All right, let's look back at October, when leaves were orange on the trees, "Rhinebeck sweater" were the words on everyone's lips, and on October 9th, Casey at Ravelry made some serious changes to the way Hot Right Now is structured. Starting with this thread and this poll, you can see some very interesting discussions about how different people utilize, understand, and appreciate Hot Right Now. After long discussion, Casey made these changes to the Hot Right Now algorithms (detailed in post #266), which should significantly cut down on patterns whose place on Hot Right Now is gained by clicking through from a blind link and then leaving soon thereafter. How is this important to us? Often times, those blind links are in the Ravelry forums, announcing that X pattern is free for a limited time, or on discount for a limited time.
In addition, on the 29th, this change was announced for all patterns going forward: patterns will no longer be able to have promotional text on the photo or additional keywords besides the title in the pattern name. You all know from reading the Stockinette Market that free patterns, especially those that are free for a limited time, have held a significant place in the rankings, and in recent months more and more people have begun using text in the main photo to indicate a discount or promo. Though I didn't see a huge difference in any of our major categories once these shifts occurred (garment, yarn, model, fabric, and color), the composition of Hot Right Now itself looks very different as a page. Definitely check it out if you haven't been looking in a while!
With those details in mind, let's take a look at the numbers! (Also known as, Bristol's been talking for a while; bring on the pretty graphs.)
Neck accessories continued to decline over the month, going from 30% in September to 24% in October. Cowls and hats took the second and third spot, with cowls up 4% and hats remaining steady. Garments also remained steady at 12% each. We kept the same number of categories as we had last month, but swapped out toys for ponchos as that accessory begins to make its presence known again in the knitting world. Overall, I definitely want to continue to watch how cowls and neck accessories interact in the future. At this time last year, neck accessories held 31% of the average and cowls held 14%; while there are certain ebbs and flows of popularity (for example, cowls are at around 4% through much of the summer), that falling number for neck accessories is definitely an important one.
Mon Petit Violon. There were two large organic spikes in neck accessories a week later, and two smaller organic ones throughout the month. Pullovers had an organic spike mid month, and there were several further spikes throughout the month. Indeed, many different garment types traded for dominance in October. The one clear winner in terms of trajectory was cardigans; this saw strong play (but no real spikes) at the end of the month with the publication of Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 14, Vogue Holiday 2014, and Interweave Winter 2015. Pullovers, hats, cowls, kids, and socks all fell over the month.
Colors were as wildly variable as we've come to expect, but grey and blue continued to dominate (though the former climbed and the latter dropped). Again, as we saw above, the only color spike associated with a promo or publication came with Mon Petit Violon at the beginning of the month with a spike in white; all other spikes appear to be organic. Interesting to note is that several colors spikes that don't typically see the spotlight: purple (falling throughout the month) and brown (climbing). Yellow and green had slight rises as well, but all others maintained or fell slightly.
This has been an interesting month for data; despite several publications and promos, the data was truly in the hands of the knitters. This seems to be the case both pre- and post-Hot Right Now changes, so it will be interesting to see what will happen moving forward. Stay tuned, and I'll see you in December!