Wednesday, September 25, 2013


My pile of woolens for KnitEast is bigger than any other pile. Do you think I can manage some midday costume changes?

(Pssst--that orange one on the left? Meet Windrow, a brioche cowl in Sunshine Yarns gorgeous Ultraluxe Worsted. $2 of every sale will go to the United Way's Foothills Flood Relief Fund.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer's End

My hands and wrists have been giving me some trouble recently (nothing major, promise!), so I took the weekend off of knitting, typing, and playing on my phone. Since those are the things that occupy most of my time, I suddenly had a whole weekend on my hands! (No pun intended.) So I took a day trip up the coast to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a place I've been meaning to visit for years. Well worth the trip, especially on such a lovely, late summer, hint of fall weekend we had here in Maine.  I'm not hugely into plants and gardening in general, but the color play and textures are always so inspiring.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Stock(inette) Market: A Six Month Retrospective

Six months.  Approximately 360 data collections.  Approximately 9.5 million individual data points (seriously).  Scores of shawls, fountains of Fair Isle, legions of lace, and three chickens in sweaters.  I wrote down my first data collection on February 25th, and it's been a fascinating ride ever since.  Do you want to see what the past six months has looked like in knitting?

Because of the extended timeline of data, there was a good chance all changes would cancel each other out.  So it was very exciting, once the trendlines went up, that there were marked differences over the course of the six months!

It should come as no surprise that neck accessories dominated throughout the entire time, with multiple organic spikes as well as promotion and collection/magazine release spikes.  The highest spike in early April was a direct result of Romi Hill's Easter Egg Hunt contest, with other over-30 spikes due to the release of the shawl-centric Wool People 5, and two organic spikes in May and June.  Even without those major spikes, neck accessories continually held the largest part of the market throughout the entire six months, and grew slightly over that time.

Cardigans and cowls dropped slightly over the six months, despite strong, consistently placed spikes in the former that tied to the release of Knit.Wear, Knit to Flatter, Twist Collective, Ashore, with Friends, and Rowan's multiple summer releases.  An interesting thing to note is that while high spikes occurred organically in neck accessories, most high spikes in garments occurred as the result of a collection launch or promotion.  All other categories remained relatively consistent over the time.  Not represented on the graph due to low representation but also present over the six months: mitts, mittens/gloves, dresses, jewelry, vests (which almost made the graph, with .94 appearances per day on average), ponchos, unmentionables, skirts, pet coats, shrugs, and men's garments.

Remarkably, most yarn types gained prominence, with only two dropping.  Solid yarns dropped consistently over the six months, due to a solid (forgive the pun) presence in the first three months and fewer appearances in the latter.  They had a big presence in Quince & Co.'s Scarves, Etc. and Knit.Wear in late spring, and stayed consistently second place throughout the rest of the time period.  Variegated yarns also dropped over the time period, with no major spikes or collections highlighting the yarn.

Semi-solids, tweeds, self-striping, and multiple color projects rose over the time period, with a major spike in the first corresponding to Romi Hill's giveaway, and others corresponding to the Plucky Knitter anniversary, Amy Miller's kid's collection with the Plucky Knitter, and an organic spike in late July.  There were major spikes in tweed correspondent with the release of Brooklyn Tweed collections Wool People 5 and BT Men, as well as one correspondent with Rowan's summer releases.  There were small organic spikes in multi-color projects and self-striping yarns, but no major releases or promotions during that time.

Model type remained relatively consistent, with a slight drop in modeled garments and a slight rise in flat garments.  This is one that I'll continue watching, but I am under the assumption that this will remain relatively steady.

In fabric type, lace remained consistent both as the most prominent type and across the time period, with very high showings that are too numerous to count.  Notable spikes include Romi Hill's giveaway and an organic spike in mid August.  Cables were the only fabric type that dropped; stockinette, texture, and colorwork all rose consistently, with few major spikes other than an organic spike in texture in late August. 

Finally, color was wildly variable throughout the six months, but most colors trended upward.  Blue was consistently the strongest color, with major spikes corresponding to organic spikes, Interweave Knits, and Knitty First Fall.  Grey also climbed, with a major spike corresponding to the release of BT Men and the Rowan summer releases, and green had a few major organic spikes in the latter three months.  Despite some major spikes in red, including an organic one in early July, the color fell consistently over the time period.  We are currently also seeing a large uptick in cool tones and neutrals, perhaps in preparation for the winter garments to come.

So that, in a nutshell, is the last six months of knitting! Lace, neck accessories, modeled garments, and semi-solids reign, and there are some interesting developments with the drop in cables, solids, garments, and reds.  Spikes have occurred both as the result of major publications and of organic self-publications and searches, with neither taking a substantial causal lead.  Things should be interesting in the new few months, as well--there's been a new develop recently with the addition of the weekly "Community Eye Candy" feature on the front page of Ravelry.  As with the "Harlot effect", when an item is blogged about by a famous knitter and causes a spike in traffic to that pattern, the highlighting of specific garment or project types on the front page of Ravelry skews results soon thereafter.  It will be interesting to see how this comes into play in the next little bit! In addition, we've reached the beginning of the biggest time in the knitting world, with multitudes of collection launches, magazines, and books coming out soon.  It's been an exciting journey over the past half year, and I can't wait to see where it goes next!