It's like Avon, but in acrylic

Hot off yesterday’s press:

Lion Brand Yarns, well-known purveyor of acrylic craft yarns and trick Vogue Knitting magazine cover advertisements, has teamed up with Purple Tree, which is apparently a direct sales company that has been providing the crafty equivalent to Tupperware parties in the U.S. since 2004, and Canada since 2005 (how did I live without knowledge of this company?), to create a new, national program for knitters who are interested in being instructors

Quoth Lion Brand:

When Purple Tree approached us about this opportunity, we were absolutely thrilled, “ explained Ilana Rabinowitz, Director of Consumer Marketing, Lion Brand Yarn Company. “We know that literally thousands of our newsletter subscribers are interested in either teaching knitting, or learning to knit, and now we have a way to help them do this.”

The emphasis in the above quotation is mine.  Imagine.  Up until now, there were all these people stuck with Lion Brand yarn, knitting needles, and no clue what to do with them

Now, in the interest of research, I registered to find out what kind of super-secret information I’d receive as an instructor.

No money down! 

The first thing I learned (learning! and without even registering!) is that wannabe instructors can register with the Lion Knitting Club for free. 

For free?  Why yes!  Lion Brand says “We don’t believe you should spend money to make money, and we want you to start making a profit immediately.”  To further clarify this statement, they immediately follow up that sentence with “As a Lion Brand Knitting Instructor, you can order everything you need online.  Fast, convenient, secure, and easy.  All products are shipped directly to you.”  Clearly, this is directed towards those people who still think they “win” stuff on eBay.

Automatic approval! 

And the next thing I learned is that Lion Brand wouldn’t actually force me to prove that I knew how to do that thing with the yarn and the sticks, or assuming I did, that I’d actually make a good instructor to sign up.  Lion Brand doesn’t expect you to take classes or pass tests (after all, setting up that infrastructure would be such a drain).  Quoth Lion Brand, “We believe that the most important qualification for becoming an Instructor is a love of knitting, and your students will learn more from your passion and enthusiasm for knitting than anything else.”

The third thing I learned, as I completed the registration process, is that the website must have been set up in a hurry.  Even though I was only skimming the content, I could spot more than one typo, and the agreement just seemed to be… lacking.

It’s just as good as cash!

Feeling empowered, I moved on to the registration process.  I had to read and accept an agreement that specified that knitting instructors and club organizers had to submit at least four class orders within a 12-month period (failure to do so would result in termination of the agreement).  In exchange, Purple Tree would provide a credit of 10% towards their own personal purchases, and free shipping on the instructor’s or organizer’s personal orders.  Evidently any income would have to be derived from student or membership fees.

Name names!

Then I had to enter club information.  Well, I didn’t think I had to do this to become an instructor, but the form wouldn’t let me go to the next step unless I did this.  Since the agreement didn’t say anything about not using an alter ego (did I mention this seemed like it was set up in haste?), Kelly Taylor set up a knitting club at The Peach Pit.

Then, I had to enter the names of four people who I thought would like to join.  Since I totally spaced on character last names after Brandon and Brenda, I added Jessica Alba and Mary Jo Eustace.  I figured Mary Jo could use the company, and that it was safe to include her, because I couldn’t remember the last name of Tori Spelling’s character.  (Oh, wait, it was Martin.)

After a final registration screen, I was finally allowed into the Instructors’ Den.  (Den… Lion Brand… Lion… get it?)

And what did I get ?

Fill-in-the-blank ads and press releases to send to my local newspaper.

Worksheets, including “prospecting sheets” to figure out how I could pressure my friends and acquaintances into making purchases.  One worksheet lists some categories of acquaintances and groups that might contain likely marks knitters, like “co-workers” or “childrens’ friends’ parents” or ”doctor’s office staff” or “attorney”, but not “doctor”.  (Ooh, can’t bother the doctor with the knitting club.)  Another worksheet tells me to list the places I go where I might find likely candidates, like “post office” or ”Curves”.  Most importantly, though, there’s a profit-tracking worksheet for me to use when calculating my income from student fees, project sales (ordered on behalf of the students, because the lessons are based on Lion Brand projects), and track my associated expenses.

