Freakin’ muggles

You’re probably going to see this all over the knit-blog-o-sphere, and that’s exactly the way it should be, so astonishing is this story.

What follows is a copy of a letter that I received from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, home of Socks That Rock, the revered and esteemed handpainted sock yarn of so much acclaim. I got it because I am a member (last year and this year) of the Sock Club, where you send them some money and they send you several fixes kits, with yarn and a pattern to make fantastic socks all through the year.

What has happened, and I confirmed all of this in a phone call with Tina, is unbelievable. Blue Moon needs a bank to accept their credit card orders. (Be warned that when I run the world, banks will be in charge of far less…but I digress.) When Blue Moon started accepting orders for the Sock Club recently, the bank flinched.

They contacted the Blue Moon and questioned the possibility of this being an actual business thing. Blue Moon explained to them the concept of a sock club, and the bank held a meeting.

Now, I was not a fly on the wall at that meeting, but oh, how I wish I had been. Over the course of said meeting, the bank decided, with the business information of Blue Moon in front of them and the concept (and CASH) of a “Sock Club” laid out, that…..and here is the incredible thing… (Perhaps you should take a deep breath or sit down or put down your cup of tea.)

They decided that it was not possible that this many people could be this interested in sock yarn (I know…I know) and that therefore, considering the complete impossibility of this being a legitimate business concept (can’t you hear them? “This many people just can’t want sock yarn!”) that Blue Moon must be running a SCAM, and (holy moths I can scarcely type it) Shut. It. Down.

They rescinded Blue Moon’s ability to take credit card money (that’s right, a bank turned down money…) and (breath deeply) REFUNDED to customers all of the money that they had received for the Sock Club.

You ok?

I will assume, since I know that you are not stupid, my lovely readers, that I do not have to spell out for you what the emotional and financial consequences of a bank deciding to refund money to your last several hundred customers would mean to a business. Let’s just have a moment of respect for the fact that Blue Moon is still coherent at all.

Now, the ladies at Blue Moon (and they are ladies, so my sister Erin, owner of a small business and the lucky recipient of several inexplicable bank decisions herself, would like to take this opportunity to ask you if a bank would have done this to a group of men?) are a clever and tough bunch, and they have already fixed it. They have sent out a letter to all of their customers (and asked bloggers to help spread the word) explaining that they need to make sure that they have received a refund, and sign up again for the Sock Club…with the new bank, which seems to have no issues with accepting money.

That letter is below.

The ladies at Blue Moon also (and this demonstrates to me the depths of their class) have declined my offer to provide each and every one of you with the address of the bank and the Bank managers email address, so that you (ALL of you) could provide him with an expansive email detailing your feelings about sock yarn, his behaviour and the relationship between the two.

I would not have had that amount of class.

Knitters…say it with me. Freakin’ muggles. They have no idea who they are messing with.


Please read this for IMPORTANT credit card information.

The sign-up for the Rockin’ Sock Club 2007 has been a resounding success. So much so that our bank thinks we are running some type of elaborate yarn scam and is refusing to accept our members’ money! So, you know what they are doing? You are not going to believe this. They are sending all of that money back! Unbelievable and astounding!

Here are the details. Within the next ten days, all of you who signed up for the Sock Club by paying either $210.00 (domestic) or $240.00 (international) between December 31 and January 5, will be getting a credit back onto your Mastercard or Visa. It is the Sock Club only, all other yarn orders placed will go through and you will be receiving your yarn soon.

Do not panic!

Everyone affected by this incredible situation is guaranteed their spot through the end of January, including those on the wait list. After you receive your credit, just go to our website and use your same registration number to pay for your Sock Club (yet again). The website is temporarily under construction in order to install the new bank’s (who has guaranteed us they will have no difficulty accepting your money!) system. The site should be back in full swing in the next couple of days. In the meantime, you can view products and place phone orders.

If you have any problems, call or email us and we will gladly help. Keep in mind that there are a lot of you involved! It is going take us some time to sort through the mess the bank has so graciously created for us. Remember, those of you that ordered other products from the Blue Moon website during this period are fine. It does not affect your orders! It is the thought of a Club for knitting socks they cannot get their heads around.

This certainly is NOT how we envisioned starting the New Year, the launch of our website upgrade and the 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club! We cannot apologize enough for any inconvenience this causes you. To honor all of your dedication and patience, we are including a coupon in your first shipment to help compensate for this.

So, knitting comrades, we can choose to look at this in many ways (and believe me we have run the gamut on this one). Disbelief, shock, outrage . . . it has been a surreal experience for us. This is not just about us here at Blue Moon. It is about knitters as a group. We are extraordinary people. We have seen our power when rallied . . . large fundraising for great causes, KAL’s across the planet, and standing room only at knitting-related gatherings. Because of this, the Rockin’ Sock Club 2007 will prevail! We will have a blast and knit awesome socks that will be the envy of all nonbelievers!

We thank you so very much for your support, and community. There will be more (much more) to say about this saga in the first shipment’s dyer’s notes!

Our socks are still rockin’,

Team Blue Moon


phone: 1-866-802-9687


582 thoughts on “Freakin’ muggles

  1. Wow, How utterly useless of their bank to do so!
    I sincerely hope that Blue Moon removes all their business from that establishment. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Silly muggles! Didn’t our Knitting Olympics make the news somewhere last year? At the very least the bank should be sent an article about that, and about your incredible MSF fundraising. We are Many and we are very enthusiastic!

  3. Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln. Is the bank high? (No, don’t answer that. They’re too uptight to be high.) WTEverlivingF? I have no words that aren’t swear words.

  4. They TRUELY know not with whom they mess!! Have they not heard of Knitters Without Borders???? I’m still as stunned and speechless as I was when I first heard! Maybe we should start our own bank, er, credit union, building & loan – something! The Knitters International Credit Union!!! WHAT a concept!

  5. My jaw dropped when I got my email from Blue Moon. I am addicted to socks, and I’d gotten myself the sock club as a graduation present. I was so relieved to read that they found a way around the silly bank decisions. We are knitters, we are mighty!

  6. I really, REALLY wish they had given you an e-mail address so that your groupies could crash that bank’s servers letting them know just how wrong they are. It’s one thing if they haven’t heard about your recent fundraiser, but how about the knitting olympics? Anything? I want to see their faces as they drown in e-mails!
    It’s probably a good thing Blue Moon isn’t as petty as I am…

  7. I haven’t received my email yet, but am shocked at the ignorance of this bank. The confusion that the have caused is inconceivabe.
    Sock’s Do Rock, it’s Banks that don’t.

  8. I got that email yesterday and thought, Tina is probably having a heart attack, or laughing in some maniacal way. I couldn’t believe the idiocy of the bank.

  9. What a complete load of crap. Your sister hit it on the head with her comment “would the bank have done this to a group of men?” Being a lawyer myself, I immediately jumped on the potential for an unlawful discrimination lawsuit. Nothing makes people with money come around faster than the threat of having to part with it…

  10. Un-be-freakin’-lievable.
    May they never receive anything handknit for the rest of their lives.
    OK, I’m conflicted. I want to support Blue Moon, but am trying to stay committed to Knit From Your Stash. What’s a girl to do?

  11. Stupid bank. This is why knitters should rule the world. And I don’t even knit socks, although I might just start.
    Did I say stupid bank yet?

  12. Stephanie, I think that it is a tremendous disservice to NOT disclose the name of the bank. Businesses (no matter how big and powerful they may be) need to be able to receive feedback on their decisions. That’s how the market works. I know that the ladies at Blue Moon want to act with class–but this isn’t an issue of class. It’s an issue of those of us who don’t like that bank’s decision to be able to refuse to do business with them.
    So, if you don’t know the name, I’ll go email Blue Moon and help them see the light. ;o)
    P.S.) Could you at least send the bank manager a link to the video of your 5-minute thingie on TV about the Doctors without Borders donation drive? Now THAT would be something! lolol

  13. Oh, my aching head! What are they THINKING?!?? Turning down good, hard-earned money for a fabulous institution like the Sock Club because they “think” it’s a scam??? Where were banks during the savings and loan scandal?? It’s enough to make you sick. And just WHO do they think they’re messing with? “Just” a bunch of women. Grrr. Your sister is too right when she says they’d never do this to a bunch of men. It is indeed a pity that we don’t know the name and address of this “bank”, so we could re-educate them with a few thousand emails. When I get mad, I’m not much of a lady. Then my motto is “Get Even”. I’m glad you warned us, or many, many monitors and keyboards would have bought the farm. And I’m not so sure that this group of narrow-minded men is really a bank and not a scam themselves. What bank in it’s right mind would turn down MONEY???!!??

  14. They should go with a credit union where you are treated like a real person and your money is respected.
    Banks are unsavory at best.

  15. I REALLY want to know which bank that is. If it’s mine, I want to drop them. Man, what an insult. Those bank managers really need to know that their decision was not only a bad one business-wise, but completely inappropriate toward women in business and toward the craft of knitting.

  16. A woman-owned Oregon yarn store, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, came up with a great business idea — a sock-knitting club. Pay $210 online, and the store would send you several kits over the course of the year to knit socks with. The “Rockin’ Sock Club” was very successful, and the orders rolled in.
    But the bank that handled the yarn store’s credit card purchases saw something fishy. A woman-owned business, with people buying sock-yarn by the bushel?

  17. Thank you for running the letter. All the inside information in the world won’t make me understand the bank’s side of this story. A whole group of bankers didn’t have ONE person in their life who maybe let on about the knitting world today. All of my non-knitting friends know that something is going on. Men, women, kids, pets, they know, and have known for years because they get stuff from me and I tell them about the pattern I found online or in this great new book written by a blogger. I could go on and on. Unbelievable!

  18. WOAH.
    Did the bank do ANY research whatsoever?!?! There’s over 69,000 hits when you type in “Socks that Rock” at Google and over 16,000 when you type in ‘”Socks that Rock” review.’
    And over 1.2 MILLION hits when you type “sock knitting.”
    I’m stunned. They made a banking decision on NO research whatsoever.

  19. Freakin’ unbelievable! My mouth literally dropped open and stayed that way for a while when I was reading that! I can’t believe a bank (for cryin’ out loud) would be like that! Sheesh!! Thanks for the info, though. Hannah

  20. Oh my gracious! Obviously the men that are running that bank have been spending too much time in the vault and the money fumes have affected their brains! If I were those women, I would have gone to the meeting armed with my size 25mm needles. They would have thought twice about messing with the world of knitters after seeing those placed strategically on the board room table.

  21. That’s crazy. What is wrong with them?
    Not possessing the class of the ladies at Blue Moon, I want the bank managers address so I can mail him some sock yarn. Cheap sock yarn.

  22. Oh, fer cryin’ out freakin’ loud!! Banks can believe people would join some vomitous “Precious Moments” figurine club, or “Plates of the World” or “Snarky-Looking Fashion Dolls” club, but *don’t* think that sock kits are going to fly??!? Maybe they (the bank) should have done a little research on the Internet (or their local bookstore) before they did something that stupid.

  23. yeah , mail’em a sock, mail them our fund raising totals, then them them where to put it! I wish we knew the name of the bank, anyone get a statement yet with it on there?

  24. The name of the bank. We need it. If enough women take their business elsewhere it might give them a clue.
    I am not a member of the Sock Club because i am still struggling with my first pair of socks but I am furious at the bank. In the 1970s I could not finance a car in my name as I was a married woman and as such I had ‘no credit.’ That turned me into a raving feminist. Still a feminist but not raving. Knitting is good therapy.

  25. I have no words. Or, maybe just a couple.
    I think an excellent (and classy) solution to being smited by the bank would be to email the bank execs photos of completed socks during the next year. Along with letters explaining the joys of making/wearing/giving hand knit socks.
    Please! At least the name of the bank!! I haven’t boycotted anything new recently.

  26. I sincerely suggest they find a customer who is a lawyer and willing to send the bank a letter. The letter should threaten to sue. The gals should calculate the cost (man hours, coupons, fees, etc)and mulitply by, oh, say three or four. If the bank will not settle, threaten to publicize their idiocy. Send along some “Socks That Rock” reviews as an attachment. I GUARANTEE they will make an offer.

  27. Have you ever been so mad you ordered a sock pattern?
    mobishobel, you’re right! I haven’t finish my first pair of socks, so I forgot. I am working on the World’s Scratchiest Socks, out of Lopi Lite. Might be an appropriate present for, say, a bank manager.

  28. Obviously this bank (wish I knew which one so that I could boycott it) doesn’t know anything about the power of knitters. They’d be amazing at how much was raised for MSF… or that I’m going on a sock cruise.. or how many show up at Stitches events, etc.

  29. My second post and I’ve been ranting in my head non-stop since my first post. I want the name of that bank. Not to be all negative, but they need to know they messed up. Blue Moon and their amazing grace in this situation can’t stand alone between me and that bank. I only own one skein of STR, now .5 of a sock, but I want more and the idea that this happened blows me away.

  30. I have run-ins with banks all the time. Our society has clearly dropped the ball on this one. Banks (as well as other corporations) have way too much power. When banks are telling the government what to you, you know you’re in deep doo-doo.
    I hate banks. Banks are evil. Every man that works in a bank has a tiny member and is impotent. Any woman that works in a bank is seriously misguided and needs to be taken to a consciousness-raising group tout de suite.
    Banks suck!

  31. They really should disclose the name of the bank so that every knitter — both male and female (yes, there are some men out there knitting too) — can pull their business. That would truly make the bank sit up and take notice.

  32. I’m with Annalea – it is a disservice to the kniutter’s of the world not to know who these foolish MEN are. You can tell there is absolutely not one woman on their board of directors. Don’t know how US banks run compared to Canadian – but there would have been HE-double hockey sticks to pay up here!!!
    Even though I’m Canadian, have yet to knit a sock (starting this weekend with socks a la Harlot – Knitting Rules) and have not joined the sock club – I want to know so that I can spread the word to the numerous friends and relatives I have in the US. This bank should feel the wrath of knitters and non-knitters alike – they are making decisions without full research and knowledge. Not where I’d want to have my money sitting – what about you??? Come on Blue Moon – let us all help. Chris S.

  33. I heard about this from a friend yesterday, and still haven’t decided whether to settle on outrage (that a bank would be so irresponsible in making rash and objectively *wrong* decisions) or amused to no end at the thought of bank executives contemplating the popularity of sock yarn.
    Of course, we all now know that (those particular) bank employees have not yet heard of a little thing called Google. Seriously. 2 seconds of research, and they would have found their answer to whether this is for real or a scam:
    187,000 hits
    I mean, even if only 5 or 10% of those are pertinent to the search terms, it’s obvious that “JFGI” would have been sage advice, neh?

  34. Un-flipping believable. I think I know who the bank might be and if it is who I think it is I’m not happy 🙁 since I use them as well.
    Rock on Team Blue Moon

  35. How ironic since we were talking about the value of womens work the other day in my history of feminism class. I’ll be sure to bring this up. Thanks for letting us all know!

  36. Post the bank’s address and we will all write letters about it and they will be flooded with letters from (shock) knitters who (shock) knit socks!!!

  37. So the bank decides that Blue Moon is running a scam. By deciding that, they’ve also decided that we are all stupid enough to fall for a scam. Thanks alot, bank.
    I got this email, also, and was just dumbfounded. A bank turning down money. Wonder if Blue Moon is going to be fee’d to death over this.

  38. I’ve got to add my voice to this – Blue Moon should absolutely reveal the name of the bank. Thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls will help ensure they don’t do something this stupid again!

  39. Come to think of it – maybe all that needs to be done is e-mail a link to this page and let the lovely bank people read what we’ve already written. Of course a letter from a lawyer would be nice too, just as a reminder that people can’t be messed with.
    Oh boy – I’m on another crusade – stop me now – but not till I know the bank has been made to understand.
    Chris S.

  40. I read about this situation first on January One’s blog. Amazing. I’m so glad you wrote about it too because, well, this story needs to be told.
    I agree with the lawyer/knitter/commenter that suggested Blue Moon folks should consider consulting a lawyer… some folks who originally signed up and paid for the club may not sign up again (lost business). Blue Moon’s web site for on-line shopping is currently down – but taking phone orders (maybe more lost business ). I can’t believe a bank has the power to do this. If law enforcement was investigating Blue Moon as a scam then yes, maybe a bank should take steps to protect the innocent- but that doesn’t sound like the case here.
    I hope the national news gets a hold of this story….. Yes, in fact, –this sounds like a job for the Yarn Harlot. Please, Stephanie, contact those news-folks you were just talking to on Sunday…. They may be very interested in a story like this.
    … makes me so mad I want to pick up the phone and order Blue Moon sock yarn.

  41. This just blows my mind. And it completely supports the fact that bankers today are not like they used to be and customer service is a thing of the past. I applaud the ladies at Blue Moon for sticking with it and making great decisions. I wish there was something we could do for them to show our appreciation, since they won’t let us email those horrible bankers.

  42. This is soooo wrong!!!!!! Steph.. just send them the info of how much $ we raised for the charity… Show them how many hits your site gets… Steph… give us the name that refunds the $ to you…. We need to straighten out those men.. How dare they think knitters aren’t interested in socks! They probably buy all theirs at Wal-Mart!

  43. I was shocked when I got that e-mail. Now I know sometimes we are considered “backwoods” out here in the Wilderness of Oregon, but Portland is generally considered to be civilized 😛 I think the local sock knitters in Oregon should stage a protest in front of that bank! Anyone with me? After we dig out from the snow that is 😉 6 inches and still falling!

  44. Whoa. That’s… that’s just crazy. I can understand them doing that if they’d heard, say, complaints from people being charged for something they didn’t order. But just to say “this business seems too successful; let’s shut them down”? Ridiculous!

  45. Well, sock yarn *is* the drug of choice for many knitters. Googling “sock yarn” and “crack” yields a huge number of results. Very suspect.
    As a former employee of a couple of banks, I can say that they take fraud prevention very seriously. However, a very small amount of research should have satisfied the bank that STR is a legitimate enterprise. What I find astonishing is that the bank didn’t get down on their knees and apologize to STR. They should have begged STR to continue to do business with them. I hope some heads roll at the bank.

  46. Wow. I really agree with Annalea. This is not an issue of “class” but an issue of accountability. All too often people who are treated unjustly are made to feel that *they* are the ones out of line if they speak up about the injustice. And that’s what this is. Plain and simple. Rani23 gives good hard math about the legitimacy of this business, and that information is just as available to the people at said bank.
    I think that that bank’s decision should have natural consequences. It’s not about “retaliation” or not taking something gracefully. I — as many of you — don’t want to do business with a bank that discriminates against female-owned businesses, and their being able to make these decisions secretly only does *them* a favor. If a bank makes a decision, the bank needs to be able to handle the consequences of that decision.
    Add me to the list of people who feel a strong need to know which bank this is. It’s outrageous.

  47. Holy crap. As a sock yarn store owner, I haven’t encountered such horrible practice from my bank, thank GOD. But I do get questioning looks from Muggles when I try to explain what I do for a living, or what my store sells. Or I get “You sell YARN so people can knit their own SOCKS?! That’s all you sell?” Makes me want to scream.
    I really feel for the ladies at STR. Not only does their yarn rock, but obviously by how they have handled the situation, they rock too.

  48. I had a bank totally screw up my yarn shop dream once by a massive $12K mistake. Banks screw up.
    Here’s the thing, though. I never, not once, was questioned about my business plan or about whether a yarn shop was feasible after I laid out my business plan and market research. Why did that bank question it? They could’ve given Blue Moon a grace period to see if it worked. How odd.
    Their loss.

  49. Well, I am about as far from a business type as you can get. Didn’t it occur to any of the financial wizards at the bank to simply GOOGLE “sock yarn”? Really, it’s their big loss. Too bad for the Blue Moon ladies, and too bad for us they have so much class that we cannot harass their old bank!

  50. I got my email yesterday. I’m still in shock. This just sucks so much monkey butt it’s not even funny.
    The ladies have handled this very well. I can’t say I would have handled myself with as much dignity.
    I hope those small minded bank people hear the echo of their actions ’round the world from this.
    Freakin’ Muggles. :/

  51. This is so wrong on many levels. It’s really sad what this world has come to.
    Since I am on a stash diet and my only exception is sock yarn, BMFA will get the bulk of my business for the next year 🙂
    STR really does ROCK

  52. I’ve got to post again. Steph, we NEED the name of the bank. As has been said, they need to be held accountable for their actions against a woman-owned business. If your kid does something stupid, you hold them accountable or you’re not doing a good job of parenting. This is the real-world equivalent. Please, please beg the ladies of Blue Moon to release the name of the bank. There are probably thousands who want to withdraw their business from an institution that is so sloppy about doing research before they makw such a momentous decision, momentous for Blue Moon, that is.
    I’m so mad I could spit.

  53. Hello again. I just googled “sock yarn” (quotes are essential to get only the phrase) and got 940,000 hits. “Stipid bank” recovered only 16,600. We win again.

  54. I sincerely hope that Socks That Rock’s taking the high road about promoting an email campaign against their former bank is a cover for actual legal action. This has cost them time money, if not in sales, in the costs of redoing all of these transactions. And BigBank ought, if there’s any justice, be paying triple damages for this.

  55. I got that e-mail myself yesterday and finally realized why my mom left the banking business (though the real estate loan business is probably not much better).
    Cracks me up that the bank had a MEETING to come up w/such a lame decision.
    Off to check my bank account again to see if I need to re-pay or not.

  56. Steph, PLEASE tell the ladies at Blue Moon that they are doing a severe disservice to womanity by not making public the name of this bank.
    I, for one, would like to know if I have a credit card with that bank and, if I do, I shall immediately drop it.
    By NOT divulging the name of the bank they are NOT being ladylike, dignified or gracious, they are being foolish — this bank has seriously screwed around with their means of earning an income, has undoubtedly damaged their credit and most importantly, this bank could SERIOULSY screw another small business.
    Blue Moon, in totally real fact, has serious grounds for a major lawsuit, and they would be exceedingly misguided not to pursue this as a course of action.
    “Ladylike and gracious,” my rosy-red Irish arse. Blue Moon, it’s time to divulge the name so that the bank feels the pain. Of course I am not advocating some act of sock-terrorism. But every knitter should have the right to know the name of the bank so they may write a businesslike email or letter to the bank regarding the popularity of sock-knitting, and so the individual knitters may decide, as informed consumers, whether they wish to take their business elsewhere.
    It makes me pukingly sick that PORN SITES where people urinate on each other, dress up like monkeys or do perverse things with produce can get credit-card service (probably from the SAME FREAKING BANK) but women who sell SOCK YARN cannot.
    My humble blog only gets about 100 or so hits a day but I am SO blogging this and I am SO gonna break my knit-from-the-stash rule and JOIN the sock club (I will call it a birthday present to myself).
    Please, ladies: NAME THE BANK.

  57. I second the idea of getting everyone’s local news onto this, once they start investigating EVERYONE will know. Because what that bank did was just WRONG.

  58. Wow. You should show them the numbers for Knitters without borders. Even if a FRACTION of that liked to knit socks it would probably make their tiny little heads explode…
    MORONS. The good part of this is that they will be missing out on $$$. Karma baby…

  59. I do think they should indeed offer a nicely-crafted, politely worded form letter to their club members, to send to the bank in question. (It should be part of the package – after all, they were the ones directly affected.) And then I think they should give us enough hints for us to figure out who it is who made such a dumba$$ decision, and let the rest of us FLAME them on our own.
    I hope they lose big business now that Blue Moon has moved to a new, money-accepting facility.

