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Trends in Knitting 2023

Looking back over the last year, we decided to analyse customer purchases to see if any distinct trends would emerge from the bestseller list. We of course had many preconceived ideas on why customers are attracted to knitting and were curious to see if any buying patterns would definitively answer the question “What do knitters want?”

Knitting is Functional  

Knitting creates practical items such as clothing, accessories and home décor and many people appreciate the ability to create their own handmade items, which can be both cost-effective and personalized. No surprises here. Books like 52 Weeks of Socks, 52 Weeks of Scarves and 10,000 Knitted Hats support the premise. Other lovely products originated by Laine in Finland also provided practical knitting patterns and the recently released 52 Weeks of Easy Knits will no doubt make the bestseller list soon.

Knitting has Therapeutic Benefits  

The rhythmic and repetitive nature of the hand movements involved in knitting can help individuals be present in the moment, fostering a sense of mindfulness with therapeutic benefits. This assumption is more difficult to prove but the success of Knitting Comfortably suggests that knitters need a more ergonomic process. Of course Patty Lyons' Knitting Bag of Tricks, with a healthy scattering of humour and irreverence throughout, became the go-to source when it all goes wrong. To quote Patty “you might take knitting seriously but you don't have to be serious while knitting!”

Knitters seek Tradition and Cultural Connections  

This is so true right across a broad range of products. Books from Laine of Finland including Strands of Joy and others discussed above were extremely popular. Kate Davies, with both Sark and Ten Years in the Making published during the year, delivered more Scottish tradition and her wonderful patterns. And while not quite on the bestsellers list, books like Norway's Knitted Heritage, Icelandic Knits, Japanese Wonder Knitting and The Nordic Knitting Primer were some of many recent releases that delivered diverse cultural connections.

Knitters Crave Creativity and Skill Development  

Knitters express their creativity through the selection of colours, patterns and types of yarn and choose books like Charming Colorwork Socks to further this. Skill development continued to be an important trend during 2023 with Brioche Knitting for Beginners and Beyond, Only Yoking and The Ultimate All-Around Stitch Dictionary all on the bestsellers list.

Knitting is about Cute and Cuddly  

With Knitting Peter Rabbit and the latest from Louise Crowther (Knitted Animal Toys) racing to the top of the bestseller list, cute and cuddly is definitely a knitting trend. This does beg the question: are these patterns for personal use or are the critters giftable items?

Knitting is Portable and Accessible 

Knitting can be done almost anywhere and is accessible to all ages and skill levels. These two concepts are supported by any number of introductory items that were published during the year and is the only way to explain our number 1 bestseller: Easy Knit Dishcloths. While not a new book, this one continues to meet the needs of beginners in particular since it is an easy way to start and very portable enabling creation of something on the go. And best of all, there is a practical end result.