Archive for July, 2012


It Will Only End In Tears

30 July 2012

On 7th July, I published here the photo of the Editor, Jenn Smith-Clarke, taken from the last Issue of Simply Sewing .  We know that JS-C doesn’t exist (except in Kerrie Allman’s vivid imagination) and the picture isn’t of Kerrie.  So who is it?

I knew somebody, somewhere had to recognise this woman.  And you came up trumps.  It’s a picture of one of Kerrie’s cousins.

Now let me remind you of a few facts:   

Kerrie “has nothing to do with Craft Magazine Shop”.  Her mother works there, her sister works there, her father is the sole owner and director of Craft Magazine Limited, they are operating from the offices previously occupied by All Craft Media, Kerrie offered people jobs with this new business, she’s contacted contributors to magazines owned by CMS and she’s using a photograph of her cousin, who to the best of my knowledge is NOT the Editor of any of these magazines (and if she were, why wouldn’t she use her own name?).    

As my mother was fond of saying “It will only end in tears”.  I just hope that the tears are Kerrie’s and not those of her staff, designers, printers and subscribers.

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“Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . . .”

25 July 2012

Is there ever going to be an end to the machinations of Kerrie Allman/KAL Media/All Craft Media/Craft Magazine Shop et al?  Well probably not in my lifetime.

Unless you’ve followed this as closely as I have, you’ve probably already lost the plot.  But let me summarise the shenanigans of the last couple of months.  

On 4th May, All Craft Media Ltd was put into Administration.  However, a few days before (30th April), Richard Rycroft (Kerrie’s father) registered the company Handmade Living Magazine Limited.  Kerrie was in the process of selling off some of the titles when the Administrators walked in and we can only assume that she intended to keep Handmade Living, hence the company formation.  But Tailor Made Publishing bought all the titles and decided to keep HML, selling off Sew Hip (now Simply Sewing), Modern Quilting, Simply Beautiful and Handmade Fashions to Derek Barnes, Trading As Craft Magazine Shop (not a limited company).  HLM Ltd could hardly trade in that name as they didn’t own the title, which is still with Tailor Made. 

Kerrie has stated publicly that she has no connection with Craft Magazine Shop, DESPITE the fact that her mother and sister work there, Kerrie offered people jobs there and she commissioned a photographer for one of the magazines at the beginning of June.  Derek Barnes doesn’t seem to exist anywhere except in her imagination.  Ditto Jenna Smith-Clarke, the Editor of a number of the magazines.

On 25th July, Handmade Living Magazine Limited changed its name to Craft Magazine Limited, still with the sole Director, Richard Rycroft.  So it looks as though this company will now be running Craft Magazine Shop.  I didn’t think it would be long before she wanted the ‘cloak’ of limited liability with her track record. 

And the whole sorry saga continues.  Remember that KAL went into liquidation in June 2011 with debts of 201,000 pounds.  And All Craft Media was put into the hands of Administrators in May 2012 with debts of more than 175,000 pounds.  She surely can’t honestly believe that this venture will be any more successful than her previous ones.  And she certainly won’t want to cover that level of debt PERSONALLY. 

I always have stuck in my head a couple of comments I’ve received here on this subject.  Lynne quoted Sir Walter Scott with “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive” and my sister, Judith, said “It all sounds too complicated to me.  Why doesn’t she just get a proper job and sleep well at night”.

Why not indeed, Judith?  Many designers, writers and printers would also get a better night’s sleep.   

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My Life (So Far!)

18 July 2012

David and I were reflecting yesterday on our lives and whether they’d been “interesting” or not.  I’ve no idea why, but it just came up in conversation.

I thought I’d share what I thought were my “interesting” bits:

1.    I’ve lived in 18 towns and cities, and attended 6 schools.

2.    I’ve visited 23 countries.

3.    I worked for a year in Dampier, a remote company town in the far North West of Australia ( where the film Red Dog was set, incidentally).

4.    I lived (and was married) in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.

5.    As a child and teenager, I played in a brass band – the trombone, which was a slightly odd choice for a girl at that time.

6.    Also as a child, I rang the bells at my local church – the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield, which is fairly famous (for an obvious reason – the clue is in the name!)

7.    I stood as an Independent Candidate in my local Council elections in London. 

8.    I was an extra in a film with George Lazenby, filmed in Perth and had breakfast with him (not an experience I’d wish to repeat).

