Welllll, “profit” might be ambitious, but it’s definitely fun.
Nicole Pozzobon is a crocheting fiend with deft hands that’ll whip up an adorable bear, plant or whatever else you can imagine while she carries on a conversation or watches TV. It’s amazing to watch. We gave her a ring to find out how we can become a Crochet Jedi like her (also these photos are her work).
What would I need to get started on the crochet path?
Basically all you need is a crochet hook, which you can get for like four dollars from Lincraft, and just a ball of yarn. That’s all you’d need to get started.
I bought a book which had all these crochet animals in there, and I wanted to make them, but the book didn’t tell me enough to be able to just use the book to do it, so I actually did a class which was really helpful. It was in a little café in Glebe on a Sunday morning. They taught you all the basic stitches and the aim of the class was to make a granny square. Which is a little crochet square, basically.
So you’d recommend doing a class?
It’s a basic thing that you learn to do, but at the café they showed us how to hold the hook, then how to make a slipknot, and how you hold the yarn, and then you start learning the basic stitches. That was a really good way to learn, because you can find all this stuff on YouTube or in a book, but it’s good to have someone there who can show you what you’re doing right or wrong, and it’s good to a live person there to help.
And from there you started making these little creatures?
My mum used to crochet, and I thought it looked kind of cool. But then when I saw those little creatures, I thought, “Oh, they’re really cute.” I bought the book I mentioned, that’s actually called Super Cute, full of those little creatures. And then I wanted to learn how to make them.
So after I did that class, I then found a tutorial on YouTube. It goes for two hours or whatever, and she goes through the whole thing with you, so you can basically crochet a lot. That’s how I made the first creature – it was a little bear – then it’s just gone from there.
There’s so much stuff online, you can basically find anything you want. Like I made a crocheted poo for someone, from a pattern found online. Most of them are free, but there are a lot of paid patterns as well, so if you can’t find what you want for free, they’re usually just a couple of bucks to get.
Have you improved much since you started?
I’m way quicker now. It’s hard for me to say how long things take – they take a long time though. But let’s say, a little creature would have taken me days before, and now it might take me one day. So maybe I can do it in like a quarter of the time now than when I first started.
When you first start, it’s really difficult to figure out how to hold it. I think that’s the hardest thing. It’s really tricky to hold the yarn and the hook properly, so it’s really frustrating because you need to hold it so it’s got a certain tension on the wool, to be able to grab it with your hook. Once you get that, and you get more comfortable, it gets a lot easier. When I started, I was all hunched over and tense. You have to relax.
Are there any mental or emotional benefits?
Yeah, it is quite calming, and also you can kind of zone out, so it’s soothing in that way. You’re focusing on doing one thing over and over again. I don’t know if it’s got emotional benefits outside of the time when you’re actually crocheting. I’m not sure it makes me calmer as a person or anything.
Once you’ve started, do you need more advanced equipment?
All you need is a hook and yarn, but as I’ve done more crocheting, I’ve bought better hooks. I bought this top-of-the-range set of hooks – they’re made in Japan and they’ve got silicon handles. They’re just more comfortable, because I was getting really sore hands. But I don’t think there’s anything in particular that would get really expensive.
What about the yarn?
If you want to make something that’s a bit more luxurious, yarn can be really expensive. This is what people don’t understand about handmade stuff. If you want to make a blanket using really nice wool, it can be $15 a ball, and you need 15 balls of it. So just the material alone is like $225. Plus all the labour that you put into it.
So people will say, “Can you make me a blanket?” And I go, “Yeah, it’d be like 400 bucks.” And they go, “Jesus.” But that’s actually the cost of it. But also you can buy cheap yarn and use that for the little creatures like I make.
Can you make money from crochet? Like at a market?
At the market, so many people were picking the stuff up, going, “Oh, they’re so cute.” But then when I told them the price, they put it back down pretty quickly. But I did sell some stuff. I sold two little bees, a panda, a cactus and I think a koala.
It’s hard to sell a little crocheted creature for $30 next to $2 books and stuff, because people are coming in just wanting bargains. But I think if it was the right sort of market, or if it was just a stall of crocheted stuff, it could go pretty well.
And, by popular demand, I opened an Etsy store, but I’ve only made one sale. I’ve made loads of stuff for people, and they’ve paid me to do it, but it’s mostly just my friends, saying, “Oh, my friend’s having a baby, can you make a blanket or whatever?”