Unauthorised Knitting

14 June 2009

Our wonderful WWKIP event yesterday took place at a restaurant next door to the Darling Harbour Convention Centre in Sydney and, as last year, it coincided with the Quilt and Craft Fair taking place at the Centre. Today I sent this email to Expertise Events, the organisers of the Craft Fair.  You’ll see I promised to ensure that it received as wide an audience as possible where knitters gather on the Internet.  I’ve already put it up on Ravelry and will post any reply I may receive.


In April I received a phone call from one of your employees asking if
she could help in any way to promote our WWKIP event being held at the
Bayside Lounge in Darling Harbour on 13th June, ie when the Craft and
Quilt Fair was also taking place at the Convention Centre.  As our event
was to be in a restaurant, with limited seating, I declined her kind
offer as I was concerned that far too many people may turn up.  As it
was, we had 80 knitters attend.

I was particularly surprised to receive this call as last year we’d
approached your company to see if we could in some way coordinate the
two events.  Your response was particularly unfriendly – there was talk
about “unauthorised craft” and a threat to call the police if we came
anywhere near the Craft Fair.  It was reassuring to see that this year
you’d appeared to appreciate that a large group of knitters gathering near the
Convention Centre could only benefit the Fair.

You can therefore I’m sure imagine how stunned I was to receive your
message when I arrived at the Bayside Lounge yesterday. The Manager told
me that he’d received instructions to call you if anyone made any
attempt to teach knitting.  Apparently Expertise Events corners the
market in craft teaching while the Fair is on.

We had no intention of running any kind of knitting class but I must
tell you that, despite my best attempts to stifle it, I DID see knitters
showing others how they’d produced a particular stitch or created a
particular effect.  One knitter was clearly seen by me showing another a
new cast-on technique she’d just discovered.  I wasn’t sure whether this
was “authorised” and the Manager, being extremely busy and not being a knitter, was probably not aware it was going on.

May I suggest that next year you send over someone from your Knitting
Police department to oversee this event as I found myself quite
incapable of keeping order?  I will however ensure that your request is
widely circulated where knitters gather on the Internet in the hope that
such a blatant disregard of the rules will not take place at future events.

Best wishes
Sally Ogilvie
Coordinator – WWKIP Sydney 2009

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  1. Go Sally! Knitting anarchy rules!

  2. Oh dear. You are a wag 😉

    I wonder if you could organise a special class next year, teaching people how to tell officious boors how to “F Off” in a most polite manner.

  3. Your letter made me laugh out loud! I can’t believe the absolute mean-spiritedness of the thought there might be unauthorised knitting. How silly!

  4. I suppose they thought they were protecting their customers (the stall holders and tutors) inside the fair. But what a ridiculous way of doing that. Not to mention displaying a complete lack of understanding of both their customers and the purpose of WWKIP. Will be very interesting to see if they reply.

  5. Oh, you stirrer, you!! What a hoot!

  6. They really are quite daft. So your response is absolutely perfect!

    I didn’t even KIP – we had organised a day learning to drop spindle, so Clare has something to do when I’m knitting! (She has knitting envy).

    But if I’d been in Sydney wild horses wouldn’t have stopped me….

  7. Brilliant. Well done!

  8. Good for you, Sally!

  9. I am stunned and amazed at the arrogance of the craft fair organisers! (perhaps also ignorance,as they obviously don’t know that WWKIP day is actually bigger than them!) I couldn’t come on the weekend because I had a writer’s meeting. I wish I could have been there. You’re reponse is brilliant!

  10. knit on!!! they are nasty pasties over at Expertise Events good on you love, cant wait to see if they reply.

  11. KNIT ON i say!!!

  12. Unauthorised Knitting – wish I had been able to be there and man the barricades.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

  13. Craft is all about community, learning and sharing not greed! Sally, you and WWKIP are welcome at The Stitches & Craft Show at Rosehill 19 -23 August anytime. We’d love people to be sitting around knitting or learning how. It’s what we’re all about at the show – getting people to have a crack at craft and learn something new. Supporting one another and getting more people involved is what people who really care about craft do. http://www.livingcreatively.com.au/community/blogs/post.php?v=18

  14. Unauthorized craft. Good grief. Why do people mouth-off before they investigate the true nature of events like yours? Don’t they know they are trying to shoot their own customers?

    Perhaps this Expertise event should be called the Craft and Quilt UN-fair.

  15. Good grief. Some people are just NUTS!! I’m glad you sent your letter, very well said!

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