Saturday, June 28, 2014

A couple tutorials in brioche and fisherman's rib

So it's no secret that I'm a huge, huge fan of brioche and fisherman's rib.  I've been working pretty obsessively with them over the last year or so, and the obsession doesn't show any real signs of stopping.  I've had a couple questions recently on troubleshooting with these stitches (and one question relating to my Linum tee design with Knitscene in particular), so I thought I'd do a couple quick video tutorials on getting more comfortable with them.  The first is one laddering down and rebuilding stitch columns in these stitches:

And the second is on how to perform a knit-1-below into a stitch that was decreased on the previous row:

Now, YouTube star I am not, but I hope these will help explain the process and help people get more comfortable with some of my favorite stitches!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Stockinette Market: May 1st-May 31st

Alert: as I type this, the window is open next to me.  I repeat, THE WINDOW IS OPEN.  The last few days here in Maine have been one constant internal monologue of "summersummersummersummersummer", and while I'm still knitting constantly, I'm thinking wistfully of how I'll manage it outside for the next couple months.  (Two words: cupholder chair.) The knitting world seems to be having a similar shift in focus right now, with most activity the result of organic spikes rather than publications or promos.  Let's take a look at what went down in May!

After a few months of upward climbs in percentage points, neck accessories remained at a steady 39% this month.  Cardigans saw a small gain, taking the upper hand over pullovers with a gain of two percentage points.  All other categories fell, with kid's garments dropping off the list from last month and men's garments and vests joining.  The strong showing in garments is due to a few garment-heavy publications or promos at the beginning of the month, with Amy Christoffers' New American Knits' preview going live, and Amy Miller and the ladies of Plum Dandi (Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary) doing promos.  Neck accessories' continued dominance was almost entirely organic, with only a small percentage of promos or publications featuring them; the most prominent of these was Knitscene Accessories mid-month.

The trends over the month reflect the garment-heavy nature of the first few weeks of the month, with especial spikes for New American Knits and Amy Miller.  There were also a few spikes later in the month correspondent with Ravelry front page spotlights on bonnets, which skewed towards kid's patterns, and blankets.  Most other spikes throughout the month were organic, with neck accessories taking the clear and dominant lead mid-month forward with a boost from Knitscene Accessories.

Yarn type was an interesting one this month; semi-solid and solid yarns switched for dominance the end of the month without any especial triggers from publications or promotions.  There were spikes in the former tied both organically and tied to the Amy Miller and Plum Dandi promos, but it faded over the month.  The latter had a few organic spikes at the beginning of the month, and otherwise gained organically throughout.  We saw a few small spikes in two- and three-color patterns spaced almost equally through the month, with some tied to the kid's bonnets and some organic.  Variegated and self-striping also gained some ground over the month, showing up in old favorites like Hitchhiker and Nymphalidea. It seems as though these are more prominent with higher rates of neck accessories, so it would make sense that as those gain in the summertime, variegated and self-striping yarns do as well.

Model type remained steady, though there were a few interesting organic spikes in both items photographed flat and those on dressforms throughout the month. Items on a model fell slightly over the month, after the high numbers we saw in April and the garment-heavy beginning of the month (as sweaters correspond more closely to human models than other projects). 

Fabric type also remained steady, though with many spikes across the board from each of lace, texture, colorwork, and stockinette.  Cables were the lone underachiever, hanging out at 1-3 items per day.  Lace continues to dominate overall, mostly organically, as there was little presence in the clean lines and simplicity of Amy Christoffers, Amy Palmer, and the Plum Dandi ladies (who were all responsible for the spikes in stockinette early on).  The spike two-thirds of the way through the month of texture and colorwork corresponded with the Ravelry spotlight on bonnets, many of which were crochet and in multiple colors.
Blue has started descending from its dominance of the last few months, with one last major spike mid-month.  Otherwise, grey, red, and white continued strong, with the latter two climbing over the month.  Purple, green, and orange also gained over the month as the aforementioned blue, brown, and grey fell.  Though this is happening a few months after we saw it last year (perhaps in response to the late spring?), this is a similar changing of the guard in color that we've seen previously.

So there were some interesting things to keep an eye on for next month--blue dropping, semi-solid and solid switching dominance, and whether neck accessories have leveled off for the summer or will keep climbing.  Stay tuned for June! Now, where are my iced tea glasses. . .