Monday, December 30, 2013

The Stock(inette) Market: December 2nd-December 29th

Welcome to the second-to-last day of 2013! It's been a great year for knitting, with an incredible number of publications, both industry and self-published.  In fact, since I know you love stats as much as I do, take a look at this data that Casey from Ravelry put together about this year's publications in relation to others.  That's some pretty interesting stuff right there--I'll be very curious to see how 2014 stacks up!

Looking a bit more micro, let's take a look at December's numbers. 

It was pretty clear, in looking at the numbers this month, that quick, giftable knits were dominating over garments.  Pullovers and cardigans, usually accounting for around 25% of the data, averaged just 14%.  In contrast, neck accessories, cowls, and hats took 59% of the average, up from 56% last month.  For as much as garments had dominated in the fall (second to neck accessories, of course), this is a pretty big shift.  I do think this has a lot to do with the Christmas season--a lot of knitters were looking for gifts for others, and garments are a lot more of a commitment/crapshoot on sizing than accessories.  One interesting thing to note, as we'll see in the graph below, however: in the last few days, garments dropped over the month, but have started spiking in the last few days, indicating that January may well be as much of a month of selfish knitting as it's touted to be.

After a few big spikes mid-month due to promotions from Kourtney Robinson and Kristi Holaas, both of whom had predominantly shawl designs hitting the front page, neck accessories continued to climb with several organic spikes later in the month.  There were also two organic cowl spikes in the first half of the month, as well as several organic hat spikes throughout.   The aforementioned neck accessories climbed, as did hats, cardigans (partly due to the release of the Knitscene Spring preview, and also due to an organic or forum-driven collection of striped cardigans late in the month), and kid's garments.  After a very strong start, cowls fell, along with almost all other categories, indicating that after an abnormal couple of months, we might see a return to the pattern we've experienced throughout most of the rest of the year where neck accessories and garments reign.

Semi-solid yarn continues to dominate, with spikes concurrent to Kourtney Robinson's promo and Tin Can Knit's The Simple Collection, both of which featured it heavily.  Solids did overtake it around the 8th-11th, but without a corresponding publication.  There was another organic solid spike around the 22nd.  Multiple-color projects had a peak correspondent with the release of the Winter issue of Knitty, nine of whose projects were multiple colors, but both fell over the month.  Tweeds had several smaller organic spikes, but also fell overall.  Variegated and self-striping climbed over the month, after very little play in November.

Model type remained relatively steady over the month, with a small dressform spike organically around the 10th and a corresponding dip in modeled garments.  All categories saw little to no change.

As with last month, fabric type traded many times for the top spot, but texture came out ahead overall.  This was due to major spikes around the 8th and from the 25th to the 28th, both with some minor influences (Tin Can Knits' Simple Collection, present at the second spike, features a lot of garter stitch, for example) but also organically.  There was a lace spike correspondent with Kourtney Robinson's promo, and colorwork spikes related to the release of Knitty as well as organically through the month.  Stockinette also made its presence known multiple times throughout the month, gaining prominence at the very end in the striped sweaters mentioned above.  Cables remained low, but were featured heavily in Knitty.  Overall, lace rose, colorwork dropped, and all others remained relatively steady.

There were several different colors playing for dominance in December, but green and grey took the lead for the most part, with large organic spikes across the board.  While there were many different spikes for the others as well, the trendlines for colors in December almost look like the staff on a sheet of music--very little movement up or down across the month.  Of note is a spike in red around the 19th and a few spikes in white throughout the month--the first time we've seen it taking precedence over the rest of the colors. 

In conclusion, we saw a lot of accessories riding high over the month, with several promos bringing shawls and neck accessories to the fore as well as a predisposition due to gift knitting.  Texture, semi-solids, and cooler neutrals (greys and white) also came to the fore.  For next month, we have the potential for garments to continue their rise back to prominence, with more and more of the spring publications starting to crop up on Ravelry.  I can't wait to see what the first month of 2014 brings!

