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Knitting Statistics And Data – How Many People Knit

I decided to research knitting statistics, and I discovered some fascinating pieces of information. There’s plenty of knowledge to be found!

Statistics on things like interest in knitting over time, stats on the health benefits of knitting and what are the age groups and knitting trends.

If you’re looking for stats for a research paper or article, or are just interest, you’re sure to find something in this post.

Knitting Statistics Data and Trends featured image

Table Of Contents

Interest In Knitting Over The Last 10 Years – 2010 – 2020

Interest in knitting over the last 10 years has seen a decline from 2015. It makes sense to see the peaks and troughs as knitting is seasonal.

There’s more interest in knitting during the colder months in countries with cold winter climates. Makes sense, as we associate it with winter much more than summer.

Living in the current pandemic of COVID19 and with many people experiencing staying at home in 2020, there are signs interest in knitting has increased.

It’ll be fascinating to see the 2020 trends for knitting when the year is out.

Interest By Region 2010-2020

Interest in Knitting By Region Google Trends 2010 - 2020

Top 5

1. New Zealand
2. Iceland
3. United Kingdom
4. Canada
5. Australia

Just in case you were wondering, the United States is in 8th place.

Bottom 5

1. Brazil
2. Japan
3. Vietnam
4. Russia
5. Mexico

The 5 most popular search terms for knitting in over the last 10 years included:

  • Arm Knitting Scarf
  • Arm Knitting Blanket
  • Deramores
  • Vogue Knitting Live
  • Arm Knitting Yarn

Arm Knitting became very popular in 2014 when a video went viral on how to make an arm knitting blanket.

In 2016 and 2017 the interest for this search term spiked.

Deramores – Is an online knitting and crochet store.

Vogue Knitting Live – is a yearly knitting event in the United States in a number of regions.

 

Ravelry [1] is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information. Also to look to others for ideas and inspiration.

It’s a wealth of information due to it’s incredibly large database. I used their amazing search query function to gather these following statistics.

In 2019, 82,335 patterns were published on Ravelry. Compared with 51,363 patterns published  in 2010.

Knitting & Crochet Patterns Published On Ravelry Between 2010-2019
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Of those published in 2019:

  • 44,774 were Knitting Patterns
  • 37,057 were Crochet Patterns
Knitting Patterns Published On Ravelry Between 2010-2019
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Knitting Pattern Trends over the last 10 years include brioche knitting, knitting with two yarns held together, and colorwork yokes. [2]

Brioche knitting is a technique using its own special set of stitches to create a lofty and thicker fabric. It looks similar to a ribbed pattern.

Double-stranded knitting (knitting with two yarns held together) is nothing new. Though what’s become increasingly popular is to combine a fluffy yarn, (usually mohair or silk/mohair), with another type of yarn.

The number of published patterns featuring Colorwork yokes increased. Generally colorwork sweater designs were very popular.

What were the most popular patterns in 2019? A sense of the most popular designs can be surmised from the number of projects listed for each pattern on Ravelry.

With that in mind, here’s the 2019 Patterns with the most projects in Ravelry:

Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter

Soldotna Crop by Caitlin Hunter – 4682 projects! A top-down circular yoke sweater that features stranded colorwork. Find the pattern here.

Love Note By Tin Can Knits – 3618 projects, a combination of mohair lace and single-ply merino creates a fabric that is soft and floaty. See pattern here.

Starflake Shawl by Stephen West

Starflake by Stephen West – 3442 projects, Two colors of fingering weight yarn create a collage of graphic shapes for this top-down shawl.

Garter stitch parallelograms with I-cord edges establish the star shape followed by stripes, brioche, short rows, and eyelets. Find the pattern here.

Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli

Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli – 2135 projects, a free pattern designed by Joji to give back to her wonderful community. Inspired by a road trip to Canada.

Each color section ends with a lace band that features striking big eyelets and wavy texture. See the pattern here.

Navelli by Caitlin Hunter

Navelli by Caitlin Hunter – 1896 projects, Navelli is a relaxed lightweight summer sweater, knit in the round from the bottom up. It features colorwork at the body hem and folded sleeves. Here is the pattern.

The Cropped Sweater
In 2019 the cropped look was very popular. Due to the inclusive sizing it was embraced by many people.

Shawls
2 shawl patterns were in the Top 5 most projects in Ravelry. The popularity of Knitted Shawls doesn’t seem to be waning. This has been a trend for the last few years. In 2019, 7747 shawl/wrap patterns were published.

Hats
The popularity of hats hasn’t diminished over the years. In 2019 alone, there were 10,403 published hat patterns. Hats are favorites of knitters as they are usually easy to knit and quick to do so.

Also there are many cold winters all over the world.

Socks
3447 sock patterns were published in 2019, that’s a lot of socks! In 2010, there were 2,780 sock patterns published.

Knitting Trends Of 2019 - Popular Types Of Knitting Patterns Published On Ravelry
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Studies Conducted About Knitting and Crochet

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) 2016 Creative Products Size of the Industry Study

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) conducted a study in 2016 of the US Craft Market. [3]

This study gives insight into consumer behaviors and demographics related to crafters. One of the categories of crafters were knitters and crocheters.

