Thursday, 23 September 2010

Clearing the mind of the Knit Camp drama.

I have been trying to clear my mind of the chaos that was UK knit camp but I keep being distracted by the continuing drama. I had wanted to distance myself from the drama and bad karma that even saying the name of this event now creates in my presence. I tried to step out of the drama and issues by distancing myself. Due to the drama that was occurring while at Knit camp I decided not to attend the Saturday classes, market place and evening event that I had booked including not collecting the four meals I had paid for as I was going to take the family. I should of chased the money I was owed for cancelled classes but took the decision since the reason these classes were affected was out of the control of the tutors they should be reimbursed. I would have been better off getting the money back and paying the tutors directly. I was exhausted by the continued stress and strain of the repeated frustration, anger and drama that was effecting individuals including myself. I made some new friends and I put some faces to names I knew from blogs and ravelry. In the end I felt that one more day of chaos was not the best idea for me or for my family. As a result of this decision I ended up spinning Saturday away so I progressed with myself imposed challenge of a mini tour de fleece in Scotland.

Commando memorial with the
motto United we Conquer
Yes I had some great times at knit camp but it was only thanks to the attendees and the tutors who gave their all to make sure it was a best it could be.  The Dunkirk or British Blitz spirit was there and it was purely by the professionalism of the majority of the tutors and the combined will of the participants that we got through it.  We united together to make the most of the situation we were in. There was some nastiness and while it was not directed at me I did have to deal with it. I cannot walk away when someone is suffering. Don't speak to people who have volunteered their time like they are dirt due to your incompetence, JW. (Yes I called her on it in person.) I was particularly horrified by the highhanded abusive attitude of the so called manager, JW.  There were two or three tutors who I was not happy about and this is probably because I thought since they make their living as a professional tutor they would be a) prepared, b) organised and c) have some sodding tact. manners.  (Hello Dunblaine was less than four miles away)

It was the tip of the iceberg
It is a month or so since we returned home and as time has progressed the greater the awareness of the cluster FCUK this event was has been developed by the knitting/crochet/spinning world.   I am horrified to find out that the many of the tutors and staff have not been paid for their services and there are some serious financial implications. Vendors have also been shafted. There are people out there who are struggling to put food on the table and pay their mortgages.  Yes this event caused financial hardship to many individuals.   There have been personal verbal attacks on bloggers and ravlers who have dared to mention the lack of professionalism by the so called manager, JW. At this point I can no longer ignore the situation.  Don't attack those who are whistleblowing.  They have a right to be paid.

There are a tangle of various company entities that JW used involved in UK Knit Camp. The further details about the owner's business past and practices has been exposed but this does not help the tutors / staff members who have not been paid the income that they should have received. Labour by rights has to be fairly remunerated or it is slavery.

A bleak outlook across the moors.
The final fallout of this event will probably affect knitting events in UK and other events round the world for the next 10 years.  Many people have been burnt and this means we will all be super cautious in the future. Potentially international tutors may not want to travel or participate in newly established events. Established events may have to provide greater financial incentives increasing the costs for the participants and thus in the long run making it harder for some knitters to participate. Within the UK it could means that events will have to focus on the critical mass locations such as London. The issue with travelling for some will compound participation issues.  Some of the readers may not be aware that the further north of London you go the greater the difficulty to travel becomes for potential participant.  A 100 miles in the south may be relatively easy but in the North you may have to travel 200 miles to do the 20 miles as the crow flies.  Potentially events may be come London centric or southern centric. So people like some of the Scottish knitters I met will find participating in southern events impossible.  If you have to travel 5 or 6 hours including an expensive flight just to get you to the mainland to get to Stirling you might be priced out of attending more southerly events.

Some places don't have a ferry
shortcut available to them
I can see further litigation in the future for JW over her bad business practices but this does not provide remuneration for those who have not been paid.  We need to reimburse the tutors and staff so I would like to suggest that if you are considering a new purchase you visit SaumariKnitter's blog and see the list and make a purchase from one of the various shops/sites.

Light at the end
This post has taken a while to draft and the more I worked on it the more I have come to terms with the situation. I am now calmer about the situation hopefully my knitting will reflect this as everything I have knitted since the end of knit camp has gone tits up and had to be frogged. I think my knitting mojo issues have been because I bottled my anger and frustration.