9.    I’ve seen two live volcanoes (Hawai and Vanuatu).  Wonderful experience.

10.   I’ve been to the Taj Mahal.

 So they’re the first ten I could think of – not in any particular order.    


Big Plug No. 6

13 July 2012

A number of the indie yarn dyers are now selling “mini skeins” – great for making blankets – and I’ve come across a couple of UK ones recently.

Willowknits has a Mini Skein Club which doesn’t start until September but applications are now open.  You’ll receive 5 x 20g skeins of an 8ply/worsted silk every month for three months.

And Chroma Yarns sell mini skein packs – either 13 x 10g skeins (in 13 colours), or 4 x 25g skeins (2 of each colour).  These are a 4ply sock yarn with a wool/nylon mix. 

And both companies ship to Australia.

Happy Shopping!



Will The Real Jenn Smith-Clarke Stand Up Too!

7 July 2012

The Editor of the Craft Magazine Shop titles (Simply Sewing, Handmade Weddings et al) is Jenn Smith-Clarke, a person previously unknown to the publishing world.  Nobody appears to know who she is and she seems slightly unsure herself, as she writes her name with and without the hyphen, and with and without the final ‘e’. 

So maybe someone out there could help her?  This is the picture that claims to be of this woman in the latest (ie first, under the new owners) issue of Simply Sewing.


If you know who this is, please tell me.  If you’d like to remain anonymous, feel free.  I have access to the email addresses of anonymous posters and will contact you. I promise not to “out” you.

Let’s put the poor woman out of her misery, shall we?  We can tell her who she is and if she ISN’T Jenn Smith-Clarke, that solves one mystery.   

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Will The Real Derek Barnes Please Stand Up?

5 July 2012

So Kerrie Allman has no connection with Craft Magazine Shop, the new owners of Modern Quilting, Sew Hip (now Simply Sewing), Handmade Fashions, Simply Beautiful and the new Handmade Weddings?  She’s said so on her blog (now closed to the public).  She’s going off to pastures new and has rented the old ACM offices in Essex for her new ventures.  CMS is based in Huntingdon.

Pull the other one, Kerrie.

When Tailor Made sold the titles to “Derek Barnes”, they also passed on the subscribers’ list, as a condition of the sale was that the new owners honoured subscriptions.  So how did the new owners get the LAPSED subscribers list?  (They’ve been contacting them).

And the advertisers’ list?  (They’ve been contacting them too)

And how did they get contributions that had been submitted to ACM prior to the Administration?  (They’ve published them in Simply Sewing, without getting any sort of approval from the designers).  Do they really think we believe that the past editor of one of the magazines, who resigned as she hadn’t been paid for about 4 months, would have willingly allowed her name to be associated with this new incarnation?

And why was Kerrie offering people jobs on the new magazines at the beginning of June?

And why did Kerrie contact a photographer on 7th June to ask for some of her photographs to be used in the Handmade Wedding magazine? 

And why do entrants to a competition in one of the mags. have to send their entries to the old ACM offices in Essex? 



ETA:  And who registered the domain name for Simply Sewing magazine, the re-named Sew Hip?   Kerrie Rycroft (Kerrie Allman’s maiden name).  See one of the comments here for full details.

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I Can’t Knit

1 July 2012

I don’t know what’s happened lately but practically everything I’ve created in the last few weeks has had to be “amended” after I thought I’d finished it.

I’m currently re-knitting the hem of the jumper I entered into the Easter Show.  It’s a basket-weave cable which is very tight so decided that if I’m actually going to wear it, I’d better re-knit it.

I have another jumper I’ve just finished but for some reason didn’t check the dimensions as I went along and it’s ended up with shoulders about 5cm too wide.  So rip it out to the underarms, re-calculate the sleeve openings, re-do the neckline, re-knit the top of the sleeves and it just MAY be wearable.

I’m half way through a second sock in a variegated yarn which I’d managed to match perfectly with the first sock.  Got to the heel and it no longer matches, so I’ve ripped that back too.

This is BORING and not what I want from my knitting but if I don’t be really disciplined and sort these messes out, the garments will just be thrown in a drawer and forgotten about, which seems rather a shame.

I did manage to finish one item though, with no hiccups.  The yarn was spun for me by Clare (of Emily and Clare fame) when I visited her a few weeks ago in the UK.  And I had a complete stranger in a cafe yesterday admire it and want to look at it.  The colours are beautiful and it knitted magnificently. 

 Clare's hat