Socks Ain’t Business

Posted on January 14, 2007
Filed Under business | 4 Comments

There needs to be a better convention for blogging all the chain of a story as it reaches you. It always bugs me when everyone cites BoingBoing for things and ignore all the ways that they got the story. Let’s try this:

Yarn Harlot blogged this story which begat Majikthise which begat Teresa which begat Avedon where I read it. It’s a pretty shocking story to be reading in 2007. Blue Moon Fiber Arts has a sock club where a subscription gets you first a shipment of some schwag and then quarterly shipments of yarn particularly good for socks and patterns to knit. I know diddly squat about knitting but apparently this yarn changes color at a distance such that it automatically makes patterns in the sock as you knit it. This club costs $210 up front for all this, and was full to the point of having a wait list. So far so good, and it sounds like a good old American capitalist success story, no?

Well, the bank that accepts the credit card payments for Blue Moon decided this couldn’t possibly be real. They had a meeting where they sat down, had the business model explained and still decided the whole thing is a scam. All the women in the blogging chain note the element of misogyny in this. This woman owned company couldn’t possibly be generating all this revenue for this silly interest so they revoked their credit processing account and refunded all the already cleared payments! I’m not sure the size of the club, but imagine you are a small business and your bank decides over your objections and despite the evidence you present that your business is a fraud and thus gives back tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars you have already been paid. Un-fricking-believable.

I personally already understood the Crafter impulse. It’s the same as the Maker impulse, with scarves instead of robots. OReilly noticed both of these trends, that’s why they publish both Make and Craft. If I hadn’t I would have learned when I noticed dozens of people signing up with AmigoFish and then rating many of the dozens of knitting and crafting podcasts. Previously, I hadn’t noticed that any of them existed and I was surprised at exactly how many such shows there were. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that where there is such interest, there is money to be made.

Luckily, Blue Moon Fiber Arts seems to be able to survive this fiasco. They’ve moved their money to a different bank that is willing to accept it. Be careful kids, make your money in masculine ways or the good old boys at the bank won’t believe that you really made it!

Update: I missed the first step on the blogging chain. Sorry, how could I shortchange a blog named “The Yarn Harlot”?

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4 Responses to “Socks Ain’t Business”

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  1. julia on January 14th, 2007 10:35 am

    I didn’t link to the story, but I think Lindsay may have seen it when she followed a link to Yarn Harlot from my place – at least I’m h/t in her post, so I think that’s what must have happened. Yarn Harlot’s on my RSS feed, so that’s where it stops.

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  3. dave on January 17th, 2007 12:07 am

    Julia, I missed the Yarn Harlot link in Majikthise, whoops. That’s the downside of doing this with a bunch of unfamiliar blogs, the associations are not necessarily clear to the foreign eye in the 3 second skim. Thanks for the clarification.

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  5. Lindsay Beyerstein on January 17th, 2007 12:10 am

    Yep, I found out about Yarn Harlot and the sock club because Julia linked to a different YH essay.

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  7. Dalila on January 17th, 2007 11:28 am

    Dave, the Yarn Harlot is one of my favourite blog reads. Knitting. with Comedy.