Happy Stitches

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Ah, another Knit Camp report October 6, 2010

Filed under: Knitting Travels,Teaching Woes — happystitches @ 20:10

‘Fun Knits’ Knit Camp.
Ah, another knit camp report! This camp, however, has been refreshing to the soul. Of course, holding the event on an island will always get my vote (although Quadra is much larger than Tancook). The Tsa Qwa Luten lodge is a perfect location for a retreat: it is on Cape Mudge on the southern tip of Quadra Island, overlooking the inside passage, and on the far side, Campbell River and the mountains of Vancouver Island. Here we spent three days exploring the hidden delights of the Venus Rising Cardigan in a room with wonderful light, overlooking the sea, in the very excellent company of incredibly diverse knitters from as far afield as Minnesota.

Wildlife abounds on the island: I saw immature bald eagles, deer and possibly an orca (or maybe it was rogue wave), but there were reports of a super pod in the area, sighted from the ferry. I listened for wolves but was out of luck on this occasion; I didn’t realize that wolves still roamed this far south.

The Fun Knits store is just a couple of miles away in the downtown shopping mall. What a treasure to have on an island with a population of only 4000! They have an array of sock yarns beyond belief, possibly enough to knit one sock for each resident! Shelley was one of my early influences to start using Kauni yarn, for which I owe her many thanks!

This was a great event, one that has been held annually for the last four or five years, and well worth the spectacular journey to reach this secret spot. I believe Sally Melville is on the bill for next year.

It’s hard to photograph the scenery from the lodge – it’s way too big for my camera! The photos are of a nearby bit of land at Rebecca Spit. The Pacific northwest is beautiful.

Rebecca Spit

Rebecca Spit





The petroglyph was on a rock on the beach near the lodge. I wonder just how many tides it took to chip it into the rock?


Petroglyph at Cape Mudge


UK Knit Camp Aftermath grinds on..
The saga goes on, but gets no better. This is my understanding of how things stand now (please bear in mind that legal stuff is not my area of expertise):
Several of the UK tutors have now received letters from Doug to say that Events by British Yarn Ltd. is insolvent and is being dissolved. (The letters were of the ‘form’ kind, not personally addressed, and they did not include a single word of apology.)

Apparently, if people who are owed money do not lodge a petition (costing 1000 Euros to lodge) with the court within 30 days of the letter dated September 30th (which the foreign tutors have not yet received) and force this to be a ‘voluntary liquidation’, we effectively absolve them of their debt without significant damage to their legal business reputation. I don’t quite understand this.

I am very unhappy about not attempting to stop them in their harmful tracks, but also don’t feel that there will be any satisfaction in pouring good money (or yet more emotional energy) after bad, as the ‘organisers’ obviously have more money to spend on lawyers than to pay the folks they ’employed/used’, and I don’t doubt that they would find another way around any roadblock that we could impose. The knitting community is small and well-connected and hopefully better informed now. Sadly I think this is the best we can do, or hope for.
Please do spread the word about this debacle amongst your knit-friends, so that all may be wiser and perhaps prevent this sort of misery from being visited upon honest folks again.

As I remarked in an earlier post, the knitting community is also full of generous and caring people, and here is more proof:
A fund-raising month (October only) has now been coordinated for all the unpaid tutors (sadly, a long list) with the aim of clearing firstly the out of pocket travel and the class material provided, and, if anything remains, to divide this on a percentage of teaching fees owed. For more details see Deb Robson’s latest post on her blog, The Independent Stitch.

A number of you have been kind enough to help me by purchasing my new finishing book, Cool Knitters Finish in Style, and pattern .pdf’s; I so appreciate the supportive notes that came with your Paypal purchases.

Many many thanks!


PS – On October 6, 2010 we received $234.65 Canadian from Yarn Gathering (re UK Knitting Camp) on the several thousand dollars owing.


12 Responses to “Ah, another Knit Camp report”

  1. Cheryl Waters Says:

    Lucy, I am a lawyer in Texas and I have no idea how the legal system is in the UK, but so many people get away with this type of behavior because you are right, it’s not worth pursuing the money especially when so frequently there is no money in the end and it is definitely not worth the emotional heartache. It is the emotional heartache that is the worst. I am so sorry you and so many others have had to go through this. Sometimes it is best to just pick up the pieces and move on. The most important thing you can do is what you have already done — let others know how you were treated in hopes these people cannot do the same to others. Unfortunately I think that as financial times get worse, more people try to financially gain from these types of shenanigans.

  2. Danielle L Says:

    i wish I’d been there – Quadra, Denman and Hornby Islands are my favortie places in Canada! What a great place for a knitting retreat….glad this one was a good experience 🙂

  3. josiekitten Says:

    I’m so sorry that you have had this terrible experience Lucy. I do hope that it won’t put you off coming over to the UK again to teach some time. It would be fabulous to see you at KnitNation next year (organised by Alice from Socktopus and Cookie.)

  4. Oh I was so hoping that the news would be better. I’m so disheartened, but not surprised, to hear that the organizers are hiding behind insolvency. I wish you all the best and hope that droves of new fans will make up for the shortfall.

  5. It is possible that the letter you recieved from Doug carries inaccurate information. It seems odd that your are being quoted euros instead of sterling, for example. It might be worth double-checking the contents of the letter with someone in the know legally?

    Best wishes XXXX

    • Angeluna Says:

      I think FibreClairUK makes a good point.

      It might be worth lodging a complaint if you could do it as a group. Brings the guarantee cost down to something more reasonable and makes for a more impressive figure. Does the UK allow for class action?

      Lucy, the retreat sounds wonderful. One of those “wish I had been there” things.

  6. JulieT Says:

    Talk about a good news/bad news blog post. I am very, very glad that you had such a positive experience at your latest teaching gig. I hope it refreshed you and restored your faith a bit. I’m also very sorry for the way thinks are going in the UK situation. Not terribly shocked, but sorry so many respected knitters are having to deal with it.

  7. amy'srainbow Says:

    Lucy, please don’t take the letter as gospel, you need to look at the posh knitters group on Rav (you’ve been earburned i believe)

  8. Peg Says:

    I was one of the lucky knitters to be with Lucy on Quadra. Lucy is a real treasure in our world of knitting. I will not add comments to the UK problems, but hope that the few days we spent with you, Lucy, did indeed refresh you. We all came away better for our time with you, and hope you remember us all fondly in the days to come.
    Enjoy Tancook – it is smaller, but no less beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talents with us and come back soon.
    PS Be aware of the Plastic Lampshade Cover Police!

  9. pamela Says:

    Just a thought. I would love to donate to a fund that would cover expenses for the tutors and unpaid staff to collectively fight this Knit Camp travesty. At the very least these particular organizers may be effectively stopped from any further shenanigans.

    I have copied the list of the tutors that have been harmed/used and am planning on making them a priority when purchasing anything knitting related.

    My heart goes out to all of you – best wishes and luck in whatever the future holds for the resolution of Knit Camp.

    Pamela 🙂

    • Lucy Neatby Says:

      Thanks Pamela. Your comments are greatly valued. Positive shopping is an excellent idea.
      There is an independently run group tutor fund which will be open for October only – for details click on the Deb Robson link above in the blog.

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