  60. I just have to thank my lucky stars that this was caught and that the wonderful ladies at Blue Moon Fiber Arts have fixed it so quickly! To think, a bank thinks they can choose whether or not we want sock yarn that much….the NERVE!

  61. OMG this just backs up my decision to grow my business slowly & reinvest the money I earn rather than deal with a bank. The $ I spend on yarn are mind numbing when you combine what I knit for pleasure & what I knit & design for profit. The bank could have put them out of business with this decision I hope the ladies of Blue Moon at least send them all this reaction since they’re taking the high road & not identifying the bank.

  62. I am not a sock knitter to date. But I think I might be willing to learn so that I could knit one for the bank. Wouldn’t it be great if all the members of the club would knit one for the bank. OK, we could “Knit One For The Bank” and provide it for a charity. But of course we would really knit a pair!

  63. I put this same comment on Amy’s blog:
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if knitters, en masse, wrote friendly letters to this bank, not “nyah nyah, you lost the best sock yarn people in the world,” but something that says the same thing in a positive way: “wow, isn’t knitting great? and popular? we’re wonderful people, there are a lot of us, and we spend lots of money on fabulous yarn! have a good day now!”

  64. We were all muggles once…and in that phase might have rolled our eyes a bit at the idea of a sock club (I would have when I was a muggle just a few short years ago), just as we would at beanie baby and plate collectors. And if the bank had done the research, they would have seen the light. How about knitting classes for bankers’ spouses?
    Let’s hear it for credit unions!

  65. Amen to everything already said. And yes, I’m mad enough to order a sock pattern. From Blue Moon. Right now.

  66. Yanno, if someone were to think of a ridiculous club, it’d be something like the “Fishing Lures that Rock Club”.
    No one at said bank must be related to a handknitter. Did they even do a little research on Blue Moon?

  67. I think we should knit the people at the bank socks. Just to show them what the fuss is about.
    I love STR, and while I try and knit with other sock yarns, my favorite socks are always out of STR.

  68. Unbelievable!!! I hope the ladies at Blue Moon at least share your blog with the bankers. Maybe they’ll read the comments and understand the depth & breadth of their (stupidity) short-sightedness.
    If only the world (muggles) understood and appreciated us. Oh well, maybe someday we’ll run the world.

  69. Yeah, here’s a great way to get rich, scamming millions of dollars from unsuspecting losers: we’ll PRETEND to have a sock club!

  70. I have never posted here before, Ms. Pearl-McPhee. I greatly enjoy your blog, though, and I only read one other. (PS: I’m a newfie)
    To the team at Blue Moon: I can see that the damage is done, and I understand that you don’t want to pursue it, just put it behind you. But please consider that this kind of systematic discrimination against woman-owned businesses is still happening all around you, and that you have an opportunity to shine a light on crappy, unfair practices in an industry that certainly does seem to operate with a view of the world that does not give women equal status or opportunities.
    I am not a radical feminist, but I have worked for a non-political organization that helps “non-traditional entrepreneurs”. They made loans to women who have a hard time getting loans at “their husband’s” bank.
    What you have here is not an obligation, but it is an opportunity to make the world a better place by another tiny little bit. I hope you take it.
    Thanks for reading,
    Jacquie in Nova Scotia, Canada.

  71. My mouth literally fell open when I read this story. I truly want to pick up the phone and call this banker and tell him what a complete and utter imbecile he is. I would also like to find out what his hobbies are and ridicule him for a few days. I have never heard of anything so assinine!

  72. That is just mind boggling… The bank could have taken a very quick look at the regular sales for BMFA and very easily been reassured of the popularity of sock yarn. How outrageously dismissive!

  73. My mind croggled, too, when I got this email. The meatheads in charge of this bank really do need to be educated as to the realities of the knitting community.
    If the ladies at Blue Moon don’t want to publicize the name of the offending bank, they should at least print off the comments here (and quite possibly on some of the knitting forums) and send them to said meatheads.

  74. I certainly hope their reasons for not revealing the identity of the bank are so as not to compromise the financial settlement which it owes them. I hate to see women scuttle off politely with their tails between their legs when kicked around by power-drunk corporate males. This is an outrageous case of injustice fueled by incompetence. Count me on the side of angry, rather than amused.

  75. Given my recent experience with sock-resistant freaks (this one was a clerk in a yarn store – A CLERK IN A YARN STORE not diggin’ on the socks!!) this bank’s behaviour does not surprise me. There is clearly some kind of global sockspiracy happening here. But we will uncover and expose it, piece by piece. And WE WILL TRIUMPH!!

  76. I’m blown away….I’d really like to know the name of the bank so I, family and friends don’t do business with them – it wld be risky to be involved with such an unprofessional group. As well, I am positive there are women involved in that moronic decision. Muggles is too sweet a word to be applied to those short-sighted, myopic, self-centered, self-referencing, close-minded, bumpkin-brained, prejudiced, boorish bankers.
    How dare they impact a business in such a negative manner based on no research!
    So, gee whiz, for my part, guess I will join the yarn club, even though I haven’t knit a sock yet and had made a decision NOT to buy more yarn until the stash looked somewhat depleted. 🙂

  77. I was mad when I received my email. My time is precious and valuable. I now have to re-register and pay again, there maybe a difference in the rate of exchange between Dollars and pounds by the time I pay again. I want to sue that bank!
    Go on Steph, alert the media!

  78. I have to say I also think the name of the bank should be disclosed. Either that or they should be considering legal action. There have to be consequences for this type of behaviour. I cannot comprehend how this bank must operate if they did no research at all into the business of their customer or the market in which it operates before making a decision like this. They clearly are not doing their job correctly and someone (regulators??) need to know about it.
    Debsnm, I think you’re onto something. Why shouldn’t we start some kind of co-op or credit union, a micro-finance company that could make small loans to knitters to start businesses? It’s certainly something to think about.

  79. You know would show those Bankers (and they need to be shown)? Every one knit a pair of socks and donate them to a homeless shelter!

  80. No, really. PLEASE give us the bank’s name. Knitters could shut them down. That’s amazingly horrificly unbelievable.

  81. “The Man” probably thinks that the Rockin’ Sock Club is a cover – like Nancy Botwin’s “bakery” on Weeds!!
    And the sweetest payback will be when “The Man” realizes that this was legit and he’s lost a fucktillion dollars – this year and in perpetuity!! BWAA-HAAAA-HAAAA

  82. Wow! I am a college student without a job, so joining the STR club was not an option for me, although I really, really wanted to. I hope that something can be done for Blue Moon, whether it is legal action or a year’s worth of socks or just knitter’s opinion letters. Stupid bank is right.

  83. Holly Cow!! My feelings range from being extremely pissed off at the bank to laughter about how ridiculous it is to total astonishment regarding the power of knitters. A scam? HA!! I too, wish I had been a fly on the wall. Preferably sitting in the corner, knitting on a sock, so that whichever person at the meeting said, knitting socks is not that popular, I could poke their eyes out with my DPNs. I’m going to join in the chant, Name the bank!! I’d love to send them letters, socks yarn, pictures of handknit socks, DPNs, monopoly money, sock patterns…

  84. Obviously they have no clue. And they haven’t heard about our TSF contributions… hopefully no one makes MSF give back all the knitters’ contributions!

  85. Couldn’t you at least post the name of the bank, so that we could express our displeasure by pulling our collective accounts (if applicable) and taking them to another bank? That would send a message!

  86. I didn’t sign up for the STR Club, and have never bought any STR (I made the tragic mistake at Rhinebeck of arriving about 10 minutes after the gates opened) — now, of course, I want to, but I can’t, because Blue Moon is already besieged with phone orders and otherwise already up to their tuchuses in dealing with this idiocy.
    Did the bank think they were concealing some kind of illegal substance in the middle of each ball of yarn or something? Does none of the men (they must all be men) on this bonehead committee know a single knitter? The mind reels.
    I like Monique’s idea. I am also with all the commenters who said NAME THE BANK ALREADY.

  87. Beyond outrageous, beyond bizarre, and beyond scary.
    Especially to yours truly, poised on the brink of opening registration for yet another sock club, and wondering if the business world is prepared to permit it. Maybe we sock-clubbers need to develop a euphemism/code for such transactions – you know, the same way companies discreetly cloak purchases of, um, off-color merchandise in plain brown wrappers. Wait! That’s the answer! Instead of billing people for “Sock Club Membership,” make the line item read “X-Rated Videos.” No bank would argue with THAT, right?

  88. I’m not suggesting that anybody go through their old bank records — and Blue Moon has already made it clear that they don’t want to reveal the bank’s identity — but if you bought something from Blue Moon in the past and paid by check, the bank information would appear on the back of the canceled check. But since we’ll probably stay in the dark about who the bank is, nobody really needs to use this clue.

  89. OK – haven’t even finished reading all my fellow-knitters’ comments, but I have an idea. How about we all find something really scratchy and each knit a willie-warmer, send it to Blue Moon and let them forward them to the bankers. Secondly, I’m writing before finishing because I had to clean tea off the monitor screen and lie on the floor to regain composure after reading Bryn’s comment about the “Snarky-Looking Fashion Doll Collectors”. As a pathological anti-barbie person, I immediately adopted that into my vocabulary. Now I’ll finish the comments. (I make pathetic socks, but I, too, am tempted to join the Club!)

  90. Tyhank you for posting this news . i don’t belong to STR but I wiLL now. IT’s absolutely LUDICRIOUS that any bank would do such a thing without doing research first. Absolutely RIDICULOUS and mind boggling. I hope that those “”Muggles “” be they men OR women, that made this decision will all loose their jobs over it. Very sorry for the Blue Moon ladies and all the extra running around and work this has entailed for them. How do banks learn a good lesson over this if they don’t have some feed back from all the people involved. Stephanie –maybe this posting and comments should be sent to the HEAD of said bank. Good luck Blue Moon

  91. I also am hoping they will take legal action against the bank. I agree that the bank did not research their project at all, and have damaged Blue Moon’s business. I hope Blue Moon takes their own business seriously enough to stand up for themselves. I would also like to know the name of the bank, in case it’s a bank I do business with. I wouldn’t want my money handled by such incompetents.

  92. You have got to be freaking kidding. I am dumbstruck. Moreover, I am absolutely convinced that this would NOT have happened had the proprieters been men marketing the gun-of-the-month club. No, in that case we would have elected them to congress (here in the U.S. anyway).
    I hope Blue Moon consults a lawyer pronto–the bank should be paying for the interruption in their business.
    They think the same knitters that can raise over $120,000 in three days for TSF can’t each pony up a couple of hundred bucks for sock yarn? To a company whose fabulous products include a “Harlotty” colorway? Oh, I’d be quaking in my freshly-polished wingtips and boring store-bought socks if I were them.

  93. I’d love to see the bank get slapped with the stats on knitting that Amy Singer uses over at Knitty for advertisers. Maybe that would shut them the heck up. Of course what’s ironic in all this is that real money launderers and scammers are getting away while the bank dinks around with a legitimate and successful business.

  94. I haven’t read all of the comments, but the ladies at Blue Moon should wait until the traffic subsides, print out this whole page with the comments, and send it to the jackass bank/banker(s) involved, along with an edited (to conceal what details they don’t need to know) photocopy of their first statement from their new bank.
    Obviously I don’t know what bank was involved, but I can believe that if a few of the jerks that caused this mess had gone home and asked their wives if this much interest in socks was possibly for real, that at least one of them would have known and saved them from making total idiots of themselves.
    I do like the notion that they haven’t outed the idiots in order to bring legal action against them.
    With regard to Lori’s post about looking at the back of a check someone wrote to Blue Moon – they don’t have to be using the same bank for their credit card clearing, so don’t go by that.

  95. No. Research. At. All. :shakesheaddisgutedly
    Being gracious and ladylike should never mean bending over and taking it up the rear from idiots who run their businesses so poorly. They could have put Blue Moon out of business with their incompetence and they should pay for the time and energy Blue Moon will have to invest in fixing this.

  96. I think it is obvious that bank-muggles are more stupid than your regular run of the mill muggles in that most bank-muggles (and I do apologize to any bank muggles out there who are the exception) have no imagination whatsoever.

  97. I REALLY want the name of that bank so the word can be spread across the world not to do business with those stinking muggles! The NERVRE!

  98. I would hope, at the very least, the Blue Moon has taken ALL their banking business elsewhere. And I would love to be a fly on the wall when the people who decided this dumb idea made sense have to explain to their bosses why the bank just lost so much money. Because at some point they will.
    And a story in the local paper/evening news wouldn’t hurt.
    Rock on Blue Moon ladies, this will all be much better for you once the dust settles.

  99. This from my husband:
    What a terrible bank! On the one hand, you want to congratulate them on their ethics in looking out for a potential scam, but … good god do even a modicum of research and look what you have there… And how do you take a valued customer, who makes money off of knitting, and tell them there new venture (in knitting) must be illegal because you don’t knit socks, so why would anyone else want to join a club for it…???????????????
    (Apparently my calling Oregon and ordering a sock pattern didn’t faze him at all. Maybe it’s because he wants socks.)

  100. Ain’t that something?? I got my letter from Blue Moon yesterday as well. I just had to laugh!
    But the ladies at Blue Moon have handled the situation with dignity and aplomb. They have conquered, and the Rockin’ Sock Club will go on!
    SOCK KNITTERS UNITE!! We are mighty. =)

  101. I got the same email. I am a member… or will be? again, and I was FLOORED!!!
    I’m glad that We are Knitters, Hear us ROAR!!!

  102. Holy F+++. I typed it at first and then realized I shouldn’t since there may be people who would be offended by such language, but that was the only thing I could come up with to express how I feel. I wasn’t a member of the club before, but I sure as hell am going to sign up now if they aren’t over-flooded.

  103. Bank name. Boycott. Come on, can we play guessing games? BOA? Chase?
    I want to know which credit card to cancel. It will be sent back in little bitty pieces with a letter of explanation.

  104. please. i need to know which bank refused them.
    because if it is mine, i want to change banks.
    those freaking muggles. non-knitters make it so painfully obvious to spot them from miles away. across continents even, as you have painfully shown here.
    please. if you can convince blue moon to let you know, i want to make sure i am not supporting an institution of such questionable integrity.
    and your sister Erin hit it on the nose with–would this have happened if blue moon was run by men, rather than with women!!!
    thanks so much for this post. it really is amazing what the knitting community is capable of! knit on!!! :o)

  105. Incroyable!!!!! I am about to send your post to MY banker and ask if she knows anything about this. She has been particularly helpful for me over the past few difficult months and I want her to know how well she shines in comparison! Also, she might want to scout new opportunities!!! And I’m with Iris: send the old bank manager the evidence and, furthermore, write to the CEO with the evidence. Obviously not every banker graduates at the top of the class.

  106. This is the sort of story the news networks love for the quirky-human-interest puff piece at the end of a tough run of troops-going-off-to-war items. They would eat this up and fry the bank for us. We would have to suffer through all the cute trash about outraged grannies, but it would be so TOTALLY worth it!
    Quick, someone send this one to the Daily Show!!!!

  107. You can phone your credit card directly and request an itemized list of all transactions, then follow them from there. So where your statement says Blue Moon Fiber Arts, there could be the name of a banking institution beside it. Just a thought. Also, if you are feeling very vindictive, you could pay an internet search company for the info. You know we would bury them. Even if we have not joined the sock club, we would bury them.
    I hate banks. Hate them.

  108. This is why there are lawyers in this world.
    This business should sue this bank and its representatives and seek compensation for all the inconvenience, losses and the fact that they could have had their reputation ruined by this bank.

  109. I, too, received this letter from BMFA and was dumbfounded at what those poor gals must have gone, and are still going, through. Having owned a small business for 22 years before I pulled the pin (fighter pilot speak), I can assure you that banks can be the very bane of your existence. How I wish we could all inundate that bank with emails and pictures of our sock yarn. Mine takes up an entire bedroom, and I have not intentions of stopping there. Bless their Blue Moon hearts. This just makes me want to support them all the more. Stupid, stupid muggles!

    ((Well, maybe not so, since banks don’t make much sense nowadays when they charge you to talk with the teller!))
    I say, let us loose upon the scallawags, and bring forth their email!!
    I don’t have a problem bringing myself down to their level — what goes around comes around, and they brought this down upon themselves.

  111. *blink*
    I know the adage says that you shouldn’t attribute to maliciousness that which can be explained by mere stupidity, but . . . I mean, *can* this be explained by mere stupidity?
    Here’s my theory: the officers of the bank are all coke fiends. They spend their days managing finances and dealing with the high-power, high-paying people of the world so that they can get their high salaries and support their nose-candy addiction.
    That is why, when they saw that one of their clients, a YARN STORE, was arranging for pre-set shipments of BALLS OF YARN, their feverish little brains said “AHAH! It’s a drug-smuggling scam!” And promptly took a course of action which only a drug-addled nincompoop could.

  112. No. Flippin’. Way.
    My mouth is hanging open in total disbelief. Idjits. Blue Moon rocks!

  113. Ok, so Blue Moon is classy enough not to post the bank’s address, but we really do need to know the name — as a public service to us all — so we can boycott said bank. I know I certainly want to protect myself from their idiocy. I promise I won’t write them, but I wouldn’t want to accidentally use them. For anything.

  114. I don’t knit. But I do bank. I must agree that this is one of the most ridiculous business decisions I have ever heard of (and I work for a business that deserves many awards in that department) but I have to say a lot of you are making an equally sexist assumption that banks are run by men, so that explains it. There are plenty of women bankers around and stupidity knows no gender.

  115. Being ladylike is not the way to go here, at all. I don’t advocate pettiness, but there’s a serious problem here: a bank seriously damaged the operations of a legitimate business and this was done through incredibly discriminatory practices. This is grossly unacceptable corporate behavior. Blue Moon should contact local media, report the bank to federal investigators that certify banks to operate legally, and initiate a lawsuit (both for the lost business and for the discrimination).

  116. Unbefreakinlievable.
    Would the bank have trouble believing that a group of *men* might spend $200/year on, say, fly-tying equipment?
    I don’t understand the cult of sock-knitting, really, but I know it exists. Did the bank not have computers, on which they could see all the pictures and remarks about the pretty socks people knit by hand? Are they unable to read all the commentary about spending the grocery money on sock yarn?
    The folks who run Blue Moon should sue.

  117. If we ever find out the bank, screw writing to the bank manager(s). They’re just branch flunkies. Don’t use the bank’s generic complaint/feedback email addy or website comment form, either. Go straight to where it’ll hurt: the CEO, President, Board of Directors and – VERY IMPORTANT! – the in-house Advertising/PR Department. If you have to choose only two, make it the Board and the head of the Ad/PR Dept. I used to *work* in an S&L’s Ad/PR department, back in the days you’d get premiums for making deposits. People with $10-$20K in CD’s would call the Ad/PR dept. over silly things like the fact they hadn’t gotten a full 8-plate set of dishes because they were short $200 of the required amount of deposit, and they were unhappy about getting only the 6-plate set. My boss would bend over backwards, send them a groveling letter (I know; I was the one that typed ’em [g]), and let ’em have the damned 2 extra place settings. Or whatever. 😉 Ad/PR departments are the ones who gently explain to the bigwigs exactly how important the goodwill of the customers and potential customers *is*. And how horrible bad PR is. They’ll cringe at the first mention of this. They’ll need new underwear if they start getting more than 10 letters, even from non-customers. After all, non-customers are *potential* customers. Ad/PR people know the value of word of mouth. Or blog.
    Actual snailmail is even better than email. Banks are conservative, even moreso than TV bean-counters, and TV used to figure people who wrote in about shows were more serious than those who phoned. They also figured for every one letter they got, there were 10 people out there who couldn’t get around to put something in the mail, no matter how pissed off/happy they were about a show being renewed, cancelled, whatever. The TV biz has finally realized the importance of email, but banks, well… They could still be slow. 😉 Besides, you may not be able to email the head honchos direct. But snailmail, ahh… A live person, even if it’s a secretary, *has* to deal with that, and they can only go so far with canned responses. Sooner or later the numbers will be large enough to get through the defenses and hit the desk of Someone Important. After which the excremental byproduct will hit the revolving blades.
    Plus there’s also your local paper’s financial desk, the Wall Street Journal… really, any media contact. Sure, it may not be a local story, and we don’t know the bank, but gee – reporters *find out stuff*. Heh. And although it might cost a fee, I’m wondering if those of you who got refunds could simply ask your own bank which financial institution that refund came through. If that info won’t eventually show up on your bank statement anyway. I don’t *think* that sort of info would be for bank usage only; I’m pretty sure you have the right to demand your bank give you that information on any transaction through your account. And they sure can find it out; that’s what all those dratted numbers on checks and everything are *for*. Then you’ve got the culprit.
    The Blue Moon ladies might be gracious. *I’m* evil-minded. I most sincerely hope this gives some ideas. [vbeg] (Plus I’m an Oregonian knitter and this is a matter of honor, even if I can’t afford the Sock Club, dammit. It’s a genius idea, and I hope to join one day. My bank is one of the three most likely culprits, too, so, you know… Freakin’ bankmuggles.)

  118. Gads. I want to know the name of the bank too because, quite frankly, I want to make sure I’m not doing important financial business with an organization that makes critical operational decisions without doing research (and it would have taken very little to find out the reputation Blue Moon has and the success of their product to the extent that they have people clamoring to join their sock club).
    I don’t need to crash their servers, but seriously, I don’t want them handling my money, or my mortgage, etc.

  119. Alert the media! Oregon has several local news stations. If they are anything like the ones in my area they will do all the nessarary investigative reporting to blow the cover off the whole affair. It could result in the firing of an incompetent bank manager… but stupidity should not be rewarded!
    I don’t want to do business with a bank which deals in incompetence. I want my politicians and my bankers to be smarter than I am, and this bank needs to know that.
    As soon as the furvor dies down and there is an available phone line, I will be calling to order some sock yarn too!

  120. Yep… I couldn’t believe it either. I’m waiting for it to clear my bank and if I am missing money due to exchange rates, I will be asking BMFA to give me the information to their ex-bank so that I can ask for them to refund it!!!
    And no, this would not have happened if it were a hardware store having a tool-club going!!!
    Cheers Eva

  121. I was amazed when I received the e-mail. I e-mailed Blue Moon to see about sending my payment over the phone, but they instructed me to hang tight and wait for the new website. Apparently, their phone lines are so jammed that the phones die around lunchtime. Those ladies are made of sterner stuff than I.

  122. Ya’ll are great. ‘Tis I, the Blue Moon Fiber Art’s web devloper. I have been practically living at the Blue Moon Fiber Art’s home base in Scappoose, OR, since this ordeal went down. Thanks for your encouragement and support! It really helps us out. Look for the relaunch or the shopping cart in the next several hours.

