For the past couple weeks, I've been working on a project that I hope will prove beneficial and interesting to other knitting designers, people in the industry, and just plain old statistics nerds like myself. I've always been interested in the numbers of the knitting world, and there's a wealth of raw data available on Ravelry--so I thought, why not combine the two? The Stock(inette) Market is the result!
My method has been simple: ideally twice a day, ideally 12 hours apart (ideally, because I am human after all), I take a look at the first page of one Ravelry's search algorithms, Hot Right Now. There are 48 patterns on the first page, representing the patterns that are getting the most attention at that time on Ravelry. Within those 48 patterns, I've broken down my analysis into five different classifications: Garment Type, Fabric Type, Yarn Type, Color, and whether or not the item is on a model. After collating all this information every two weeks, I'll present an analysis of where things stand in knitting design in that timeframe, and how it compares to previous analyses. With this information, I hope to get a sense of where trends are shifting in the knitting world, thus enabling myself and other designers to best use the resources available to us and further make our way in the industry. (God, the academic language, it just comes right back, doesn't it?)
I'm definitely interested in as much feedback as possible; are there further analyses you'd like to see? Things you'd change? I'm personally thinking about splitting a few garment categories further down into their component parts (neck accessories is the big one I'd like to split, but that gets into very semantic territory), and am open to further discussion. I've also taken screenshots of the page each time I've accessed the data, and so would be able to go back and look into things further. I'm interested in eventually incorporating knit vs. crochet, yarn weight, yardage, date published, price, and a few other factors, but I'm also trying to be realistic about the time commitment! I'll most definitely take into consideration any suggestions, though, and welcome them.
Without further ado, then, here's the first two weeks of The Stock(inette) Market!
On those garment types that do appear on the graph, neck accessories (scarves, shawls, and wraps) are still incredibly strong, following a trend that's been going for at least three years at this point. There was a large spike in the last week due to the release of Quince & Co.'s Scarves Etc. 2013, a collection of 17 scarves, shawls, and cowls. Garments took a bit of a backseat due to this spike and dropped accordingly. Homegoods, hats, and socks remained relatively steady.
Fabric type is determined by what I feel to be the prevailing motif of the item. Lace continues strong, a trend that started right about when shawls did. Textured knits, however, ranging from simple garter stitch to slip stitches and knit-purl combinations, climbed over the weeks due to a strong presence in the Q&C Scarves, Etc. 2013. Colorwork (defined as anything with more than one color, be it stripes, stranding, intarsia, colorblocking, and so on) rose steadily, but didn't have a huge presence in either Knitty or Q&C. I'm interested to see where that one goes! Cables and stockinette were steady in the background, with some popular and well-loved patterns (the Featherweight cardigan and Aidez, for example) staying on the front page consistently.
The last option I explored was whether or not the item was modeled by a person. Most discussions of how best to photograph your patterns encourage doing so on a person, but approximately 1/5-1/3 of patterns were without a human model. Quite a number were pictured on a dressform or similar set-up, however, so that might be something I track in the future. An interesting aside is the dips below the trendline on the weekends; far fewer patterns were modeled during those times. Something to keep an eye on!
So, to sum up, shawls/scarves/wraps and lace remain strong, with a rise in 2 or more color patterns and texture. Semi-solids and solids still rule the yarn market, partly thanks to the Quince & Co. Scarves, Etc. 2013 and the most recent Knitty. Green is down, and reds and neutrals are up. Where do you think things will go in the next few weeks?