Wednesday, July 13, 2011

from the guardian on the rise of knitting

Pride in the wool: the rise of knitting

It is nearly a decade since the knitting renaissance hit the headlines. Since then, things have gone from strength to strength. Perri Lewis reports

Perri Lewis

Almost 10 years ago this newspaper, like so many others, declaredknitting the next big thing. The craft was, it said, "the biggest thing since sliced bootlegs". Ever since this early (albeit dubious-sounding) fanfare, whenever a pretty girl/D-list celebrity picked up a set of needles, you were guaranteed to find headline after headline proclaiming knitting the new yoga, or the new black, or the new whatever.
But despite this decade-long reign over the lifestyle pages, the last 12 months have been particularly good for knitting. Peter Fitzgerald, a retail director at Google UK, says that while online searches for knitting-related terms have grown steadily since 2004, the growth this year has been really noticeable. "Our data shows that searches for knitting have increased over 150% just this year," he says. The term "knitting for beginners" has increased by 250%.
Sales of yarn in John Lewis haberdasheries are significantly higher than last year: figures for luxury Germany yarn brand Gedifra have risen by 126%, while Rowan yarn is up 57%. Worldwide, Rowan yarn sales have just about doubled. What makes knit one, purl one so very 2011?....................

pic: Wheel spun ... a yarnbombed bus in Mexico City. Photograph: Bournemouth News/Rex Features

hat tip crafty crafty

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