I got my recent issue of Publisher’s Weekly, the publishing industry’s Bible, and gasped at the title of the cover story: “A Knitter’s Tale: From trendy to hip. Now what?” Trendy? Hip? Did you know we were trendy and hip? This has got to be a first in my life.
Evidently knitting began to take hold about six years ago in the hobby and crafts publishing category. No one knows why but it quickly became “the new yoga”. Fashion designers and celebrities like Uma Thurman (see my blog on July 18th) and Julia Roberts took up their needles. Tracey Ullman co-authored a knitting book. Even men got into the act (3% of knitters are male) with books such as Knitting with Balls and Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them. (Now there’s a niche market.)
In 2002 13% of women ages 25-34 knitted; by 2004, that figure had more than doubled to 33%. Notice the age group being counted and courted. When you read the titles of recently released knitting books, you begin to understand the hip and trendy thing. Never Knit Your Man a Sweater: Unless You’ve Got the Ring. Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond. DomiKNITrix: Whip Your Knitting into Shape. And of course the phenomenon that launched the whole hipster knitting trend: Stitch’n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook.
According to PW, these sorts of books feature projects such as knitted boxer shorts and a punk toilet-paper cozy with a fuchsia yarn Mohawk as well as iPod cases and cell phone covers. (What? No socks?! These young, hip knitters are really missing something.)
There is speculation that this market has “matured” since the younger demographic is famous for going on to the next fad. On the other hand, they’ve gotten better at knitting so they may want more sophisticated projects, thereby creating a demand for more books. PW wonders which trend will prove dominant and whether these new knitters will stick with their craft.
So what do you think? Is “hip” knitting just a trend or is it here to stay? Once you started knitting, were you hooked for life?
While you’re answering that, I’m going to track down the pattern for that toilet-paper cozy….