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The Knock-On Effect

8 February 2013

I had a comment here a few days ago from someone who intends not to buy magazine subscriptions in future – she’s had her fingers burned over Simply Sewing and has watched others lose their money. As a result of Kerrie’s behaviour a number of people on Ravelry say that they won’t pay for annual subscriptions to ANY magazine in future but will buy single issues only

I’ve also read the same sort of comments about yarn clubs.   You pay a fixed sum of money upfront, and you’re promised delivery at regular intervals of a particular type of yarn, together with maybe a pattern and a small gift.  It’s a surprise package and the items in it are usually discounted.  Independent yarn dyers often use this idea to to create brand loyalty and awareness.

Some people who joined what was then Knit Magazine’s yarn clubs definitely got a surprise.  They joined the Sock Club to get indie-dyed yarn but the final installment they eventually received was Rico Superba Poem, a perfectly good yarn but it’s commercially manufactured and dyed, and retails at about 7 pounds in the UK. 

Others joined a Knit Magazine Lace Club and were thrilled to see they were going to receive a skein of Wollmeisse Lace yarn, a much sought-after commodity in the knitting community.  However, as KNIT hadn’t actually ORDERED AND PAID for the yarn, it didn’t materialise.  So an alternative was offered –  Colourmart to be dyed by an independent dyer.  AND as a special treat, the members were to receive a skein of Sparkleduck, another lovely yarn.

The Colourmart was delivered to All Craft Media, who owned Knit at the time, and was never seen again.  I’ve no idea whether it was ever dyed.  Colourmart wasn’t paid for this yarn.  The Sparkleduck was also delivered to ACM (and was paid for) but that too never again saw the light of day.   

So knitters didn’t get what they’d paid for and all installments were delivered late (and in the case of the Lace Club, not at all).  Naturally there are now a lot of people who were either involved in this or who have read about it who are keeping well away from yarn clubs in the future.

So other businesses – magazine publishers and yarn companies – are suffering because of the antics of one Kerrie Allman.  She’s messed up every attempt she’s ever made to run a business.  And now her actions are impacting on other, reputable, businesses.

I’ve even had one business in Essex tell me that people have become wary of buying from her as they really believe that half the parcels sent from Essex Post Offices don’t reach their destination.  They haven’t understood that only the parcels sent from Hipknits/Yarn Forward/Knit et al go missing.  And I think we can correctly assume that’s because they never made it into the Essex postal system in the first place.

I promise that when I hear of a yarn club with a good track record, I’ll post about it here.  It’s in all our interests that these reputable independent dyers survive.

 

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11 comments

  1. I was a member of the rockin sock club by blue moon for about three years. During my first year, my last parcel went astray somewhere in the postal system when I moved house. Blue moon sent out a replacement pack two months after I hadn’t received it. And then a week after I got the replacement one, one of my old housemates called to say he had a parcel for me forwarded to him and left on his doorstep (was supposed to be signed for on delivery, but I think Auspost stuffed up.) Would definitely recommend the rockin sock club (if they have any places left) and blue moon in general. Only reason I’m not still in the club is because it is a bit pricey if you’re overseas (but totally worth it!)


    • Thanks for that. If anyone else has had great experiences with yarn clubs, let us all know.


  2. Hear, hear. I’ve only participated in one yarn club – that was the Unicorn club jointly run by the Natural Dye Studio and Fyberspates; back in 2009, I think. Each month my packages arrived a few days after I’d placed my order. I live in Essex, so post destined for addresses in the county were certainly arriving at that time. I still live in Essex and my post is still arriving at my house on a regular basis and the few letters and packages that I deposit in a post-box or over the counter at my local post office seem to get delivered to the address written on the envelope or label I’ve stuck on. I very much doubt the postal problems you write about were the fault of the Post Office; much more likely to have been user error.


    • I love your expression “user error”! The user in this case didn’t seem to quite understand that you have to pay the postage and deliver the goods into the hands of the Post Office. Obviously hadn’t done the training course or read the memo.


  3. I can recommend posh yarn from Dee in Wales. http://poshyarn.co.uk/ Her husband hand dyes items and she does all the packing and selling. I think once a year there is a club from them and it’s well worth it. I’ve never heard of anyone having any issue with her yarns or delivery of them. I’ve not signed up to a club but I covet the yarns I have bought from her. Well worth a look and highly sought after yarns. It can be such a scrum when she does open the shop doors that signing up for a club could be the only guarantee of getting hold of the stuff.


    • I’ve never heard anything but accolades for Posh Yarns, both for the way the business is run and for the quality of the yarn.


  4. I can thoroughly recommend two clubs, The Knitting Goddess Clubs – there are a variety depending on what your interests are. I’ve been a member of one or other of them for about 5 years now and they run like clockwork. http://www.theknittinggoddess.co.uk/
    I’ve also been a member of a sock club run by Violet Green – parcels arrive earlier than expected, what more can you ask for? http://www.violetgreen.co.uk/


  5. I can highly recommend Lace Lovers Yarn Club by YarnAddictAnni, you sign up for months at a time, first sign up you get a lace booklet and in every squishy package you get a code to get a free pattern from Rav, a code to use during your subscription for discount from Anni site, and when you re subscribe you get a discount. Fab yarn and fab service :)


  6. Talking of knock on effects a woman recently tried to set up a modern quilting magazine and everyone thought it was Kerrie so didn’t get involved. Because of that and she was unable to get the crowd funding she was seeking to set up the magazine. So another person to add to the very long list of people affected.

    Several people in the sewing industry have told me they are automatcially skeptical of any new sewing magazine because they are worried Kerrie is behind it. There have been so many name changes and scams they just can’t keep up with it anyone.


  7. I was a member of the Old Maiden Aunt/Karie Bookish Yarn Club that ran last autumn – every pattern arrived in my inbox on the stated day, and only once was the yarn later (by a single day, and that was December so the Christmas postal confusion had started).


  8. I think it is really sad that some utterly dishonest people seem to flourish and continue to trade to the detriment of others. I won’t subscribe to any magazines now. I find it astonishing that such people are still allowed to trade and start new businesses. Totally dishonourable.



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