This is not the post I hoped I’d be writing after taking so much time out from blogging. I have so many happy things to share with you, from shiny new arrivals in my stash to a lovely break in the sunshine. Next week, I promise you shiny things, and kittens and rainbows if I can arrange it.
Today, though, I’m bringing you a list of links, and none of them are very happy. By now, the word has gone out to much of the yarn-oriented world that All Craft Media – publisher of various craft magazine titles – have gone into administration. The whole saga has been catalogued on Ravelry, so just follow the link in the list to find out more.
All the staff were made redundant, but it’s expected that at least a few of the titles will rise again – Handmade Living and Modern Quilting, possibly. No one really knows at this point. What they do know is that there’s a lot of people out of work in a difficult job market, and there’s a lot of small designers and makers out of pocket. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. There’s a history going back some years with the owner of ACM that you can pick up from Ravelry posts or the blog posts below. If it was a one-off incident, you could say that it could happen to anyone. But not paying designers, makers, printers? Not returning samples or being able to pay your own staff? That’s been going on a long time now, and it’s not the first time. Or even the second.
I’ve spend the week reading up on this and feeling increasingly helpless and cross, but I know that there are 2 things I can do. I can write this blog post to get the word out. Inside Crochet and Knit are probably gone for good, as ACM’s reputation in the knitting world is probably irretrievable. But the sewing world doesn’t have a central hub like Ravelry, and unless folk talk about what’s happened, no one will know.
So the other thing I can do is encourage you to write about what’s happened. Just a short post on your blog, pointing people in the direction of the evidence – feel free to copy any of this post that you want! I’m not even suggesting you shouldn’t buy the magazine titles – hopefully, they’ll be employing people in the future, and it’s always possible that lessons have been learned (I’m ever the optimist). But if you’re thinking of submitting to any of them if they resurface, PLEASE make sure you get paid, and make sure you get your sample back.
If you’re directly affected but haven’t liked to say so – there are lots of people who don’t like to complain, and I absolutely understand why – then you can add yourself to the list of creditors. You can also place a claim for any samples that are still in ACM’s possession. Apparently there’s quite a lot of these.
Just write to:
10 Furnival Street
Tel: +44 (0)20 3005 4000
Fax: +44 (0)20 3005 4400
List of useful links:
For more information than you could possibly want, head over to Ravelry (free to register) and look at the group Friends of the group once knows as…. Be aware that much of the conversation in the group is speculation, and that FACTS are clearly marked as such by the active and excellent Mods. There’s also a very concise and good history on Joy’s (The Knitting Goddess) blog at here, which is helpful for seeing how the problems go back years, not just months.
There are some excellent blog posts out there, which I really recommend reading, in case you’re thinking that this whole thing is just a storm in a teacup. Try Ali at Very Berry Handmade, Fiona at the Sewing Directory, Jenna at Sew Happy Geek and Ruth at Rock and Purl just for starters. Yes, folks, that really is just the tip of the iceberg…
I think what makes me so sad about the whole thing is that the crafting world is, in general, nice. We want to believe the best of each other. Designers and makers held back from speaking out – at very real material cost to themselves – because they felt that complaining would earn them a ‘difficult’ reputation and harm their chances of being published elsewhere. I don’t want the craft world to stop being nice, but I really hope that the openness that’s come out of this whole debacle will help people to speak out more freely next time, and not worry that saying “I had this bad experience” will somehow tarnish their reputation. Not everyone in our world is going to be nice – I think it’s up to us to watch each other’s backs. Also, I’m really hoping that people will be encouraged to go out there and support the folk who have lost out. The Ravelry thread has some amazing examples of this, so check it out, find your wallet, and spend the money that would have gone on the mags on someone else instead. What goes around comes around, after all. It’s just such a shame for ACM that that’s proved to be all-too true.