New Trends, We Tend -- Not Surprisingly Research Proposal

Pages: 5 (1436 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Recreation

¶ … new trends, we tend -- not surprisingly -- to think of entirely new products: iPods, solar batteries embedded in back packs that recharge cell phones, hybrid car. And certainly each of these products -- and many, many more -- constitute trends that have arisen in recent years. However, there are also trends that are constituted of renewals of older ideas, products, or practices. It is precisely such a case that I wish to examine here: the recent popularization of knitting among young people.

The stereotype of the knitter is an older woman -- indeed, usually a quite elderly woman -- sitting in a rocking chair, her snowy, wispy hair pulled up on top of her head, her glasses perched on her nose, her needles clacking quietly as she knits blanky after blanky in pastel, fluffy yarn of her numerous, rosy-cheeked grandchildren. And while this type of knitter is certainly extant, so too is an entirely new type of knitter -- one who is likely to be listening to her or his iPod while knitting. And such knitters are not being served by large craft-supply chains like Michael's.

Identifying and Examining the Trend

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As noted above, knitting has in the past years become increasingly popular among high school and college students. However, while this particular trend within the world of knitting is a new one, the history of this fabric art form has been far less tame than the stereotypes about it would suggest. For example, during periods of wartime for the past several centuries, women (and even men) were urged to knit clothes and blankets for the troops. A 1917 article in the New Times, for example, urged women to keep knitting during whatever spare time they had to show their support for the troops oversees. Girls also helped the war effort in this way. Knitting during World War I (as well as during other wars) thus took on a romantic, patriotic tone, very different from the image that it has now. Accordingly, if one looks at the ads aimed at knitters during the years of that war, one saw knitting supplies being aimed at the patriotic women.

Research Proposal on New Trends, We Tend -- Not Surprisingly Assignment

Likewise, an article in an 1861 issue of a magazine called the Living Age, a woman wrote movingly about how she had too little education to contribute toward the war effort in any way but through the knitting that she had learned as a small child -- and so she hoped that whatever garments she could make for Union troops would be sufficient.

Such efforts during wartime are paralleled today by many of the young knitters that constitute the current trend of younger knitters, who often participate in charity knitting groups -- creating blankets for women in domestic violence shelters, stuffed animals for children in foster care, and gifts for overseas troops in yet another war.

Effects of This Trend of Younger Knitters

The effects of this trend ripple through both products and behaviors. Younger knitters typically want different types of yarn than do older knitters, who are in fact often knitting for their grandchildren. Much of knitting done by older women is indeed done for younger relatives and uses young, pastel yarns. Younger knitters tend to favor brighter colored yarns in heavier weights and are often looking for fiber that has been produced in environmentally responsible ways. (of course a number of older knitters are also attracted to such yarns -- perhaps because they are knitting with their grandchildren!) Younger knitters also tend to like needles in brighter colors -- or needles that are environmentally sound, such as those made from bamboo, which is a relatively low-impact wood. Younger knitters are also more likely to be men than was true in their fathers' and grandfathers' generations. Finally, as noted above, many young people are much more focused on charity knitting than the most recent generations and prefer to knit in a communal atmosphere rather than alone at home. As Kay Yeats wrote in the blog Associatedcontent.com: "You Can Knit Something Cooler Than What Grandma Knits." Any store that wishes to capture this new market of contemporary knitters must connect to this type of knitter and her or his developing and changing needs.

Recommendation to Michael's

Any craft store, such as Michael's (or similar stores like as JoAnn's)… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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