Crochet was in the news this week. Well not so much crochet but wool, and to be precise the term used was knitting wool. Nevertheless, as with anything yarn related, my ears pricked up and I decided to do a little investigating myself.
The article I read was on the BBC and about inflation. “What has yarn got to do with inflation”, I hear you cry. Well, the answer is more than you would expect.
In Britain, the Office National Statistics (ONS) issues a monthly Consumer Price Index, which indicates if inflation is going up or down, i.e., if things are getting more or less expensive. To do so, the ONS fills a basket with goods and services and monitors their price on a monthly basis. And guess what? Knitting wool is in that basket!
What a lovely thought that among all your weekly groceries as well as one-off expenses, like travel and car maintenance, the lowly ball of wool is included. Of course, I had to check this out, and after a little bit of research, I found that Art. 03.1.3 of Annex A of the Consumer Price Indices, representative items reads “Other Clothing and Clothing Accessories” and covers the products: man’s tie, lady’s scarf, hat/cap, knitting wool and a cycle helmet.
I guess they are thinking that people are using that knitting wool to make gorgeous woolen accessories, although I am sure you may also use that wool to crochet as well. And I seriously hope no one will use just wool to make a cycle helmet. The bad news is: the price of wool appears to have risen. The ONS quotes, “For other clothing and accessories, most of the upward movement came from balls of knitting wool, where there were recoveries from sales and higher price comparable items as a result of stock shortages in some stores.” Yikes!
But there is some sun on the horizon as news outlets reported that this maybe because Brits have taken up hobbies such as knitting and crochet during the lockdown meaning that the yarny community is growing and we will find new creative friends. Personally, I can’t say I have noticed much of a difference in yarn prices recently, but I guess it is one to watch. In the meantime, I will just content myself that yarn is important enough to be considered an indicator of the national economy.