Archive for February, 2013


Steek Away!

24 February 2013

Another opportunity for knitters in New South Wales to improve their skills.

The Knitters’ Guild NSW is hosting a Fairisle Basics workshop on Saturday 2nd March at Customs House Library, Sydney (a wonderful venue right in the heart of the city and overlooking the harbour).  It runs for 5 hours (and even includes steeking).

The cost is $20 for members ($25 for non-members).

Do go over to the Guild website here for further information and online registration.

Look forward to seeing you all there.  You’re sure to recognise me as I’ll be the one holding the scissors in a very shaky hand as I prepare to cut my knitting for the first time (for those non-knitters out there, that’s what steeking is).    

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What On Earth…..?

18 February 2013

A  few weeks ago, I posted a photo of some poor men having to walk the catwalk in the most bizarre knitting.  This time it’s the turn of the women, as shown in the UK’s Daily Mail. 

I bet they don’t call the knitters who made these outfits “Knitting Nannas”.


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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For Sale – One Magazine

2 February 2013

You just couldn’t make this up.  I know I’ve said that before and I have a feeling that I’ll probably say it again. 

On 1st February, the following email was sent to subscribers of Modern Quilting.

Dear Subscriber

Modern Quilting Magazine

It is with regret I have to inform you that on 10th December 2012 Craft Magazines Ltd ceased trading as we had insufficient funds to pay our bills or to carry on trading.

We wrote to all our trade creditors giving them 30 days to accept the situation or to petition the courts to force us into liquidation at their own cost, which has not happened.

We have during this period been actively trying to get another publisher to take over the magazine, but as yet no one as been prepared to do this, although we will continue to try and find someone.

If anyone would be interested in taking over Modern Quilting Magazine or wishes to contact me please do so at the above address, as we have ceased trading this email address is not monitored on a regular basis.

Kind Regards

Richard Rycroft


Craft Magazines Ltd

Simply Sewing, Modern Quilting, Simply Beautiful

The first phrase that shot out of the page to me was “we wrote to all our trade creditors”.  No they didn’t.  I know two people who are owed substantial amounts by this company who knew nothing of this until yesterday.

The second interesting point is the date – 10th December.  On 11th December, Simply Beautiful started tweeting again, after a long absence, to say that a new issue was coming soon.  In the last week, they’ve said that it’s at the printers and will be distributed next week.  In the last 24 hours they’ve declared that they’re under new ownership, with a new editor.  But Richard Rycroft (who is Kerrie Allman’s father) still has that magazine listed under his name on the letter.  If they’ve sold it, I hope they got a substantial amount which they can use to pay their creditors.   I think it’s just been “passed on” to interested family members.  Same people, new names is their usual modus operandi.

And thirdly, what has happened to Simply Sewing?  Their subscribers haven’t received an email and CM Ltd don’t appear to be looking for a buyer.  

So once again, subscribers find themselves in the position of having no magazine and no refund.  However, CM Ltd hasn’t gone into liquidation or been put into Administration, so they can’t currently be absolved from all their debts by just saying they’ve “ceased trading”. 

That now brings us to THREE companies that have folded in TWENTY MONTHS.  Kal Media Ltd – In Liquidation June 2011.  All Craft Media Limited – In Administration May 2012, Craft Magazine Shop, which then became Craft Magazine Limited – Ceased trading December 2012.

I don’t think anyone is in any doubt that the blame for all these debts and mayhem can be laid squarely at the feet of one Kerrie Allman (AKA Tallulah Ray and Jenn Smith-Clarke).  But her response is little more than “Poor me; how I’ve suffered”. She has at least admitted publicly that she’s made a few mistakes.   

We’ve all “made a few mistakes” in our lives.  But that phrase hardly covers the lies, the debts and the deceit that this woman has left in her wake over the last 7 years.  

(And if you live in the Bishops Stortford area and are vaguely interested, the 2nd issue of Truffle Magazine is also at the printers, so you can expect to see that about Easter, if the distribution of their Christmas issue is any indication of their delivery scheduling) 

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