I was shocked and saddened to see this bit of news today, relating to the knitting world at large: Stitches (XRX Inc.) Files for Bankruptcy. Please note, I can’t verify that they’ve actually filed for bankruptcy, only that the Stitches events site is shut down: https://stitches.events/.
It seems to be a sign of the times, not the knitting times so much as the economy and post-pandemic shuffling of our world. Knitter’s Magazine was the first knitting publication I subscribed to, back in the 1990s when I learned to knit. I still have dozens of issues of the magazine and some of their books. To me, investing in a magazine like that is the same as investing in books, and the past issues are something to be treasured. The magazine stopped publication a number of years ago now (2017), but I thought they were still publishing books for a while, and they continued the Stitches shows. Until now.
The problem, as I see it, is the economics of knitting today, something we’re all faced with, and impacted by, to one degree or another. At the time I began knitting in the early 1990s, knitting and yarn crafts seemed to be making a comeback, having died out to some degree in the prior decades. I think at one time I subscribed to three major knitting magazines, which all seemed to be flourishing, and I saw the craft’s resurgence blossom along with my love of it. That was before the internet.
I confess, I’ve never been to a Stitches, or a Vogue Knitting Live, or any other large yarny event. I’m not a crowd lover, and don’t have the means to do that. But I’ve loved seeing people share their experiences, seeing the pictures, the videos, the yarns and projects and joy that came out of them. I feel badly for the vendors who have lost a connection to the greater community.
Where does yarn crafting go from here? How does it change? I personally think knitting and yarn crafts will be around forever. I see them as something we need — I know I need them for my mental health. But the knitting world may look quite a bit different in the future.