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Permanent Resident

5199 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  06:54:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
Originally posted by abt1950

Lanea: How about setting up a dating service: SWFHYUK looking for SWMK. Object: swatching, yarn shopping, and maybe more. No smokers or acrylic lovers please.

Eek! I can't do it. I'm sure there is a need, but I would be no help. I think it's a horrid idea to date another knitter--imagine the fights over wool.

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New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  07:00:08 AM  Show Profile Send newyorkstitchwitch a Private Message
I don't believe in any way, shape or form that knitting is a fad. Only knitting styles are. Knitting has been around for too long to be a fad. Unlike some fiber crafts like weaving and spinning, knitting and crocheting too are easy portable and do not take a lot of equipment or space to start with. Knitting is also what I like to call and heirloom craft as a fair amount of knitters can say they learned from a family member. So NO I do not think knitting is EVER going to DIE.
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New Pal

18 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  07:35:01 AM  Show Profile Send pnitter a Private Message
Just yesterday, I discovered a new yarn store in a neighborhood that I seldom visit, and it was glorious. She has all of the best labels of yarn in great colors and just about every knitting book on the market. I left empty handed because of two reasons: I didn't have a project in mind and with my current yarn stash, could not justify the splurge, and secondly, I went through every last book and pattern magazine, and was both overwhelmed by the choices, and underwhelmed by the designs. There has come a saturation point at which many designers are recycling and/or lifting from other designers the same-old same-old. And how many basic technique books does the market need, when the several truly good ones teach it all (and they have been published for years, and you know which ones I mean.)

When I started knitting forty years ago, and for the first thirty years, it was a major problem finding inspirational yarns and patterns. I bought every book that came my way -- Rowan, Alice Starmore, Annabel Fox, the Seatons, you name it, and I knitted sweaters from all of them. Now I see a problem with too many choices. Additionally, all of those novelty yarns, which were once "novelty," now look cheap and commonplace. I think many people started off excited by buying these yarns, knitted several scarves, and then their interest dropped off. It takes real enthusiasm and dedication to go to the next step -- arans, fairisle, even large stockinette sweaters, with details, finishing, etc.

A couple of years ago, there was a large group of newbies among my crowd of friends, and we all got together weekly while they hovered over me oohing and aahing, but all of them quit after a couple of initial scarves. I even knitted Sally Melville's Einstein sweater to show them what could be accomplished with minimal skills, and everyone was excited about making one, but no one could really commit.

I think it takes a certain passion to get past the small things and dig into the truly rewarding ones, and that most people will dabble, then move on.
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7254 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  07:41:35 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
I think what is going to die in the knitting the world is the knitters that have jumped on the "fashion" knitting wagon. Knitting is in "fashion" so they need to knit. Now don't get me wrong there are some that started knitting because of the hype and have truly fallen in love with it. But then there are others that only knitting because it is hip and they are the one's that will move on to the next hot fad that starts.

I do hope that the yarn stores stay.

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Chatty Knitter

254 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  07:41:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit PuppyMomma's Homepage Send PuppyMomma a Private Message
Just one word. Nope. Maybe it won't be AS popular, but there's a crap-load of new knitters out there who are now addicted, so there will still be stores and yarns and stuff.


Every day may not be a good day to die, but every day is a good day to eat pancakes.
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3019 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  07:56:45 AM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message
There's a financial issue as well. Sticker shock may be one of the reasons why some new knitters don't make the transition. It costs a lot more money to make a sweater than to make a scarf, especially if you follow the yarn recommendations given for many patterns--cashmere, high end merino and alpaca, etc. If you're a new knitter, substituting yarn may be intimidating. Making small projects is fun, but the thrill tends to fade after you've gifted everyone you know and everyone they know with scarves and hats and you still have more than you can ever wear.