  123. I am totally amazed at this turn of events. Having just started my third sock WIP (I’m new) I can’t imagine what the shopping habits of the HARD CORE Sock Knitters must be like.
    Kudos to whoever is was that said “f$#ktillion” because I actually snorted at my desk, which then threw me into a coughing jag, which sent me dashing to the bathroom before I wet myself.
    Also, whoever said that “Muggles” was too nice of a word…and then supplied numerous appropriate words…again…I laughed. Out loud. And got weird looks.
    I have always wanted to get some STR, and this is just the push I needed!
    We need to support our own community, because it’s obvious that the Muggles aren’t going to! 🙂

  124. Well, this is what they do… a year ago someone got into my business bank account and appropriated over $3,000 of my business funds to themselves. My bank told me that it would take 6 weeks to refund the money back to me, so my then fiance loaned me the money so I could pay my bills. We decided to run it through my credit card system so I would have money quickly in the account. WITHOUT TELLING ME they refused the funds because it was so much more than I usually deposited. Within days, I had bounced over $2,500 worth of checks. When I called the company to complain, they berated me, called me a LIAR, and told me it was illegal for me to run anything through that wasn’t strictly income, and that I had to find another way to put funds into my account. When I told the person who was so UNBELIEVABLY rude to me that I hoped someday that she would experience the same thing and be treated thusly, and that she would have to go through what I was going through, she said, “What a HORRIBLE thing to say! How can you wish that on anybody!” Hello?
    These credit card companies and banks, no matter what they say, could care less about small businesses. Seriously, find out who the bank is and refuse to do business with them ever again. You may feel it has no impact, but it does!

  125. Tell them to keep the bank’s name to themselves. And sue for damages. If nothing else, they should recoup all expenses for processing charges the first time around (businesses pay a fee so that you can use a charge card), accounting and other time spent handling the mess, etc. They should also keep track of who doesn’t sign up the second time around and the bank should compensate them for lost business.

  126. All of you are right and frankly the women things is not that far from the truth.. I have worked in advertising for 16 yrs – on beer, cars AND banking – and the banks top it off.. They are the most conservative and frankly I would be GLAD to send them a letter about the way they handle business… and the fact that they underestimate the power of Internet in our yarn endeavours… And these are the guys spending “tons” of hours having meeting about Internet and how to get clients, etc.. SHHHHHHHH

  127. So in October, when I started dating my muggle, he was shocked that someone my age – 36 – knit. Then in November I mentioned that I heard there was a great yarn store near him. He said he’d walked past it before and laughed to himself that they wouldn’t be in business long. “After all, how many people knit these days?” I’ve since reformed him enough to get a gift card from said store. One muggle at a time, we’ll reform the disbelievers!

  128. What a bunch of knitwitless bankers! Someone should send them Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to a Pair of Socks!” Thank goodness poets know better.

  129. I can’t believe this happened to them. I’m a-going on the waitlist for the sock club.
    I bet that the waitlist is rapidly expanding as this blog entry ages.
    Proof positive of the lure of sock knitting, and the lure of BMFA.

  130. Here’s the plan. We find out who the bank is, we ask every knitter out there to knit at least one sock, and then send them all to the bank. It will only take two weeks at max. I know. I asked for 280 knit stockings last year for Operation Holiday Stockings 2005, and got 790 in two weeks. I asked for 800 this year and got over 1700. Knitters unite, knit the socks, and then overwhelm the board with knit socks. We love knitting socks, and we get results.

  131. Anybody know exactly how many people pre-registered and then how many people are affected? I’m one, but am curious — are we talking hundreds or thousands?

  132. I’d never heard this poem. Beautiful!
    Oh yeah, bank name, Please.
    My $$ belongs elsewhere, like at BMFA.
    Ode to a pair of socks
    Maru Mori brought me
    a pair
    of socks
    that she knit with her
    shepherd’s hands.
    Two socks as soft
    as rabbit fur.
    I thrust my feet
    inside them
    as if they were
    little boxes
    from threads
    of sunset
    and sheepskin.
    My feet were
    two woolen
    in those outrageous socks,
    two gangly,
    navy-blue sharks
    on a golden thread,
    two giant blackbirds,
    two cannons:
    were my feet
    They were
    so beautiful
    I found my feet
    for the very first time,
    like two crusty old
    firemen, firemen
    of that embroidered
    those incandescent
    I fought
    the sharp temptation
    to put them away
    the way schoolboys
    fireflies in a bottle,
    the way scholars
    holy writ.
    I fought
    the mad urge
    to lock them
    in a golden
    and feed them birdseed
    and morsels of pink melon
    every day.
    Like jungle
    who deliver a young deer
    of the rarest species
    to the roasting spit
    then wolf it down
    in shame,
    I stretched
    my feet forward
    and pulled on
    and over them
    my shoes.
    So this is
    the moral of my ode:
    beauty is beauty
    twice over
    and good things are doubly
    when you’re talking about a pair of wool
    in the dead of winter.

  133. Steph: I have submitted this as a story idea to National Public Radio in the US.
    This bank WILL get “outed” if NPR picks up the story.
    Knitters: please do the same so NPR doesn’t think I am making this up. Enough requests for an investigation into this will certainly get their attention.
    go to
    Scroll down the right-hand column to where it says, “submit ideas”
    Tell them in approximately 200 words that a small, woman-owned American business got screwed over by their bank. You may link them to YarnHarlot to read all the details but please say that Blue Moon is an American business, to have more story interest.
    Also give them Blue Moon’s phone number and address:
    Blue Moon
    56587 Molohoen RD.
    Scappoose, OR 97056
    Now get going!

  134. Living well is the best revenge. Every single person who posted a comment here who has a blog should post the story on their blog, whether it’s knitting focused or not, and ask their readers to post the story on *their* blogs. Most importantly, though – everyone who can afford to do so should *buy* something from BMFA (and ask their readers to do so). Non-knitters can buy stuff for knitting friends. Imagine if BMFA doubled their sales, and was able to deposit all that money in their NEW bank? That would be the best ‘F$%k You!’ to the old bank (whose name I would also like to know). Now I just need to learn to progress beyond my garter stitch scarves and knit socks . . .

  135. UNF—ing believable, I just reported all this suspicious subversive activity of sock knitters to Stephen Colbert to investigate, we must nip this thing in the bud!!!!

  136. I agree with all that say we NEED to know the name of the bank. It’s our right to be able to respond to businesses that make decisions we disagree with. If it is my bank; I’ll remove my accounts (and that’s not too piddling)

  137. I didn’t read the other comments so perhaps someone has suggested this but at least the bank should be directed to this post and all the comments therein. Maybe with links to every blogger that has ever been shown holding up/wearing a pair of handmade socks.
    What a fine example of ” I don’t know anything about it so it can’t be true”

  138. I think that all the members should send one pair of socks to the bank people. Then they’d get it.
    this is the most hilarious thing i’ve read all day!

  139. I HAVE included sock yarn in my “knit from stash” resolution, but I’ve made some other exceptions. Stupid banks will have to fall into that exception. So order from Blue Moon soon is on my “to do list”.
    I likewise don’t have their class – I’d have made sure their e-mail system went down with the volume of protests! Well, guess that wouldn’t do anything but teach them how stupid they are. The ladies at Blue Moon are classy and smart – “fix it” is the best option. Take business elsewhere serves the first bank right. I hope this really costs them, though.

  140. I have to add my vote that Blue Moon fill us in on the name of the bank — knitters, especially those of us who are working for new knitting businesses (and there are a lot which have opened up in the past 5 years) want to know if our bank is anti-knit!

  141. Mother of GOD! We had a bank here nearly fail when some cash checking outfit turned out to be kiting millions in checks for YEARS, and yet this bank turned down perfectly good money because they didn’t think people bought sock yarn? Did they say – golly, what a good idea you ladies had, look at your money coming in – no, they said, what are you selling – it must be illegal!?
    They could probably get the doll of the month, or the screwdriver of the month, but socks? Fools!
    For MONTHS, MONTHS I tell you, I have been resisting the Socks that Rock club on the grounds that I could knit socks from what I have for a year, and make little headway. But, now I am so freaking tempted to go wait for the relaunch and spend like a fool. We so need the name of that bank….and it better not be the freaking national bank that is buying my local bank because my money will be walking down the street to another local bank if it is.
    Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What morons! Reminds me of the time the quilters picketed the Smithsonian it’s that dumb…… (man, did you bring the Irish out in me or WHAT!)

  142. It’s me again. Just sent this link as a news tip to the Oregonian.
    If you order from BMFA or just want to post a letter of support, I just made a space on my blog for it.
    Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop hanging out on the Internet….

  143. PU LEEEZE – What is the name of the bank? I am a big believer in voting with my dollars and would hate it if I was inadvertently doing business with muggles like this… I’m ready to become a member of socks that rock and I don’t even know how to knit socks!

  144. I agree with many here. This bank made a poor decision, one which they should not be able to hide under a table. And Steph, if you do nothing else with all these comments, could you please at least let the ladies (and if we could the “people” at the bank) know that in the space of 2 hours and 30 minutes you have had over 160 responses to your blog. Such is the power of the internet that any banker should be looking at!!!
    I don’t do socks, I’m still knitting my first piece ever but this just has to have something done about it!!!!

  145. Holy Schnikes! How dare those morons! THey have the following:
    A. No Class
    B. No Intelligence
    C. No Hope
    D. No Idea that if perhaps someone got thier email addy that they would bombared with hate mail that they would realize thier mistake and buy us all yarn.
    just some thoughts.
    Freaking Muggles indeed Steph.

  146. Note to self: Do not read Yarn Harlot while students are quietly reading Ralph Waldo Emerson. It makes them suspicious of my already dubious sanity.
    I too received the letter! I still haven’t gotten the refund so I can only assume that the banking (morons) scoundrels are hindering my sock happiness and making $$ off my $$ as it is in their intrest-earning-evil-clutches.
    I vow vengence!!!! I WILL discover who these nefarious troglodytes are!!!!!

  147. I’ve emailed a reporter at the Oregonian, which is the biggest newspaper in the area, and suggested an investigative article about a local women-owned business’s problems with their bank. Steph’s blog entry and Blue Moon’s contact info included, of course.
    As soon as payday hits, I’m ordering yarn and patterns. If someone will post the bank info, I’ll knit a scratchy sock and send it with a politely-worded comment. They need to know what they’ve done.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of knitters, for they carry pointy things and know how to use them.

  148. I received a return email from Blue Moon. They have an attorney. I work for an attorney. Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ attorney most assuredly advised them not to name the bank, in case of a future lawsuit.

  149. Oh, and Stephanie? Unrelated to this post, but I seem to recall you mentioning that you were replying to each and every TSF donation to let people know their donation has been tallied. I sent a note about my donation at 4:51 on 12/23 and, well, if you sent me confirmation it may have gotten spam-filtered. So… where are you in the donation tally? I’m amazed at the total so far, and I’m really curious to see how much knitters have donated…

  150. OK, so I’ve done my new-blogger’s mite, for what that’s worth:
    It occurs to me that this could have a very nice silver lining for BMFA. If they were doing well before, just wait and see what business this wave of solidarity will bring their way! Good; that’s as it should be.
    I agree with Linda above that this kind of stupidity and butt-ignorance knows no gender.
    I also have to disagree with the suggestion of making socks for the bankers. Sure, it’s a clever idea and a high-road gesture, but they don’t deserve it, they wouldn’t get it, and they aren’t worth it – and we all have way better uses for our time and our lovely sock yarn.

  151. I’m sure my comment will get buried . . . but I digress.
    Since my profession is bank auditing and my hobby is knitting (socks are one of my favs), I never thought I’d see the day when banking regulations affected my knitting life.
    Just to put a few points to bed (IMHO). First, it is highly unlikely that anyone at the top (CEO, Pres, COO, etc.) was instrumental in this decision, and I highley doubt it was made at a branch level – this is an operations/monitoring issue. Second, banking is one of the highest, if not the highest regulated industries by the GOVERNMENT. The good ‘ol U S of A. The legislation keeps pouring down on bank’s and the fines have skyrocketed since 9/11. I am by no means making any excuses for the bank – I merely want to point out that there are likely circumstances over the bank that those outside the banking industry don’t know about and frankly could care less. Third, Blue Moon should kindly make this bank aware of the fallout of their decision – they obviously did not consider the impact and liklihood of their decision and have put themselves at great reputation risk (although Blue Moon is mitigating this risk by non-disclosure of their name). People mess up. People run banks and banks aren’t perfect. There are good, caring, community-run financial institutions out there – I would like to think I’m employed by one of them.
    I wished I’d subscribed to the RSC!!

  152. Candace! Blue Moon is in *Scappoose*?!? Yo! 1973 graduate of Scappoose High waving a mad hello from over here in east Portland!! (I figure the website is overloaded, and one of you guys will get back to Steph’s comments again, LOL. Thanks, Steph, sorry for, er, small hijack, here.) Geesh, wish Blue Moon had been around back then… Ok. Shutting up, must go blog about this myself.

  153. I nearly fell over when I received the e-mail yesterday! I’m still impressed that the ladies over at Blue Moon have handled it so gracefully. Makes me want to support them even more than I have in the past!
    As for the bankmen…I hope they never have the pleasure of putting a handknit sock on their feet. Serves them right!

  154. Like you, I am outraged at the behaviour of the unnamed bank towards Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
    The bank’s actions seem discriminatory, since they were taken without any research, not even a quick “Google”. Banks take the appearance of fraud sometimes more seriously than actual fraud; in this case, their response was high-handed, arrogant and an interference with a legitimate business without the benefit of facts or information.
    Banks are financial institutions, and as such, they must make all sorts of decisions which affect their bottom line AND their fiduciary responsibilities to their stockholders, as well as comply with governmental regulations.
    It is irresponsible of BMFA not to disclose the name of this bank. Businesses and individuals need to be alerted that they are also subject to high-handed, arrogant and completely wrong-headed actions by the bank. That a bank would knee-cap a business (ANY business, large, small, women-owned or otherwise) cannot be taken lightly, as it calls into question the bank executives’ skill, judgment and experience in handling financial transactions.
    Normally, I’m a sweet, loving, kind and forgiving person, but I would seriously consider removing my money from a bank whose executives had made bad decisions regarding the handling of financial transactions (their main business), exposed it to negative publicity, and possibly opened it up to expensive litigation. Heads should roll.

  155. I was absolutely flabberghasted yesterday when this e-mail in question made it into my inbox. This is my first year signing up. I have a sneaky suspicion that this Bank could probably squash them like a bug and BMFA feels that it’s not in their best interest to publish their name- I hope I’m wrong. However, we knitters can can certainly put it out there as someone has already suggested with contacting NPR. Freakin’ Muggles is right!

  156. I really, really, really want to know which bank did this so I can make sure not to do business with it…

  157. I wonder if this reluctance to reveal the name of the bank is another manifestation of women being reluctant to take pride in their work and insist that it is as valuable as any male dominated profession. Stephanie wrote so eloquently about that when she finished her wedding shawl and I think it made a lot of us think twice.
    This is a ridiculous business decision and the bank should not be shielded from the consequences. Therefore I think the bank should be named so people can decide whether or not it deserves their business. I am not in favor of sending socks. Don’t waste your time. They will just think it is weird.
    I AM in favor of publication in business settings, such as financial shows on the big networks. It really is a compelling story. The bank is so out of touch and so arrogant that it determines that perfectly legitimate business transactions are a scam just because the bank doesn’t get it and obviously didn’t try to get it.
    So, I say publicize the bank far and wide. Don’t bombard them with snide letters or e mail. But do let them know that you will take your business elsewhere and give them as much bad publicity as possible. It’s business.
    Betsy in Sacramento

  158. I just read this to my husband who agrees wholeheartedly that this business was totally done dirty. He also wants to see the name of the bank made known so that we can make sure to never do business with this bank as well. Making sure this story is added to my various blogs as well. This should not have happened at all.
    I too believe these women have legal recourse for what was done to them.
    Rock on Socks that Rock!

  159. I felt pity for STR when I couldn’t join the club, thinking it unfortunate that their server went down during joining month; then even more pity after I got the explanatory email yesterday. Their bankers are morons! I’m glad it’s going to be worked out soon (apparently we can re-enroll tomorrow!) so we can have a rockin’ sock year!

  160. Steph, I’m beggin’ you, post the address. I received a Socks That Rock subscription for Christmas (my husband being a muggled that Gets It.) and so I received that incredible email yesterday. We’ve got to do something to fight back–to let the bank know they were stupid and wrong.

  161. That bank MUST compensate Blue Moon for every minute spent fixing what they caused by their discrimination and incompetence. Thank you Dez for the npr addy, and thank you Stephanie for getting the word out! (Nothing like reading 150+ comments to calm down before starting to write my own.)

  162. One wishes that the anonymous bank were in a major metro area where, perhaps, a smallish contingent of ladylike persons, all knitting socks, could fill their lobby in an impeccably polite group one day …

  163. Could you imagine if this was a male-dominated hobby? “Oh, surely there can’t be *that* many people interested in watching grown men beat each other up! Let us not air Monday Night Football anymore.” I think not.

  164. I read this on a UK Knitting Forum and couldn’t believe it.. Someone there linked to you and I doubley astonished.
    A bank, not taking money???
    I have to admire them for trying to save us from ourselves, but really… this is so funny.
    A sock scam… I’m going to have to laugh and tell everyone I know that there was a ‘sock scam’!!

  165. Wouldn’t it be GREAT fun to just go in front of … whatever bank it is… and just sit ALL day long and knit socks without saying a word… Can we say CREEPY??!!!???
    They Might get it at that point! he he he

  166. I want to be in a sock club. In fact, I’d rather belong to a sock club than a bank. Maybe I’ll knit some sock and then stuff all my money in them.

  167. Perhaps this one is even more to the point.
    “We are so sorry, we cannot accept credit card payments for the StarTrek convention package you’ve been hawking. There certainly are not *that* many people interested in a nearly-failed-TV series from the sixties.”
    Do bankers ever get out of the office and sniff the wool?

  168. Blue Moon is located in Portland, OR, the primary newspaper is The Oregonian – how about sending this entire thread to them at

  169. I got this email yesterday and it ‘blew me away’ … which seems to be the reaction of every sock knitter in the world I’m sure. Does a bookstore chain refuse to carry your books because it’s just too hard to believe that people are interested in BOOKS about knitting. Not knitting patterns but … KNITTING? To give back money when people were not even complaining about unapproved charges is just … just … just unheard of. Whoa!!

  170. I wonder how long it takes to design, knit and name a sock after the bank that caused all the grief? Maybe we could $ signs with slashes through it or something into the sock. We could knit them 1 sock (they don’t deserve the entire paire) and have some fun flinging those through the mail! There is a certain office supply chain that I avoid because of their stupid knitting ads. I am an office manager and when they called and tried to drum up business I told them that I really wasn’t interested. They wanted to know why. I told them that I was a knitter and that their Christmas ad really hit home with me. There was a very long silence on the other end of that phone!

  171. The reporter from the Oregonian says that their Business section staff have jumped on the story. I’ll let you know when I hear more.

  172. The “Do Not Panic” part was especially important to me as I hyperventillated while reading this email before my morning caffeine. I do not like recieving emails that tell me that banks don’t think I want sock yarn. Bastids.

  173. I have owned a small business and know how strange banks can be. I was initially outraged by this and wanted to:
    1. Send bank hundreds or socks
    2. Email every knitting blog address in the universe to bank
    3. Email to NPR and whatever Canadian equivilent is.
    4. Immediately enroll in the Socks that Rock club.
    But after reading so many posts, I think no matter what we think, this a business issue between Blue Moon and the bank. If their lawyer has asked them not to reveal bank’s name, we must respect their decision to do so.
    I will follow up on #4 however.

  174. When I got my mailing from BlueMoon yesterday I, too, was appalled. Who ARE these people? I really REALLY want to know what bank this is.

  175. Here’s my thought. (after I closed my mouth from the shock).
    We should all knit mini-socks (just one each person) and send them to the bank. It uses up our scrap wool, we don’t waste good sock yarn on freakin’ muggles, and they won’t have any idea what to do with thousands of little socks.
    And our (double)point will be made QUITE clearly.
    Freakin Muggles.

  176. So… I’ve just read this to several of the men who work for me. They’re floored too, and they don’t even knit.
    Reminds me of the time Visa shut my credit card off because someone was using it in Ireland and they couldn’t reach me at home… because I was in Ireland.

  177. I sent a link to your blog to Keith Olbermann at MSNBC, with a recommendation to find out what bank it was, and name it Worst Person in the World. As I said to MSNBC, the bank deserves payback for the humilation and loss of business it visited on Blue Moon.

  178. Carol H., if we designed a sock in honour of these bankers, it would be nothing but heels!
    I crack myself up.

    Obviously, those bank employees have never known the joy that is a hand-knit pair of socks. It is our duty as knitters to slap them upside the head with some.
    Er…or just, you know, re-join the sock club and laugh quietly as we knit amazing socks.

  180. The bankers don’t deserve the hand-knit socks; they just need to hear how much we love them. I hadn’t joined the STR Club, but my birthday is imminent, and it would make a lovely gift to myself.

  181. As someone who is also selling handpainted yarn and banking in Oregon (Wells Fargo), I REALLY want to know the name of this ridiculous bank. A decision like that would put me and a lot of other small farmers and business owners right out of business. We’re so lucky Tina is able to continue on, let’s do what we can for her. Knitter’s UNITE!. And just for the record, I agree that this is a blatant act of sexism, there is no way they’d do this to a group of men.

  182. Each and every sock knitter should send them e-mail pics of socks that we’ve knit. How hilarious would it be if we crashed their e-mail server thingies? (I’m sooo technical!)
    I want that address!!

  183. D@mned fools. (The Bank Which Must Not Be Named, that is.)
    I want to know _which_ bank. If I have an account with them, it’s time to move on.

  184. I’m fascinated. That bank should really check with the bank that decided to carry Blue Moon and see what kind of business they missed out on.
    One single knitter in that room could have changed all of their minds. I mean, wasn’t it STR that nearly caused a stampede at Rhinebeck? I haven’t even *been* there, and I know that!
    Plus, duh, with leaving sock yarn out of Stash Busting plans over and over… that certainly lends creedence to the addictivity of sock yarn.
    Also–did it occur to any STR Club Member to check his or her credit-card receipt for the bank name? Hm? 🙂

  185. Oooohhhh! I wonder what colours will be in the new “SCAM” Colourway?? Maybe they could do one in the (evil) Bank’s name. Now THAT would be classy. A wee bit changed of course, to protect themselves…
    If someone has already said something like this I apologize but just couldn’t read through all the comments and stay sane.

  186. Silly muggles…
    The great thing is that there’s another bank to take their money. Can you imagine if there was only one bank in their area?
    A friend of mine does micro-finance work in India, where $200 means an entirely new business. If you google it or watch the Oprah micro-finance episode, I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of good ideas and work being done to help out really small business. I doubt my friend says “how many people could really want hand made baskets” or “those sandals won’t sell”. And if he comes across yarn, well, he knows that there are a lot of knitters out there. He better finance that and send me some!

  187. So I didn’t read all the comments to see if anyone else had suggested this. But as an alternative to an e-mail onslaught (which does sound fun in my opintion), what about making the bank president (or whoever there made the final call to deny the Sock Club money) a pair of hand knit socks?
    I have to say that I’ve seen at least one Muggle stop questioning my yarny leanings after trying on a pair of lovely handknit socks.

  188. OMG… say it isn’t so! Of COURSE people want SOCK YARN! Heck, I’m building my own business on that premise — sock yarn of the month is a way to buy six skeins of sock yarn and get a 7th for free from Knitivity. I hope Blue Moon and everybody else is able to convince that bank to wake up!

