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Hipknits/Magknits/YarnForward/Knit Magazine – It’s All The Same Mess.

24 February 2012

It started with Hipknits and Magknits, long before the days of Ravelry.  The way knitters around the world communicated in those days was mainly through Yahoo groups, and these were full of stories of the problems dealing with Kerrie Allman and any venture she started.  The “lost in the post” stories, the “my email hasn’t been working” explanations, the “why is everyone picking on me when I’m just trying to do my best” excuses.

Then along came Yarn Forward Magazine and in a very short space of time, all the complaints started again. Non-delivery of subscription copies, non-payment of designers.  And all the same excuses were handed out, if you could get any sort of communication from the company at all.

Then Yarn Forward Magazine changed its name to Knit.  And we went through the same cycle.

The company that owned Knit, was KAL Media (owned by Kerrie) which has now gone into liquidation.  Knit is now owned by All Craft Media (owned by Kerrie’s husband).  Knit Magazine started a Sock Club and the usual happened – a lot of very unhappy customers filling Ravelry with their stories. But KAL is in liquidation and ACM doesn’t appear to be honouring the debts.

And still it goes on.  It would appear that the new company isn’t paying its designers either.

So a word of warning – don’t sell designs to Knit Magazine; you may as well just give them away.

And PLEASE don’t buy the magazine.  You’re just encouraging her.

There’s a wonderful blog about all this here.

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12 comments

  1. So sad but not unexpected.

    I was caught up in the LUSH Yarns mess down here about 18 months ago. Lovely yarn, beautiful colours. One partner left, possibly seeing the writing on the wall, and things went down hill. There was a sock club involved there too. Michelle had a blog too and there were what once had been happy little Rav groups. Michelle had other online businesses too. I think one was jewellery, pand*ra type stuff, and possibly one was handmade soap. Everything went belly up. She did not reply to emails or phone calls etc.

    I was quite vocal about the poor service and I did eventually get all I had paid for. It took a long time and was stressful. A couple of other strident knitters got some, but most lost out. The other businesses collapsed and the website was closed down, probably by the IP.

    In all that mess, if there had been some decent communication, things may have been able to be settled. But there was total ignoring of our complaints.

    Any online dealings can be dangerous. We know that and take action to prevent money losses. But I think part of the problem here is not only the loss to the individual but also the feeling of betrayal. We don’t expect things to be nasty when dealing with a fellow crafter.

    There are some individuals down here with fantastic service and great products. I’m not naming them here in case someone wrongly associates the name with the post. We know those great people and are happy to deal with them.

    Back to caveat emptor!


  2. And then there’s the UK Knitcamp mess (different person, same business model). Apparently she was eventually bankrupted by the University, as she hadn’t paid for the facilities she used.


  3. Sincere apologies to anyone who has been caught up in the above-described and apparently ongoing publishing challenges, but this comment set me to laughing:
    “And PLEASE don’t buy the magazine. You’re just encouraging her.”
    I still love your perspective and your way with words, Sally.

    (BTW…if anyone’s languishing Knit subscription was paid by credit card, please check with your card-issuing bank. It is feasible they might be able to assist you with retrieving the cost of the unfulfilled portion of the subscription for non-receipt of merchandise/services.)


  4. If this person operates in the UK, then the body to report her to is the Trading Standards Office based in the locality of her business address. Has anyone tried doing that?


  5. Judith, I think everything that is legally possible has been done. This has been going on for years. She recently declared bankruptcy but is now advertising for designers to contrtibute to a new magazine. The woman seems to be a fantasist who truly believes her own lies.


    • I’m not aware that she’s been declared bankrupt. Her company, KAL, has gone into voluntary liquidation and the ‘goodwill’ bought by ACM, I believe for 6000 pounds. Do you know otherwise?


      • Sorry, Sally, I said a wrong. You are right and I take it back. She has not been declared bankrupt, but her company has gone into voluntary liquidation. My ignorance of business practice is now revealed to all the world. 🙂


      • No need to apologise. I’d be intrigued if you appeared to have an insider knowledge of avoiding your debts/being penniless. I’m pleased to say that my knowledge of the subject only extends as far as the work I do.


  6. Oh wow! I have not personally been involved in any of it but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth!


  7. It’s shameful behavior. Artists provide patterns for these publications and should be compansated . It is the designers that make or brake a magazine.


  8. We go back a long way Sally, all thanks to our similar experiences with Hipknits, how sad that things are being repeated over and over again. I wonder how a certain person can sleep at night!


  9. I will never buy “Knit” magazine again. What I’ve read from the designers shows it and its owner are artistic thieves .I Don’t reward bad behavior



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