Knit long and prosper
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New Pal

10 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  08:07:59 AM  Show Profile Send bbohus a Private Message
This doesn't surprise me. I've been noticing that the selection of fiber (knitting/crocheting) books at Barnes & Noble has been dwindling over the past 16 months. Could this be a sign? However, the people who really "get" knitting will continue in spite of some article in some publication. We knit for our own pleasure, not because of what other people are doing.
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Chatty Knitter

330 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  08:43:11 AM  Show Profile Send Dspen89 a Private Message
I think from a publishers point, sales have to be on it's ebb. We ARE saturated with a lot of the "same ol". Even new knitters can only take so much.

I've already learned to knit, but I also very much enjoy a good read and love to keep going back if it's got substance. I've definitly slowed my intake of new material in the past months, I wouldn't be sad to see the book side of it slow down in hopes the quality would be something to look forward to. (And my bookshelves can heave a sigh of relief).

I don't think the yarn stores will suffer, we're still buying yarn and supplies. The internet has brought more stores to us as well. We're very savvy shoppers. I hate grocery shopping [crazy], but ask me where I can get this yarn or that one, and I'll have my keys, or keyboard in hand in a second. I'll never get tired of any yarn, novelty or whatever. I think all yarns have a place with someone.

Those of us that are true Knitters will never stop. I tried to scrapbook, but it wasn't for me. Couldn't you see me trying to do that in the car waiting to pick up the kids? This is just another season, it'll refresh itself and be back again, but those of us that love the craft will always keep it alive.

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1127 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  08:47:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
I think there will always be a market for well-done, intelligent knitting books. Whether or not they have designs that lean more "classic" (e.g., the Green Mt. Spinnery book) or more "trendy" (e.g., ...well, maybe the Sally Melville books but a lot of her designs are pretty classic too). I just think they may not be from the "mainstream" or generalist publishers, where it's all about the Next Big Thing, but rather from places like Interweave, where there's a base of customers who are very specific...

I think what MAY be waning is the "anybody with two sticks, some string, and an idea in their heads can get a book contract" furore. Remember a few months ago when it seemed like everyone who had a popular knitting blog had a book coming out? I think that's precisely the waning we're going to see. That, and the "garter stitch plus" scarf books - where it's not very innovative or different designs, it's the sort of thing knitters (beginning or not) have made from time immemorial.

I, personally, will sort of welcome the death of "hip" knitting - where it is not about the craft but rather is about the hipness. And where there are many many books that to my eye look basically interchangeable - the same scarf, iPod cozy, hat, fingerless mitts, basic unshaped sweater - all made out of bright, stripey, "deconstructed" fuzzy or furry yarns.

I dunno - I guess what I'm saying is that I'm ready for publishers to stop going "how can we make a buck off of this quick" and start saying "What can we publish that is quality and lasting and will remain on our backlist for years because it's so good?"

(I know: "dream on, fillyjonk.")
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Warming Up

61 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  10:32:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bloomkitty's Homepage  Send Bloomkitty a Yahoo! Message Send Bloomkitty a Private Message
Originally posted by

This doesn't surprise me. I've been noticing that the selection of fiber (knitting/crocheting) books at Barnes & Noble has been dwindling over the past 16 months. Could this be a sign? ....

First of all, I thought that was an incredibly thorough article - kudos to the author for her research. She, herself, must be a knitter. And now I'm excited for that knitting movie to come out!

Secondly, our knitting group meets at a brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble and we've actually gotten to know the guy who's in charge of purchasing the craft books. If there's a title we'd like to see in his store, he usually has several copies of it there in the craft shelves by the following week. And I think in response to our interest, there seems to be new knitting titles there almost every week. It's just a matter of providing feedback to your local store, I think. Of course, if there's a particular title you want, there's always if you want to buy it online (and usually cheaper). But there's nothing like being able to leaf through a knitting book to see if you really want to purchase it.

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1136 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  10:34:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message
Hadn't read the article until now...I'd say, knitting is the same as any "fad." People might be attracted to it because it's the "in" thing, but people who seriously adore it will stay. I started knitting not that long ago because I wanted an alternative to crocheting, which I love, but I needed a new challenge. I didn't get into knitting because it was the "in" thing (I'm rarely known for conforming to anything).