  189. In a world where credit card scams run rampant, I understand the bank putting on the brakes temporarily, but this is not a deep, dark mystery. Google “Socks That Rock Sock Club” and see what comes up, oh, un-named bank-of-shame. Then, perhaps, get in touch with one or two of the folks whose credit cards you have numbers for and have them confirm it for you. Minor steps, all do-able in a short while, far less time than it took to take the charges then refund the charges. (And they’d better not charge Blue Moon the percentage fee that happens each time you charge or REFUND a card!) Asking the question is all good since an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. But to not do some very simple research to get the proper answer? Just bad business, Sir or Madam Bank Manager. (Fellow knitters, we shouldn’t be so quick to blame the men; I encounter women in business who can’t think beyond the Blackberry, too. This isn’t a sex thing–it’s a lack-of-curiosity/experience/common sense thing.) End of rant. Thanks.

  190. I’m confused, WHY do people think it’s a good idea to spend money (on sock yarn and postage) and time (I can’t knock out a sock THAT fast) to send socks to a bank? Why should they be rewarded with handknit socks? I guess you could cut out socks from construction paper and send those to make a point, but I wouldn’t give idiot bankers the pleasure of handknit socks.
    I can’t wait for this to hit the national media, it’s just crazy enough that I’m sure it will. I also think the bank wouldn’t have done this to a hobby-related business owned by men, like a model rocket club.

  191. I respect BMFA’s need to keep the name of the institution quite so they can pursure legal action. However, when the name becomes known, as it eventually will, I will enjoy seeing the flood of customers out that bank’s door. And I really, really, really want us all to knit a pair of beautiful wonderful socks and send them to the bank so that they can learn to appreciate the need for sock yarn.
    Oh, and I am going to join the sock club.

  192. Holy Christ. Those women have more class than I. When I read what the bank had done, I immediately jumped to the end of your post to find the bank’s address for the piece of my mind I wanted to send, and was disappointed not to find it.
    If I could, I’d love to donate some time to helping the ladies of Blue Moon sort through this mess. Yikes!
    I’ve never done the Sock Club. A bit too dear for me in the past, but I’m sorely tempted to add myself to the waiting list now.

  193. I think I’m going to have to make an exception to my ‘Knit From Your Stash’ pledge, and buy some yarn from Blue Moon (my exception did not include sock yarn, since I have yet to knit a single sock yet have a basketful of sock yarn).

  194. I agree with many others–there isn’t anything noble or classy about withholding the name of the bank. I want to be absolutely sure that I do NOT do any business with them and that includes even an emergency ATM trip where they get my $2 for a cash withdrawal. (Note, I think Blue Moon is being classy in how they are working to correct this with customers, but the bank name is completely different)
    Love the NPR and local news ideas.
    I personally wouldn’t waste my time or yarn in sending the bank a sock. If I wanted to make a point, I’d take pictures of handmade socks but c’mon folks, who in the world is LESS sock worthy than that bank?! Call them, write them, call the CORPORATE office and complain, but don’t spend your precious personal time *making* them something.
    Sock yarn *is* excluded from Knit From Your Stash (if you’re using Wendy’s rules). 🙂

  195. I add my voice (to the thousands, I’m sure) to say “Unbelievable!” It’s one of my highest ambitions to knit socks, and I would have loved to get a Sock Club membership for Christmas. I’m kinda glad now that Mom said it was too expensive.
    It’s like a blow. Not possible … interested in sock yarn? Do those words belong in the same universe?

  196. If you can’t give us the banks’ name, could you at least let us know if it is a big multinational bank or a small local one?

  197. I think we could easily validtate the reality of a great market for sock yarn by
    (1) as another posted earlier, sending pictures of our sock yarn stash
    2) sending them a token hand-knit sock (or two, or ten or …) to make them realize just how stupid they really are.
    Now, if we only had an address for the general customer service of said bank….

  198. Actually, with all due respect to Blue Moon Fiber Arts, I’m highly suspicious if they don’t give the name of the bank involved….because this IS unbelievable!
    In any case, I’m glad that it has all been worked out now.

  199. Hmm, what would Elizabeth Zimmermann do?
    Maybe make wonderful STR socks and send them to the SMART bank.
    OK, I really am logging off for now.

  200. Since we don’t know the name of the offending bank, why don’t we contact the Oregon Bankers Association and ask them if this is standard policy for banks operating in Oregon. Help get the word out to the banking community that we as women and as knitters expect fair treatment under the law.
    Contact: Oregon Bankers Assoc.
    Linda Wilhelm Navarro, CEO

  201. Someone should post about this to Metafilter ; writers for mass media read there to get the latest scoop on what’s happening on the Internet… this is certainly worthy for them to know and write about.

  202. I’m a firm believer in honey rather than vinegar to catch the fly. While flaming the bank’s web site and/or dumping a gazillion socks on the front door step would be great fun….the constructive thing to do, I think, is to hold our collective (and mighty!) fire until Blue Moon let’s us know what THEY want. They are, after all, most directly effective by the bank’s action.
    Having said that, I look forward to their filing a suit (against the suits! tee hee!) and the day when the damages they are assessed goes into Blue Moon’s account at the new bank!

  203. I’ve certainly seen crazier things than sock yarn that banks not only accept credit card orders for, but that get financed by these banks. Heck, I’ve seen these crazier-than-yarn things on late night television being sold whole hours of ad space.
    And knitters scamming people? No way. I think your MSF success shows we are, on the whole, a rather more thoughtful and honest bunch than the average population.

  204. NO WAY am I sending these ignorant Muggles a hand made sock. Don’t waste your time, money and most of all, pleasure connected with knitting socks, on them. Just get us the name of the bank so we can be sure to withdraw any association we may unwittingly have with them. Women control over 50% of the money in the US, and that gives us POWER. Time to use it. Let us put our money in the right places (like KWB) and remove it from the wrong places, like whatever bank made this head-up-their-hiney decision.

  205. Oh. My. God. Thanks for the warning on putting down our tea (well, Fuze, in my case). That was just rediculous! I read this post out loud to my muggle-husband, and even he was astounded and couldn’t believe the stupidity of that bank! I’m in awe of Blue Moon though, and how they’re handling the situation. I wish I could join in on the club fun, maybe in a year or so.
    Thanks for sharing this, Steph!

  206. I agree completely with Lee (02:57 PM) that we need to hold on to this energy and wait to hear what Blue Moon would like us to spend it on. We do have the ability to make a difference here… let’s just make sure that we’re doing what is in their best interests!!

  207. Oh my word! Yes this story has hit here in the UK too.
    No market for sock yarn! I’d expect that in the UK where knitting is still a second class past time, but in the US, where there is just so much lovely yarn stuff!

  208. Vicki wrote: “Wouldn’t it be GREAT fun to just go in front of … whatever bank it is… and just sit ALL day long and knit socks without saying a word… Can we say CREEPY??!!!???”
    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! This here Baby Boomer cut her eye teeth on protests and sit ins. And all of us who aren’t in the area can send photos of ourselves knitting socks and they can be spread out in front of the bank to let them know how many of us there are and how totally *NUTS* this !
    Barbara L in MA

  209. Okay, don’t stone me everyone, but…I actually work for a Canadian bank (although hopefully not the same one as Blue Moon has just had to deal with), and, although my job has nothing to do with finances and I’m not on the front lines dealing with customers, I’m still required by law (as a bank employee) to go through ‘anti money laundering training’ every few years. Every bank employee has to do this, from the folks who deal with customers to the ones who know nothing about banking and are just there to fix the computers.
    The training makes it very clear that if you, as a bank employee, knew about a transaction that was suspicious and didn’t report it as such, then your ass, as they say, is grass. And you are legally on the hook for responsibility for letting criminals get away with money laundering, and are liable to fines and terms of imprisonment.
    So, based on my experience with this training, it sounds to me (from what Steph wrote) as if this abject terror of money laundering scams is behind the bank’s decision to shut down the sock yarn club.
    Makes no sense to me, but that’s what it sounds like.
    Thankfully another bank saw it differently!

  210. My own personal thoughts on the matter:
    1. I’m actually glad that BMFA hasn’t disclosed the bank’s name. I suspect that if they did, the bank would get a lot of those “nyah nyah you lost the best sock yarn people in the world” emails/letters/calls, which would only give knitters a bad name.
    2. There are enough non-knitters out there that it doesn’t seem outrageous to me that the bankers were suspicious. Hey, my uncle’s in banking in Texas, and there’s a great little yarn shop within walking distance of his house. He had no idea. I was there in August for a family funeral, and went to the shop a couple of times. We talked about the whole knitting thing, and he was shocked to hear about the sign I’d seen on the shop’s door, that they’d recently raised private lesson prices to $80 an hour…as in, people are actually paying that much! So that’s my uncle, a banker, with a yarn shop in the same center with theier grocery store, who doesn’t really know much about this whole knitting thing. He can’t possibly be alone.
    3. If some 12-year-old hacker kid, sitting in his parents’ basement, had gotten his hands on a pile of credit card numbers, and charged them up, and yours was one of those numbers, you’d be thrilled that the bank had just refunded all of the money.
    4. It seems that BMFA has sent the strongest message by switching over to a new bank. That’s really the only thing that banks care about – making money. In order to make money, they need yours. If they don’t have it, they’re screwed. By taking away their accounts (and in the banking world, business accounts are worth more than personal ones, because there’s usually more money there), they’ve sent the message.
    5. Seriously, it’s going to take me maybe 5 minutes once the new BMFA site is going to re-enter my credit card number. *shrug* Whatever.

  211. I got my STR bank fiasco email yesterday. I just about fell out of my chair. I would have loved to have been in that bank meeting.
    So yeah, I’m not going to knit the bank a pair of socks. But what if, (if we ever find out the name of the bank) we innundate them with emails of photos of handmade socks? Sort of like the Save Our Bluths campaign, but w/o the expense of actually sending frozen bananas.

  212. I was confused to read this. I truly don’t understand why the people responsible for making this decision didn’t take 15 min. to verify that the Sock Club was legit. I’m sure they are regretting it now.
    I think we need to respect the council Blue Moon has gotten, to not divulge the name of the institution responsible for all this. Like someone said, it will probably come out eventually.
    I say knit lovely socks for the new bank, or for a local charity they support.

  213. Some have said this, and I agree – the bankers don’t deserve the socks, even scratchy ones. I like the idea of making the socks for a charity. Imagine the news story on television: “Bags and bags of hand-knitted socks have been arriving at [local Oregon charity] in the name of Blue Mountain Fiber Arts. They were knitted by BMFA customers after . . .”
    Imagine the great (free!) press for BMFA. Imagine the lousy press for the bank. Much better solution.

    GOOGLE THIS AND THEN CLICK ON IT°• Free Double Knit Christmas Mini Stocking Pattern

  215. Emy, I think you’ve missed a couple of points here. It might not be a big deal for you to re-enter your credit card number, but it is a HUGE DEAL to BMFA. Funds they thought they had were returned, time and money invested is gone, good will of customers was in jeopardy — I could go on. (Likely BMFA’s attorney will go on and on too… I hope we get to see any briefs that happen because of this fiasco.)
    We’re outraged because one of *our* stores is in jeopardy because a bank couldn’t do its research. One Google search would have all that would have been needed to do some convincing that this was a legitimate business.

  216. Sometimes banks are so moronic in their efforts to look after customers! I had a bank call me to verify a $3.14 charge at a hardware store because I hadn’t used my bank card for about two months, and the same bank never even blinked when over $1200 dollars was withdrawn from an ATM in Belarus! (I also used the card in South Carolina on the same day, so I was obviously not in Minsk) Not a lot of common sense there that I can see.
    Oh, and Scapoose! My sister and I had a (actually very) lovely afternoon there when my car broke down on the way to go pick peaches on Sauvie Island. Yes, peaches in Oregon, and they taste better than the ones down here in the south! Plus I just like saying the word over and over… (rhymes with caboose) Scapoose…Scapoose…

  217. I worked for a bank – in management – for three years. It was the worst working experience of my life (and they never could come to terms with the fact that I knitted!) Knitting saved me from the stress of it all!
    But seriously, I would like to know the name of the Bank. I know I’m not the only Harlot/STR fan who’ll want to avoid doing business with them in the future.
    At the very least, STR MUST forward to them a link to these comments to allow them to see just what they’ve missed!

  218. Here’s my take. I never advise doing anything nasty to someone. I do try to be an honorable and upright person.
    That said, someone, please, email me the name of this bank. I want to be sure that I am not banking at it. Or using their services, or their credit card.
    And I’m with the others. As a lawyer, I look forward to reading the court papers filed on this one.

  219. I’m dying for the name of this bank. I think that, instead of e-mailing them or starting a really negative campaign, we could all just knit one little sock and send it to them. When they got buried by socks, they might rethink their position.

  220. I agree: why waste good sock yarn and knitting time (even if it’s only a little of each) on people who wouldn’t get it anyway? If anything, mail them paper socks and polite but firm notes. Save the sock yarn and your precious stitches for people who deserve it!
    I also don’t think it’s suspicious for Blue Moon not to give out the bank’s name. I think they have a right to keep that portion of their financial affairs private if they choose, and it’s possible that they wish to protect their other interests by not arousing the bank’s ire. I have no doubt that when things are “out of the woods,” we’ll receive plenty of consumer warning.
    As for supporting Blue Moon…oh, if only I weren’t allergic to wool…I’d buy bushels!

  221. I work with freaking muggles every day and they never cease to amaze me with their bizzare thinking.
    This sock thing is just another indication that the geeks and knitters of the world are the only sane people out there.
    On a side note for your information, my single mother neighbor knocked on my door this morning in need of crying therapy as she has received a letter that informed her she makes TOO Little money to receive food stamps. That is right, she makes SO LITTLE money she is not able to receive her food stamps anymore. WTF??

  222. I too would like the name of the bank, simply to refuse to do business with them and to inform others of their poor business decision. I am truly astounded by the idiocy of this. When business make these type of decisions they affect everyone. I simply will not give them my business, not out of malice, but as we teach our children, when you make a choice you have to deal with the consequences. Rock on Blue Moon.

  223. Thanks for confirming for me that this wasn’t some sort of joke or worse. I couldn’t decide if the email was for real. I’ll guess I’ll re-ante up!

  224. Oh yeah, and is there any one else that would like to start work on knitting a bank? Knitted chairs, knitted doors, free socks with checking???? Of course, only knitters would work there with lot of time during the day to knit.

  225. I’d just like to point out that for those allergic to wool, Blue Moon also sells patterns and knitting-oriented greeting cards.

  226. Oh yeah, and is there any one else that would like to start work on knitting a bank? Knitted chairs, knitted doors, free socks with checking???? Of course, only knitters would work there with lot of time during the day to knit.

  227. All I can say is STUPID!!! (men) Lucky for me I have a muggle who doesn’t mess with the knitting, he gets it, he owns old VW’s. I don’t mess with them. so we are good.

  228. I’ve just sent the link and this story to the NPR radio show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” For those of you who don’t know it, there are a group of panelists, a weekly guest, and listeners who need to answer questions about some of the “odder” news stories of the week. Very funny and with a huge listening audience!
    A “Sock Scam” is right up there alley! 🙂
    Barbara L in MA

  229. I disagree with everyone who suggested the bank staff needed to have handknit socks sent to them. I think they need to have photos of handknit socks that someone who deserves them more is wearing! With a note that explains why they can’t have awesome handknit socks!

  230. I am a fairly new knitter and have not made socks yet (this year’s resolution is to try). I love the idea of a pattern or colorway named after this episode. Could everybody who is outraged by this event knit a pair of socks, take a picture to send the bank once it is outed, and then donate that pair of socks to a worthy cause? It seems like that would give yet another powerful example of the power that is knitters.

  231. How is the Sock Club any different from the stupid book clubs or fruit-of-the-month clubs? Why would the bank think this is a scam? How stupid…

  232. I agree that banks should be able to reverse charges IF they have legitimate reasons for doing so (say, for example, if someone actually COMPLAINED to them, indicating that the charges were fradulent) but why, oh why, would someone make that decision in this case??? Did they think that the club was a front for some sort of illicit activity??

  233. Hey, shouldn’t we be able to see the bank name on our credit card statements when they “refund” our $$?? I bet that’s the first place we can start our detective work. That way, the STR gals won’t have told us anything. . . integrity intact and knitters ready to attack. Yes, yes, the plan is all coming together now.

  234. Part of being responsible stewards of a banks’ assets is BEING INFORMED. There are invisible costs and losses when you are out of touch with the forefront of business. So perhaps Blue Moon, after finding another bank, could send the uninformed bank a monthly statement of how much money the new bank is now making from the arrangement. That would speak to them in their own language, and every month, too.

  235. Maybe it was the “Moon” in the BMFA’s business name … Moon = Islam = Terrorism? And then MONEY?? Oh no! Strong Work and Way to Be, Bank of Genius!!

  236. I used to work for a bank, in the executive offices. One of my fellow secretaries, whose boss was the president of the bank holding company, had a yacht which took a lot of gas to fill and cost a lot. One day our bank bounced her check for the gas company, when, in fact there was plenty of money in her account to pay for it. So, the manager of the bookkeeping department called the owner of the dockside gas company to explain about the error. And the man on the phone calmly told her, “Oh, no. Bank’s dont make mistakes.” She was a bit taken aback because she was calling to explain about the mistaken. Then he explained. His accounts were with another bank, and a few days prior to this bounced check issue, he had checked the balance on his account and discovered it was about $2.5 Million too high. He called his bank and the young lady on the phone calmly assured him that he was mistaken about the balance in his accounts being in error because “Bank’s don’t make mistakes.” He hung up the phone and later that afternoon the senior vice president for his bank called him to explain that the bank had made a mistake and deposited the Fed funds into his accounts in error and they had removed the extra $2.5 Million.

  237. I think it’s clear that at least the bank in question needs to be revealed. Then, any knitter who holds accounts and wants to move them can do so.
    I feel terrible for the ladies at Blue Moon, but there’s always a bright side–at least the people who would even conceive of doing such an injustice will NOT make any profit from it.
    Also, I am all for the NPR idea. Out the bank. They need to be held accountable for their terrible, misogynist behavior.

  238. I agree, I would like to know the name of the bank. I’m about to re-finance a home in the SF bay area (we’re talking 5 figures in INTEREST each year) and do not want to give my business to this institution. We can show them how much a poorly concieved decision hurts.

  239. I don’t know whether or not it’s a comforting thing to know that banks elsewhere are just as big a bunch of !@#$%^&* as they are here in Australia. While I haven’t yet joined the RSC (couldn’t quite swing it this year) I fully intend to for 2008, and the first thing that went through my head while reading this post was “How are they gonna survive this?”. The second was “In a world with CHEESE OF THE MONTH CLUBS, they can’t grasp a sock knitting club???” Thank whatever BMFA found another, more business friendly bank.
    As much as I hate those current affairs shows (whatever happened to journalistic integrity?) maybe someone should sic one of those shows on this bank. Maybe some footage of angry mobs of knitters demonstrating outside the bank, waving fabulous socks in the air? Just a thought.
    To the girls at BMFA, keep on Rocking, and I’ll see you next year.

  240. Sad. But not unheard of. It’s likely that the bank thought socks were not worthy of the attention, and *may* have pulled the plug a little faster because they were women, but I hate to tell ya, it happens to men, too.
    Glad to hear Blue Moon is able to get back up and running.

  241. This whole story just fills me with rage. The bank would have had all the numbers in front of them – which, given BMFA’s steady increase in popularity over the last few years, would have formed an upwards-slanting curve.
    Now, if BMFA was a new company, or if its income had been flat over the last few years, I would totally understand. A “hockey stick” curve would indeed be justification for suspicion, and I don’t doubt the bank would shut it down without investigating properly first.
    Instead, the bank made an irrational, emotional decision, in defiance of the concrete evidence which it had sitting right there at the table. If nothing else, this episode makes it a little more clear how it is that, all other things being equal, a black or hispanic person will be turned down for a loan at a far higher rate than a white person.
    If the bank has any decency at all, the person responsible for pulling the plug on BMFA will be fired, and the bank will issue an official apology to both BMFA and its customers.

  242. I have just sent this story to NPR. I am sure it would help give an idea to the NPR researchers (who may not knit) just how big our community is and how angry we are if others also write to them.
    This e-mail address is

  243. The heck with e-mails to the bank, I’d like to send e-mails to all their families! You can’t tell me there’s not one sock club member or heck even a knitter(?) there somewhere…
    And yeah, I’m with you on this not happening if this was a company run by men.

  244. It bothers me that we are such a litigous society, that we’re all thinking Blue Moon will sue.
    While I don’t agree at all with what the bank did, because, really, what a bunch of boneheads, I also think by their making this idiotic decision, they have punished themselves far more than any court ever could financially.
    My great hope is that BMFA does not get feed, based on this erroneous decision. The ladies at BMFA are amazing, and are handling this far better than I’m sure I would. I’m glad they appear to be taking the high road. No point in rolling in the gutter with a bunch of bankers.

  245. Scappoose is a small town. I bet we could track down that bank! Maybe we can’t all e-mail the bank people; but surely it would be within reason to direct them to this Yarn Harlot site and have said banker see all the comments?

  246. When we rule the world, they will be very sorry… pls we want their email address! pls pls…

  247. What if photos of Sock Club socks started showing up on Blue Moon’s doorstep? Addressed to the bank, of course. Pictures being worth a thousand words, and all…

  248. I’ve forwarded this to the Consumerist & Boing Boing. It’s absolutely horrible! No one should be treated in this manner!
    (I sent it to Boing Boing & The Consumerist… no word on whether they’ll take it)

  249. According to one person who commented, the people at Blue Moon have an attorney who has assuredly told them not to tell us all the name of the bank and has advised them to quantify the amount of time that it will take to remedy this hassle. It is in BM’s best interest not to have us all trashing the bank at the present time. (As much as I like the idea of the sock knit-in). Banks are highly regulated as many people have noted and are very nervous these days about scams, terrorism, money-laundering, etc. And when you do have a vigilant credit card company/bank, you will be very happy that they call about some weird charge. That being said, the bank is not excused by stupidity, sexism, etc. It reminds me of the time when I worked as the librarian for the local United States Attorney’s Office (the folks that prosecute companies and people for federal crimes). The attorneys complained that people/companies who were clearly crooks; who had no credit history; and who had no business plans seemed to be able to borrow millions of dollars. But they, hard-working, federal employees who had absolutely squeaky clean credit records and security clearances, had trouble borrowing money for a mortgage or a car without ransoming their first-born child. There is no rationality out there. (I realize that it is clear from this post that I am a librarian, an attorney, and work for a law firm.) And I knit socks.

  250. If I don’t know the name of the bank I can neither refuse to do business with them nor explain to them (kindly) the error of their ways.
    Name of the Bank. It’s necessary.
    Litigation isn’t.
    We find out who they are and take our business elsewhere. Explain why. Punishment delivered.

  251. Just another NPR listener who sent in a story line idea. I also sent a comment to Anderson Cooper on CNN. Okay, it might only make the “funny, lighter segment at the end of the hour”, but hey, nothing ventured…
    I also offered to knit him a pair of socks in his choice of color if he wants to see what all the fuss is about.
    Off to knit (socks) and listen.

