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RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  4:47:19 PM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
An article in Publisher's Weekly wondering whether knitting is on the way out. I'm a subscriber, but I'm pretty sure I'm not logged in, so the rest of you should be able to access it, too. If not, let me know.

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You are about to be told one more time that you are America’s most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources? -Utah Phillips, addressing a group of young people

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busygirl
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
1673 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  6:12:15 PM  Show Profile Send busygirl a Private Message

An interesting article - thank you.

Leslie

My Pics
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My Blog
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Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  6:55:59 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

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knittingbuzz
Permanent Resident

USA
1122 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  7:01:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit knittingbuzz's Homepage Send knittingbuzz a Private Message
Rachel, thanks for sharing the article, I enjoyed it....don't know if I entirely agree but I enjoyed it all the same.

Krista

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't .... you are right."
-Henry Ford

2006 FO 20 WIP 2
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sandrasingh
Seriously Hooked

USA
740 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  8:04:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit sandrasingh's Homepage Send sandrasingh a Private Message
Thanks Rachael...knitting my be slowing down in some aspects but its not going anywhere fast!

Sandra Singh
www.sandrasingh.com
sandrasingh@sandrasingh.com
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ForestBird
Chatty Knitter

USA
265 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  9:40:41 PM  Show Profile Send ForestBird a Private Message
An isightful article. Of course this is published in a book sellers' trade magazine and its purpose is to forecast the future so publishers have a handle on what and what not to publish. So they may be jumping the gun.

Admittedly there was a huge increase in knitters in the last few years. The demographics may have included older, as well as younger, new knitters. So the future may include mostly younger knitters as they grow up and discover the hobby. But it is so hard to count the older knitters who give up knitting, but also the ones who take it up again. And younger knitters give up hobbies frequently too. So the conclusion is that it will be difficult to forecast the future for knitting books for anything more than, say, a year.

I do applaud the article's pointing out that new knitters don't stay new and that they will want something more than one skein projects and scarves.

Thanks for the heads up.

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."
Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues (1954)
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Tabbico
Seriously Hooked

USA
960 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2006 :  9:53:32 PM  Show Profile Send Tabbico a Private Message
I have knit since I was 6 and that's a very long time. I enjoy it and always have. I have never been a trend follower, jumping from one activity or style to another. I guess those that do will try knitting and then dump it and move on, but I think there are enough people in the world who pick up a craft like knitting or woodworking or ceramics and stick with it throughout their lives. Sure, a big "rediscovery" of some craft will make its popularity soar (I remember years ago wanting to make a scrap book to hold some newspaper articles and couldn't find a scrap book or anything resembling materials to make one to save my life and now it seems 1/3 of my local craft store is dedicated to scrapbooking!!) and then later ebb, but the "diehards" of any craft will stick with it. Wait long enough and it seems everything comes around again. I hoping for tight pants again so my skinny son will be able to stop yanking up his baggies every third step.

Polly
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Mama Cat
Permanent Resident

1223 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  06:24:21 AM  Show Profile Send Mama Cat a Private Message
One thing in the article made me laugh. I think it's true, and I also think that it means that there will be no huge knitting "bust" (though the "hip-factor" may very well slowly ebb away):
quote:

The craft has a higher retention rate than many hobbies, says Craft Yarn Council of America executive director Mary Colucci, who claims the group's research shows that knitting is "addictive," and that newcomers stick with it for its soothing quality, a kind of knitter's high.

In general I think this was a very thoughtful, insightful article - thanks for passing it on.
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CatherineM
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USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  07:03:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
I can't find much to disagree with in that article. It's obvious that there was a "ride the trend" phenomenon in knitting book publishing - how many "projects for the new, hip, young, fat-needle-using, instant gratification wanting, scared of moving beyond a scarf, knitter" does the world really need? That target market has either moved beyond that stuff or given up knitting altogether. I think those and the navel-gazing books of "knitting philosophy/spirituality/we are special because we knit," are at the saturation point. They are a trend, and trends die. This is NOT a bad thing.

