>My eyes tend to glaze over when reading (well, OK, skimming) the sort of major industry report recently delivered from The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA). The State of Specialty NeedleArts 2010 (the summary of this report is available to the public) is bursting with information gleaned from surveys from over 11,000 respondents, pre-digested and displayed as summaries, text, pie charts, graphs, lists, spreadsheets. Gee Whiz. Good thing they don’t make you wade through the raw data; the summary report is brain-numbing enough. (It’s one of those little mysteries of life how someone like me, who cringes at the appearance on the page of more than one string of numbers at a time, managed to have a son who became an actuary. More specifically he is the world’s best beat-boxing actuary, so in some ways he redeems himself.)
Yes, there was cringing aplenty when I first opened the file. But almost immediately the miasma cleared as I found one fact that lit up the screen. The single most-requested “fresh and new” product among consumers across the board turns out to be… wait for it…. crochet patterns.
WOWSERS! I nearly fell off my chair when I read that. I can’t remember if I squeeeed or not. The only witness to that moment was my fat white Chihuahua and he’s not talking. But I must have made some sort of noise. The findings of this report completely validate what my colleagues are all about and what has been my mission for nearly a decade, namely providing crocheters with new crochet designs. While it may be a remarkable statement to the needlearts industry as a whole, it’s a total way of life for us hard-core crocheters.
The fact that there is a thirst for fresh crochet patterns isn’t startling news to everyone in the industry. I am most fortunate to be working with companies, in particular Tahki Stacy Charles and Caron International along with web-based NaturallyCaron.com, who have been and continue to be supportive, appreciative, even pro-active about answering the call for crochet design. This season, Tahki Stacy Charles unveiled two new patterns of mine, splashed across full-page ads in magazines and on their company website.
It is my hope that this bit of information serves as an industry wake-up call, and not just for the selfish reason that I could always use another paycheck, but because the more crochet there is, the happier we be. There are wholesalers and retailers who have not yet begun to actively court crocheters, or simply don’t know what interests us or how to reach us. What you can do as a consumer to make your voice heard is to frequent shops, sites and events, talk and write about your craft, display your crochet on your body, and thus leave your mark of the hook everywhere you go.