Yarn sales rise, while stress decreases
There are 53 million Americans who know how to crochet or knit. Staying home during the pandemic has provided a new opportunity to revitalize their interest in crafting and use the hobby as a stress reliever.
Yarn sales have soared to meet the demand, according to the Craft Yarn Council.
"People are using yarn crafts to be creative at home and help them get through the pandemic," said Jenny Bessonette, the council's executive director. "In a recent survey, 83% of crafters say they are creating with yarn to relieve stress."
Reports in recent years refer to crochet and knitting as activities that positively impact wellness by helping people relax. The pandemic has brought extreme pressure into people's lives, and they are using crafts to improve their mental wellness.
"Yarn sales have seen a significant increase across retailers and manufacturers with not only existing customers but an entire new wave of crafters," Bessonette said.
The isolation of the pandemic has also created a new opportunity for crafting groups who provide a new community of friends to people isolated at home.
"Crochet has a simple point of entry because it is easy to learn and requires little investment to create that first piece," said Tamara Kelly, president of the Morton Grove-based Crochet Guild of America. "Our association welcomes newcomers and provides access to not only patterns and ideas but a social outlet for people feeling isolated at home."
Crafters are engaged with the industry to get inspired by new projects and then are able to present their new projects within a community of shared interest. CGOA has seen an increase in its introductory classes and stitch-teaching videos as well as membership.
The crochet guild took its annual summer conference virtual. Although members missed the opportunity to crochet together, the association saw an opportunity for new members to participate. Classes allowed people the chance to get a sense for the organization and meet members right from their living rooms. Instructional videos are available to anyone at www.crochet.org.
"Crocheting during the pandemic has resulted in a 20% increase in crochet pattern magazine subscriptions along with an over 40% year-over-year sales growth in our crochet retail category," said Connie Ellison, executive crochet editor of Annie's Publishing.
The interest in crafting magazines like Crochet! has increased and new patterns are providing inspiration to a new generation of crafters, helping them get through this pandemic and beyond.