Catherine
http://www.yorkiedog.blogspot.com
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RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  07:50:51 AM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
Yeah, I'm not terribly concerned that we suddenly won't be able to get decent knitting books. If nothing else, that's what niche publishers are for. (Oops--I just typo-ed that as knitche, which is a yarn shop in my area.) They may not be on the shelf of every chain bookstore in such huge numbers, but then how many of us find more than a handful of anything beyond ultra-basic newbie books in those sections anyway? How many different of those books do we need before we're ready to move beyond that? I think the trend will be fewer of the frenetic fun fur big needles trend, and probably far fewer knitting books in general, but I think there will be higher quality among the titles that continue to emerge. And that's a good thing.

And was anybody else slightly amused by the stuff about Ann and Kay (Mason-Dixon)? I mean, I'm not calling them old, please don't get me wrong--but they're women with families and children and mortgages and the whole nine yards, yet PW mentions their blog as if it's at the center of the hip/trendy/young knitting phenomenon. Um, their book and blog is full of baby blanket patterns and dishcloths. They're hardly knitting fun fur bikinis! And we all love them for it--but do you think of Ann and Kay as being in the Deb Stoller crowd? Of course not. I loved Kay's comeback, "I'm more sassy than young."

--------
You are about to be told one more time that you are America’s most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources? -Utah Phillips, addressing a group of young people

Poetry discussion, and other assorted cultural ramblings:
http://crazylanea.typepad.com/eating_poetry/
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thdx3
Seriously Hooked

693 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  08:07:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit thdx3's Homepage Send thdx3 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by RachelKnitter

And was anybody else slightly amused by the stuff about Ann and Kay (Mason-Dixon)?


Yup...in fact, I was skimming the article for references to Mason-Dixon Knitting, because I'm fascinated by how appealing this book is to a wide range of knitters. I think part of the reason is Kay and Ann's willingness to embrace the domesticity of knitting--not in a reactionary anti-hip way, but they make it OK to want to use accessible materials (i.e. cheap Wally World cotton) to make warshrags and baby stuff and rugs--all the stuff our hopelessly unhip grannies knit in the first place.

Thanks for the article; very interesting reading.

Terri D. in NYC

off jumps jack
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RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  08:20:09 AM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by thdx3

Yup...in fact, I was skimming the article for references to Mason-Dixon Knitting, because I'm fascinated by how appealing this book is to a wide range of knitters. I think part of the reason is Kay and Ann's willingness to embrace the domesticity of knitting--not in a reactionary anti-hip way, but they make it OK to want to use accessible materials (i.e. cheap Wally World cotton) to make warshrags and baby stuff and rugs--all the stuff our hopelessly unhip grannies knit in the first place.
That's a great point, and I think exactly the words I was searching for. It's just funny. You can always tell when an article is written by someone who isn't part of the community that it's about because they're always so desperate to make things fit the way they think they're supposed to. Knitting=young and hip. Blogging=young and hip. Knitting bloggers=center of hip universe.

--------
You are about to be told one more time that you are America’s most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources? -Utah Phillips, addressing a group of young people

Poetry discussion, and other assorted cultural ramblings:
http://crazylanea.typepad.com/eating_poetry/
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susiknits
Permanent Resident

USA
1060 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2006 :  10:48:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit susiknits's Homepage  Send susiknits a Yahoo! Message Send susiknits a Private Message
Nice article, thanks. I agree that the trend is slowing down, and I view the multitude of new yarn shops opening with a skeptical eye. On the other hand, although others may move on to crochet or beading or whatever, a core group of these new young knitters will stay on.

Those young women and men are the ones who will struggle, learn, enjoy, design, write, and carry on the craft for the next generation. At which time there will be another knitting frenzy, and at which time people will be just as surprised, please and thrilled as we have been these last few years.

