New products coming!

New products coming!

A long, long, long time ago I started teaching the knitters (and myself) lace knitting.  It wasn’t really that long ago, a few months, but there were some setbacks.  The past month though, we’ve been pounding away at it and are now in the process of thinking about a line of products.  We’re started with headband and maybe bracelets because these are a quick knit, but also because the knitters were already making them in simple garter stitch before.  Now that they have learned more than a dozen lace patterns, it was time to put those skills to use. The headbands below were knit by Tyna and Rofi.  They chose the pattern themselves and played around with stitch counts and needle size.  They also crocheted the ends to accommodate button holes which they hadn’t put in before.  I think they did a great job!  This morning we started another headband and there will be photos...
Long Term Impact of Cambodia Weddings

Long Term Impact of Cambodia Weddings

Cambodian weddings are usually annoying.  This might sound culturally insensitive, but truth is that even many Cambodians agree with this statement and so do certainly the majority of expats.  How, you might ask, could a wedding, a joyous occasion be annoying?  Let me explain. The most common wedding takes place on the street in front of the bride’s house.  Yes, the street.  Tents are erected and often block off the entire road as the space is turned into an outdoor dining and cooking area.  The wedding ceremony begins between 4am and 5am.  This is not an exaggeration, this is a fact.  If you’re thinking along the lines of Western weddings, you might think, so what?  People can get married at home at 4am.   However, Khmer weddings, unlike those you might be familiar with are LOUD.  Part of set-up is a wall of speakers (the more the better, quality is irrelevant) which are turned to full volume from the wee hours of morning to the point they can be heard several blocks away.  If you are living in the nearby blocks, forget sleep. I’ve asked many people over the years why weddings here have to be SO LOUD and the answers have varied from:  “we want everyone to know we are happy” (yeah, but your neighbours aren’t) to “it shows we have money to rent lots of speakers” (next time can you spend a little extra to get ones that aren’t so lacking in sound quality?).  My favourite is, “in the countryside, the loud music reminded everyone there was a wedding on and to come.” All that aside, why...

The Media

CK has been getting a lot of attention lately, which is very nice.  It all started when I was invited to join a social networking site for social enterprises.  That particular site, I won’t mention any names, didn’t turn out to be too good, but I thought I’d have a look around and see if there are any others. I found Changents and set up a profile.  I’ve been hesitant to promote myself and have, for the most part, avoided writing too much about myself on the CK blog.  There have been times however when I have wanted to write about issues, problems, observations and thoughts related to CK but not relevant to the business.  After exploring Changents I thought it would be a good place for discussing the more me-related part of the CK story.  It does a great job of linking the story to the person and giving room for both sides. The wonderful people behind the site, liked the CK story so much, they pitched it to some of their partner sites and this has resulted in two feature articles which you can see here and here.  The second story was re-posted on KI-Media, a major outlet for Cambodia news.  All very exciting, but even more so as the extra exposure has let to a huge increase in hits on the CK website, more orders and most importantly, more connections to potential partners. I don’t think I’ll shy away from social media as I have in the...

The Good, The Bad and the Funny

A slightly un-knitty post today but a look into life in Cambodia.  I give you: The Good Yesterday was the Royal Ploughing ceremony, my favourite of all Cambodian celebrations!  This is more than good, it’s fantastic:  the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony.  Each year, the royal oxen are paraded around in front of the king, dignitaries, spectators as they ‘plough’ a small circuit of sand.  They are led by elaborately dressed handlers, surrounded by beautiful girls in glamous costume, accompanied by the full spectrum of traditional instruments and the whole event is televised around the nation.  The ceremony marks the beginning of the rice planting season, but is also watched by farmers attentively for a clue on how the upcoming season is expected to unfold.  During the ceremony, the royal oxen pair are led to 7 plates containing 7 different items like rice, beans, corn and water.  Depending on what they choose to eat, and how much, the royal astrologers predict which crops will fare well in the upcoming year. This year, expect a lot of corn to be planted around the Kingdom. The Bad Last week, the electricity in our office started acting up.  It would switch itself off in a dramatic pop leaving us in sweltering darkness.  I called the landlord, the landlord called the electrician.  The electrician came and said there was a problem and left.  I called the landlord again.  He called the electrician.  He came back and fiddled around.  The electricity came back.  The electrician left.  And then it went off again.  Called the electrician again.  He came and spent two hours going through all...

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