Finally, there’s an instructor’s manual, which contains much of the content provided above.  In addition, it contains tips on setting up the teaching/club space, recruiting members, and how to figure out how much money I’d be raking in.  After explaining that the key to a business is profit, and that profit = revenue – expenses (yes, straight out of Dilbert), the manual provides a worked example of how much money an instructor could make by teaching ten women in four classes once per week, at a fee of $10 per person per one-hour class, and selling a total of 40 (yes, forty) kits at $35 each over the four-week period:

Total instruction fee: $400

Total kit sales: $1400

Kit cost: ($1400) (yes, the worked example added in the kits, then took them right back out)

Advertisement (flyers): ($20)

Mileage (driving to classes): ($50)

Profit: $330 

Of course, I suppose this means that one would have to find ten students willing to purchase a $35 kit once a week for four weeks.  But $330 in four weeks?  Not a bad profit, if you’re willing to hustle–even once you’ve taken the prep time into account.

But say, how much money would Lion Brand or Purple Tree be making out of this scenario?

Taking a look at the class projects that are available for the instructor to purchase, clearly each project is packaged with everything necessary to complete the item; possibly the only thing that’s missing to make it complete is a ruler or tape measure, for those projects where gauge is important.  Each item comes with a Learn to Knit booklet, knitting and yarn needles, the pattern, the yarn, and in some cases even a crochet hook.  Based on the kit prices, we can figure out that for those kits containing Lion Cashmere Blend, first $4.95 reflects the kit packaging, needles, and paper content, and $10 is added for every ball of Lion Cashmere Blend in the kit.

… Except, the suggested retail price of Lion Cashmere Blend is only $8.99 per ball, and it seems like a safe bet that the rest of the kit contents don’t actually cost Lion Brand or Purple Tree $4.95.  This suggests that if Lion Brand is simply supplying product for Purple Tree to package and ship, and Purple Tree is not being treated any better than any other Lion Brand distributor, it’s paying maybe $4.50 per ball at worst (I’ve seen 100% markups before, but I don’t know what Lion Brand normally charges), which means each a three-ball kit retailing for $34.95 results in at least $13.50, possibly more, in revenue for Purple Tree.  So the hypothetical instructor selling forty kits in four weeks at $35 a pop would be earning Purple Tree at least $540. 

If Lion Brand’s markup to Purple Tree was 100%, then it would have realized revenue of $270 on the yarn alone, less its expenses.  A modest amount, but then all Lion Brand really had to do was sell its yarn.  And Purple Tree’s own expenses might include freight (if not covered by Lion Brand), wages for the employees hired to pack the kits and ship them if the work wasn’t contracted out, and advertising and other promotion, in addition to any indirect costs it might apportion to its knitting-related sales… they could spend 35% of their revenue on those costs, and still make as much money as the hypothetical knitting instructor who sold those forty kits. 

Of course, this assumes that the hypothetical knitting instructor could convince her ten students to continue buying kits from her, and that the students wouldn’t figure out fairly quickly that the nearest big box craft store could provide the same yarn for less, and that similar or identical patterns are available for free, and that they didn’t really need several copies of the Learn to Knit booklet. 

But at least with her 10% discount and free shipping, the instructor herself isn’t any worse off buying Lion Brand kits through Purple Tree.

You know, there’s something wrong with that last sentence, but I just can’t put my finger on it.

