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!

15 comments:

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  2. I don't think there'd be anything wrong with making it subscription only. In most other industries, market data like this isn't given away for free.

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    1. Thank you! I think I'm going to start with a Donate button, and then if I get more time to go more in-depth, pursue the subscription option.

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  3. I read your posts frequently and thoroughly appreciate your insights. Sorry I don't have a good suggestion on turning these into profits, though.

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  4. I can imagine this is a huge amount of work! I would definitely find a way of charging for it or getting it included in a magazine. Maybe you could add a donate button until you sort it out...or if you found that people were contributing enough you could just leave it?

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    1. Donation button in progress. :) Thank you!

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  5. Another great post in a great series!!!
    I love reading your stats and I find them extremely useful and interesting... and I absolutely agree with Andi that you should start to charge for it.
    I don't know about the subscription model though... it might not bring enough revenue but you would need to stick to a very precise program to send out each instalment on a specific date.
    Anyway... What I would do is to install a donation-button for now and see how it goes. It might serve as a discreet temporary solution until you find the revenue model that is suitable for you (and if it works fine than you could keep it anyway).

    I wish you a lovely, healthy, fun and productive 2014 (with lots of sanity & sleeping time in it)!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, hon! Working on a donation button now. :) Happy 2014!

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  6. I think Rililie has a good point with something subscription based adding more stress and possibly not enough revenue to justify said stress. Possibly a multi-prong attack would be preferable?

    You could do the donate button for what you currently present and possibly an upgrade option. Personally, I would pay to receive the charts in a larger format where I can zoom in and get a better idea of the finer details.

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    1. That's an excellent idea! I'll do some further looking into ways of diversifying.

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  7. Perhaps offering a subscription for those who want to receive these posts every month (or whatever schedule you deem works best for you), with an option for single purchases at a slightly higher price?

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to make your stat posts fee based. All we really have to earn a living with are our time & expertise - in any industry.

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    1. Thanks so much! I think I'm going to start with a donation button, and then if time allows perhaps move to a subscription service, maybe for more in-depth analysis? I'll keep mulling it over. :)

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  8. Frankly, I am not sure if the donations option will cover it. Maybe set some 3 options for donation amounts and the 4th one "as much as you see fit". That will give you some data to analyze and move forward later on.

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  9. Start with a donation button and see how that goes. You seem to have a pretty loyal following and may do very well. I would be happy to pay for a subscription myself, especially with the analysis that you provide.

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