  252. I’m with Annalea — I’d like the name of the bank in order to either enlighten my local branch or choose not to do business with them.
    And I’m with Beth about wanting to mail the bank a single sock. Talk about a way to make the news (not to mention a point) . . .
    But I don’t want BMFA to be sued by the bank for libel or defamation or whatever.
    What to do?
    I hereby commit to knitting a pair of socks to donate to a charity in honor of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Or a stocking for Operation Holiday Stockings 2007. Joanne, you’ll be hearing from me.
    Hang in there, Candace!

  253. Here’s another rather interesting thought…the fact that the bank did this has made Blue Moon even MORE famous among knitters. Here’s hoping that this misfortune brings them even more success by increasing their orders from knitters wanting to be a part of this. And that really messes with the original bank who will be losing their percentage of said success.

  254. I didn’t read all the comments yet, so don’t know if this suggestion has been made yet. I really like the “one-sock” idea. If no one else has suggested it, I think that, should we discover the name of this bank, we should have knit-in’s at every branch of this bank.

  255. Easy enough to find out bank & mgr’s email. It’s on the credit card bill! I’m sure the new bank will be happy to share in STR’s great success.

  256. The real question is why does the bank care what Blue Moon is selling as long as it is not illegal or stolen merchandise? They should have compared it to a beer or wine club. Or perhaps the Fruit of the Month club. That would have been understood.

  257. Please, please, please, blame this on corporate idiocy, not on men. Most modern banks have plenty of women at the low-mid level of management where I am assuming this decision was made. I’d be shocked if there weren’t women in this “meeting”. Women can be every bit as ignorant, conservative, and narrow in their world view as men. Men have no monopoly on xenophobia and lazy research.
    It’s not women who are the target. It’s strange ideas and foreign concepts. Trust me, my good ideas get nixed by men and women alike and they get the same reaction if they’re presented by a feminine name on a letterhead or a bearded man in person.

  258. To those who seem to think BMFA should not sue because it would be vindictive or somehow less honorable to sue than to let it go: The bank’s poorly researched decision cost BMFA money. It is just and appropriate that the bank take responsibility for the harm they have done and reimburse BMFA for the cost of redoing everything. That is not vindictive. That is restoration. That is the party in the wrong (the bank) doing what they can to make things right again.

  259. Shelley at 4:36, I agree with you, that the bank should make full restitution to BMFA for their decision to return funds. I’m just saying that I don’t think litigation should be the knee-jerk reaction to get that done.
    I have to wonder what other things the bank has let slip and later got caught on that led them to investigate these transactions so closely.

  260. Shouldn’t we all write to the bank and give them a piece of our mind and support for the SOCK CLUB???

  261. These bankers were total idiots. I also want to be sure that I never do business with them, but I do think we need to let the media find the name of the bank so that we do no complicate matters for Blue Moon. I am planning to join the sock club next year when finances are more stable.

  262. The media needs to get ahold of this story! I would love to see a bank manager explain on TV how sock yarn is a corrupting influence on society and must be stopped. I would also like this manager to explain why they don’t want a slice of the bazillion dollar a year craft industry.

  263. As a long time loather of the banking industry I cannot say that I am surprised. Yes, yes, I understand the need for scrutiny of financial transactions so unlawful activities can be curtailed but did anyone at this bank even try to determine if these transactions were legit. Doesn’t seem so. I understand Blue Moon’s legal position, but sooner or later this bank will be known to us. I will not be knitting them a sock, those numbskulls don’t deserve it. Right now I am spitting mad and would be more likely to mail off a bent double pointed needle with instructions on where to insert it. It is paramount that these twerps understand this.
    We are knitters, many of us knit socks. We launder our socks, not our money. OKAY!!

  264. All commentors: please see comment posted at 1:43 p.m. re: suggesting this to NPR. It’s easy to do and a great idea. This sounds like a story for “All Things Considered” or “Here and Now.” Also, how about Oprah?!

  265. wow. that’s just all i can say.
    well, i can say that i’m constantly stunned by the number of knitters who are also lawyers, and there are a goodly number of us who are prosecutors, law clerks, and judges as well.
    as a result, i understand blue moon’s very dignified desire to do ANYTHING that could subject them to a lawsuit for business libel.
    and i’m not one of those lawyers who wants to sue people at the drop of a hat, but this does have some overtones of sexism that do make me think the bank, in it’s own self-interest, might want to consider apologizing to all of Blue Moon’s customers, who they have insulted, and who I suspect are a highly intelligent group of women, quite capable of figuring out which bank it is, and drowning them in letters & lost business whether or not Blue Moon decides to sue them or ask for an investigation into whether their business practice violates anti-discrimination laws.

  266. I’m a lawyer. I’m a litigator. that means I make my living because people sue each other.
    Most of the time, I think that the people who sued each other were being silly, and wish I could slap sense into them instead of trotting their dirty laundry out in front of the judge.
    Sometimes… sometimes… I really think a lawsuit is the right answer.
    If Blue Moon Fiber Arts lost money or business because of this breach of contract… this would be one of those times. Will work for sock yarn.

  267. Dez’ suggestion was great. Went to NPR and sent the story suggestion to them. It was easy. Only note is that to find the “Submit Ideas”, it ran down the left-hand side of the home page when I opened it.
    We are mighty!

  268. While I think this was stupid reaction by the Bank, poorly thought out, etc…Realize the point behind was to protect the customer. So, although I think the bank was wrong and stupid, they were ultimately trying to protect the consumer (well, probably their pocket books as well).
    I do think it does show how closed minded the industry can be to new ideas. Its really a shame that they didn’t research and find out what a great idea the concept is.
    I am curious, anyone know how many members there are. I was going to enroll, but decided I just had way too much stash. Next year.

  269. The least the ladies at Blue Moon could do is drop a few hints as to the name of the bank. This way any one with an account at this bank and is a knitter would be able to figure it out and change banks.
    I will have to discuss this issue with some one I know who is a bank manager.

  270. Count me among the “sue the bank’s socks off” choir. Bringing forth a lawsuit against the idiots who made that discriminatroy decision (cheese of the month was mentioned in comparison; it is very apt) would help protect the next group of women with a good business model.
    And added to that, the facts of the case would be public record, and pointing to them would not constitute libel.
    Count me in on the legal fund for Blue Moon idea!

  271. Of all the things to have to waste time on when BMFA is trying to run a business and the rest of us have lives and knitting to do!
    Just read the one sock idea but I wish we could send a flood of pairs that then got donated to charity.
    Make lemonade and all…

  272. If Blue Moon releases a special fund-raising sock yarn, either to cover their losses due to this fiasco or to raise awareness of this fiasco and help out a favourite charity, please blog about it so I can buy some. I live in Japan, but I’d be happy to pay shipping for once.

  273. Amazing, boneheaded decision by the bank. Of all the potential covers for nefarious dealings, who would choose sock yarn, anyway?

  274. This is heinous. We absolutely need to know which bank did this. I am an entrepreneuer in the making, we need to take our business elsewhere for our own protection. Please, tell us.

  275. I’d like to know who the bank is so I can pull my business, if I am currently dealing with them. There needs to be consequences for this type of high-handed, ignorant, uninformed decision making. Also, who is to say this bank won’t try to put other women out of business by this type of decision making, just because they believe things associated with women can’t be financially viable. Grrr. Please post the bank’s name, or encourage blue moon to do so, so we can vote with our feet on this one.

  276. Cara posted about this too. How utterly ridiculous. It’s too bad they won’t give us the bank address, they’d recieve about 30 bijillion letters…..

  277. I wonder, like Beth in WI, where is rams?
    I read every single post today because I wondered what rams would have to say about this…. dangerous.
    Guess she’s formulating her (assuredly) formidable response!

  278. Bunch of corporate tight as#$% men I am sure! And talk about gracious. I was on the wait list and am now in the club! YIPPEE!! You Rock Socks That Rock! 🙂

  279. I’m one of the customers affected. I got my refund, but my online credit card statement doesn’t list the name of the charging bank, only BMFA. I might try calling later.
    Last year there were 600 of us in The Club. Don’t know if they expanded it this year.
    Here’s to hoping that I only have to sign up one more time this year!

  280. Morons! You know none of those Men (you know they all had to be men) in that meeting was married to or even knew a knitter. If my muggle husband was in on a meeting like that he’d at least say, “Don’t mess with the knitters.” He’d KNOW it was real. He sits among the yarn in my living room day in and day out. He’d know that knitters LOVE and NEED sock yarn. How could not one of those men have known? Heck, my clueless brother would have an inkling. He sees the yarn and my mom and I knit. He knows for G-d sake. Unfreakingbelievable.

  281. freakin’ muggles!
    this happened to a LYS here in Seattle on her opening weekend when she did a huge amount of sales. the bank assumed that she was running a scam and froze her accounts. STUPID MUGGLES!

  282. Be interesting to see the public(muggles) response to this story. For the sake of knitters in general I don’t think we should assume that THE BANKERS are all men and rant on about men, studpidity does not exclusively belong to any group of people. However, the right to BOYCOTT stupidity does belong to everyone and I think we deserve the ablity to exercise that right through knowledge of who the STUPIDEE is. If PRESIDENTS can be taken down by press leaks I think we won’t have long to wait

  283. I got this e-mail as well and was TOTALLY FLOORED! It amazes me that a bank would turn down money. I guess it should be a good thing that they didn’t want us to all get ripped off, but once it was confirmed that it was legitimate why did they have to have a meeting? Why could they not just go ahead and realize that it was a real thing…people really do yearn for socks! Especially Blue Moon socks…the yarn is SO YUMMY! Stupid Men…
    Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!

  284. I believe that those people directly affected (having to go through the reorder process) should have the bank’s president’s contact information provided to them so they can know how much chaos was caused by this “decision.” I can see why they don’t want to publish it generally because one or two of us may go over the line(!) but the customers affected have been impacted and can speak to that personally. I had not signed up but now I wish I had! And maybe I will, for the solidarity, if nothing else. Wouldn’t that be one in the eye! Your nonsense created a greater number of people to join the sock club!!

  285. The first thing to do is tell all the muggles we know about this incident. And don’t just tell them about it, tell them about the response to it. Tell them about the power of knitters, with reference to Knitters Without Borders and the Knitting Olympics. Everyone who has a blog should mention this on the blog. I put it on mine, and mine is not a knitting oriented blog. Bad publicity for the bank (and good publicity on the power of knitters) can do more than a lawsuit.

  286. You’re kidding? It happened to another yarn outlet too? Is this an actual conspiracy of banking companies against knitters??
    I don’t think I’ve ever made it through all of Stephanie’s comments before – at least not since having a child, but I have read every one of the comments today, glorying in my identification as a member of the Worldwide Knitting Community. Behold the power of yarn!
    (I’ve been refreshing this page all day to keep up. It may in fact be a sickness.)

  287. I had never heard of the socks that rock club before this post. Honestly, I don’t really enjoy knitting socks all that much- so even if i had, i wouldn’t have joined. But i will now. Just because the bank and its serious underestimation of knitters has ired me so.

  288. I think an email to “As It Happens” on the CBC would be a good idea. Can you imagine what Barbara Budd would do with this?
    Did the bank not google “Sock of the Month”?

  289. I work in the electronic funds dept of a bank (not the bank in question I promise) and I can see how it started and how suspicious it looked to the bank. We’re required to raise the alert with any abnormalities on any account. Not that it isn’t screwed up that they didn’t give Blue Moon a chance to explain themselves or to prove they’re legit. It’s probably not so much about sock yarn (or men running all banks, which is absurd) as it is about a not very large business receving an extraordinary amount of transactions. It still sucks ass though.

  290. Ok, I’m totally kidding about tracking down the bank… However, I see no reason why those nice Blue Moon folks can’t show this Blog or any others to those bankers as evidence. Like it would be that hard for the bankers to do a little research: Google Socks that Rock and see how many hits come up.
    Also, I don’t get the sock of the month, but I would be happy to join in on the idea of knitting of knitting one sock to send to the bankers. Lord knows I have plenty of Blue Moon yarn to do it!

  291. There are tons more responses than when I posted my first one. If I EVER need help, I hope knitters “have my back.”
    Why aren’t we running things? Obviously we are far more sensible than the aforementioned idiots.
    Don’t you think it’s time we did?

  292. Blue Moon, what do you want US to do? Stay the course? Sit on our hands? Speak out to the media? We want only to do what will best serve your needs. While thirsty for revenge, I can see that bankers, too, are capable of not getting mad, just getting even. Everyone, let the bankers be the bozos while Blue Moon regroups with a strategy that will work best for them.

  293. Maybe this is a call for more “public” knitting. If the general public were to witness more knitting in a variety of places(banks, grocery store lines, places where you have to wait) then maybe the Muggles would not be so fearful of what they do not know or understand. The decision makers in this situation have no idea what a hornets’ nest they have stirred. And it appears to be just beginning. More “public knitting”!!!!

  294. What a wild story. But here we are, with folks contacting NPR and CNN–so the publicity, if it hits, will be righteous.
    Oh, and all us out here in the great state of Oregon need to email the Oregonian as well, to get that down-home angle going.
    Oregon is, in many ways, one big small town. Many of the banking folk know one another (thanks to buyouts, mergers, etc.). We don’t need to know the bank’s name, we just need to spread the glow of embarassment around.

  295. I’m with Sheila! Knit in public today in honor of Blue Moon! Especially if you are in line at the bank!

  296. My brother is a reporter for CNBC—Scott Reeves. I’ve e-mailed him but he needs to hear from people other than his Big Sister. If you have no luck finding an e-mail address ( couldn’t find one either), write me and I’ll forward it since the only address I have is his personal account.

  297. the mind simply boggles! i’m dying to know which shortsited-heads-up-their-butts establishment made this blunder!

  298. Bacon of the Month Club,
    Weed of the Month Club,
    Show of the Month Club,
    Beer of the Month Club,
    Tea of the Month Club,
    Flower of the Month Club,
    Gag of the Month Club,
    Aphrodisiac of the Month Club,
    Template of the Month Club,
    Software of the Month Club,
    Steak of the Month Club,
    Cheese of the Month Club,
    Button of the Month Club,
    Amber of the Month Club,
    Chip of the Month Club,
    Coffee of the Month Club,
    Hot Sauce of the Month Club,
    Mineral of the Month Club,
    7″ of the Month Club,
    Cigar of the Month Club,
    Cookie of the Month Club…
    I agree. We should know what bank this is so we can boycott.

  299. I have only knit one sock in my brief knitting career but will sign up for the sock club just to support these ladies!
    You are so right; this decision involved muggle men

  300. I posted details of this “scam” on a geek email list I am on. I managed to flush out a couple of sock knitters (female) on the list 🙂
    Sigh. I don’t really think that this is a male thing but yes, a little research can go a long way.

  301. I’m a retired banker (and a 50+ year knitter) and after reading these email, I guess I should be afraid to admit being a banker…or maybe I should be getting into a 12-step program so that I can recover from being a banker. Seems to be a lot of hostility directed toward banks. However, just how we would operate our ecomonies without banks is not clear to me.
    Banks are made up of people who make mistakes, just like all businesses have people who make mistakes. In commercial banking, clients need to have a banker who understands their business and who will go to bat for them when some back-office person misunderstands their business and starts to screw things up. Obvisouly this did not happen with for Blue Moon. The fault for this mess is with their individual banker not the bank as a whole. That person did not do their job in making sure the other departments, especially the folks who handle credit card processing, understood just what Blue Moon does.
    I hope that Blue Moon has gone to a banker at a new bank that will take to time understand their business and be there for them when they need a banker ’cause that is what commercial banking is all about. It’s their former banker that needs to learn about the yarn business. (And if that person did their job and was still over-ruled by the back office folks, then he/she should think about following Blue Moon!)
    P.S. I too would love to know which bank it is!

  302. I think multiple people should send the bank dweebs knitted socks. Coals of fire on their heads, and all that…

  303. Before I read your post, I had already e-mailed Blue Moon to suggest they posted the bank’s details on their site. I think a deluge of disgruntled knitters would have changed their tune. Maybe we could reinvent Sock Wars as well!

  304. As the 400th or so commenter, I haven’t read all the comments, so I’m pretty sure someone suggested this already, but maybe each of us should send the bank manager a sock. Made from really ugly yarn.

  305. I am going to send the Blue Moon gals a special box of chocolate. I think they deserve a treat. I am sure they will handle all this as they see fit, and I am thrilled to do business with them and knit their yarn into wonderful socks.

  306. crazy, just crazy! especially considering all the real scams out there! is it possible to find out the bank identity so knitters can boycott (or educate) this bank?

  307. Has the bank NEVER heard of: book clubs, CD clubs, flower of the month clubs, JHC Harry and David fruit of the month club?
    Sexist pigs and freakin’ crazy.
    Blood, I demand blood.

  308. I hope to hell that Blue Moon is going to sue. And I’d love to know which bank it was, so that I can make sure I never do business with them.

  309. I too hope that the ladies at Blue Moon are only with holding the bank’s name due to pending litigation. They are entitled to recover all losses due to bad banking judgment. I also believe small businesses owned by women should be warned about what kind of service they can expect from that establishment.
    They do need to be held accountable. I hope they read this blog.
    I personally plan to knit a pair of socks per month this year

  310. Please oh please give us the email address of the bank. They could have ruined Blue Moons business, and they don’t give a sh**! Of course they won’t ruin the business, because we are knitters. But we must let the bank know how screwed they are, and furthermore, make sure none of us use them as our bank. (Especially if we aspire to start a knitting business.)

  311. Oy vey! Now I know what my poor sister (their new website designer) has been going through. At least the good news is that the Ladies at Blue Moon have taught her how to knit! Yaaaay!

  312. that is crazy.
    but in happier knitting news, we ran a story in today’s paper about the red scarf project and it mentioned steph’s knitters without borders. you can read it at:
    and you can see what the page looked like at:
    8 of us knit over the weekend and sewed all the different pieces together. i haven’t knit so much in such a short period of time since the knitting olympics!

  313. WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????? As someone who has experienced unbelievable incompetence and stupidity at the hands of a few banks myself, I would love to lay hands on that bank’s contact info and let them know what a colossally stupid business decision they’ve just made. Their loss….but in the meantime, I really do think we should make our voices heard about this. Anyone have that bank info who’d be willing to pass it on? Thanks–

  314. WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????? As someone who has experienced unbelievable incompetence and stupidity at the hands of a few banks myself, I would love to lay hands on that bank’s contact info and let them know what a colossally stupid business decision they’ve just made. Their loss….but in the meantime, I really do think we should make our voices heard about this. Anyone have that bank info who’d be willing to pass it on? Thanks–

  315. I definitely want the name of the bank so I can pull my business if I happen to be doing any with it. The fact that they are doing this to a female-owned business, and without even the courtesy of proper research into the business, speaks volumes. If Blue Moon had not been able to line up a new bank so promptly, the old bank might have put them out of business through their capricious and sexist decision. This should not pass without consequences to that bank’s own business.

  316. I know I know, I was agog when I read that letter yesterday. I can just picture the bankers in their grey suits and their lack of imagination and inability to grasp what makes a good business risk (but they’ll lend oodles of money to Argentina and home builders!)This needs to be in the newspaper.

  317. I know that bankers are people and can make mistakes. I also realize that in our spam/terrorism obsessed society people can get overly suspicious of things which have simple explanations. I don’t think we need a bank boycott or the like (since this whole situation is most likely the brain child of a select number of numbskulls and not the executive board of a bank), but I do agree that we need to get this story out- so something like this does not happen again. Until main stream America realizes that the forward momentum of the knitting scene is surging, this may be just one of many more unsound decisions being made by people who are just plain uninformed. Having been privy to other nefarious dealings of banks I only hope that BMFA recieves all of the money due back to them without incurring any sort of fee or further ‘bank investigations’.

  318. I thought that there’s idiots only in our government (i’m not sure whether we have any at the moment, I stopped reading the papers long ago) but apparently a friend who just a few days ago mentioned that he’d like to have a rifle and lots of ammunition to kill 90% percent of human populace to make the world moron-free was more right.
    A few hundred thousands of angry e-mails would be nice. At least someone would have to read them and have nightmares of socks trying to suffocate him or something…..
    I just started posting some handpainted sock yarn to my etsy store so I’ll see what my bank will say if the thing goes well…. but they’re Austrian and they’ve hitherto been very user friendly.

  319. I strongly believe that the bank’s name and address (and email address if available) should be released. This bank’s board and/or executives need to be accountable for their actions – just as we are accountable for our actions. This is about a business decision – which they need to know is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. They are dealing with OUR money – not theirs. If we do not speak up – who will? How will things change? They could do this to some other business and think it’s okay because no one says anything. This is not about being polite or ladylike. This is business.

  320. Well, I’m not going to read all the comments that say “I’m speechless.” I’m not, frankly. Ladies, get it through your heads that banker-guys don’t consider knitting to be anything more than what their grandmothers did–that stereotype still exists, no matter how many Yarn Harlots, Stitch ‘n’ Bitches, Hip Knitters, or what have you are in the public eye. These guys never heard about any of this knitting thang and they ain’t gonna get it unless you hit them where it hurts. In their wallets. Or with bad publicity.
    So yes, it would be good to know what bank it is. Because I will happily blog about this and encourage the blogging Wolverinas to do likewise. I have no problem spewing the bank’s name wherever I can. Because if it happens to Blue Moon, it can happen to other businesses run by women. And even if Badnasty Bank sees the light and comes back to Blue Moon on its collective grey flannel knees begging for their business back, I’d quote Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford: “Don’t f— with me, boys.”

  321. I just got an email from Blue Moon and apparently they ARE pursuing legal action. That’s why they aren’t posting the name…YET.

  322. Okay, here is what we do,
    1. Cancel all knitter bank accounts with said bank
    2. Strategically place Size 2 double points in the seats of executive board room chairs so that they really get the “point” next time they sit down to have a meeting and try to mess with knitters!
    This injustice is the work of small minds that can not comprehend a successful business!

  323. You know, I’m wondering if, since I paid from Australia and copped exchange rate fees….. the bank will be refunding me the cost of their decision.

  324. I’m the least litigious person I’ve ever known, but I agree with those who really hope these guys will sue, and I’d be happy to help pay for their lawyer.
    And now I wasn’t GOING to sign up for the sock club, but you just made me. A waiting list with thousands on it could be kind of fun for them, yes?
    And I’ll order some yarn from them too. That’s how mad I am. I’m breaking my resolution to cut back on buying sock yarn! (But it’s such a good cause…) Maybe that’s the best revenge, all the great publicity Blue Moon will get out of this.

  325. My own muggle has to deal with similar ijits at work every day. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I bought him a shirt that said, “I’m trying very hard to see things from your point of view, but I can’t stick my head that far up my A$$”. Totally appropriate to the mindset of those he has to work with. I think I should call that store and order several more and have them sent to said bank full of corporate recto-cranial inversion cases.

  326. Sometimes I hear about someone doing something so stupid that my brain can’t come up with any rational explanation, and I just wonder if they were on crack or what?

  327. How horrible for Blue Moon and how disrespectful to knitters. I feel like giving the bankers a good poke.

  328. can you maybe give us a couple of words that rhyme with the name of the bank that tried to pull this stunt? I’d hate to bother someone like that with my patronage.