From AFCI’s study, we know:

  • 28.8 million Americans participated in knitting and/or crochet in 2016.
  • In that year, the crafts represented a market of $2.79 billion, with an average monthly spend per household of $20.57.
  • Knitters and crocheters are likely to also participate in other needle arts.
  • 77% buy their supplies in a physical store. 4% buy outside physical stores, and 19% buy from both. (Remember, crafters always research new products online first, regardless of where they buy!)
Where Knitters Buy Their Yarn & Notions
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  • 62% give the items they craft as gifts. However, knit and crochet items are the most commonly donated crafts at 18%. 58% also keep their items.
  • While 18% consider themselves experts (one of the highest percentages of any craft) the other 82% rate their skills as beginner or intermediate.
  • 71% of knitters and crocheters are female. 29% are male.
  • 37% are employed full-time.
  • Knit and crochet age ranges are fairly even across the board: 34% are 18+34, 36% are 35-54, and 30% are 55+.
Knitters By Age In The USA
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Craft Yarn Council’s 2014 Tracking Study

Craft Yarn Council’s 2014 Tracking Study [4] surveyed more than 3,100 crocheters and knitters across the United States of America.

They were asked about what motivates them to do these crafts, the benefits they derive, plus looks at where they get their inspiration and what they’re making.

From that study we know:

The Age Groups that participated:

  • 15% were 18–34 years old
  • 13% were 35–44
  • 23% were 45–54
  • 32% were 55–64
  • 17% were 65+

Of the 3,178 knitters and crocheters that were surveyed:

  • 48% primarily crochet
  • 32% primarily knit
  • 20% equally knit and crochet
  • 84% say they crochet or knit at least 3 to 4 times a week;
  • 58% claim they crochet or knit daily.
  • 53% of younger consumers, ages 18–34, crochet or knit daily.

Knitters and crocheters indicated the top three most important reasons they participate in their craft.

  • Provides creative outlet (65%)
  • Enjoy making things for others (51%)
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment (44%)

Knitters and crocheters experience many benefits. Top ones include:

  • Feeling of accomplishment (93%)
  • Reduced Stress (85%)
  • Improved Mood (68%)
  • Sense of confidence (56%)

The most common uses of the Internet for the craft continue to be:

  • Finding patterns (90%)
  • Getting new project ideas (67%)
  • Purchasing yarn, patterns and supplies (42%)

When searching for project ideas on the Internet, social networking sites (83%) and yarn company websites (77%) are the most popular.

Followed by magazine and publisher websites (37%), retailer websites (34%), podcasts and YouTube (26%).

The most popular social media sites used for the craft are Ravelry (71%), Facebook (61%), YouTube (52%), Pinterest (40%) and blogs (23%). Crocheters and knitters also get ideas from print sources.

  • Knit and crochet magazines (64%)
  • Books (61%)
  • Free tear-off patterns (59%)
  • Projects on yarn labels (47%)

What they make
Continuing the trend, scarves, hats, baby blankets and afghans topped off the list of favorite projects among all those surveyed.

Scarves at 86% and hats at 79% were favorite projects across all age groups.

The Health Benefits of Knitting Statistics

Over the last 6 years, numerous studies have been conducted showing the many health benefits of knitting and crochet.

Knitting and Crochet Relieve Depression

In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.” [5]

Crafting May Reduce or Postpone Dementia

Yonas Geda, associate professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, published a study in the Spring 2011 edition of The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences [6] validating crafters of all types.

His research showed people who engaged their minds by reading books, playing games or crafting had a decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment. A possible precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

Their study looked at 1,321 adults, ages 70 to 89. 197 of whom had been identified as already having mild cognitive impairment.

Both the normal and cognitively impaired groups were surveyed about their activities within the last year.

The study demonstrated using the brain might prevent losing it.

The data showed playing games, crafting, reading books and watching less TV resulted in a striking 30 to 50 percent decrease in the odds of having mild cognitive impairment.

There you go, plenty of facts and knitting statistics to wow your friends with. I hope this post was helpful in expanding your knitting knowledge.

Did you learn something interesting from this post? I certainly did while making it, and I’d love to hear what you found most interesting.

References:

  1. Ravelry – https://www.ravelry.com/ Accessed 7 May 2020
  2. ‘Spotting a Trend: Knitting Patterns Released in 2010–2019’, Susanna Winter, January 24, 2020, <https://www.susannawinter.net/single-post/2020/01/24/Spotting-a-Trend-Knitting-Patterns-Released-in-2010E280932019>, Accessed 5 May 2020.
  3. ‘2016 Creative Products Size of the Industry Study’ Association For Creative Industries, <https://www.craftandhobby.org/eWeb/pdfs/AFCI%20MASTER%20Report_020117.pdf>, Accessed 4 May 2020.
  4. Craft Yarn Council <https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/health> Accessed 6 May 2020.
  5. ‘The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood: Findings from an International Survey’, Jill Riley, Betsan Corkhill, Clare Morris, 15 February 2013, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.4276/030802213X13603244419077 Accessed 5 May 2020
  6. ‘Engaging in Cognitive Activities, Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study’, Yonas E. Geda et al., April 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204924/, Accessed 5 May 2020

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

4 thoughts on “Knitting Statistics And Data – How Many People Knit”

  1. this is great information. How did you do this research?
    I’m opening a yarn store in Ontario Canada and can’t seem to find research on yarn stores and these stats that you’ve found.

    Reply
    • Hi Shirley

      What an exciting adventure for you to open a yarn store.

      I haven’t looked at yarn store data in different countries.

      I wonder if there is a government website you could access for Canadian business statistics?

      I looked at Google Trends, Ravelry data and found studies that I reference in the post, it took long hours on google. I hope it helps people.

      All the best with your opening.

      Cheers

      Jodie

      Reply

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