Ravelry: The Popularity of Fingering Weight Yarn

Ravelry: The Popularity of Fingering Weight Yarn

We had such a great response to our last post that we thought it was appropriate to delve deeper into the popularity of fingering weight yarn amongst knitters and crocheters. We found in our last post that fingering weight yarns were far more prevalent in the Ravelry database but there were many more patterns for worsted weight. All of the data includes both knitting and crochet.

First, we wanted to see if  the preference for fingering weight yarn also reflected in the stashes of Ravelry users. We found that in the database of yarns listed fingering came in first, with DK second and Worsted third. The data for stashed yarns is slightly different with Worsted second and DK third, but we see fingering weight yarn is still the most popular.

chart1-stashed

We also looked at projects on Ravelry by yarn weights. We saw here that the fingering weight is still in the lead, but much more evenly paced with the heavier weight yarn. This suggests that people are stashing fingering weight yarns faster than they are knitting and crocheting with them. We’ve also been told that sock yarn doesn’t count as stash!

chart3-projects

It was also suggested in the comments that the high ratio of fingering weight yarns could be attributed to the popularity of indie dyed sock yarns. Since there’s no way to see if a yarn is a sock yarn on Ravelry we filtered for machine washable yarns, with the assumption that sock yarns are machine washable, and the majority of the indie dyed fingering weight yarns are sock yarns. With 49% of fingering weight yarn being washable it’s safe to assume that a significant portion of the fingering weight yarns in the Ravelry database is sock yarn.

 

chart2-washable

With the popularity of hand dyed sock yarns we’ve also seen a huge number of shawl patterns that require just one skein of sock yarn. Looking at the distribution of patterns for fingering weight yarns we found that there were the most sock patterns, and that there are more sweater patterns than shawl patterns for fingering weight.

chart4-patts

 

For the yarn industry Ravelry is our most powerful tool gathering data on the availability of yarns and patterns, and also the behavior of knitters and crocheters in this industry. Although the data sample isn’t complete, and there are other patterns, yarns, knitters, and crocheters that are not represented on Ravelry we think that this is a great way to measure the climate of our industry.

If you have other questions or suggestions on further data about Ravelry we’d love to see them in the comments below!

1Comment
  • Marilyn
    Posted at 05:06h, 21 November Reply

    Interesting review and findings. One thing I will add to this: The US domestic market carries far less choices in yarns than I’ve seen in European markets. It falls far short in carrying a decent selection in fiber choices, colors, etc. in DK, Sports Weight, or even fingering weight yarns. Most of the DK or Sports weight yarns tend to be in baby pastels. This limits the choices for people to online sources, and most people like myself would rather see the yarn up front and personal than rely on photos posted online. Monitors differ, people like to feel the yarn they are thinking of purchasing. Worsted weight and bulky yarns are in abundance. Other yarns, not so much.

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