  329. I want to join the sock club now just to spite that bank. What a bunch of hooey.
    Oh, and I showed the letter to your daughters to my mother, who said she almost peed herself laughing, and acknowledged that with a few simple alterations there would be no problem making that a letter that she could have written. She loved it.

  330. I did my deed and went over to NPR… Steph, your sister’s thoughts were exactly my own first thoughts: *Wouldn’t have happened to men*

  331. Oh man. If only I had $210 available, I would love to sign up for that club. Those muggles are truely whacked.

  332. I just sent the link to this Yarn Harlot blog to my favorite local news team at KGW. I believe publicity is the way for all of us who are so rightly offended to help Blue Moon. This will be known and it will get attention in ways even we knitters can hardly imagine. We have enormous power as a group. Let’s raise our voices on this one. By the way, I am a native Oregonian and can say that the bank’s decision is NOT Oregon behavior.

  333. Utterly astounding. When I informed my mom of what happened, she was equally shocked! And she’s not a knitter! She suggested that Blue Moon sue the bank 😉

  334. Must have been the ‘Bank of Bin Laden’ cause anyone who doesn’t live in a hole would know what a huge success this business endeavor would have been! WOW .. those bankers need to get out more!!

  335. While I do not advocate drastic action a knit in the the lobby of everyones chaper of the bank would be a polite little wake-up call. Just gather knitters on a friday lunch hour have them go into the bank and knit while in line to get say change for a dollar.
    Freakin’ Muggles.

  336. To the Bank That Shall Not Be Named (yet):
    We’ll GET you my pretty!
    And your little dog, too!

  337. Isn’t it amazing that the bank will refund legitimate money, ’cause THEY think there’s some scam going on, but when there really is a scam, they’re nowhere to be seen?!?!?

  338. For the love of wool, get them to provide that bank’s name & address!! The KWB thing will start to look like small potatoes if knitters manage to get hold of this information…Holy crap–there must not be one single knitter in that entire organization–it boggles the mind.

  339. I’ve done my bit over at – made sure to mention I was a supporter as well as a listener. I’m glad folks liked the Metafilter post; I worked a while on crafting it to be representative of us as well as appropriate for that community.

  340. astounded! I wouldn’t believe this if it wasn’t from such a reputable source! I am amazed, oh, if the name of the bank gets out can you imagine the protest? I would even take up knitting socks just so I could go and sit on their doorstop with the other thousands of enraged knitters in protest. I agree, this wouldn’t happen if it was a group of men swapping fly fishing info. But I bet there was a women taking the minutes at that meeting going to herself “what a load of tossers!”

  341. I hope the name of this bank shows up on my credit card statement!! If not, I hope Someone leaks the name to all of us!! I also hope this bank hears of the Doctors Without Borders donations made by many of the same knitters whose money was denied!! My husband says” Never come between a woman and her knitting(or her nail appointment)!!!!! We will get revenge somehow.

  342. 402 comments? That’s more than you got when you and Joe ended your godless heathen relationship.
    If we can raise a buttload of money for KWB/TSF, surely we can raise hell with some incredibly stupid bank.
    Kind of makes me were terrorists. Imagine a march on the bank with size 19 (U.S) needles!

  343. (Sent to BlueMoon for forwarding to their bank)
    Dear Sirs:
    Yes, there truly are THAT MANY PEOPLE interested in knitting socks.
    In the course of less than TEN DAY’S TIME, these knitters also contributed
    over ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS to Doctors Without Borders. Without
    even straining.
    I truly wish that BlueMoon Fiber Arts would give us the name and contact
    information for your establishment, so that we may all make our presence
    known as we withdraw our funds to move to another bank!
    In conclusion–because you felt that knitting ‘should be unpopular’, I would
    like to make your bank unpopular. Please send your contact information and
    bank name to if you wish to truly find out just how popular
    knitting is.
    Pamela Alley
    Determined Novice Knitter who wants to put her money where it will actually
    be used with reasonable sense!

  344. This is complete insanity.
    When I got the email, I thought it was a scam at first (honestly I’ve re-read it a few times and parts of it do read that way). I don’t know if I’m more relieved it wasn’t a scam, or PO’d that it’s real!
    Anyway, I got my refund so I am off to re-register.
    And NPR will be hearing from me as well. There is also a public radio business show called Marketplace that is quite good, and might be interested.

  345. Snazzlefracken Rasserfrasin…
    Just because they are not interested in yarn does not mean that a continually growing pool of knitters/crocheters is not absolutely obsessed. If I decided that the bank was running a scam by taking my money, could I force them to refund every customer that they have on their records, hmm. GRRRRR
    I hate politics.
    Much Love.

  346. Why am I not amazed? (about the bank, that is.) Quilt shops have Blocks-of-the-Month all the time, requiring $$ to fund fabric; what’s so different about a Sock-of-the-Month? I’m with you, Steph! I’d give that bank a piece of my mind!!

  347. What morons! I got the Sock Club as a gift and had to walk my poor mother through the process.. now I get the pleasure of doing it again from 3500 miles away. What did they think we were funding, terrorism? Boo to that business.

  348. Ah Cathy! That makes sense that Blue Moon is not releasing the info because they ARE filing a lawsuit. Go Blue Moon!

  349. WOW! My mouth is still agape. I cannot believe this. I am adding my voice to the numbers…shocking! If you would provide an address, I would happily provide an e-mail or letter to the bank in question. WOW. Congratulations to the women at Blue Moon for maintaining their class through all of this.

  350. Do they really want to anger people who own dozens of sharp pointy objects? Oh, that this will go down in the annals of ‘poor business decisions’. Obviously these bankers are idiots of the highest degree! I don’t get it. I’m all in favor of banks persuing possible fraud, but making a unilateral decision with no research? Did they call any of these customers? Did they verify anything with them? Heck, they could have run a dummy number through, just to see what would happen, before potientially destroying a small business. No apology or refutation will convince me that this decision wasn’t, at least in part, sexist, pure and simple. If legions of young men knitted socks, would the idea of a sucessful club be beyond credibility?

  351. I have never knit with STR and am pretty sure that not many people will read this far….but…I was struck by someone’s post about the time he/she will lose in re-submitting his/her application. Does this sound like a class-action suit to anyone else? BMFA and all affected customers. In the USA today legal action is the only threat that gets results.

  352. I’m shocked. The bank obviously has no idea how much they’re missing out on profit wise.
    I suppose its a good idea the the knitter wrath hasn’t been unleashed on the cursed bank – if knitters can do as much good as they have for Doctors without Borders then they are as capable of doing as much …um to support Blue Moon. (Don’t want to think of knitters as evil!)
    I hope Blue Moon’s new bank is a better partner and treats them with the respect their business deserves.

  353. I received my letter from Blue Moon yesterday as well. Totally shocked that something like that could happen to a legit company. Waiting for my “refund” so that I can re-order. (have yet to check my email today) I missed out on last year’s sock club and am bound and determined not to miss out this year.
    I know there are plenty of scams out there in the big bad world, but like so many others have said, it would have been a simple matter to research. Not only through Google or another search engine, but to also phone a few of the many customers who ordered and double check that it was indeed a purchase that they desired to make. (I have had my credit card company call me to ensure that a charge was legit when my husband was in Malaysia and purchased a replacement pair of eye glasses.)
    I like the idea of sending a politely worded letter of shock and outrage at their stupidity and a sock… (but a mini one as they clearly aren’t worthy of a full sized one much less a pair.) Or perhaps just a photo of all the hand knit socks in the sock drawer. 😉 The idea of a Knit-in is so totaly cool. I am willing to take a day off of work and drive down from Washington State to sit in an Oregon bank lobby and protest. 🙂 And then locate Blue Moon and visit their shop and buy more yarn. The bank name would be nice as well, if only to be assured of never doing buisness with them.
    Knit on!

  354. I’ve passed this on to LinkTV…we will saturate the news media and take over the world!!…but only after I finish this row. (never underestimate the power of infuriated people with pointy sticks!)

  355. Ok. I’m not about to read 400+ comments to see if anyone else said this; and i understand that you may never get to my comment, there being so many and all, but…
    I have a great idea! Wouldn’t it be so much fun if all of the Sock Club People agreed to knit their socks merrily along and then, in the interest of keeping the banks info private…send them all to you and then you send them to the Bank?
    Ok. Maybe it’s just me, but i think that would be hilarious!

  356. Horrible as this is, and I was sad to get my email from Blue Moon yesterday, I had this happen last year to a small medical professional organization that I was president of—-and this organization is mostly men and all physicians. We have a once a year meeting so except for scattered dues payments (and 90% of members pay their dues along with the registration fee) all the credit card charges come in over 6 weeks a year. After paying bank fees for over 6 months, the bank had a fit when they got a mere 50 credit card charges (of about $600 each–so $30,000) in—and suddenly said that we could not have more than ten charges a month—meaning that given their exorbitant fees each charge effectively cost much more than they led us to believe.
    We, much like BlueMoon—had expenses to pay for the meeting–room, food, etc and no money coming in. This was a large, national US bank–but they couldnt understand that a yearly meeting with no other organization activities meant, of course, that money came in once a year and was not spread evenly each month. Sending them our IRS non profit professional organization certificate was to no avail. We compromised by slowly putting the charges through over 4 months (nudging them up to 12 a month) and getting the officers to send a check rather than charge it—and we were lucky that the vendors to whom we owed money were slow to bill us and we had some money in reserve—-but it was psychotic. Changing banks and switching to Paypal rahter than direct credit card sales did not modify my desire to firebomb them.
    Like here they thought we were running a scam or perhaps a drug ring? and made up only of doctors and that we put one over on the IRS?????????????
    Who runs banks?
    I am off to recharge my sock club fee and await my socks.

  357. I am speechless…almost. Want name and address of bank. I think we should all send them ONE sock each and flood their lobby with a mass of missmatched socks!!!!! (though I like the mass email idea as well) Not to mention I would also pull my busines from them if I knew I had an account with them. How frigging stupid can an alleged business be??? Rock on Blue Moon!!!!

  358. If you are determined to send them a sock, don’t waste good yarn; make it out of steel wool instead. 🙂

  359. oooooooh that bank really should have some idea of just how much money they just turned down. ooooooh yes we really should be telling them just how we feel about their male thinking. Can’t believe it huh? shucks. darn. Well I am proud of the blue moon team for finding another bank quickly who does not have the same closed minded problems. If they are a national bank I would also change to another bank by pulling all my money out. Let them have a run on withdrawals and see right quick how powerful women can be who knit. sheesh. This is just one of the most mind boggling things I have heard in a long time.

  360. Ladies and Gentlemen, the only civilized way to combat this sort of ignorance is to get out there and knit. Knit in public. I have resolved that I will never go anywhere again without a sock-in-progress in my purse. If knitters were seen everywhere, this would never happen again.

  361. I had not signed up since I do not need more stash! but after finding out about this I am now on the waiting list. The bank should read a bit of history to find out that fiber has ran the world since its conception.

  362. It is likely a very good thing that the Blue Moon Ladies would not share their errant (former) banker’s name. That bank would get an earful from the angry knitters of the world. And we are a hard bunch to anger.
    Of course, I can totally believe a bank would do that. We once asked for a “sweep” account for our business account at our former bank. They informed us that our day-to-day balance was too inconsequential for them to bother with offering us a “sweep” account. We then went to another (larger) bank, and they were more than happy to provide us with a sweep account and many other services. Sometimes, you just need someone with a more open mind.

  363. I’m not even a member of the Socks that Rock Club, but I say, “LET ME AT ‘EM!!!!!” SHEESH! I’ll be happy to give them an earful!

  364. I think what bothers me the most about this is that the bankers were of the opinion that there was no possible way that many people could be interested in knitting socks, why – because it’s something granny’s do in rocking chairs? And to disregard every single person that joined that club. If it were hunting gear, they wouldn’t blink an eye.

  365. I wrote a comment earlier today and have now read through all the comments posted. I like the name suggested for any united knitters blogging community action that is taken in response to the offending bank, “Sock it to the Bank”. I’ve done my small part and wrote about it on my wee little blog that doesn’t really see much traffic (it’s my own fault). =) I’m on board for ANY action once the name of the bank is revealed. I thought it would be cute to knit mini socks and send them to the bank to hang on their Christmas tree, but I also like the idea to send socks to donate to a local charitable organization, either to the offending bank or to the new bank. The new bank rocks! Sending awesome socks to the new bank is a brilliant idea, too! Knitters are so SMART!! I am totally overwhelmed by the power of knitters! Rock on knitters! Rock on!! I can’t wait to make my first BMFA purchase once their site is back up and functioning. I’ve lusted after their yarn for long enough and am now kicking myself for not getting into the STR Club when I had the chance! I also like the idea of a new colour-way called “SCAM” and would totally be all over it, especially if it helps BMFA with any legal expenses. For now, I am just going to sit with a pen and paper and write a nice letter to the amazing folks at BMFA. Maybe knit BMFA a mini-sock and stick it to a greeting card that I write on with pictures of my local sheep and all the socks I have knitted and loved. Peace, love and good vibes being sent to the awesome ladies at BMFA!
    – sock knitting soldier on stand-by to “Stick it to the Bank!” =)

  366. So angry about this I cannot even speak or blog.
    The fur on the back of my neck is standing up.
    We have pointy sticks. We are not afraid to use them.
    Must go and knit 10,000 stitches now to calm down.

  367. I have had problems with a certain bank and would not put it passed them to do something like this. From the other Blue Moon Fibers, I hope you sue the pants off of them!

  368. LOL! Sorry, I think it’s funny in the most twisted self-depreciating/cover-up-the-pain type way. ^_^ It’s actually kinda funny. It’s amusement for the soul! I mean, it’s kinda funny that the group of males with sticks shoved up their *ahem* deny women to use sticks to make socks.

  369. Well, ditto. ditto. And ditto. Stephanie in Portland is absolutely correct. We can all start to KIP at every available opportunity. That is a truly sensible and civilized response.
    I am, however, less civilized than Stephanie, and I also want to know which bank this is. I’m too selfish to waste a perfectly good skein of sock yarn on them – not to mention all those hours of work. (Mar is right, though, it would be pretty funny.) How about some of those little mini-socks, like the ones used for earrings or bookmarks? Nothing nasty. Just a visual clue for the undereducated.
    Now, what do I say to that guy in the doctor’s waiting room who was appalled that I had the audacity to be knitting for myself. Yeah, selfish b*tch that I am.

  370. I have had problems with a certain bank and would not put it passed them to do something like this. From the other Blue Moon Fibers, I hope you sue the pants off of them!

  371. I’d love for all of us to inundate that bank with emails and crash their servers. The Blue Moon ladies are exactly that – ladies. I must admit I wouldn’t be able to hold my temper enough to take the high road and decline to pass on the bank’s email.
    Kudos to Blue Moon for handling this so well and I’m so glad for them that this won’t affect their business in a negative way.

  372. To add insult to injury, this bank’s peremptory actions have cost me money. The club costs $286.00 and change CDN. The refund that showed up on my credit card today is for $276.00 and change. The CDN dollar is even lower now, so my out-of-pocket will be even higher, when I place the new order.
    That said, the gals at BMFA have been wonderful – professional and classy. They don’t deserve this crappy treatment and neither do we. The bank should be exposed and, at a minimum offer a public apology.

  373. Just FYI on helping spread the word – Blogged. Post title: Socks Wha’ Hae’! [veg] And noted about no bank name due to possible legal action.

  374. Jimminy Crickets! Even my VERY muggle husband was appalled when I read him the post. This knitter (new to socks & loving it!) will be keeping a close eye on the situation. Add me to the “let me know what I can do!” line-up. I’d love an excuse to take a field trip to Oregon for a knit in, or organize a sympathetic one up here in Vancouver. Good luck!

  375. I really need to know the name of this bank. My husband and I are looking for a vacation home in Oregon, and I need to be sure this bank doesn’t get our mortgage business.

  376. I think we need to be creating a new term here – Muggles are simply non-magical people — or non-knitters – these Bankers are a whole other breed!
    I have shared this story with some Muggles today and they are appalled.
    I am stupefied – though not to the extent of these ‘businessmen’ who have lost business.
    What I wouldn’t give for their name! Ooh I want to write a letter in the worst way…
    Whoa! I just saw a post above this talking about a Knit In in Oregon – sounds like a great idea…I could use a trip to Oregon myself…Lovely state – don’t let their bankers fool you. I read this earlier on my lunch break and was so shocked I couldn’t leave a comment – this one is still not all that coherent…Honestly. Did they think perhaps they should contact the authorities over the situation? Perhaps then they might have learned something. Frightening.

  377. Frankly, I would like to have, at the very least, the name of the bank so that I can be sure that I’m not doing business with them. I’m so appalled I can’t think of what to say.

  378. I hardly ever post because frankly I’m quite afraid of the sheer volume of comments you receive. HOW do you read so many?
    Anyways, I thought I’d post some information for you because I think it’s important to include all kinds of information and I think the sock gals should be informed. My aunt is a vice president of a regional bank. Just the other day we were talking about banking with small businesses and such things. She was telling me that in today’s day and age, there are big time problems for banks who want to do business with small businesses. Because of 9/11, heightened security has even been applied to banks as money laundering is common for these organizations. My aunt was telling me she has seen it happen again and again that they are FORCED to close accounts because of the types of activity going on even if they are 100% aware the business is legit. There is just too much risk that the feds will come knocking and asking questions bringing the bank under investigation and in some cases even close the bank itself. So while we know how fabulous sock yarn is the fact is that a club like that with sheer volume registers as suspicious activity. And in this day and age with lawsuits firing off here, there, everywhere, banks can’t take that kind of risk. So the chances are that they’ll be forced to move their business again and again OR be able to show that hey look there really are some madly insane sock yarn lovers out there ok? Back to lurky shadows for me!

  379. Knitters baying for blood! I agree with many of the comments that Blue Moon should consider suing. It is a sad commentary from Madeline that banks are forced into doing that kind of stuff because of the risks. What is small business to do?

  380. Madeline, that’s not “security” you’re talking about. That is Big Brother, paranoia, presumed guilt and a sorry-ass big-business excuse for putting small businesses out of business so the MegaMarts of the world can take over.
    I know that you are not advocating these things personally, you are just trying to be helpful and possibly calm down the bunch of us who are standing around here waving our pikes and pitchforks and howling for heads to roll. Still, there’s NO excuse for allowing big-business-conrolled government to use “national security” as an excuse to put legitimate small businesses out of business.
    Now ‘scuse me while I go find my scythe.

  381. I love this story. When you think about the scam that actually reach the ‘media’ they are usually so obvious that you do wonder why and who would actually be so gullible! You know the sort of things, send my £10,000 and we’ll double your money. But socks! Money for yarn? Why would an unsuspecting non-knitter suddenly feel obliged to invest in sock wool? It actually makes it all feel a bit on the edge, slightly naughty in the fun robbing a bank in the style of the Italian Job sort of way not (just to clarify my definition of naughty). I feel like a dodgy character, should we all start selling our stashes illegally on street corners?

  382. There is a logical inconsistency in Madeline’s information. If banks are FORCED to close accounts, how is Blue Moon’s new bank going to handle having their business? I think part of the answer is a business’s philosophy and whether the business, bank or otherwise, is really living the ‘pretty’ words they put out. Blue Moon clearly is and needs to find support services that do as well.
    I don’t know if anyone will read this far but while I share the outrage—I have another take on dealing with it. Make another new year’s resolution, each one of us, to be more aware of how we spend the power of the money we handle. Even if it seems small each purchasing choice (or not to purchase) has the potential to support our ethics, It is another way to move the ideas behind Knitters without Borders into other parts of our lives.
    There are fairer banks in the world. I am lucky to bank at one of them Wainwright Bank in MA, USA. One source that I know of for either finding out something about where your money is going or resources for a more sustainable purchase is CoopAmerica. Sadly as its name suggests it only focuses on USA businesses although some of them have a global reach. You can search their site for information. If you choose to join, you select your own, appropriate sliding scale fee, as little as $20 USD.
    I understand the legal reasons why Blue Moon won’t reveal the bank but suspect it will become known. Choosing not to do business with them while simultaneously taking our monies to businesses that do support values we espouse is exactly what I am proposing.

  383. I hm part of a small (not for profit) music festival which has been on the receiving end of utter incompetency from our bank, we sent them several nasty letters, it was infuriating. The only thing which worked was a threat to remove our business to elsewhere.
    Over here in the UK we are not so coy about giving our banks the pasting they so often deserve, privately and in the media. They get away with murder as it is (at the moment they are all having ‘January sales’ which are, as a financial journalist said on national radio the other day “a complete scam, the offers are a load of absolute bollocks”). They now have to make it really easy for you to move your account if you want to.
    This bank’s name should be exposed, so those who wish to e.g. move their accounts in protest, can do so (and tell them why). The only thing bankers understand (as is patently obvious here!) is making a chunk of money, and they understand losing a chunk of it quite well too.
    Too much these days is explained away by ‘security measures’. They could at the very least have got their backsides off their boardroom chairs and visited Blue Moon to confirm the legitimacy of their business, surely?.

  384. I wouldn’t waste my sock yarn sending them one sock, but I would send them a picture of a sock. Cut from magazines, newspapers, etc. or a drawing. I would innundate them with pictures of socks.
    I want the name of the bank.

  385. What the F!!!??!? Freakin’ Muggles indeed…I am sooooo sick of women being treated like this by the business world…I do wish those fine women of Blue Moon would have let us know the bank’s name, because if I have dealings with them I would change banks….and send some mail….Jeeze….Do you mean to tell me that not one of those Muggles have a loved one with a yarn stash?! Short sighted SOB’s.

  386. I really wish we knew the name of the bank/credit card company so we could avoid doing business with them. I’d be that would “impact their bottom line negatively”. Perhaps then they’d see the power of knitters first hand. I would love to send them a letter with my cut up credit card in it.

  387. This is a very uninformed banker. First on the serious side they have violated their agreement with the credit card companies on processing. The ladies need to contact all the credit card companies and notify them of the decision that this bank made without facts. Then they need to contact the federal and state bank regulators and file a formal complaint about the actions of this bank. Both of these could result in more damages than all of our emails. I would attach copies of all the emails to the complaint and to the credit card companies. In fact everyone who has used a credit card for this transactions should write a letter to their credit card bank and the credit card company, MasterCard, Visa, Discovery, etc and state how unfair this was. If anyone has contacts at the national news level I would notify them also.
    The ladies at Blue Moon may not be able to end their relationship with this bank rapidly. They may have business loans, mortgages etc that cannot be paid off immediately. However the damages to their business and the expenses involved in redoing the website, etc would make me think twice about this bank.
    Not all bankers are bad. However this is not the first stupid decision I have seen made. I am a former banker and even bankers have to deal with idiots like this for their customers.

  388. I agree with Fi in Oxford. As another Brit, I can confirm that the banks here are also using the cover of “security measures” as an excuse whenever they get caught out doing something dodgy – not allowing the poor to have bank accounts for example. (The other big cover story here is the “Data Protection Act”.)
    When our financial press look into the matter, they almost always find that this is all a question of interpretation. Yes, there are laws designed to stop money laundering, and laws to prevent personal data falling into the wrong hands, but the manner in which they are put into practice and the level of common sense used varies from organisation to organisation. Some are, frankly, just not trying.
    I can only too easily imagine a similar situation to the Blue Moon one arising here.
    This is a case of poor management practice and the best way to deal with it is to make the company suffer by withdrawing your business. I daresay the bank in question’s name will become public soon enough. It will then be up to their customers to act. But if you do take your business away DO say why (preferably in writing to someone at the top)otherwise they still won’t get the message. Good luck Blue Moon, and good luck knitters all.

