Monday, 16 August 2010

Knit Camp. Part the first.

Ok, I will try to keep this as honest, 'professional' and straightforward as possible. There's a lot being said about the last week, with reason,  but I will stick to what I personally experienced both as a Knit Camp attendee and as a Market Place seller.

As some may know my health has been pretty shitty, and if the week hadn't been booked in January I would not have gone away this year at all - but I had booked it with a lovely online friend, with the plan to finally get to meet up and spend oodles of time together. Classes were booked, B&Bs found and arranged, travel sorted. I also took the plunge and booked a stand, I have only done craft fairs so far but thought it was time to play with the big girls and see what the response to my sewing would be.

(pretty view from the train to ease my soul)
And then it all started to go tits up online - anyone following it on Ravelry would know the car crash viewing it became as tutors pulled out citing contractual issues, prices fluctuated, more and more activities appeared (but only available to those staying on campus)(but then suddenly available to all but for an extra £10)(!), the website didn't work, lists of tutors vanished, posts on the Knit Camp group were deleted, locked etc, the organiser flounced from Ravelry and then reappeared, a tutor was refused entry because of the now infamous work visa farce (I can only imagine how humiliating that must have been) and then this poor woman was criticised by the 'organiser' for daring to say what had happened to her.

Throughout all this, no apologies, no explanations, absolutely minimal information. People who were preparing to travel considerable distances didn't know if it was worth setting off, if their classes would go ahead, nothing. I kept fairly quiet online, simply because I suspected my stall might be pulled from under me if I spoke out. Yes, it truly was THAT  bad.

Pretty long journey with ridiculously heavy cases (I was past myself when I got on the first train, my mum rang and said 'you do remember you have a heart condition don't you??! Try not to kill yourself!'). Left at 7am and got to Stirling around midday, had a lie down and read until 5ish when I got a taxi to the university to register.Highly amused to hear there was a 'Sulky Goes to Scotland' thread on Ravelry, thank you Rebsy! I was greated by J with a hug which surprised me somewhat, and headed to the (unsignposted) clapotea party venue. I have ME, thankfully it's not too dire at the moment, but found it quite a draining walk - this was to become a theme of the week. I appreciate that anyone with no experience or understanding of ME won't appreciate that you have a set amount of energy, and wandering around campus looking for places eats it up very quickly - there were also several ladies walking with sticks who must have struggled too.

My clap. So to speak.
It felt a bit Disorganised (spot the theme), no introduction, no chat, no welcome - the seating wasn't great and people ended up behind pillars, sitting away from the central space etc. Much knitting was whipped out, people chatted. Sort of - I did some people watching and navel gazing until lovely Liz and then lovely Lisa chatted to me. The yarn swap was odd - hand over your wool, get a ticket, someone picks your ticket out, you choose wool, all straightforward.
BUT you then had to stand in a line so someone could STEAL - yes steal - your wool if they liked it better than theirs! Apparently variations of this are common in America - but it was a line of very uncomfortable looking Brits that I joined. I of course dived on the giant twinkly silver star box, which had a lovely note inside, a Shaun the Sheep and a wrapped ball of wool which I refused to unwrap, and said I would hide the whole thing up my tee shirt so nobody could nick it.

I suspect someone realised that it wasn't the greatest idea, and we were, ahem, 'allowed to sit down'. Comments after from the Brits were along the lines of  'we swapped, we did what we were asked to do and that's that, no stealing!'

J appeared to - and yes I was shocked and no I did NOT join in (I also refused to sign the thank you card, sorry but I am not a total hypocrite) - cheering and applause. What? Information was absolutely minimal, and there would be more info the next morning at 7.35am - yes, highly useful for those not on campus.

The lady next to me realised she had missed her evening meal on campus - the party clashed with dinner, great planning - so three of us buggered off and had a nice evening.
Making Your Own Fun rapidly became another key theme for the week.

I met my friend when I got back to the B&B, utterly wonderful woman.
Thus ended Day the First. Disorganised, ominously so, minimal information, chaotic, uncaring, unapologetic. Hmmm....

Hotel view of the Wallace Monument, because I need a light note to end on.
More to come in a minute ....


Twelfthknit said...

Yeh- hypocrisy, a lot of that going on. I will notbe going to anything that this woman organises in futire. Piss up and brewery come to mind....

ps am I allowed to say piss-up on your blog? Opps, now I've said piss-up twice, oh, I mean three times. Lordy, I'd better just shut up.

sulkycat said...

please say piss up as often as you like

you may also say fart

Robynn said...

On limited energy: I love the spoon theory.

Mully Nex said...

I just have to say "fart" because you said we could *giggle*

Liz said...

Hellooooooooooooooo I see the threats worked rofl, thanks for the lovely Liz comment, it was brill meeting you

Lovely Liz

Zardra said...

Why would they hold a yarn swap with White Elephant rules? White Elephant gift exchanges are for crappy gifts, that's why there's stealing.