Haiti

As you know, Haiti has been hit by the biggest earthquake in 2 centuries and thousands are feared dead. The living have the immense task of rebuilding after the devastation. And many of us are thinking of ways to help. After the tsunami in 2004, millions of dollars were raised and sent to affected areas, only to be found to have been wasted. When Nargis hit Burma last year, many of my friends were asking, ‘who do we support? How can we be sure donations aren’t wasted, that they get to the people in need?’ These are difficult questions to answer. In times of emergency, aid is more likely than usual to be diverted away from the people who really need it. Food, medicines, supplies need to be distributed fast and this prevents necessary checks being put in place to ensure support is going to those who need it most. Haiti scores lowest in the annual Corruption Perception Index released each year by Transparency International. This will make it even harder to aid agencies to do their work on the ground without the risk of diversion by the powerful. It’s an unfortunate reality. This does not mean that we shouldn’t give Haiti as much support as possible. It just means that you should do your research when giving. Give to organizations that are already established and have a history of operating transparently and effectively in-country. These organizations and their people on the ground have already built relationships and know their way around. They can quickly establish fair channels of distribution and get your donations to where they need to...

Ravely Group

So, it’s been suggested in the past that I start a Ravelry Cambodia Knits group. If you don’t know what Ravelry is, then it’s about 99.9999% likely that you don’t knit. If you knit, you’d know the site. Ravelry is kinda like Facebook but the focus is on knitting and crocheting. There are patterns, a place for you to display your finished products, discussion forums, groups, news and more. So if you are a Rav’er, then come on over to the CK group and join: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/cambodia-knits. And if you haven’t yet, become a fan of Cambodia Knits on Facebook do it now: here. We’ve got 110 fans so...

The year that was…

It’s still early enough in the New Year to look back at what 2009 was for Cambodia Knits and what we’ve accomplished. Back in June, I was lucky enough to find 5 knitters, two of whom were already very experienced, to start up CK. We had many challenges in translating patterns into Khmer, learning new ways to knit (me English style, they continental style) and finding materials. We found two amazing designers Raynor Gellatly and Rebecca Danger who were willing to let us use their patterns to knit up and sell the finished products locally. We experimented with local acrylic yarn, some cotton yarn brought from the US by a friend and a variety of yarns bought in Bangkok, Thailand. One of the biggest challenges was finding suppliers willing to sell to us at wholesale prices without expecting orders in the hundreds of kilograms. I must have spent literally hundreds of hours online trying to track down factories that accept small orders for things like safety eyes, yarn and needles. Each time I succeeded was a minor victory! Thanks to the following we can import the small quantity of supplies we need: 8Season-Knitting, Beisica Cashmere and New Li Yen. Next came finding and training new knitters. After meeting with Davy from City Hall, we decided to work with the Toul Sambo community, which had recently been relocated from Borei Keila in Phnom Penh. Over the course of a month in October and November, we trained 18 knitters (13 women, 5 men) in basic knitting skills and taught them how to make the finger puppets. We were able to do...

Final photos and contest winners!!!

We should have selected the winners by now, but 40 hours of travel and jet lag have prevented me from doing, well, anything. First,our final two photo entries: My sister, Malgosia with her orange Penelope (we both love the colour orange, must run in the family). My nephew Jaxon enjoying his full set of finger puppets. Ok, I’m headed to the random number generator right now, and with my husband as my witness, I’ll select three winners. Drum roll please: The winners are (#s 6, 12, 16 which represent the following: 1. Helena Barkla2. Jo-Ey Lee3. Molly Ball If you see this before I’ve emailed you, then send me your mailing address and I’ll get the package to you this week. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for...

Contest extended until Friday!!

Just in case you haven’t heard (or didn’t catch it in yesterday’s blog post), you now have until Friday evening to join in the competition! Here are two more lovely...

SHIPPING NOTICE: We're ready to take your order, but please note that we ship from Thailand and orders can take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Please be patient! We are looking at ways to get our goodies to you faster in the near future. Dismiss