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45 Responses to It's like Avon, but in acrylic

  1. Janey says:

    A (Canadan) friend of mine sent me the Lion Brand Instructor link because I tried to set up knitting class(es) last year.
    I had gotten as far as enquiring about possible space at a local knit and stitch shop (they sell yarn, needlework and quilting supplies as well as cloth and sewing patterns). I also asked at a local adult education organization – they have both the class space and put out a newsletter with the courses they offer. I also approached friends and neighbours to see if they would be my students.
    That was after I had done several hours of Internet research to see what was said about knitting instruction online. I managed to find out what was usually taught to beginners, how many classes were usually involved to teach those things, the size and length of said classes, and the cost to the student.
    I went to a Dollar Store and got needles (all the same size). And I bought a supply of cotton yarn. My thought was to teach everyone using a dishcloth pattern as a starter – the cost of the classes would include supply of materials needed.
    My friend was being most kind in sending me the Lion Brand link. She figured I could find out how to put my plan into action using their class instructions, press releases, etc..
    But after I started the registration process, with a few warnig bells going off as I went along, I discovered the final roadblock … it’s only available in the USA!

    Doesn’t Lion Brand and/or Purple Tree understand that the Internet is not exclusively American? And neither is knitting.

  2. Jan Dumb-bunny says:

    Boy, I’m so embarassed to admit this but it took forever for me to do the math, and to figure out that noone I know would want to do pre-planned projects. I taught knit and crochet for a year at a not-to-be-named crafts store where the rumor was that yarn was marked up at least 600%. Yes, six hundred. I like Lion Brand but the press release was so stilted and self-serving I could never have used it as-is. And your concerns about poor teachers is soooo valid…I think I am one: After knitting forty-plus years, I’ve only just knitted my first non-acrylic item, and I’ll never be able to go back. I just love the touch and feel of the real wool — it is truly “alive” and so rich in texture. I Googled to see if there were any Lion Brand teachers in my area, and found this blog. Thanks for helping me (and maybe others) stand up for quality.

  3. gaile says:

    the chanting in my head now: “Donna Martin Graduates”… *sigh*

  4. j. says:

    Purple Tree has acted on the promise to provide some security on their website: it’s now necessary to use both an e-mail address and a password to access club/instructor information.

  5. Carol M says:

    Note to all, but to Jim in particular, most public libraries and probably many religious institutions are not about to give free space to a for profit class. Assuming they are aware that it is for profit.

  6. Margaret says:

    Just noticed that most of the projects use 10, 10.5 or 11 needles. So it would be possible to keep getting the same (or nearly the same) size needle over and over again. Let’s pay 10 dollars a ball for LB, and get 4 pairs of the same sized needles! What a bargain!

  7. Jim says:

    Purple Tree is a very different business. This is based on home parties and clubs. I am not sure where you got the idea that this involves 10 women sitting around a van in lawn chairs in a hot parking lot in July. Not a pleasant thought!

    When we did our research asking where the Instructors were planning to hold their classes, we got a wide range of responses. The one that surprised us was how often the mentioned “the Library.” Many of the others were expected – their home, the home of a student, a coffee shop, a religious institution, etc. Most of the locations seemed like they would be relatively comfortable. We also had a large percentage of the Instructors saying they had taught in the past, so we would assume these locations were based on experience.

    Again, looking at the Purple Tree business does not provide the right perspective. Two very different businesses.

    Jim

  8. Suni says:

    If you check out the Purple Tree website forums, you will see they also recommend giving parties at home, other’s homes, malls and parking lots for tailgate parties. I can just see 10 women sitting around a van in lawn chairs in a hot parking lot in July trying to master double seed st, and how to mattress st the finished piece.

  9. Mamid says:

    Oh my god!

    Last time I checked, “sponsored” meant the person didn’t have to fork over a penny.

    Good god. Not for me.

  10. Janet Szabo says:

    Just an anecdotal piece of information here: I have a friend who has in her possession a notebook created by her grandmother in the 50′s. Grandma took a correspondence class (Grandma was in Montana and the “school” was in New York City) to learn to become a certified knitting instructor. Once she had completed the course—which reminded me a lot of the TKGA Master Knitting Program—she was supplied with press releases and copy for posters that she could put up all over town advertising that she was a knitting instructor.