  389. I think as a show of support to Blue Moon the customers who are affected should NOT use the coupons Blue Moon have given them. It’s not their fault that the bank made this mess, they shouldn’t have to offer anything to appease the customers!

  390. I want the name of the bank–they inconvenienced each and every one of us who signed up for the STR club and we have the right to tell them so.
    Small business owners also need to know who they are, so they can be avoided like the plague.
    It would have taken very little effort to confirm the existence of a large STR following….consumers deserve to know about this, because these incompetent bankers could be screwing with someone else’s money tomorrow.

  391. Yarn…scam?!?!
    But – Clearly, they’ve never seen a knitter’s stash. Wool is like a drug for us. We have to have it and we’ll pay lots of pennies for it. And we have a stash. The only differences between wool and mary jane is that wool doesn’t give you the munchies, it’s legal to posess, and you’re not supposed to burn and inhale it.
    Muggles don’t know the power of knitters (and don’t realize that we regularly carry sharp objects).

  392. The mind boggles. The mind not only boggles, it scrabbles and parcheesis!
    Boy, I wish I had the ready capital to join STR. Even though I haven’t started on socks yet!
    And I agree with the other ladies. I would like to know if this bank is one that I do business with, so I can speak loudly and take my business elsewhere!

  393. Blue Moon needs to lay down the smack… typical bank bureaucracy… good for them to come out on top!
    Yes, we need the name of the bank to let them know exactly what they messed with. This is America! I am on the waiting list for the STR club, but I still support BMFA wholeheartedly!
    Thanks for posting
    Anne/roxy on the knittyboards

  394. It’s an unfortunate decision not to list the bank, not so much for sake of harassing the bank president, but to warn other small business owners. What’s to say the next decision won’t be “We don’t think that many people want to build model airplanes” or “We don’t believe that many people are interested in classical music.” The kindest thing would be to get the word out so other businesses like this can make informed decisions about with whom they’re doing business.

  395. Wow. What idiots. Hard to say for sure if sexism is indeed involved, but stupidity cannot be doubted. I understand BMFA keeping things on the downlow if they are planning to take action, and I applaud them for it. But I gotta agree I would like to know what bank this was, simply because I never, eeeeeever want to trust this bunch of morons with my money.
    I just helped start a knit/crochet thread on a large board I belong to in another fandom, & I linked this url there. Information is power.
    And Lisa Davis, I’ll help you knit Anderson Cooper socks anytime. 🙂

  396. Gobsmacked. Just… gobsmacked!
    I like the idea of knitting a pair of socks for the charity of the new bank’s choice, though. Everyone wins. Well. Maybe not everyone. But those who don’t win will learn. Knitters! Let us use our powers for Good!

  397. The laies at Blue Moon are indeed classy and wonderful people but DAMN I want to write to the IDIOTS at their former bank.
    The Knitting Olympics was featured in TIME for crying out loud!!! This colossis blunder is the type of news that you shout from the rooftops and CNN shows up in the bank’s lobby to get “statements” from the “manager”. If there is any justice in this world, the fools will be displayed for all to see and mock.

  398. That just blows my mind! I didn’t even sign up for Socks That Rock (can’t afford it right now), and I want to write that bank and give them what-for while laughing very hard in their faces. Just unbelievable!

  399. I truly believe like many others that if this was a male owned business selling golf clubs the bank would not have batted and eye.
    I also believe that although BMFA wants to keep what is happening on the down low things like this have a way of taking on their own life. I hope they take legal action against the bank, and also post about the bank not being friendly to women-owned businesses.

  400. What the &*#@? Have these bank people never seen any of the hundreds of news reports and articles about the popularity of knitting over the past few years? It just boggles my mind that they would think BMFA was trying to run a SCAM. Unbelievable!

  401. I, too. think that you should disclose the name of the bank. I don’t need to write an e-mail to the bank–not sure any of them can read anyway–but I do wish to make sure I am not inadvertently doing business with any outfit that is: a so stupid b. so discriminatory against a women-run company c. so stupid (did I already mention that?) The economic realities are the ones they care about, so I want them to lose my business.

  402. I demand to know the name of the bank! — and the bank that came to the rescue. We parents know that good behavior should be reinforced, and bad behavior NOT. Blue Moon saints, please at least pass all these comments on….
    I just keep shaking my head….

  403. It’s not just banks who don’t believe we’re in such force. When you came to the visit us last year, I applied to the city for the permit to close the parking lot. One of the local business owners, came to the store and in front of the staff and my knitting class told me I was nuts. That there was no way there could possibly be 350 knitters AND that they would all come to see an author. He even wrote a letter to the city to that effect. However after I gave the city the list of people who had RSVP’d (no personal information was distributed), they went ahead and approved the lot closure. I’m so glad they did, but sometimes the muggles just need more education.

  404. Please provide (at least) the name of the bank. If I am currently holding one of their credit cards, they will be getting the pieces back in the mail and a lovely note explaining what they are, why they received them, and where they can stick them…and maybe a rough estimate of how much yarn I buy with the freakin’ thing every month!

  405. This is so ridiculous that I almost cannot believe it — and so horrible for the Blue Moon people. It sounds like science fiction.
    Somebody ought to write a book.
    Suzette Haden Elgin

  406. Freakin’ muggles, indeed. The bank REMFs can be forgiven for not knowing about the pleasures of knitting, but someone really screwed up in making this decision, and that’s just plain unprofessional. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but the sheer number of them attests to our strength in numbers and the tone of them to our passion. Kudos to BMFA for taking the high road, for whatever reason(I call it good karma). As entertaining as the revenge fantasies are(clogging the bank’s mailroom with all our leftover sock yarn particularly appealed to me), we will find more positive ways to show our power. I’m sure I’m not the only one planning to sign up for STR as a result of this… Knitting well is the best revenge!

  407. Madeline (posting @ 2:54 a.m.), my husband (a financial guy) concurs with what your aunt was saying about the current banking regulations in the States but he also remarked that the Bad Bank in question was EXTREMELY sloppy and deserves all the grief it will get over this–the Good Bank which is taking over BMFA’s business obviously has more guts and responsible business practices than the Bad Bank –I heartily endorse Harlene’s idea of using a bank whose business philosophy fits your individual philosophy–here in Canada that may or may not be as easy, as we have only a set number of banks and trust companies allowed but I am forwarding this blog page and comments to an old friend (female) who happens to be the COO of one of our country’s largest banks with an “FYI and TAKE NOTE” attached!

  408. I’m sure no one is reading posts this far down but I’ll hop in again-
    FORCED is when an agency comes in with a warrant to freeze an account. REQUIRED is when the computer tells you “Um, guys, go check on the account” and you do and file the paperwork about it. BULLIED is when you boot a customer out the door because the computer flinched and you were AFRAID of a visit from an inspector of some sort.
    I’m perfectly willing to believe that a computer raised a flag on the number of transactions from odd sources (by my count, 3 continents have been heard from here) BUT, that is no excuse for following your computer’s thoughts instead of using your own brain and possibly having a tad more paperwork to file. If the business is legit and the federales come a knocking, you have the paperwork saying “yeah, we looked into it and they are a legit business – here have a sock.”
    I’m also willing to admit that various bizarre Patriot, Data Security, and banking laws have made much more work for our friends the bankers. Which is also no excuse for them not to screw their heads on, do their jobs and file the papers with the necessary people.
    Now, either they had a chicken bank, or one who wasn’t set up properly to offer services to small business. In which case, moving to one that is set up as such (a commercial bank or community bank might be wise) is a very good idea.
    (Gee Mr. Gates, I can’t think why anyone would want a computer in their homes, so we won’t give you this loan……..)

  409. While we’re waiting to get the name of the bank–it will come out–I’ve sent the story suggestion to NPR. If media outlets get deluged with our outrage, just that will start the publicity ball rolling.
    Email NPR, CNN, and any other major media outlet. The sheer volume of us will make them curious.

  410. Why not just call your credit card company and ask which bank returned the money if you really want to know. Wouldn’t they know who sent the money back to them? And wouldn’t they have to tell you?

  411. I trust Blue Moon to take their own vengeance through their lawyers.
    But these bozos are so incredibly stupid, I want to know who they are so I can be sure they don’t get a dime of my money. Not that you can know who is processing credit card payments for a merchant you deal with, but I want to keep my money out of their clutches.
    Emy writes of a shop charging $80/hr for lessons. Either they don’t really want to do private lessons, or please sent me their list of people who said this was too much – I’ll do it for $60.
    And WHY would anyone want to invest time/effor/money in sending the idiot banker a sock? Now, pictures of socks you’ve made would make MUCH more sense.

  412. Stupid muggles. I’m not even a super experienced knitter and I LOVE knitting socks! That’s just ridiculous! I guess they just can’t see past their black dress socks enough to realize the beauty of a well made pair of yummy wool ones!

  413. Any of you subscribe to iTunes? There is a free podcast of an article in The Economist called ‘The Long Tail’. It discusses how the internet has changed the shape of how products are ‘bought’. Formerly, there was a large head and a long tail (like a sperm cell)…the head was what got marketed by the mass media, the tail was everything else. Because of the internet, the long skinny tail is plumping up to look more like the head. The author being interviewed for the article was literally astounded at the market for music, news, etc. that used to be considered ‘niche’ product.
    Perhaps these bankers aren’t familiar with (even the paper version of) The Economist. Perhaps they can’t understand that sock yarn, hand painted yarn, hand spun fiber, and a ‘fucktillion’ (what a great word) other things were formerly a niche market, but that the power of the internet has made literally every possible product so much more readily available to those who have always wanted them (but never a way to find and/or buy them) that said people are buying it en masse.
    Whatever. Their decision was shortsighted and stupid. Remember in the movie Elizabeth, where Cate Blanchett puts her lover in the Tower (instead of killing him) to remind herself of her big mistake? Maybe instead of a sock, we should send them one of our new T-shirts…Be nice. I’m a knitter and I’m on a big team…to remind them of theirs!

  414. Wow – what a story. I had my first STR order in early December. Lovely yarn. I wanted to join the club this year – but post xmas etc – financially just not possible.
    Those ladies at Blue Moon are really being grown up about this.
    They will gain from this publicity – we already know how good they are – and the word will spread – but lets be kind to them – they will already be inundated – and give them some time to sort themselves out. They KNOW we’re there for them.

  415. Me again. I am so in favor of responding by giving knitted socks to the charity of BMFA’s or the new bank’s choice. I also love the suggestion of calling the project, “Sock it to the bank.” Yesterday, before I read this blog entry, I finished a pair of (banker’s) gray wool socks that have no home. Today, my pattern-a-day knitting calendar has a pattern for socks using scrap yarn. I am a person of faith. To me these are signs from God. Let me know where to send the socks. I would love to warm some needy feet at the expense of a cold-hearted bank.

  416. Something else puzzles me– and I admit I did not read ALL the comments on the several blogs that dealt with this subject. The Sock Club is not new. I just learned about it in 2006, thanks to WendyKnits referring to the site. What was different, (probably nothing is my guess), last year? Why was it OK to take sock knitters’ money last year, but not this year? Just askin’.

  417. 1)No! I’m not OK. 2)Don’t Panic?!!! 3)What’s next? They try to take away my birthday? Just let them try it. Knitters can come together. We’re good at it.

  418. I decided to wait 24 hours before writing. Initially I was seething ready to string those bankers up at high noon (i.e. bombard the bank, alert the media etc. with complaint letters…just give me the old bank details and let me rip attitude).
    When banks do dumb acts and/or get greedy it serves as a rallying/flash point for many, including myself. I then read Judy’s comments that commence with “This is a very uninformed banker…”. Her approach sounded reasonable and I think effective. I also liked the idea of knitting socks for the bankers. It made me think of Gandhi in a strange way and those ladies who are knitting mittens for the world conference being held in their city.
    Harlot you know your power. Your blog entries are classics. It’s one way you help market your fab books. So now I am wondering hmmm about the power of the internet, being effective and respecting the wishes of the Blue Moon ladies. Heck any concerned person knitter or muggle, has to see that this situation with old bank is more than unfair.
    Did you find out why the ladies at Blue Moon decided not to divulge the bank’s name? Yup I agree the old bank was not too swift and yup it is a travesty but what about the ladies at Blue Moon. Classy ladies? I think so but also perhaps very wise too. They may have (as Judy suggests in her comments) other banking relationships with the old bank that will be less easy to sever such as a mortgage.
    I sure want to have at ’em (the old bank) but there is also a need to respect the wishes of others. If I understand your blog entry, the Blue Moon folks declined to tell you the details of their old bank (name, address etc.)
    They may have very valid reasons for non-disclosure. The Blue Moon folks may know or can well anticipate what will ensue in terms of fallout, if they do indeed disclose the old bank’s details. Did you talk to them about their reasons for non-disclosure prior to writing your blog entry?
    Before I get scalded with the wrath of fellow knitters and consumers, I agree that the bank’s position is beyond the pale. Sock yarn club a scam? Lack of research by the bank, as in Google at a bare minimum? Damn straight. Having to sign up again is a pain but small in comparison to the work that the Blue Moon folks have had to do.
    As noted earlier I just wonder has there been some thought about the potential soup you and all of your readers may have helped to create for the Blue Moon folks? If Blue Moon was in agreement that your blog entry would be useful then full steam ahead, otherwise what happens when they have to deal with the fallout?
    I wish I had all the answers Harlot. You have a right along with so many of us to be angry and to vent. I also hope that the Blue Moon folk do not get burdened with well intentioned solutions that create more difficulties for them. I am still steamed but trying to see and respect the wishes of the Blue Moon folk.

  419. Have the organizers of the Sock Yarn Club sought help from their local Business WOMEN’s association? Perhaps there’s some assistance to be had from them?
    480+ comments!

  420. I love the idea of knitting socks for charity. I say let the new bank choose the cause, as a “thank you” for exercising good judgment. Let’s make something good come out of this. 🙂

  421. To Spinning Guy, with all due respect…until you’ve sat in a chair at the bank trying to open a merchant account, and had the bank manager tell you that the bank will not consider your application if you do not use your husband (I wasn’t married), your father or your brother as a co-signer…you can’t possibly know what it’s like. I did however offer to use my mother, who would have made a much better co-signer, as she made double my father’s salary and has significantly more assets, as well as a good family friend (female again) who was a well-established business owner in the community. I was told directly that both those options were not acceptable, with no explanation why.
    Oh. Another issue was the fact that I didn’t check off my marital status on the form. I kid you not.
    This was in 2005. In a big city.

  422. I have made a button in honor of the struggle and you can see it on my blog. Thanks, as always, for alerting us to the injustice.

  423. I too thought “wish I had one of those returned payments on a statement” as the details would show the name of the bank returning your money I would think. This is the second year (at least) isn’t for this sock club? I can’t afford joining but I’ve sure visited the site a few times wishing I could!
    Rock & Weave has been “calling to me” since the month it came out. Now that the pattern is for sale, the $6 S/H fee still makes me back away. Couldn’t ya print it out on paper & stick a stamp on an envelope… economy style?! 😉 oh, well!

  424. My mouth actually fell open reading this. And then my next coherent thought was, “Oh, that’s going to be a fun letter to write.” I’m pretty disappointed at not being able to send a sarcasm- and link-heavy email to the bank. Also, if it’s an international bank, I would want to make sure not to do business with them. Ah, well.
    But seriously, this is not Stephanie’s fault and she posted no contact information that is not publicly available on the Blue Moon website. Obviously that letter went to a lot of folks–Stephanie took the time to call them and find out what’s going on, so I think some folks are overreacting in the opposite direction by chastising her.

  425. Puuuulllllleeeesssssssssssse give us the NAME of that bank. Pretty please with brown sugar on top?

  426. I just told my son about this and his reaction was the same as everyone’s – he thought it was insane that the bank wouldn’t research the popularity of sock yarn, and would make an assumption based on such ignorance. And, he wants the name of the bank so we can make sure we don’t use them. He’s 12 and he’s smarter than the bank guys.

  427. Instead of every knitter in the world sending angry-mail to this Muggle bank, every sock-knitter should send a sock to the bank president. Just one. One perfectly made, extremely comfy, beautiful sock. Just to make him wish he knew someone who knits!

  428. In a past life, I have done SRI (Socially Responsible Investing), including a brief stint in Toronto regarding community loan funds…but I digress. As an advocate of community banking, and finding nothing even vaguely oxymoronic about that phrase, I have to strongly disagree with Blue Moon’s policy. It may seem like taking the high road, but in business, information counts. Not only have they lost an account, but they should know why. For their benefit, and ultimately for ours as well. Hopefully, this will allow others in positions of fiduciary trust to learn from their painful experience, and treat small businesses- and their customers (the sock knitters who keep the world warm , one toe at a time)- better in the future.
    Please ask then to reconsider. In reality, they truly would be doing a public service. In general and in specific.

  429. To Kim at 1:06PM — in 1984 I had no real credit of my own aside from a department store card and two gas credit cards, all of which I had had for at least 2-3 years, all of which were always paid on time. I had a steady job paying $8.50 US at the time, AND a part-time job. I wanted to borrow $1500 so I could buy a better car. My dad was in poor health so I didn’t want to ask my parents to loan me money or co-sign, and besides, I was a grownup and wanted to do it on my own.
    One bank would not give me a loan without a HUSBAND OR FATHER signing. Mom could not co-sign.
    Another bank actually let my BOYFRIEND co-sign. This same boyfriend turned out to be my husband awhile later, for reasons unrelated to this transaction. 🙂
    We (Dave and I) talked for days afterward about how flaky that was — a boyfriend could take off, poof, just like that, any second!
    To the rest of you … we don’t know what bank this is and the ladies at Blue Moon say that they can’t disclose the bank’s name right now because they are taking legal action. I learned this while making a sock yarn order, which each of us should do — buying sock yarn doesn’t count as breaking a New Year’s resolution — and these ladies need all the help they can get right now for legal expenses and also so they can expeditiously sever all relationships with Bad Bank, such as paying off any loans they have in a big hurry. Just think, if we all bought JUST ONE SKEIN. Or two…
    But I digress — we cannot learn the bank’s name yet and it’s likely that these guys do not read the ECONOMIST (howdy to the other Economist reader out there!) but they ALL read the WALL STREET JOURNAL. I hope we all inundated NPR with this yesterday, so why not this — let’s ALL write letters to the editor of the WSJ.
    And patience, patience, my duckies — all legal matters eventually go into the public record and sooner or later a suit will be filed and some intrepid knitter in the Portland area (HINT HINT) can go snooping around City Hall to discover this information.
    This is going to make national news, folks. Let’s all write the Wall Street Journal, OK?
    And Steph, for advocating peace and possibly instigating a large protest march … not only are you fast becoming the Elizabeth Zimmermann of the new millennium, but you are also the Timothy Leary of knitting, and I do mean that in a very, very good way! Right down to the unruly hair.

  430. Bankers and artists are not a good mix. Many years ago the only thing that allowed this Northern gal to save her sanity while visiting in-laws in small–town South Carolina was the Brunswick woolen mill outlet in the next small town up the road. The family used to take wagers on how long it would take me to escape to there and how much money I would spend. Sadly, one day I drove into the parking lot and found everything closed. Evidently the local small town bankers who understood the cyclic nature of income and expenditures for yarn sales (this was long before the current knitting renaissance) were bought out by big-city corporate bankers who only saw aging accounts receivable, determined the business to be unsound, and put the mill out of business. I still have a couple of hanks of well-aged Brunswick yarn I can’t bring my self to knit up, for sentiment’s sake.

  431. I could not figure out why on earth my $210 that I had saved just for this awesome sock club had been put back in my account…then I got Blue Moon’s letter. This is the first time I have signed up and am so excited. I work for a freight forwarding company and move equipment for a very big name bank on a daily basis. They definately are not the brightest “MEN” on the planet. I can state that for sure!

  432. I’m sorry to hear about the problem between Blue Moon and the bank, but am kind of surprised at the high amount of energy and anger this seems to have stirred up.
    How about everyone who got pissed off donate an extra five bucks to Doctors Without Borders and let it go? Ten if we dropped the F- bomb? 😉
    Going to write my check now. Better make mine $20 !!!
    Peace, y’all!

  433. Oe even better, since the $210 cost of the sock club averages out to $35 per pair of socks, how about a check to Doctors Without Borders for that amount?
    And of course, toss some bidness Blue Moon’s way… which I’d bet @#$ good money they have more than they can handle these days given the tempest in the teapot…

  434. 503 comments and more coming as I write.
    I can add no words that have not been (or will be) expressed.
    Speachless and wordless I am am. In agreement with several of the suggestions by other commenters…I loved the #2 dpns in the chair idea.
    What total insanity.
    I am gonna order the sock kit and I HAVE NEVER even knit a sock. (bout time to learn!)

  435. Dear Knitter of useless little things, We know that even though you didn’t have the courage to complain about a charge on you credit card, be reassured that BIG Banking will protect you from evil plots to seperate you from your hard earned widows/widowers mite by those who would prey on the old, weak and helpless of the world. We will be valiant in the protection of so small a group of people because we want to be YOUR BANK.
    p.s. what exactly is this fiber and how do you make anything out of wheat and oats?

  436. BBinNJ Please tell us how you got her name… I don’t want to innundate her with my displeasure until I’m sure that she’s one of ’em.
    I think that if the Blue Moon ladies would make a colorway… maybe named “Banker’s Laundry”, we all make a sock (or pair), send a picture of it to them, then give to charity. We can show our might just as we did with Knitters Without Boarders!

  437. I think I just stuck my foot in it. My last one asked how someone came up with the name Dolores Umbridge, and I’m probably the only one here who never read Harry Potter! I tried to look up the name, and came up with the series.
    OOPS!! I will go now, and try to insert my “other” foot into my mouth (hands? for typing it?)

  438. One more post–I haven’t bought yarn in a really long time because money is tight, but after reading (nearly) all the comments, the sense of community feeling is the same as I got from the MSF post. I can’t afford to join the club, but I will purchase a skein of STR yarn in support of BMFA.

  439. BBinNJ, you are one brilliant person. =D I laughed aloud as I thought of just how relevant that analogy is.
    For all of you that don’t read Harry Potter (or haven’t gotten to the fifth book), I’ll try to explain her character.
    Dolores Umbridge, in the 5th Harry Potter book (Order of the Phoenix), is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She works for that country’s wizard government. At the end of the fourth book, the big bad guy regains a body, and in the fifth book, he’s gaining followers. Of course, the government chooses to maintain that it’s all a lie, as well as the wizard newspaper, because the wizard Prime Minister just doesn’t want to do anything about it because it would inconvenience him.
    At first, Umbridge tries to appear sugary-sweet. She dresses in pink and has a little girlish voice, and tries talking to the kids (fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds) like toddlers. When Harry tries to speak out against her in class when she tells the students that all the buzz about the baddie is a lie, she gives him detention–writing lines with a quill that etches “I must not tell lies” in the back of his hand and uses his blood for the ink to write it on the parchment. That happens a couple of times, and throughout the book Umbridge goes on a power-trip and tries to take total control through all these “educational decrees” that practically make her a dictator.
    That was kind of lengthy, but I think it’s totally relevant and I’m still laughing at how my huge HP-fandom and knitting have collided once more.
    I’ll echo everyone else when I say it’s about time that bank gets what’s coming to them. I wish I could see the person-in-charge’s face when they realize how much money they’ve lost.

