Monday, May 6, 2013

The Stock(inette) Market: April 22nd-May 5th

Hello all! The Stock(inette) Market is coming to you live from brand new headquarters--I signed on the dotted line and bought a condo at the end of April! I wanted to tell you this because a) it's super exciting and b) it explains why there are fewer data points than usual this time around.  Between packing, moving, and not having internet for the first couple days, there were a few missed data collection dates in there.  But! It was a very interesting two weeks regardless.  This has been the first time in a while when there weren't large numbers of publications coming out during the weeks; between April 22nd and 29th, no major multi-pattern publications made their way onto the front page.  Over the rest of the dates, there were a few notable groupings, but single publications didn't dominate as they have done in the past.  This gives an interesting and organic approach to the data; individual self-published patterns or small collections could come to the fore, or single patterns from industry publications could shine.  Of note this time was Kyoko Nakayoshi's Fresh Inspiration collection, Cookie A's Jazz Collection, the Quince & Co. Socks book one, and the start of the preview for Interweave Knit's Summer 2013 issue.  Let's take a look at how these and other patterns affected the data!

Neck accessories retained 46% of the market, the same percentage as last time.  Cardigans and pullovers dropped a small amount, but homegoods, cowls, and socks gained slightly.  This makes sense in terms of what we saw last time; the most recent issue of Twist Collective had many garments, and there were fewer of those represented this time around.  The patterns from the Interweave Knits Summer preview are slowly trickling onto the first page as we speak; from what I can gather so far, industry pubs tend to favor garments, so we'll see what the beginning of the next edition looks like for those.  Also of note is that vests dropped off the list of those pattern types averaging over 1 hit per data collection (averaging instead just .21); instead, toys took their place this time around with the continued presence of the Happypotamus.  I would have expected vests to do better as we transition into Northern Hemisphere summer, so it'll be something to keep an eye on.

 In garment type, all but neck accessories showed a steady inertia or slight decline; neck accessories continued to climb along the same rate as they followed last time.  This brings neck accessories back up to about where they stood at the end of March, before the major spike and decline following the Romi Hill Easter egg hunt.  It will be interesting to see if they continue to climb over the summer months or drop again soon.
Of note also is that the spikes present in this graph are not the result of single publications.  On April 27th, for example, publication dates for shawls ranged from brand-new Knitty Surprises from the Spring/Summer issue (Brenda Dayne's Now in a Minute) to back to Knitty Spring 2009 (Elizabeth Freeman's Aeolian).  Similarly, April 29th's spike in cardigans had examples with publication dates ranging from earlier that day to November 2012 (Serra by Laura Aylor), to September 2009 (Andrea Rangel's The Dude).  While I don't intend to compensate in my data for things such as the Harlot Effect (i.e. if a famous knitter such as the Yarn Harlot or SouleMama blogs about a pattern, it shoots to the top of the list) or magazine publicity, I do think completely organic results such as these can be  very interesting and telling about the underlying trends.

Yarn type remained relatively constant through the weeks, and the interplay between solids and semi-solids was the focus of the data.  It is interesting to note that while the other types do have an effect on the numbers, solids and semi-solids have been almost mirroring each other since I start collecting data.  When one rises, the other drops, and vice versa.  It seems clear from this that while the other types remain present, the use of solids and semi-solids unquestionable fights for the largest part of the market. 

Fabric type also followed the path we've seen previous, with lace continuing strong and gaining slightly over the weeks.  All others dropped a small amount, with a spike in stockinette projects occurring organically in the middle of the period.   Cables saw small a small spike corresponding with the release of Cookie A's Jazz Collection and the Quince & Co. Socks book one, as the popular patterns from each utilized cables in their construction.

 Modeled garments climbed over the two weeks, with rises at the latter end corresponding to the trickle of Interweave Knits patterns and the aforementioned sock collections.  True to previous discussions, modeled garments dropped slightly over the weekends, and there was a slight organic rise in dressforms in the middle of the period. 

Grey and blue were the dominant colors this time, with a few sharp spikes in blues mid-period.  Again, these spikes didn't seem to come as a result of pre-conceived color stories, but as organic results of popularity.  The spike in blue late in the period, however, can most likely be linked to Interweave Knits, which had quite a few blue pieces making the first page.  Also of note is the plateau of red at the beginning of the weeks, before sloping sharply downwards; red has been one of the most volatile colors over the last few months, so I look forward to studying it closer.  Also of interest are the climbs in black and white; these colors continue to be present in single-color garments as well as part of multi-color projects as well. 

All in all, an interesting couple of weeks for "pure" data; a continued interest in neck accessories, lace, and cool colors, with a general rise in other accessories over garments.  Is this a trend for the Northern Hemisphere summer, or something larger? What do you think?

I also wanted to note a couple things on what further I hope to work on over the coming months.  I've had many requests to track number of projects for patterns that have been on HRN, and after trying to formulate a way to do so, I regretfully have to say that it's just not possible.  When things are moving slowly, probably about fifteen patterns will change between 12 hour periods.  When things are volatile, around thirty can change.  That's between roughly fifty and eighty patterns a day to look at, which equates to probably about a thousand over the two week period, at a low estimate.  There's no way to easily glance over them for project data.  I'm working on learning the API key so that perhaps, in future, I can revisit this, but at present, it's just not feasible timewise. 
However, based on recent conversations I've had with a few friends and commenters, I would like to start thinking in broader terms.  When do we know a trend is on its way out or is completely done? What factors do I consistently see that create a presence on the first page? How do industry and self-publications play against each other? I'd like to explore these in further detail, and hope to bring those thoughts to you as their own posts, essays, or articles.  Stay tuned!


  1. I find these stats fascinating! Thanks for sharing all this work, Bristol.

    1. Apologies for the super-late reply, but my thanks are sincere!

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