    But they didn’t have “Curves” here back then.

  11. j. says:

    Thank you, Carina!

    Hello, Jim. (The most recent comment is by someone who appears to be *the* Mr. Turner.)

    I (as a naturally cynical creature) am extremely impressed by Purple Tree’s responsiveness. I look forward to seeing how the accountability process is implemented!

  12. Jim says:

    The 10% credit is based on their entire order. If they order ten $20 kits for a class, for example, they will get a $20 credit that they can use to purchase additonal items. In many cases, they may order a different kit that would be used for a future class they are holding. In some cases, they may order a kit and sell this at full price to make additional income. This is up to the Instructor. Sorry if that was confusing.

  13. margaret says:

    The funny thing that I was figuring out yesterday (I can be slow when it comes to math!) Is that with the 10% credit that the instructor gets to apply to future kits for herself—-WON’T IT ADD UP TO THE LION BRAND LIST PRICE ANYWAY? Seeing that their cashmere blend yarn is 8.99 list and they are selling it in the kits for around 10 dollars a ball. So really, the $$ from the instructor fee is the only real advantage for the instructor. I did see one of the press releases today for a woman near philadelphia who actually is an accomplished 30 year knitter, so at least one of their teachers will be qualified :)

  14. Carina says:

    Interesting development.

    I talked with Mr. Turner from Purple Tree today, and it’s looking like they’re going to start some kind of accountability process now. They’re getting so much heat on-line that they’re worried it’ll negatively affect the brand. Anyhow, he’s contacting the CYCA and TKGA to see if they’ll help write up a test for the instructor wanna-bes to prove that they at least know something. He also came up with the idea that passing that will only let the instructor order and teach beginning level kits. If they want to teach intermediate level kits, they would have to show that they’re certified through the CYCA or have passed at least level I of the Masters. I’m sure he will make all that happen, but he sounded like he really wanted to (I’m not sure the higher ups will like that idea, as it involves more work).

    He also was sheepish that the security was so bad and promised that they’d fix that right away.

    Anyway, it sounds like they want to make this a good thing and not keep getting flamed on-line.

  15. Jo says:

    OK… I have Greta Garbo and P.J. Harvey in my knitting club, “Lion Brand Pyramid Scam.”
    Not only is it dirty, but WHY would anybody think this would work? I can close my eyes, spin around, and run into just as many JoAnn’s, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby and get that stuff for cheap (but why?) as I can hit yarn shops with GOOD yarn for as much as they’re charging for these craptastic kits.

  16. Linda Timmons says:

    Oh,this is so funny. I get tired of the e-mails I get from Lion and I usually just delete. But like you I was curious. Your blog is exactly what I was thinking. How could they think people would want to keep buying these beginner kits for exhorbitant prices? I wasn’t so clever with the names I signed up, but since thety didn’t want any info about them I just put in random names. Now they keep sending surveys…oh my I’m probably going to be terminated….oh yeah, I might order a couple kits for my daughters to help teach their friends this summer.(its 30% off for instructors ’til June 1.) Tell me how do you plan to deal with the rejection of not having 4 orders!??! LOL My bad, I should be finishing the afghan I’m making my niece for graduation….

  17. Shelly says:

    Allright, allright, not a pyramid scheme in the strict definition of such now, but it sure smacks of crass commercialization. I have no problem whatsoever with paying for knitting instruction, but the relationship between student and teacher is a serious one, it involves a level of trust, especially if money is involved. With this program, the instructors are not necessarily qualified. Will experienced instructors, the kind we’d like to learn from actually sign up for this program? I highly doubt it, they have nothing to gain and their reputations to lose. And who makes the money here, the instructors? no, the yarn companies. And by using Lion Brand yarns, the instructor is conveying the impression that she/he endorses the yarn and the program. Instead, let’s support the certified and qualified and brilliant instructors at our local yarn stores where both the instructors and the students are free to discuss and chose among many, many better quality yarns. Or let’s support the talented writers creating beautiful knitting instruction books that we cherish forever. Or let’s give a helping hand to the people around us, our friends and relatives, folks in assisted living, churches, granges, etc. Everyone benefits that way, just a little more kindness in the world.

