Regarding a Certain UK mag company

You may have heard about some drama blowing up in the knitting world recently - specifically, dealing with KNIT Magazine / Yarn Forward / All Craft Media / KAL Media.
Rock and Purl recently came out with a post here and her followup here. Then, Anniken Allis shared her story. And, outside the blogosphere, you can find a lot of information via Ravelry and Twitter. (just search for @KnitMagazine, #allcraftmedia, Knit Sock Club, or KAL Media)

The company and its owners seem to have a long history of less-than-excellent business practices and disappointing customer service. As both a designer who has worked with KNIT and a member of the ill-fated sock club, I've been finding out firsthand just how poor this company's service and communication is.

I wouldn't create a stink unless I really, truly felt that word needed to get out about this company. As a designer my experience wasn't as bad as most, but there are still plenty of designers who are waiting on payment and samples - or who finally received them, many many months overdue, only after a long struggle.
In the sock club, things went smoothly - if not perfectly - for the first few shipments, and then things started to get delayed with no word, shipments changed around, and finally, adding insult to injury, our final yarn shipment won't even be hand-dyed - it's a commercial yarn that can be had at about half the price of any of the other yarns sent in the club. When the club members cried out against this last blow, we were basically told, 'Tough.'

There have been whispers about this company for a while, and now's the time for word to finally get out so others don't get disappointed or swindled. The company has decided that the business of a hundred sock club members and the contributions of dozens of designers are worthless to them -- so this is my plea to not support this company when there are so many other worthy magazines out there. Designers, don't submit to KNIT (keeping in mind that they will be changing their name yet again in a few months' time), and knitters, please don't buy it.

It is tough when people are locked in to design contracts or subscriptions months ahead of time, as Anni mentioned in her blog post, and when people are reluctant to speak out. Yarn Forward and Magknits were once great publications, and those in charge at All Craft Media need a wake up call to either shape up or get out.

ETA: Alex Tinsley at Dull Roar has a great round-up of the history of the company and its predecessors here: All Craft Media, and Why You Should Run the Other Way.

~Joyuna

7 comments:

  1. You go girl!! Thank you for joining us in this fight. xxx

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  2. There have been more that "whispers" about this company, and its predecessors, for 4 or 5 years that I'm aware of. It's so sad that more people don't know about this and continue to be sucked in (and end up feeling frustrated, ripped off and angry). If all knitters with blogs talked about it, maybe it can't happen again.

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  3. It's true - if one knows where to look, it's easy to find a ton of information on Kerrie's past screwups. But many people don't know that the same person is behind them all, or even that YF and KNIT are the same magazine. Knitters tend to look for the best in people, and designers worry about their reputation which makes them reluctant to speak out. There are a large number of factors that prevent this kind of talk from reaching the average person who picks up the magazine at the newsagent each month.

    But the more the word spreads, the more people will be informed - that's why I'm doing my bit to raise awareness.

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  4. Thanks for being one of the ones to make this issue even more public. I hate the thought that they're still doing this.

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  5. Hi, I'm a designer who has been dealing with KNIT magazine too. It looks like they are turning over a new leaf. Naomi has been very responsive and pleasant to work with, and I've received payment promptly (it arrived Feb 27 2012 for a design published Jan 1 2012). I'm willing to work with them in future based on their current behavior.

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  6. I'm glad you've had a good experience, Brenda, and thank you for saying so. It can be hard to speak out when it seems like everyone is saying things contrary to your own experience. It does sound like many more recent designs are getting paid, but unfortunately many designers & tech editors for the older issues are still waiting on payment & samples or have had to wait months to get the money for their work.

    I hope what you say is true, that they are turning over a new leaf - but personally I think they are going to have to do a lot to improve their reputation.

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  7. Good work! I wish more people were willing to speak openly about situations like this. (And without creating needless drama - just stating the facts, like you have here.)

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