The knitters among you may remember Knit Camp, which was held in Scotland in 2010. It was “organised” by Jo Watson and I’m placing the word in inverted commas for a reason! Some interesting details here.
Tutors were sourced from around the world – some of the biggest names in the international knitting community – but a number of them were deported when they got to London. Jo’s promise of work permits didn’t materialise. Other tutors pulled out before travelling when they found their contracts changed without their permission. People cancelled when they discovered their favourite knitter wasn’t teaching, classes had to be swapped around, substitute tutors found. And from what I’ve heard from people who worked at the event (work, that is, as in “voluntary work”) it was complete mayhem. The knitters I think ended up having a good time but most of the tutors didn’t get paid – and bear in mind they had large travel costs for this Camp.
The internet was awash at the time with complaints from tutors and students alike and Jo Watson was NOT popular. I believe Stirling University where the event was held sued her as they didn’t get paid either.
In March 2011, she put something vaguely resembling an apology on Ravelry and also stated that she had had a nervous breakdown (that post is no longer available, as she deleted it). One reply she received was as follows:
“Alongside this “apology” are the tutors who are still owed thousands of pounds ever going to see their money?
You know that I gave up a family holiday and missed my eldest 2 children’s birthdays to come and teach for you at really short notice when Ysolda pulled out. My invoice for £1560 is still outstanding despite your promises on email that you wouldn’t let any of us be out of pocket and that you would sort it.
The post above is just not good enough Jo. Not good enough at all. I personally have no interest in your nervous breakdown but I am not facelessly harrassing you. I am happy to put my name and my face to it. I want the money you owe me and until I get it I will not stop doing what I am doing now which is to make sure as many people know about what you did as possible so that you cannot do it again”.
It’s difficult to believe that the same Kerrie who wrote that is the one who’s now bemoaning the state of her mental health, is criticising those who won’t put the loss of their money behind them, and has accused all and sundry of harassing and bullying her if they’ve dared to raise the question of their missing samples/magazines/money. And at the time of writing this in 2011, many contributors to her magazines were already complaining that they hadn’t been paid by Kerrie.
There is a group of over 500 people on the internet who are sick of the way that KAL Media/All Craft Media and all the other businesses involving Kerrie have treated subscribers and contributors so we are making sure that “as many people know about what you did as possible so that you cannot do it again”.
We’re just adopting Kerrie’s way.