  18. Carina says:

    I’m a CYCA certified knitting teacher (level II), and this really disturbs me. Teaching knitting takes time, skill, knowledge of the craft, and a certain comfort level in not only teaching but just dealing with people of all learning types and ability levels.

    I am not saying all knitting teachers need to be certified, but I have had several students come to my classes and get confused because some teacher in the past steered them wrong. I had one who had a teacher tell her that you don’t have to purl on the wrong side in circular knitting because of the “magic of knitting.” *sigh*

    Knitters interested in teaching, especially if they’ve got the blessing of a company or group, should have to at least meet some level of expertise. There isn’t even an application essay or quiz?

    You know what will happen? Someone in our area will sign up for this, and I will lose a student or two to her, and then they will want to take harder classes and end up over at the art center where I teach, only to get frustrated and need more help. I hope it doesn’t happen, though. I hope the Lion Brand instructor will be good and really help keep this craft alive, even though she’s getting screwed by LB in the process.

  19. j. says:

    I agree with everyone who pointed out that this isn’t a pyramid scheme.

    The bottom line for LB is that it’s advertising, virtuously dressed up as an opportunity to share a love of knitting with the world.

    Here’s the headline from the sample press release for instructors:
    “Area Resident, [Insert Name], Announces Launch of Lion Brand Knitting Instructor Business”

    The press release also reads:
    “Lion Brand is pleased to announce that [Insert Name] of [Insert City, State] has registered as a Lion Brand Knitting Instructor and will be offering knitting instruction to anyone that has a desire to learn. [Last Name] was attracted to the Lion Brand because of their reputation for innovation and high quality products for over one hundred years.”

    Obviously the instructor could delete this if she chose.

    And the newspaper ad for insertion in the local newspaper (PDF) reads:
    “Always wanted to learn to knit, but never got the chance? Now you can join like-minded women and learn at a local class sponsored by Lion Yarn.”

    The PDF ad is editable only for the instructor to insert contact info.

    The PDF flyer, to put up at your local Curves (yes, Carol, the LB/PT-supplied literature really did say Curves) is the same as the newspaper ad.

    The lesson plans, which provide the suggested order of operations for the classes (teach casting on first, then knit, remember students learn at different speeds, etc.) and provide a few tips (consider whether to teach “American” or “continental”), include this step after the students introduce themselves:

    “At this point, we recommend you tell your students about Lion Brand. This great project, the yarn, and the needles are from Lion Brand Yarn Company. Lion Brand has been a family-owned business since 1878. If your great, great grandmother was a knitter, she may have had Lion Brand yarn on her needles! The family that owns the company and all of their associates are passionate about the designs and products they provide.” [Actually, this goes on for a couple more sentences.]

    … obviously the instructor could very well skip this step.

    I find it surprising that LB would allow their fledgling instructors to publish news releases that suggest that they have been approved as teachers in some way by the company.

    Yes, the release actually says “registered” and is literallly true, but in many contexts registration and certification mean the same thing or can be used interchangeably. The question is, what impression does this leave with the reader? And if the instructor is terrible, is this going to reflect on Lion Brand or Purple Tree? Or is the potentially adverse impact negligible?

    I think, however, the companies are responsive to feedback about the way they’ve set up the program (not the fact that they’ve set it up, but the way it has been implemented with the kits and lesson plans). In response to some initial complaints (about the time estimates for the classes, I think), they’ve rejigged their lesson plans or are thinking about doing it to reflect the time required.

    So if I got off my butt, perhaps they’d be responsive to a complaint about security. I find it rather perturbing that in this decade, PT is running a system that only requires a weak password and no other identifying information (like an e-mail address) to sign in. For example, think about the most obvious word that a knitter would use as a password. Whatever word you came up with, it very likely *is* being used as a password–which means it’s not difficult to access somebody else’s account and get their mailing address. Bad. Very bad.

