Fibernomics

I've been knitting long enough to see some yarn trends hit their peak and then fall off. I find it interesting to try to figure out why it all happens. I guess it is simply just supply and demand. Here are the steps:

1. Indie dyer dyes some fabulous yarns; yarns still fairly easily available. Example: you can get the yarn on the dyer's website: maybe not all colors all the time, but a nice assortmet.
2. Knitters who have the yarn start talking about it online; yarns a bit more difficult to get but chances are you'll get some eventually. Example: announced site updates sell out in a few hours.
3. Knitters who have never knit with the yarn must have it even if they have never touched the yarn; crazy purchasing ensues: Example: knitters stalk site for updates; yarns sell out in five minutes.
3.a. More and more knitters who have never knit with the yarn must have it: crazy hoarding ensues: Example: you can trade the yarn on Ravelry for a different colorway, but impossible to purchase.
4. Step 3 lasts until enough of indie dyer's yarn get into the 'knitisphere'. When hoarders find they can't trade, they start to sell at highly inflated prices.
5. Still a high demand but also a high supply from people who purchased it as part of the craze but now don't want it any more: you can buy it for just about cost.
6. It's just another yarn.

I've seen the cycle a few times: Socks that Rock when I first started knitting, then Wollmeise (which is now getting to step 5) and Bugga (which is right around Step 4). Goth Socks is now starting to become a craze. It's so interesting to me, how this cycle works. I'm sure there's an academic paper here, somewhere!

Have you seen this nutty cycle at work?

Comments

strikkeforsker said…
LOL - You are a true scientist (takes one to know). This yarn craze reminds about the price of Dutch tulip bulbs in the 17th century.
In my local area of research it's about the latest scientific equipment.
KSD said…
Yes! Why didn't I think of this for MY paper in Milan?
Beverly said…
So true! That's why I'm so glad I never got caught up in any them. I saw and squeezed the Bugga at Stitches South and I was like 'What the heck?!'