Saturday, September 18, 2010

Knit Camp 7: the aftermath - stories emerge

I was going to post on the entirely positive experience which was the I Knit Weekender last weekend; but I couldn't avoid talking about this first.

Starting this post with a picture of the Stirling campus lake. Still waters, and all that.

I don't take back anything I've posted about my personal experience of Knit Camp while it was happening - I think I was honest. There's been a fair amount of criticism online of those of us who did post some positive comments, accusing us of Pollyanna-ish tendencies (which will come as a surprise to anyone who's actually met me in real life!), but I posted what I saw and experienced.

I was aware of some of the background shenanighans which went on before camp, because oddly enough I do talk to other people online and in real life, some of whom had first-hand information. I knew that a couple of people I know, think of as friends and was looking forward to meeting had decided not to participate as tutors because of problems with the organisation, shifting terms and conditions, etc. But by that stage I'd handed over my money...

Since the event, though, those of us who paid fees in good faith have become aware that that money has not gone to tutors, helpers who were expecting to be paid, people expecting refunds, etc. The British Yarn site has been taken down, and my understanding is that the company formed to organise the event has been dissolved. A minority of tutors appear to have been paid, some appear to have been part-paid, others appear to have received nothing.

I would like to present you a trio of blog posts, in chronological order.

First, one from the organiser (apologies if this link doesn't work when you get to it; communications from this source have a habit of disappearing post facto). This has the joint themes of self-justification and complete lack of apology we grew to expect. And of getting retaliation in first. It was a surprise to me to learn that I don't travel to knitting events; presumably that six and a half hour train journey was some sort of delusion.

(This blog post was put out shortly after Camp; at that point I think lot of us still had hopes that people who were owed money would be paid it; although we feared they mightn't. The 28 days in people's contracts, and cited in this blog post, have now expired without full payment, so over the last day or two, insiders have published more complete information on what actually went on.)

Second, one from an internationally known tutor (with whom I took an excellent class), confirming in print some of the things I'd heard by e-mail and conversation.

Third, one from the person who was KnitCampers' main link with the organisation in the month before the event. I have no idea how much worse it would have been without her, because she was really the only source of definitive information like where we were meant to go to register, etc., when she could get the information herself.

Don't think I can really add to these. Other than to say that organisers of large-scale events in the UK may well have difficulty in recruiting both UK and overseas tutors in the next couple of years, and that's both completely understandable, and an awful shame.


Janet said...

I'm following all this with a degree of incredulity. I do hope the tutors get paid. Keep us posted.

Brigid said...


littlelixie said...

Wowsers. Jeepers. Nothing else to say. Wow.

Daisy said...

Good grief. Wannaknit filled me in a little at the weekend about what had happened since. It all sounds horrendous.

Mary deB said...

On a slightly related note, did you see the knitted poem there?