The box, it is open

Following from my 2 posts, Dear Publisher and The Power of the Community.

And adding up Alex Tinsley.

And Anniken Allis.

And Joy Gerhardt.

I would like to add a note here to clarify a point in my contract. In all my pieces designed for Yarn Forward/Knit, I took extreme care in picking the look and the yarns – I sourced these myself, asking lovely independent yarnies to lend their yarns to a joint project. The Mulberry Dyer, Artist’s Palette and Sweet Clement provided me with yarns to make those pieces. When this situation is presented, Yarn Forward/Knit posted a clause in the contract to mention the sample was to be returned to me. This is MY case. I am not privvy to the details on everyone’s contract, and it’s a usual practice for magazines to keep samples if they provided the yarn.

Apparently someone sent a less than pleasant note to the managing director of All Crafts Media. I don’t know the specifics, and don’t know whether to believe it or not (after all, it’s quite the extreme to wish unfortunate things onto others, regardless of their business practice).

So I’m going to reiterate my feelings, again.

If you can afford to pay your printers = you should afford to pay your designers.

Without designers, I’d love to see what you fill your pages with.

If you can take money from advertisers = you should afford to pay your designers & tech-editors.

Nobody buys a magazine for adverts, and we like seeing fellow companies striving to achieve success in the knitting & crochet world. We like supporting them, like we thought we could support you.

If you can take money from sock club members = you should deliver your goods as advertised.

Again. Ricogate.

Many people have sent me emails. Some of them even ex-employees of the aforementioned company. And the situation is GRIM. We’re talking thousands owed to individuals.

We are not here to hate ON YOU.

We are simply stating our position, and that is, that until you deliver your goods as advertised to members of your clubs, and until you pay your designers and editors fairly and on time (including those who are owed from YEARS ago), we will simply not shut up.

It’s not personal. It’s business.

Some time ago, when the KnitCamp disaster happened, this managing director of All Crafts Media / KAL Media was teacher of a class and demanded her money quite loudly.

So we have to do the same.

Tons of tweets have been floating on the internet, people stating their disbelief that someone with such a history of malpractice (magknits… hipknits…) is allowed to continue doing business. And they are taking action. They are stopping subscriptions. They are demanding answers. They are not buying your magazines anymore, as a sign of respect to those of us who designed for you in the past and remain unpaid, unanswered and disappointed in your managing capabilities.

Let’s take a wild imagination ride. What do you think would have happened if I had signed my contract with them and didn’t deliver my sample and pattern? I would have been emailed, sternly and continuously. I would probably never design for them again, as it’s quite usual that if you fail to deliver … it’s not a good look for the freelancer, right? Then there’s the Chinese Whispers. At some point, somehow, my name would have gone around between magazines as a Bad Designer. People TALK. Editors exchange opinions on designers, just like we exchange opinions on whose yarn is prettier, whose designs appeal to us, who inspire us and… oh yeah. Which magazines are not worth a dime submitting to. And as it’s my NAME associated with my PROFESSIONAL reputation, it’d be difficult to get back into the game. Extremely so.

(Shannon Okey published The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design a while ago. All newcomers to this business should read it.)

Is my blogging going to change this?

Doubt it’ll change it around.

But it sure is making people think twice before supporting those who don’t support us.

What can YOU do?

If you’re a knitter and you used to purchase Knit or Yarn Forward, do your bit for us and don’t buy it this month. Take your £4.99 and purchase a pattern from an independent designer. After you do so, send them an email and say “thank you for trying to do your bit, here’s me doing mine”. Blog about it! Shout it on twitter and facebook!

You don’t know who to buy from? The 3 ladies listed at the top of this post. Or Elizabeth. Or Rachel. Or Rebecca. Or Heather. Or Stephanie. Heck I’m not even asking you to buy my patterns. Just support your independent peeps!

If you’re a designer – comment below and let people know where to buy your patterns.