  20. Emy says:

    It’s interesting to see Lion Brand create such a program. More so when it seems that they even require you to have a club upfront before you can be an instructor?! I thought it’s supposed to be that one gets experienced enough before they start to teach?

    I salute your patience for going through this whole thing!

  21. margaret says:

    OMG this is a ridiculous scam! Thank you for taking the time to research it. Lion Brand should be ashamed of themselves.

  22. Sarah says:

    Nancy’s right. It’s not a pyramid scheme.

    That their program is structured to profit Lion Brand/Purple Tree much more than it profits the instructors isn’t surprising. It’s slightly icky, but not surprising. (It’s also a problem that’s easily spotted by anyone with half a brain.)

    It’s also not evil that Lion Brand/Purple Tree want to profit by professionalizing something that’s been done unprofessionally for ages. No one would dream of criticizing Meg Swansen for charging for her “Knitting Camp” just because groups of knitting friends often get together and swap tricks and tips and skills for free. Good teachers have every right to get paid to do what they do, whether there are other people willing to teach for free or not.

    What’s evil is that Lion Brand/Purple Tree are intentionally setting up a program with no standards. They don’t give their instructors any classes or tests. They don’t even ask their instructors to prove that they know how to knit at all. That means that people who want to learn to knit and who know the Lion Brand name (because they’re everywhere) could end up taking a “knitting class” from someone who barely knows how to cast on, or who–like Darryl Hannah–loves to knit, but doesn’t know how to do the purl stitch. Tee hee.

    *That’s* the problem.

    Paid instruction isn’t the problem.
    Lame-ass instruction is.

  23. Nancy says:

    It’s not a pyramid or a ponzi scheme.

    It’s a silly idea. The “instructors” may not know anything at all about knitting, and I snorfed when I saw the suggested first projects.

    But it’s missing the key feature of a pyramid scheme; the early adopoters are not getting huge returns from the sales made to later adopters. It isn’t even multi-level marketing. “Instructors” are not being encouraged to sign up other “instructors” to get a share of their sales.

    You can find out more about the US Federal Trade Commission’s definition of pyramid schemes here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/pyrdalrt.htm

  24. Shelly says:

    I wrote emails to Lion Brand Yarn and Purple Tree yesterday. Interestingly, I got a polite reply from Mr. Jim Turner president of Purple Tree claming that this is in no way a Ponzi scheme and wanting to talk with me more about how I could have gotten that impression. His email arrived less than 2 hours after I fired off my initial email. He included his phone number in his reply. Lion Brand’s Ilana Rabinowitz, Director of Consumer Marketing, the same person quoted above replied this morning with a brief “so what”. Says Ms. Rabinowitz, “I’m sorry you feel this way. The program is a legitimate enterprise with the intention of bringing a craft we love to mor people.” (The misspelling is hers.)

    These replies speak volumes. First, I find it very interesting that Ms. Rabinowitz feels the need to defend the legitimacy of the program. Interesting word choice here. Of course she could be replying to my phrase “knitted pyramid scheme” the idea for which I borrowed from Susan (see earlier comments, thanks again for hitting the nail on the head with that one Susan). Or, have there been others discussions interally within the company or externally from other knitters calling the legitimacy of this program into question. Hmmm. Or, what I think is more likely, there is certainly an “ick” factor here. Yes, what they are doing does not seem to break any laws, but still we feel uncomfortable with it. Why? I think it’s because for hundreds of years women and men have been teaching each other to knit and now Purple Tree and Lion Brand want to blatantly commercialize and profit from this innocent relationship. And that is why we feel icky, we don’t want these guys in our homes and other private places or even in our private public places sitting between us, looking over our shoulders, going to the bank every time we answer the question, “What yarn are you using?”.

  25. ~Kristie says:

    How many cocktails does one have to consume to sign up for a program like this?

