yarn industry news update

The yarn industry continued to see a lot of action in the second quarter of 2019.

Ravelry announced it would ban support of Donald Trump on the site, prompted by an incident where a user was doxxed. (‘doxxing’ refers to the practice of publicly posting a person’s private information, such as home address or phone number. The intent is to make this information easily available so that the victim is inundated with messages/fears for their safety.) The announcement received widespread coverage in mainstream media, including CNN, the Washington Post, and The Guardian.

The same weekend, The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) held its summer trade show in Cleveland, Ohio. The show saw a noticeable decline in vendors, largely due to the absence of needlepoint and cross-stitch companies, many of whom are now attending the new Spring Needlepoint Show in Orlando in March, although the current president of TNNA is a needlepoint member and did attend TNNA. There was a significant presence of British brands at the show. Multiple UK-based companies mentioned that the looming Brexit and unclear trade relations with Europe encouraged an increased focus on establishing themselves in the US market.

The following happenings include some from the previous quarter that went unreported:

Patternfish closes its doors. After 11 years in business, the website Patternfish closed its doors on May 31st. With a library of over 23,000 patterns, patternfish offered a curated library of knitting and crochet patterns.

Kollage Needles has ceased manufacturing and has closed operations, despite a recent rebranding. The announcement states that the company was unable to overcome the debt that was taken on to acquire the business.

Louet spinning wheel.

Louët (Holland) is now distributing its own weaving looms and wheels in North America, following the dissolution of Louet North America.  Perhaps as a signifier of the declining costs of shipping worldwide, Ashford (New Zealand) began distributing directly to North America after the retirement of their US distributor last year.

Creative Knitting ended publication, following the Spring 2019 issue. The magazine was published by Annie’s.

Knit Wit Online magazine has stopped publication. Read the announcement, here. The final Instagram feed makes a statement.

MakerFaire halts operations. Citing financial troubles, all 22 employees were let go and operations ceased.

Interweave magazines have been acquired. Following the bankruptcy of parent company F+W, the craft magazines were purchased by Terry O’Toole’s Investment company. He is the managing partner of the investment firm that had a majority interest in F+W.

Penguin Random House acquires F+W’s books division. The assets include more than 2,000 non-fiction books in the backlist. The company publishes approximately 120 new books a year. Imprints include North Light Books and Interweave. Read more, here.

Nancy’s Knit Knacks looks for a buyer, citing a desire to retire. The listing is available here and is unsold at publication date.

Chicken Boots, at least in its capacity as a wholesaler of sewn project bags, has closed. Or paused.

Furls needles.

Furls Crochet hooks expands into knitting needles. The company known for fine crochet hooks has branched out into offering knitting needles.

Personnel

  • AFCI announced Peter Finn as Executive Director.
  • Trisha Malcolm joins Mez Crafts, the parent company of Rowan, as Executive Brands Strategist.

Events

Spinzilla is suspended. A TNNA initiative launched in 2013, the announcement cites a need for reorganization. Declining participation, a decrease in sponsorship and lack of volunteers at the organizational level are likely contributing factors to the decision.

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