1, catching strands of un-used yarn under stitches, work 26 sc evenly across to next corner, work 3 sc in corner; rep from * around, sl st to first ch 1. Fasten off.

Weave in all ends.

3. With your other yarn (that’s neither worsted weight acrylic or the same cotton as swatch 2) please work the following swatch in the yarn and hook size of your choice.

Make 2 of these rectangles.

Row 1: Ch 16, sc in bottom bar of 2nd ch from hook and in bottom bar of each ch across, turn—15 sc.

Rows 2–8: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Rows 9–16: Ch 1, loosen live loop slightly, do not sk first st, hdc in each st across, turn.

Rows 17–20: Ch 2, loosen live loop slightly, do not sk first st, dc in each st across, turn.

Rows 21–24: Ch 4, insert hook in 3rd ch from hook and draw up a loop, sk first st at base of ch-4, yo, insert hook in next st on base row, yo, draw up a loop (4 loops on hook), [yo, draw through 2 loops] 3 times, tr in each st across, turn.

Fasten off.

With RS facing and rectangles beside each other, take right-hand rectangle and spin 180 degrees. Seam the 2 rectangles together using the locking mattress stitch (http://www.designz.shibaguyz.com/blog/technique-tuesday-locking-mattress-stitch)

Application

You will need Adobe Reader X or XI (v. 10 or v 11) installed on your computer.

Once you’ve opened the file with Adobe Reader X or XI, click on VIEW in the top menu and select Fill & Sign, or click on Fill & Sign in the top right corner of the window. Click on ADD TEXT. Then click on the places on the PDF that need you to input some information and type. If the text is too big, you can change the colour or size in the menu bar that pops open when you click on Fill & Sign.  Fill in all the spaces. Be sure to save the file to a folder you can find it in.

Please download the Contractor_Application and Skills Survey PDF and save it to a folder you can find it in easily.

Please send all photos and the saved/filled PDF to charles@charlesvothdesigns.ca