    Personally I believe their target audience is the “wanna be” knitting instructors. These are knitters that actually have very few skills, but either believes this makes them a knitting instructor or feeds their egos so they can tell everyone they know that they are knitting instructors.

    Just my 2 cents.

  26. Carol says:

    Tell me it didn’t actually specify “Curves”!

    And a Ponzi scheme for knitters?! Tsk, tsk.

  27. Shelly says:

    I’m still so mad I went to their web site and complained about this new program. I told them I was going to tell everyone I know what a scam this is. Maybe if the early heat is intense enough they’ll pull it.

    It just p*sses me off that these little old ladies are knitting away on these prayer shawls, putting all this love and effort into it, driving to the meetings, driving or asking someone else to drive to the big box store in town, buying crappy yarn and not knowing that in 1 year their garment is going to look like a rag. *Steam*

  28. Shelly says:

    Oh, and knitted pyramid scheme, *snort* love it Susan.

  29. Shelly says:

    Erudite deconstruction of a pitiful and shameful scheme. Thanks for alerting me to this.

    An aside, I tried to gift my homegrown, hand-dyed yarn to my local prayer shawl group and they refused it. They prefer to buy Lion Brand Homespun instead.

  30. Eleanor says:

    What really bites is how patronizing this company is to its customers (mostly women) in assuming our brains are so frail and tiny that we couldn’t analyze our so-called profit and that we would be happy with a ten percent discount on their yarn for all that work. Hell, we’d do better with an AC Moore coupon.

  31. Ah, this is why I read your blog.

  32. Susan says:

    Maybe one of the kits is knitting a giant pyramid [scheme]!

  33. Janice in GA says:

    When I hit the “We believe that the most important qualification for becoming an Instructor is a love of knitting, and your students will learn more from your passion and enthusiasm for knitting than anything else” statement, I raised my eyebrows. When I saw the kits offered, I closed the browser and went about my way.

    I was born at night, but not last night. :)

  34. andrea says:

    Can’t get over the fill int he blank press releases. Just another one of theiir attempts for press. And make money of the willing. Did you see they have Lion blogs now?

  35. Steph says:

    So did Kelly finally marry Brandon or what? Was it all that Lion Brand Cashmere that made them realize their true love for each other?

  36. amyknitty says:

    shouldn’t you be knitting something? :-)

  37. Lia says:

    Are you sure that PT Barnum wasn’t involved somehow??

  38. Kendra says:

    I am so glad that I am not the only one who saw red flags. Thank you for invesigating further, I was far to lazy, umm I mean busy knitting.

  39. wenders says:

    Perfect analysis, thank you.

    I read through the intro site and saw it for what it was before even being willing to spend the time registering, so it’s interesting to see what you ‘found’ in taking all the steps.

    Curves. That is a whole other issue.

  40. Kathleen says:

    Alright, I am totally upset by the “Curves” are they suggesting we knitters ought to be exercising! Love the 90210 knit club!

  41. j. says:

    Meg: d’oh! Guess what I didn’t even *think* of at the time.

    So I discovered that if you try to edit your club information… you can’t. Not with a standards-compliant browser, anyway.

    And the security is *tite*. To access your club information as an instructor or organizer, all you need is a password and no other info (like an e-mail address). So you can probably type in random passwords until you find a match. Not that I advocate such activity. So don’t even think about it. Bad knitter.

  42. Ellen says:

    There are very few things I enjoy as much as reading one of your meticulous deconstructions of corporate stupidity.

  43. Meg says:

    Wasn’t it tempting to call Kelly Taylor’s club the Peach Pit Stich ‘n’ Bitch?

  44. LaurieM says:

    I’m not sure which is sadder: that someone thought this scheme up, or that someone will fall for it.

    Fortunately, I don’t hang out with either sort.

  45. M-H says:

    Oh god, it’s all so depressing. But of course no-one ever went broke underestimating you-know-what. Well, there/s always a first time – we can hope, right?