Friday, October 05, 2007


Radiohead is releasing a new album in the upcoming weeks and they are toppling the music distribution model on its head. Instead of releasing a CD through traditional venues, they are offering the album digitally on their website. The buyer determines the price. Yep, there is no set price for the digital album. Instead, the person buyer the record can determine how much he or she wants to pay.

If you are a reader of knitting blogs and a listener to Brenda Dayne's Cast-On, then you may have heard discussions on what a knitted item is worth. How much would a buyer want to pay for a handknitted good, and as an artist, how much should we ask for a handknitted item? Do we as knitters value what we produce or do we downplay it as a craft? Is knitting a craft or is it artform? Radiohead, by letting the buyer decide the price is asking the buyer to determine the worth of their output. Fortunately for Radiohead, they have established the worth of their music. Their fans value their music.

What I have noticed is I value knitted goods more now. Certain prices on handmade knitwear do not shock me anymore. I know the time and the effort required to make sweaters and hats and mittens. I am willing to pay for quality and time. I'm also pickier now about the knitwear I buy. Since becoming a knitter, I try to buy only things I cannot create due to time or desire, and I expect it to be well made.

Now, back to Radiohead, they accepting pre-orders for CDs and vinyls. Shockingly, CD sales are decreasing but vinyl sales are holding steady and increasing for some labels. Vinyl listeners tend to be music fanatics. Generally, they have an entire wall or library devoted to their collection and hardware. They notice the differences in sound quality between vinyl and digital and they view music as an experience. They see their hobby of listening to music as a time to slow down and reconnect to a different era. Sound familiar? When knitted good as easy to come by, the knitting movement is holding strong. It's a time to slow down and to block out some of the noise we hear in our fast pace world.

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