Saturday, June 8, 2019

Ten Years!

Today is the ten year anniversary of writing this blog. It was meant to be a record of the changes I would experience moving into the knitting industry. I went back recently and read the annual birthday/anniversary posts I wrote and it was very interesting for me to take the time to review the past. 

I no longer keep to a strict schedule of publishing a post three times a week. I post occasionally and on my own timeline. Interestingly I get over 4500 visits per month in spite of this. I can see on my stats page that readers are following links and often arrive after searching a topic of interest to them. Entry comes about equally from Google and directly from my Ravelry pages.

I now have 65 published designs. All but one are on Ravelry now that Patternfish has closed. I'll be adding the Patternfish exclusives to LoveKnitting in the near future. Some of them may get new samples in the coming year as they could use some updating and better photos.

Speaking of LoveKnitting, I have noticed the customers there are very different. They buy different patterns, mainly garments not accessories. When I get the monthly sales report it's common to see all my sales were of garment patterns. I did a quick comparison and while I've sold a lot more patterns on Ravelry the LoveKnitting customer has bought garment patterns at around ten times the percentage rate of the garment sales on Ravelry. The smaller number of shawl pattern sales also tend to be of the more difficult patterns. While it's not always possible to know where pattern support emails come from, the only one I ever got which I could identify as coming from a LoveKnitting sale was a real case of errata in a pattern, not a question about understanding the instruction which is the most common type of pattern support I do. 

I was in a photography group for knitters. That group did eventually collapse. However one of the members and I turned it into a monthly lunch date which has been followed up with trips to many galleries, shopping, visits to various fibre shows and one outing to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Many of those outings give me inspiration for my designs 

This past year I had several offers for teaching and speaking events. However my husband retired in March of 2018 and I no longer have the same interest in spending my time prepping and doing those events so I turned all but one of them down.

I stopped doing interviews here on the blog not because I planned to but simply because the requests were no longer being responded to. In the past generally two out of three requests would be happy to be interviewed. In this last year I was increasing the number of requests and rarely getting a response, so it seemed time to let it go.
My collaboration with Signature Yarns continues and works well. I get to work with gorgeous yarns and it's a great deal of fun bouncing design ideas off of someone else. I'm currently working on two designs for release this Fall.

I'm aware the knitting industry appears to be thriving with retreats, events, guilds and new yarns shops opening up here in Toronto. There also seem to be lots of enthusiastic knitters. Unfortunately I'm hearing the insider news about more and more pros leaving the industry. Designers stop publishing and disappear, there are fewer classes being run locally. The constant pressure of having to provide photos for an active social media has been cited by a few as becoming a barrier to getting the actual work done. High numbers of followers don't necessarily mean good pattern sales or invitations to teach and speak at events. Compensation has been stagnate over the last ten years and in some case substantially reduced. Twist Collective has shut down. Patternfish is about to. Classic Elite is gone. Knitty had to change their approach and ask for support through Patreon to keep going. I think for many the ability to make a living  is a hard path to follow.

I've returned to sewing and have made a number of garments in the past year as well as recovering all of our living room throw cushions. I started sewing again mainly due to the poor quality of purchased clothing at retail. I'd been noticing that many of my older purchases are in great shape and are being worn frequently while much newer garments are wearing out very quickly due to thinner fabrics and poorer construction methods. It's also hard to buy anything in natural fibres and everything at retail seems to come in black or neutral colours. I'm really not happy about throwing out clothes because they are of such poor quality they can't be donated or recycled while at the same time I'm not getting much wear from them myself. I also like the idea of having unique garments that I can fit to my shape and preferences.

Here's links to the first post and the anniversary posts.

2009 My first blog post - Monday, June 8, 2009   






1 comment:

  1. Happy 10th anniversary!! And thank you!!!