Crafting is huge right now. The sheer number of popular craft blogs is a testimony to that. As are the Etsy and Pinterest crazes. However, I’ve been looking at some statistics and they seem to suggest that crafting in the U.S. has actually decreased in recent years.
In 2005, CHA reported that 58% of households had participated in crafting in the past year. In 2010 that number had dropped to 56% of households crafting annually.
But that’s not all … spending on crafting in 2005 was reported as a record high at $30.6 billion. There was shown to be nearly a 4% increase per year on spending between 2002 and 2005. But the report for 2010 shows that the number, while still high, had dropped to just over $29 billion.
I should note that CHA has stated that they changed their study methodology for 2010 but I wouldn’t think it would affect these specific statistics. What it may affect is the specifics of individual crafts (because some included now may not have been included then). Keeping that in mind, the 2005 report ranked crochet second in terms of household participation (outranked only by cross-stitch and embroidery) and it fell to third in 2010 (outranked by scrapbooking and drawing).
I decided to look more closely at crochet and knitting statistics by taking a look at the annual research done by the Craft Yarn Council of America, which looks at yarn and project trends in knitting and crochet. I looked at the research for 2005 and 2011.
In 2005, these crafters completed an average of 17.3 projects. 55% of crafters made afghans and 50% made scarves. 42% purchased novelty yarns. Where did these crafters get their inspiration? 39% from small format pattern books, 35% from magazines and 31% from the Internet.
What’s changed since then? Crafters are making for more items per person: 33.4. Scarves are now the most popular project; 77% of crafters made them. 57% made an afghan, which is more than the 2005 report even though it’s no longer the most popular project. And not surprisingly, the Internet is now the biggest source of inspiration now; 89% of people go there. Next is magazines at 70%.
So, what do you think? Has crafting participation been going down despite a widespread impression that it’s growing and growing? What do you think of the changes in crochet and knitting trends?