I will never forget the thrill of knitting my first sweater. Looking at it now, it's the most appalling looking piece of knitting, but I remember finishing it at the time and thinking, "OMG, this is something I can actually WEAR!!!" People complimented me right and left -- I was so proud. I couldn't wait to knit another one.

I can't imagine people are going to abandon that kind of thrill...

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New Pal

47 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  10:39:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitonepurltoo's Homepage Send knitonepurltoo a Private Message
Originally posted by

I've been noticing that the selection of fiber (knitting/crocheting) books at Barnes & Noble has been dwindling over the past 16 months. Could this be a sign?

I think it's a reflection that those sections are stocked by people who are non-knitters; without exception, I'm disappointed by the knitting book selection at my local bookstore because they have only basic books, or no sock pattern books or no new books since I was last in. While there are many knitters who are not tied to the internet, I think lots of us hear about books new to us on the Web first and are disappointed that the buyer for our local Barnes & Noble is not as up to date as we are.

Two observations: I was shocked (shocked I tell you!) that One Skein was such a big seller - I've looked through it, and I must be missing something, because my reaction remains "I don't need a book to tell me I need to be making more hats." It's very pretty, though, and I suspect it's being purchased as an impulse buy by all those knitters who also come away from the LYS with one skein of this, two skeins of that as impulse buys. Just a theory.

I give the article lots of credit for actually citing a source (Technorati), because most articles about blogs just go with the vague "lots and lots," but I'm guessing that the actual number of knitting blogs is closer to 9,000 than 900. Another theory: Can we guess that knitting's popularity is waning by the number of knitting blogs that are no longer active? By the number of knitting blogs that post about non-knitting topics more than knitting (granted, this is a personal pet peeve of mine - if you call your blog a knitting blog, I expect to read about knitting - or spinning, or crochet. Get those needles clicking rather than posting about how you have nothing to post about!).


Knit One, Purl Too: A Knitlog
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1546 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  10:48:35 AM  Show Profile Send Bethany a Private Message
Yes, I think it's important to note that the article isn't suggesting that knitting is on its way out as in, "Poof! No one will knit anymore!" but that knitting is on its way out as the trend of the moment. They may well be right -- surely it will happen sooner or later. And if it is, that's important information for publishers and at least some people who own or plan to own LYS. (However, if they're right that spinning and crochet are on their way in, LYS may be OK. Crochet takes a LOT more yarn than knitting does and is faster, to boot.)

I have to admit that, while I'll probably tire of it quickly, I'm hoping that the article is right and crochet really becomes the trend of the moment long enough to produce a wave of cute new patterns for me to work on.
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New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  10:54:20 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message
I'm keeping in mind that this article appears to be more about knitting books than knitting in general although the article writer seems to believe that the popularity of knitting books is a reflection on the popularity of knitting. I think this is an incorrect assumption.

I've purchased a number of knitting books (understatement) but the ones I use on a regular basis are actually reprints of books written years (decades?) ago. To be blunt, most of the "trendy" books are...well, just awful. Out of a dozen or so patterns *maybe* one will be something I would consider knitting. That goes for the magazines as well. The "corporate" yarns, as I call them, seem to have more input into the patterns than the designers and I think that is a major failing. Seriously, eyelash yarn is interesting but nothing I'd pass on as an heirloom (assuming that yarn could physically last long enough to become an heirloom). INCORRECT INSTRUCTIONS are a major failing point across the board. The lack of proofreading and test knitting of different sizes has increased with the number of magazines and books published.

I think we need to look at why someone would turn to knitting. In my case it is quite simply because most of the (machine) knitted clothing produced elsewhere and sold in the US is...crap. Poor quality yarn, very basic patterns, poor fit, heaven forbid producing a nicely knitted cardigan or shell in sizes larger than 14, and for the rare sweater that meets all of the above, an outrageous pricetag. The availability of reasonably priced yarn and supplies is outstanding now and I hope this "trend" continues.

Another point they might consider is that once you have a few good patterns it doesn't take much to alter them using a bit of shaping, substituting yarns and using ifferent stitch patterns. The internet and the world of knitters' blogs and websites is producing better, more innovative, LESS EXPENSIVE patterns every day and I'm sure that's cutting into their profit. They might want to consider publishing more books on how to create and/or alter existing patterns. Could it be that they are just not able to discern how the knitting trend is evolving?