With that, I've wrapped up my final stats post for 2013.  I wanted to thank you all for reading, for your encouragement, and for the discussion this has produced.  As the year draws to a close, I am continuing to turn over in my mind where I'd like to take this next.  Though I try not to talk about personal stuff in the stats posts, it's hopefully clear that a lot of time and effort goes into these, and I am still trying to figure out how to juggle this and the rest of my life, work, and designing while retaining sanity and a decent sleep schedule.  As such, I'd like to open a discussion with you about what The Stock(inette) Market would look like if it was monetized in some way, thus helping to keep it sustainable and important as part of my daily life.  What would you think if I added a donate button? Made this subscription only? Pursued a magazine column? Affiliated with a sponsor? Would you like to help me make any of those things happen? Please let me know what you think would be a good or realistic idea.  I've defended this blog multiple times as a necessity, a way of treating our industry as an industry, as a way of respecting what we do in terms of hard data and not just as a hobby.  But I also need to be realistic and respect my own work here, too.  I tell enough people to charge for their patterns--it's about time I listened to my own advice, right? :)

In any case, regardless of the big, deep topics above, I send you all my best wishes for a wonderful 2014.  I can't wait to see where it takes us!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Stock(inette) Market: November 4th to December 1st

Welcome to December--there's been snow on the ground (though it hasn't stuck here in Maine yet), there are Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge, and gift knitting season is well underway. Let's take a look at the last month in the knitting world!
Accessories continue to dominate this month, with neck accessories and cowls retaining the top percentages.  However, those percentages have dropped from last month, with the former going from 31% to 23%, and the latter from 18% to 14%.  Cardigans and hats gained more ground, the former perhaps due to the three garment-heavy major publications of the month, Interweave Knits Winter 2013, Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People 6, and Twist Collective Winter 2013. Mitts, toys, kid's, and homegoods also gained ground, while men's and socks lost ground, with only a few showings in either the major publications or organically.

While neck accessories stayed dominant over the month, rising slightly in popularity at the end, there were many times over the month when other garment types spiked over them, which is unusual in comparison to what we've seen previously.  There was a major neck accessories spike mid-month correspondent with Lee Meredith's Coloring Book/Color by Number collection and smaller organic spikes throughout the rest of the month.  There were also high organic spikes in cowls all through the second half of the month, a similar spike in hats late in the month, and spikes in cardigans correspondent with the release of the three major publications listed above.  Despite these spikes in garments, however, they dropped steadily over the month. Cowls, homegoods, and mitts climbed, and all others remained relatively steady. 

Solids and semi-solids continued dominant over the month; semi-solids had multiple organic spikes and a slight rise, and it and solids were both used relatively evenly in the major publications.  There was also a tweed spike concurrent with the release of Wool People 6, and small tweed and 2-color knitting spikes concurrent with both organic results and the release of Twist Collective, which featured many examples of colorwork sweaters and accessories.

Modeled garments remained dominant, but fell slightly during the time period after strong presences in Interweave Knits and Wool People, with a deep dip in the middle of the month matching small organic spikes in each of the other categories. Modeled garments did spike back up organically and at the release of Twist Collective, but did not regain its beginning prominence.  Flat garments also had several organic spikes throughout the month, and all three minorities rose for the end of the month.

Fabric type was more variable and competitive in November than we've ever seen before, with texture taking a clear lead for the first time with heavy presences in industry publications and organically.  Stockinette started strong but fell over the month, and lace and cables both rose slightly.  Colorwork spiked with Lee Meredith's collection and Twist Collective, but remained otherwise steady.

Color was also wildly variable, with colors trading for dominance each day.  Grey had a clear and strong presence early in the month concurrent with Wool People 6, and despite several smaller spikes throughout the month, fell slightly.  White also had a major spike at the end of the month and several lesser spikes at the beginning, each time organically.  Red, purple, and white rose through the time period, while the aforementioned grey, orange, brown, and black fell.  Yellow, green, and blue remained relatively steady.

So this month brought us consistent stories in terms of garment, yarn, and model type, but some big changes in fabric type and an ever-changing line-up in color.  I look forward to seeing what next month brings!