And,  in the end…

I just couldn’t bring myself to sign the Interweave YarnFest contract for 2017.

Kudos to Interweave General Manager John Bolton for negotiating in good faith, and for keeping his word by including everything in the new contract that he said he would.

I agonized over this decision, wondering if I owed anyone (Interweave, the Internet, the crochet community at large) anything and therefore should attend no matter the cost to my business.At the end of the day, though, I cannot attend an event where there is a good chance that I will wind up making minimum wage. If I want to be poor I can stay home, and not fly to Denver to do it!

I could not make the travel budget cover my travel expenses if I wanted to stay in the show hotel. I considered staying elsewhere but the savings in hotel fees were eaten up by travel to/from the event, which is in an oddly isolated stretch of road, i.e. Not Walkable.

I looked at my attendance numbers from years past (remember I have taught both of the previous years of this event) and ran the numbers and at the end of the day, it just wasn’t worth the travel. The possible student gain I could have anticipated from there being two crochet teachers instead of three next time was offset by the fact that I have two years’ proof that my Thursday and Sunday classes were way under-attended. I know those could be travel days for anyone, but in my experience (which is all I have to go on), the crocheters just weren’t there on those days in any number.

I am sorry I can’t attend – I liked the vibe of the show, and truly enjoyed the group of students I met there. There were several I was looking forward to seeing again. And the marketplace is so wonderful – a terrific mix of vendors, including many you don’t necessarily see at the other large shows.

I do not know who is teaching crochet for ’17 but I wish them, the original teachers who signed, and especially the vendors all the best. Sincerely. Just because the event was not for me doesn’t mean it isn’t right for others. 

BTW – thank you ALL who followed along with #FairFIberWage in its various social media incarnations. While the contract didn’t work out for me, the increased travel stipend we negotiated is a big benefit to those teachers who did sign, and I don’t think we could have done it without your support.

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