Speaking of evolving, more than a few knitters are discovering the joy of creating their own yarns by taking up spinning. Like hand knitting, spindle spinning is also portable (and draws quite a few stares and comments), rewarding, and one has more control over the finished product. Spinning also leaves lots of room for personal innovation. Then there's dyeing both of commercial DYO yarns and homespun!

So, rather than the knitting trend becoming less popular, I believe it is evolving into something larger. The publishing industry's inability to find the pulse of knitting (or, should I say, fiber art?) does not mean knitting is less popular.

On the other hand, if they want to stop publishing so many ick books, I'm cool with that. ;)
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Posted - 09/07/2006 :  11:03:42 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message
Gee, I wonder if he told all of the people I see in airports and on planes pleasantly passing the time and knitting away. Is he for real?
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Chatty Knitter

339 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  11:13:51 AM  Show Profile Send mkfromKansas a Private Message
Well since I am just a little younger than God I remember the times when most mothers stayed home and handcrafts were part of being a good economical wife. Sewing was an essential not an art form. And along with that came knitting, embroidery, tatting, and of course crochet. And one of the side benefits was the urge of women to get together while doing their handwork. Somehow, I foolishly hoped the rise of knitting would spur women to bond together more. We have so much to learn from each other.But for whatever reasons, I hope this rebirth of knitting stays around a few more years and brings about a few more friendships; even the one I feel with you all here at KR.
mkfrom Kansas
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Chatty Knitter

262 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  3:36:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit shazdownunder's Homepage Send shazdownunder a Private Message
Here in Australia I started knitting in the 1970's as a child when everyone was knitting, crocheting and sewing, I was addicted during the 80's when knitting began to decline rapidly in this country

During the 90's here in the city I live there was one LYS left and the department stores no longer had haberdashery sections[:((] Knitting was almost if not dead

That being said there were those of us didn't stop knitting, we supported our one and only LYS and we rejoiced in the fact that knitting once again was finding favour with a whole new generation.

So I think there will be times when our craft is less popular and some people will give up the needles but there will always be those of us who love what we do and we will never stop knitting because knitting is not just something that we do it is what we are So they can write what they like about knitting declining but it will never die completely because we wont let it.


She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:13
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New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  7:43:23 PM  Show Profile Send VanHyning a Private Message
From my place on this planet- I do not think knitting is on the way out-I have found more and more knitting and enjoying
My three winter months in South Carolina last winter -some knitting groups formed -went to one get together at the Atlantic bread company -where they meet weekly -a nice loose group to knit -show and tell help if one needs help
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1045 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2006 :  11:13:35 PM  Show Profile Send Margie a Private Message
I sicerely hope knitting stays. I plan to keep it up.

My library has been getting a lot of new knitting books (I snitched them yesterday to take to my beginners' class tonight). I haven't found any I need maybe because a) I have lots of books already [my library's old enough to have BW and EZ in hardback], and b) I don't find much to interest me in them. Fun to lip through but I don't plan to buy any more.

But last time I gave a class at the library there was a waiting list of 20 or 30! It's not dead yet.

Not with this group around to support knitting.

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New Pal

26 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2006 :  07:35:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Aziyade's Homepage Send Aziyade a Private Message
Although I'm an avid reader, I'm not a big fan of pattern books or instructional knitting books. I bought all the usual suspects and I'm working on collecting Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker's books (for my own amusement) but as for the gazillion "50 ways to make a tank top" -- um, do I really NEED that?

(I adore magazines though, but then I'm weird and actually ENJOY looking through the ads.)

As a new knitter, I sort of feel like I don't HAVE to buy any books because the web sites for most of the major yarn brand names will not only teach you the basics but will also give you free patterns. Between Berocco, LionBrand, and ModaDea, I could make just about anything and never have to buy a pattern book. Plus how many online magazines publish free (and stylish) patterns?
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