A look back…

So, sales have not been good at all, almost completely because of the poor advertising of the fair, bringing in next to no tourists to the site. There are several things I could complain about, but won’t right now. It was not only us who suffered these past five days, but just about every other organization that shelled out the high rates for the booths. I think most of us will be lucky to break even and many booths have already closed up. More on that later. For now, a picture that is an amazing ‘fail’. All around Cambodia (and must of Asia) personal vanity is looked upon favourably. All youngsters who can afford it, get dressed up in their funkiest, coolest gear, get all made up, go wild with their hair and subject themselves to hours in front of a camera at the local photo studio to get hot, funky photos of themselves. They pose. They posture. They make love to the camera. The poses are stereotypical. The make-up is extreme. The hair is just fabulous. After the photo shoot, the best pictures are chosen and photo-shopped for hours. Bodies are cut out and backdrops range from fashion week at Milan to Hello Kitty parlour scenes. To make the photos even cooler, sometimes random phrases in English are added. Unfortunately, no one checks that these make any sense or contain any obscenities. It doesn’t matter. Cool doesn’t need spell-grammar check. Samples of the photos are usually hung around the photo shop to entice new customers. The results are often amusing for those in the know of the English...

Getting ready for Siem Reap

Things are completely out of control busy right now. Writing this short blog post will be my ‘down time’ for today… My amazing friend, regular partner in crime and artist extraordinaire designed this banner for us. She is also the mind behind the logo which is plain and simple, wonderful. For those of you not in-the-know, the hands are in the position of an Apsara dancers hands. More are this in the future when there is more time. For now, admire our banner: I hope to have some time in the evenings to post photos from the craft fair. Our very cheap (7USD a night) hotel has free Internet so I hope I’ll have enough energy to keep in...

Photo Shoot

Yesterday, friend and supporter of Cambodia Knits, the wonderful and talented Ali Sanderson, came by the workshop to take product shots and photos of CK staff in action. We both expected it would only take a couple hours, but she ended up staying with us the whole day and handing over several GBs of data at the end! We had a quick look at the photos and there are some beautiful shots, including one of all the staff in the workroom, fingers full of finger puppets. They need some editing so I’ll post them in the coming days once I go through them but here’s one photo of Ms. Sanderson in action: Ali has been working with Alexandra Cousteau (yes, the granddaughter of Jacques) over the past year to highlight water issues around the world. As a member of the good morning beautiful films crew, Ali traveled last year to places like Botswana, Israel, India and the US to document critical water stories and to bring attention to the issue. More about Ali and the expedition if you follow the...

The workroom is full

Only a few more days until the the Artisan’s Association of Cambodia (AAC) sponsored Craft Fair in Siem Reap. Vyrak and Koun are working with us for the week to make sure we have enough products to display in our booth. Koun has recently bought a moto, which is fantastic because it not only means it’s easier for him and Vyrak to come to PP, but because it means he’s earning enough to be able to get a moto! What could be a better indication of our success than that? However, Koun is among the knitters who caught on really quickly and who knits incredible amounts each week. There are others who are not as fast and are not earning as much as he is. He also works with his wife and together they make quite the production team. Once we get into more shops, especially in Siem Reap, we’ll need to revisit our piece rates and consider other ways to ensure everyone is earning a livable wage. Back to the sale. It will be held outside the Angkor National Museum on the road to Angkor Wat. We’ll have a small booth among 70 others representing other craft producers and artisans from around Cambodia. The organizers are expecting about 10 000 visitors to the fair over the 5 days it is running. Our super designer is working on posters and banners and ideas for making our booth irresistible and we’re just planning the logistics of getting there, setting up and spending a week in SR. I’ve promised staff enough time off to go visit the temples, so I hope...

Knitting Advice on Stripes Needed

So we’re starting a new and very wonderful pattern from Danger Studios, a stripey monster with a baby monster, Daphne and Delilah. We’ve done some stripey things in the past and had a lot of problems getting it right. I studied the tutorial on how to stripe at Tech Knitting (which is excellent and if you knit, it’s really helpful) and explained it carefully to the knitters. They always take what I’ve taught them and within a few hours, do it better than I could ever hope to do it myself. Except for the stripes. I have no idea what we’re/they’re doing wrong or how to correct this. So I’m posting some photos here of what they’ve knit so far. If you’re a knitter and can offer any advice on how to improve what you see below, fire away. The one above is Tyna and I think it’s a jog, plain and...

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