  440. A scam huh?
    they are compleatly ignorant.
    just look at how many knitters post on this blog!!!!

  441. unbelievable! i have never heard of such a thing. as a small business owner, i cannot imagine that happening. i hope they are able to find a solution!

  442. Too bad for the original bank’s oh,so blind eye and ignorance of small businesses.
    I can only hope this small blip in the big scheme of things for Blue Moon eventually develps into huge sales and profits!
    Their new bank deserves a thanks from all knitters and small business owners for stepping up to the plate and treating Blue Moon as any business.
    Go Blue Moon. Do what you do best. Treating your customers with personal, quality care and move on from the boobs who originally had your account with!

  443. Too bad for the original bank’s oh,so blind eye and ignorance of small businesses.
    I can only hope this small blip in the big scheme of things for Blue Moon eventually develps into huge sales and profits!
    Their new bank deserves a thanks from all knitters and small business owners for stepping up to the plate and treating Blue Moon as any business.
    Go Blue Moon. Do what you do best. Treating your customers with personal, quality care and move on from the boobs who originally had your account with!

  444. Not that anyone has read this first, but last year was handled very differently from this year.
    Last year you had to send BMFA an e-mail to join the club. They processed your credit card in the same way that they process any other order – by hand. Probably over a much longer time than this year.
    This year, they had the online system set up. They told us we could renew and pay on Jan 1. There was such limited space last year (initially ~300 spaces, later increased to 600) that I’m sure many, many of us jumped on it this year as soon as we could.
    No idea whether they had the same bank last year or whether they went with someone new for online card processing.

  445. Steph, I just posted this over at Cara’s blog, but thought you would appreciate it as well.
    My Dad worked in the legal department for a bank for his entire legal career. I just told him the woeful tale of Blue Moon’s bank problem. His guess is that this is a result of THE PATRIOT ACT and its predecessor the Bank Secrecy Act. Rather than do their due diligence to fact check and ensure its legit, they probably got scared and cut Blue Moon off so they weren’t party to MONEY LAUNDERING, DRUG RUNNING or ALLEGED ACTS OF TERROR.
    Lesson to learn? Make sure your bank knows who you are as a customer and alert them of projected changes in your business!!!

  446. I’m a banker
    (cringing and ducking).
    This happened because of Federal Banking Laws. The bank is required to report suspicious activity to the proper authorities. To the non-knitting, non-sock loving this probably looked like money laundering or drug money. Had this come to my attention I would have investigated and called and tried to sign myself up, but like has been noted, these people obviously don’t knit.
    It totally stinks that it happened but it was because the bank thought they were dealing with illegal stuff.

  447. I think that the ladies from STR should add a new colorway in honor of this piece of muggle idiocy. Maybe “Sock Club Scam”? I think it will sell very well. What general color? Green, of course!
    Gigi, of Minions of the Pointy Sticks, CA

  448. Personally, I’m appalled by a lot of the comments I’m reading about this issue. Knitters may do good things – e.g., Knitters Without Borders – but they sure do turn into a vengeful bunch. That’s not always a bad thing, but if you’re going to be vengeful, at least do it with class.
    We know certain facts, and there is a heck of a lot of other things we do not know. Do we have concrete evidence that this wouldn’t happen if BMFA was run by men? Do we have concrete evidence that it happened because “muggles” are saying, “DOWN WITH KNITTERS”? Absolutely not.
    We don’t know the bank’s side of the story at all. Someone mentioned that a consumer could’ve disputed a charge, setting off the whole chain of events. Out of 600 people, isn’t it possible that someone didn’t recognize the name of the processor when the charge went through, or someone ran out of money on their debit card and needed to stop the payment FAST, or someone wanted to stop his or her spouse from buying yet more sock yarn? There are possibilities BEYOND the bank doing its job and monitoring transactions for fraud.
    We do not know the whole story, and never will. I, for one, will not curse the bank in question. As it has been pointed out, they’ve already lost a large account; that is enough punishment.

  449. Tipper, while all your scenarios are very plausible for TRIGGERING an investigation, they do not explain the bank’s conclusion and subsequent drastic actions after their “investigation.”
    Even a cursory investigation would have shown that the STR Club was totally legit. The bank does deserve every bit of criticism for being, well, blatantly incompetent.

  450. Okay I’ve only completed 3 socks (I swear I’m casting on the 4th this weekend)so I don’t consider myself a “sock knitter”. But I can’t understand a bank not being able to comprehend that knitting is a pasttime. I can get quilt blocks a month, and fat quarters a month why is it such a far stretch to sock yarn a month?
    Even if the current paranoia justifies questioning if such a thing exists just the smallest amount of research would have shown STR as legit.
    I don’t want to give the bank any sock no matter how small but I am going to buy some wonderful socks that rock and knit up a pair for charity. I think taking pictures of the handknitted socks would be a good idea. I’m also happy I’m dealing with a local bank on the East Coast although I don’t know what my bank’s attitude towards knitters is.

  451. I’m allergic to wool or I would have signed up for this/made it the only present on my wish list.
    Holy freaking H-E-doublehockeysticks Batman! What? Women knitting stuff is time honoured tradition. Don’t those bank managers have Grandmothers? I’m sure those grannies would be spinning in their graves!

  452. Self Stripin’ Footwarmers Batman! Its Sock-Gate!
    So.. they didn’t question the scamlike club last year? or the growing business of internet and phone orders? Until just now? They didn’t have any other business that did whopping sales over the holidays.. like I imagine most business do every freakin’ year? Will they shut down the local florist shoppe come Valentine’s Day when they do a huge flower sales over that special week? What about the local gym who suddenly had a lot of new members come the first week of January?
    I firmly agree its a good policy but please, some common sense here. A good standing customer is suddenly a Snidely Whiplash with a credit card sock scam? Even Dudley Doright would have questioned before taking action. Can’t wait until the Nigerian’s get a hold of this idea!
    I’ve gotten emails to: NPR, Connan O’Brien, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Daily News, Colbert Report, The View, Regis and Rippa, Glen Beck and I’ve got it on my blog and I emailed the 12 different yarn related Yahoo Group I gladly belong to as well.
    All the more reason we need to promote ourselves, our efforts, our groups, our missions our accomplishments. That means another email to the local paper to do an article about my Barnes and Noble knitting group.

  453. Unfortunately, I can believe this. I have also sent email to MSNBC, CNN, Glen Beck, and the AP desk. We shall see what happens next.

  454. Add ABC and CBS to the list of those contacted. I am really steamed about this discrimination. I am a fairly new knitter and am not quite up to the challenge of socks just yet, but will be soon.

  455. How can anyone suspect a bunch of nice knitting ladies to run a money scam and fail to investigate it properly? I hope they have learned their lesson and that they do learn to knit socks themselves one day.

  456. Astounding…to think that rather than check out what is clearly a legitimate and lucrative venture a financial institution decides to shut it down. Y’know I worked in a large financial institution in New York City for over 20 years and thought NOTHING a bank did would surprise me…….but here we are.
    I, too, would have loved to be a fly on the wall…and I bet there was not a woman in the room (never mind a knitter).
    You’re right…”freakin’ muggles”.

  457. Don not mess in the affairs of Dragon sock knitters… for you are crunchy and good with ketsup!

  458. Once the court papers are filed, the bank’s name
    WILL be in there, as defendant.
    Instead of the ladylike persons in the lobby
    knitting, how about a line of chanting protesters
    in black, carrying signs ” UNFAIR
    to Small Business”. It’s also good to have some
    rhyming derogatory slogans about the bank…
    I do a pretty good clucking chicken impression, and I’ve got recent experience–
    being part of what the mayor of L.A. called a
    “long nightmare” of a labor dispute.
    Remember what Mother Jones said,
    “I’m no lady, I’m a hell-raiser!”
    Does this bank have a branch in downtown L.A.?
    Knitter Solidarity Forever!

  459. Oh please somebody, get the name of the bank! I think everybody should knit socks & send to them. Wouldn’t that be just about the funniest damn thing ever? Bags and bags of socks delivered to the bank president? I’m rolling around laughing at the sight!

  460. I love the last poster’s idea of sending a bunch of socks to that bank. Maybe everybody could just knit one baby sock. Something quick and fairly useless to uncreative bankers.

  461. It’s outrageous. I hope at least the Blue Moon team will have given the bank this blog address, so they can be left behind in tears, while the Blue Moon team cleverly takes up another bank!

  462. It’s just frickin astonishing. Even if we were to say, OK… maybe it’s worth looking into, how hard would it be to establish the truth of the matter?
    Their actions were absurd. Kafka-esque. I’d bet good money it’s WaMu. They were a nightmare for me to deal with.

  463. On the flip side there is a fact that Blue Moon deserve much better service that the one they got from their EX bank! The discrimination side of it is sad.

  464. SOCK HORREUR!!! unBElievable.
    except.. it’s so EASY to believe a bankful of men (is that a post-modern insult yet? it should be) could do such a dumb thing. I thought (silly me) banks checked the facts?
    pardon my innocence.

  465. Hi all, I’m a visiting “muggle” (but Mom’s a knitter), just reading up on the controversy.
    Some knowlegable contributors have attributed the bank’s actions to the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 financial-transaction oversight laws.
    Several things really need to be pointed out about that (and some all-too-common corporate practices these days), and all are still good reasons for lighting a fire under this bank board’s collective behinds:
    1) As some of the same people (but more others) have pointed out, even with those laws if they’d actually DONE THEIR JOBS and looked into the matter, they would have found Blue Moon to be legit. If so, it’s still mainly incompetence on the part of the bank at fault, and the much vaunted “invisible hand of the market” REQUIRES that “the market” (us) have that information to use in our decisions.
    2) It’s possible that the actual cubicle-rats in the bank aren’t given the time in their workday to investigate “odd” items like this, lest they get a bad productivity rating that will adversely affect their chances of a raise or promotion (or these days, even employment) in the coming year, so they just pushed it forward using the mindless bureaucratic procedures they were given from on high. If this is the case, the bank still needs it spelled out in no uncertain terms that this is a Bad Practice That Is Costing Them Money. That’s the only way it’ll change.
    3) Maybe it really IS due to some unavoidable aspect of the laws passed over the past five years. The bank STILL needs to be held accountable, because that will help pressure them (and other banks) to lobby for those (bad) laws to be changed. Of course, it’s up to US to pressure our legislators and congresspersons to make sure the changes are _fixes_, not just giveaways removing the banks from accountability.

  466. Others have posted that banks are heavily regulated; according to today’s NYTimes, they are also being forced to divulge financial information to the FBI. So their may have been some god’s-gift-to-homeland-security raising the alarm about terrorist sock knitters. This may not have been the bank’s decision at all, folks. Chill, peace out, and knit on.

  467. I have not read all of the posts….just some here and there and many have said send them a knitted sock, just an ugly one….I suggest sending them ONE sock from the dollar store. It doesn’t seem worth spending any amount of time knitting them ANYTHING. A thin—dollar store sock is about all they deserve in my opinion!
    I too hope that what comes of all of this is that Blue Moon goes OVER THE MOON in sales and that they end up in a much better place that before!

  468. Ugh, freakin’ muggles is right. Cripes, I used to work at the 5th largest bank in the world and I really wouldn’t put it past them to do such a thing. I can tell you from past experiences though that the whole thing reaks of the damn Patriot Act, it’s about the most useless piece of legislation to ever come out of the moron’s head. I am not nearly as classy as the dear ladies at BMFA and would have sent those stodgy bankers a letter just smacking with snarkiness!

  469. Ummm…are these are the same guys who pestered their high school sweethearts with the line…”Don’t worry, I’ll pull out. You can’t get pregnant the first time…”
    Never underestimate the male brain to under-estimate women’s success – they’re still trying to overcome the 6″ thing.

  470. I’ve been thinking over the weekend… (yah, hard thing to do think)
    why doesn’t Blue Moon release the name of the bank that saved their assets? That way, in way of thanks from the knitters, we could send them a scarf for saving Blue Moon’s (and our) necks? Or each one of us could knit up a square and someone could sew it together and give that to the bank as thanks? I know the bank would love to show that off.
    Just a thought…

  471. Outrage over the BMFA controversy aside, I never realized that the “HER” was so audible in the latter syllable of ‘knitter’. Thanks to the copius dosage of misandry strewn throughout these comments I now realize the error of my male ways. I will promply have my penis removed and turned into a more sensible needle case. 😉
    Remember ladies, just because a stupid decision was made, doesn’t mean it was made by a penis–there are plenty of stupid ovaries out there as well.
    (Please do read the above in the good humor that it was meant.)

  472. Hi,
    As I posted to the Knitlist…take it easy, folks, what’s the other side? Are you all familiar with the requirements which the Patriot Act put on banks? We are now responsible for identifying everyone and everything that makes deposits, risk-grading, determining purpose, etc., etc. It’s a royal pain. Sounds to me as though someone was overzealous in applying this. I’d love to talk with that bank and see what their point was. If they didn’t understand the business plan, time to switch banks, which I gather she did. That’s the best way to make a statement! Then write a letter to the president, and copy your state bankers’ association. Make it nice but make your point.
    And P.S., let’s not start bashing everything in sight until we know the full story. I knit, I’m a banker, I’m a woman, and I don’t think any of those categories has a corner on the moron market.

  473. a YARN SCAM! you’ve always made me laugh, but the thought of a “yarn scam” cracks me up about as hard as anything you’ve written.

  474. Holy crap! LMAO! That bank ain’t very smart, are they? WOW…I’d switch banks too because they abviously don’t have all their marbles in the right bowl (namely the one that is thier half empty heads). Sheez!

  475. Holy Mary Mother of God!!! They are FREAKIN’ CRAZY. Wouldn’t that be funny if one of their wives belongs to a knitting community or even is a Sock Club member!!! That would be absolutly freakin wonderful… I hope that Blue Moon Fiber Arts copies this and sends it to the bank that did this.

  476. Seriously. Would they object if we sent them an email to forward to the stupid muggle bank?? Or perhaps, we should all knit just one sock and send that to Dear Mr. Uninformed Banker Muggle. Geez, maybe then they’d get a clue. I hope all goes well in the end and this does not cause too much of a financial fiasco for them. Yikes!!

  477. As someone who works in banking…..but really on the wholesale side, moving foreign money from place to place, no retail thankyouverymuch, I would love to find out if it was my bank and the name of the individuals that made this decision so that I could enlighten them and then also show them the kind of bad press it is getting. You know, just for laughs. Then show them how popular the socks are using the webhits that someone outlined, and then tell them which bank ultimately got the STR biz. In fact, that might be the best revenge for Blue Moon, to put together a package of the information for the bozos that made this call, which I have to say seems just the slightest bit unethical and has the stench of impropriety on the part of the bank…..I wonder if the regulatory agencies would be interested.
    And for the record, from the outside, banks look pretty bad, they look much worse from the inside… by folks whose only motivation in the world is the size of their
    bonus…..(what’d you think I was going to say??)

  478. I think every sock knitter in the world should send that bank a sock ONE ONLY , NO MATES .

  479. First of all – stupid bank – and possibly tortiously stupid – worth looking into?
    Secondly, I’ve worked in advertising & marketing all my working life & I am in total agreement with Annalea (see Jan.11). A bank is a business and SHOULD be as subject to “word of mouth” (be it positive or negative) as any other business. I personally would like to know so that I can NOT do any business with such a bank. If we can’t influence the behaviour of financial institutions toward women in business by “voting with our feet” – how else is it going to get done?
    Finally, I aplaud your saintly restraint – if only because you choose not to stoop to the bank’s level!
    Blessings be upon all your noble socks!

  480. OMG!!!!! You must have been sputteringly speechless!!! Hopefully, you have let your network of business associates know the name and location of the bank (and their decision makers) so they can make informed choices about where they want to put their money.
    Donna Henderson, Seattle, WA

  481. I don’t knit, I crochet. And I’m going to break my moratorium on yarn purchases for this one if I can manage to scrape up the money. I do have patterns for crochet socks although I haven’t tried any of them yet.
    I wouldn’t bother making a sock for the old bank, but why bother with a dollar store sock? I’ve got socks with holes or dying elastic in my sock drawer. Surely other people do too, (not to mention the infamous mateless socks from the dryer space warp). We can send these to offending bank.

  482. It is amazing to me that an institution that could make so much money on small businesses can’t manage to do their homework and find out about new (and not so new) trends. Their loss!

  483. Adding to the annoyance of this whole thing, for us “Internationals” – the refunded amount is less than the amount charged. I can only hope with the next charge, the exchange rate goes in my favour. Only a buck, and not Blue Moon’s fault of course, but yeesh!

  484. I’d love to know the name of the bank, too! Foolish!! Outrageous!!
    But even if Blue Moon is too classy to name names, would somebody from the Sock Club be willing to at least forward this link to the loan officers who rejected their business? The bank should understand how much business they have lost (and it might help a future guild’s business application from being denied.)

  485. Could they name their NEW bank, so we all know who the good guys are, and keep it in mind for future bank-switching?

  486. The consumerist thanked me for the tip last weekend. 😛
    Reddit had it as front page news today.

  487. I read through all the comments! I agree that there were probably women involoved in the decision-making, as banks have to hire us so they won’t be sued for discriminitory hiring practices. I also would like to hear from Blue Moon, and hear what action they would like us to take as a group. I can only imagine how many questions and emails they are receiving themselves about the issue in addition to having to take time to clean up this mess. By the way, if they could have only seen the mayhem at Rhinebeck, the bankers would have known the business was legit!

  488. So, let me get this straight. People send money, LOTS of money, for a monthly sock club and the socks aren’t even finished? Just a bagfull of yarn? I hope they at least get sewing needles to make them?
    It sounds kind of insane to me and I sympathize with the baffled bankers. After all, they could be implicated and held responsible for any nefarious scam, and this does sound pretty unbelievable to me.

  489. I applaud Blue Moon for not “giving up the name” of the bank. BUT If we do not stick together, others will follow, and I for one would like to choose for myself whether or not I would like to do business with that bank! I, too have had some problems with bank, but once my husband takes phone in hand, all is well, and that is just wrong. So it is not important that Blue Moon name names, but the branch and name of bank would allow us to choose for ourselves. Please reconsider and remember the Doctors without Borders donations “just from knitters”

  490. DPN in chairs all the way! definately young bankers ’cause any vet from korean war back would know how to knit his own socks. I am for the sit in…..dibs on a sidewalk spot. preppy muggles! oy!

  491. Oh please let’s not bash the men – men knit too. There are men that produce fibers and yarns and knitting tools. And please don’t abuse the financial industry as a whole either – many will finance small women-owned businesses with good business plans and acumen.
    Ignorance can be a choice but it is facilitated by cultural conditions. Manufacturing for a living was something to rise above, and now we’ve pushed it off onto other countries, so that people like poor Brian (above) can’t conceive of the process or the joys it can bring (If you aren’t demanding domenstically produced goods you are part of the problem). Isn’t the real problem that too many people, like Blue Moon’s bankers, are too far removed from working with their hands? They probably don’t even know the difference between knitting and weaving. (Remember the infamous toilet paper commercial that had cartooned women working on a quilt with knitting needlees?)
    For our part, we can knit or crochet or tat or weave or whatever in public, and teach our children how to make things with textiles, wood and metal, and we’ll help restore people’s appreciation of the beauty and value of making things for ourselves. I agree with those above pushing for great visibility for craft!

  492. Reminds me of the “Quilted Northern” toilet tissue commercial, where they had cartoon women at a quilting frame, poking at a quilt with knitting needles. The James River Paper Company spent a lot of money re-doing their stupid commercial, and apologizing via all the quilting magazines for their ignorance. They had no idea they were insulting a group which purchases fabric in quantities second only to the garment industry. It was a real eye-opener for them.
    Regardless of their gender, the bankers have committed an error which certainly should render them accountable for business losses. The NAME PLEASE!!! We can make them offer the same type of apology that the quilters received.
    Saving my money to sign up for STR club! And, I’m sending a link to Fox and Friends . . . they’ll stir this up real good!

  493. I’m a business person that must deal with “merchant services”… to take credit cards at my restaurants. One day, we closed our restaurant for a private party – we could do this because the person was paying $5k for it! That’s alot for us. She paid by credit card, and you guessed it, the “merchant services” held up our payment for 3 weeks because it was irregular – no phone calls, no letters, just no payment. Nice, huh?
    Anyway, I just signed up for the club and am so excited!

  494. My first thought was “What is the name of the bank?” my second thought was “What is the name of the bank?” my third thought was “WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE BANK?”
    Please tell us!

  495. A Man’s Experience:
    Dear Harlot, I share your frustration! As a man I began my journey into knitting in 2001. Having dedicated the last 6 years of my life in pursuing this passion, I share your frustration and applaud the New York effort.
    Whenever I talk about knitting I always hear…’grandma’s don’t use computers’.
    As a man in the knitting world, I get snickers and disbelief. I wonder when people will wake up to the new face of knitting. Knitters are no longer your typical grandma on the front porch knitting all day. I have entered a business plan competition, and am onto the next round. If I could get everyone to send an email to the judges proving that knitters are more sophisticated now than ever before. That would help to dispel the assumptions they have about us. If you would like to help please send an email as follows:
    cc: (optional)
    Subject: Knitters Speak Out
    Body: We are knitters and we use computers.
    Please sign your name and state/province/country
    Thank you for your support in advance. It nice to know that I am not alone in the knitting world.

  496. I like the “send ’em a sock” idea…but please, send ’em a pair. Let them wear them for a few hours, and then they can eat them. It’s the only way the bank will understand what they’ve done.
    Imagine knowing that you are so knowledgeable about everything that fact checking need not even be considered! Being so sure of yourself,that you screw over your own customer’s customers!
    This reminds me of the tv ad about some pain med for achy hands. There’s this poor, stupid (of course) woman…who’s describing the painful motions involved with knitting…how she needs
    and is so grateful for pain relief…cuz she’s gonna go out knitting…and there she is…on tv…crocheting! Betcha the same ad agency did the toilet paper “quilting” bee ladies of knitting needles. Sheeesh.
    I’d love this arrogance to get some coverage on CNN…but it won’t happen before Anna Nicole is buried. Hugs.

  497. I wonder if those bankers stopped to think of the money turning down. I don’t know what percentage they charge for to process credit card transactions but figure 600 sock club members at 210 a membership. Even at one percent that is a fairly big chunk of change. Then add in their daily sales. I feel sorry for the stupid bankers, it’s sad to be that stupid.
    I don’t knit and cannot imagine wearing anything other than my tube socks but I can understand boycotting stupid businesses. I refuse to go to the McDonald’s & Braums here in town.
    I do have an idea to let that stupid bank know how many people there are that knit socks. Every one knit a pair of child size socks and someone collect them all. Then donate those socks to the hospital in the town where Blue Moon is located. I’m sure the TV station would want to do a human interest story on that. If there are no patterns for child size socks knit adult socks and donate then to the VA hospital. What ever hospital you chose I’m sure there is a need, those floors are cold!

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