-- susi

--That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
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glccafar
Seriously Hooked

825 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  08:26:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit glccafar's Homepage Send glccafar a Private Message
Very interesting article. Thanks.
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  3:05:02 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message
Intersting article. I'm seeing a lot more space devoted to crocheting at my local B&N & Borders than a year ago. There are still a lot of knitting books, but a lot of them are the thin "learn to knit" kind.

I'd expect a lot of the less committed new knitters to move on to new hobbies as scarves, funky yarns, and large gauge knits become less fashionable in RTW. The rise in new crocheters is being fueled in part by RTW trends and I would expect a similar fall-off in crochet when styles change again in a few years. It's cyclical--what goes around in fashion comes around.

Even if the market for knitting books and yarns becomes smaller, I don't think that knitting will ever be in dire straits, as long as there is a core community that values handwork. There was a long drought before the current craze began when knitting stores were closing right and left. For a long time, I didn't know anyone who was a knitter and relied on knitting magazines to keep my enthusiasm up. I stopped knitting at one point because there was no one else around to talk to or to get help from. The internet has changed things to the point that patterns, yarns, tools, companionship and inspiration are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On-line communities like this one will continue to flourish even if fewer people knit, and there will be some people who might otherwise give up the craft who continue because of the presence of other knitters online.

BTW, I've seen similar things happen in another hobby. I'm also a philatelist (stamp collector), a hobby mentioned in the article. Lots of kids in my generation took up stamp collecting in grade school and gave it up later. Now that they're older, some of them have dug out their childhood collections and started again. Most brick-and-mortar stamp shops closed years ago, so it's been internet venues like ebay that have revitalized the hobby. The internet has allowed collectors to make connections with other collectors all over the world and to buy things that would have been unavailable locally. In the United States, stamp collecting will never again be a hip thing to do, but there will always be a core community with resources available online.

Anne

Knit long and prosper
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abbasrose
New Pal

41 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  7:58:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit abbasrose's Homepage Send abbasrose a Private Message
Anne

Please excuse my ignorance, but I have to ask... RTW? I've been on the web over ten years so am very familar w/most web acronyms and must admit I've never hear of RTW. Could you please explain?

Thanks
Tina
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  8:07:49 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message
Ready to Wear

Anne

Knit long and prosper
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2006 :  11:20:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
I started to respond here, and then decided to blog it.

Thanks, Lanea, for the headsup on this.


Kelley of the Hellacious Sockknitting

Going to He** for buying sock yarn during Lent, but at least my feet won't be cold.

www.ceallachdyes.com


http://ceallachknits.blogspot.com
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gwtreece
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USA
7254 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2006 :  12:01:13 PM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
Thanks for sharing the article.

Wanda
My Blog
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5190 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  05:49:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
I almost choked on the "blogs are like internet dating for knitters" line. More like play dates, I would guess. At least for me. I want to meet and communicate with other knitters, but I don't seek dates (what with my very happy marriage) and I'm not a match-maker. I mean, I just had some folks send some sort of "hook me up with your friend" emails to me after I posted some photos of my pals on vacation, and I actually moved the post back in time so people wouldn't see my blog as a dating resource. Because, er, I don't want the guys to be objectified. Though maybe I'm missing a chance to make some cashhhhhh . . .

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purlwise
Chatty Knitter

259 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2006 :  12:35:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlwise's Homepage Send purlwise a Private Message
Thanks for posting this. Very interesting.

I rekindle my interest in knitting in 2002 after coming across an newish knitting book in the library. I didn't know that it was becoming a trend.

Now my personal knitting book library is overflowing. Maybe other knitters are experiencing the same thing. I have so many projects in mind that I can't keep up. Now I think twice when buying both books and yarn; much more than before. The local libraries are a good resource for books so I check them out before deciding to buy. Lately, I've been buying books that are out of print because the current crop of new books are just too basic.

Regards,
Melinda
www.purlwise.com
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