Lace Contest

Lace Contest

Ok.  Here it is!  All the lace we’ve knit up to date and numbered below.  Now, it’s not just for looking at!  We’re hoping you can lend a little advice, input, your quality opinion! Please post a comment telling us which lace you like and whether you prefer it as a headband, a bracelet/cuff or even as a scarf, bag, anything else! Then, and here’s the contest part, we’ll assign each comment a number and use a random number generator to pick one.  The winner can choose whatever product (actually only bracelet or headband because we’re not ready for anything else yet), whatever lace they like and we’ll knit it up for you, in your chosen colour and send it to you!   What a great deal for making a little, bitty comment! Adding the most recent creations…  They are not numbered because DH is not available to do that in Photoshop.  But from left to right, we have 16, 17, 18 and 19!   I really think 16 is going to be a huge...
Knitting Student

Knitting Student

The past two weeks at CK, we’ve had a knitting student from Goel project.  Her name is Son Sovan and she’s from a small village in Takeo province where Goel has a weaving/sewing project.  She’s enjoying her studies at CK and hopes to learn enough to be able to share knitting skills with others in her community.  Many years ago, she worked in a garment factory and met someone who knew how to crochet and she learned some basic crochet skills.  She’s now offered to teach the CK staff how to crochet!  This will be a lovely exchange of skills, indeed. Her training started with learning how to cast on, go a few centimeters of garter stitch and then cast off.  Then it was stocking stitch, moss stitch, ribs and increases and decreases.  Next week she’ll have the chance to put her knitting skills to use in making a complete product.  We’ll teach her how to read one of the patterns that we’ve translated into Khmer and see how she goes.  Project #1:  a pair of baby booties. This is what a pattern for ribs looks in...
Monsters, loved by adults too

Monsters, loved by adults too

So you’ve seen lots of fan photos of children and their monster friends.  But adults also love our products too!  Below is proof that some monsters wind up in a more adult environment and the expectations on them are much different.  Olivia, for example, has found a new home here in Phnom Penh and is allowed to drink the occasional vodka martini.  Here she is, with her favourite bottle, Absolut...
Latest lace patterns

Latest lace patterns

The lace knitty knitting is continuing.  Below is a photo of our latest lace trials, this time in the naturally dyed yarn from Goel.  I think the pattern on the left could make a nice bracelet and the middle one could work as a headband.  The pattern on the right was disappointing. It looked quite lovely in the book, but perhaps it’s the yarn that does it no justice. In other news, we spent the morning trying to organize the yarn stock and devise a coding system.  You know when you see product codes and find out what they mean?  They’re quite clever aren’t they.  Well, developing one from scratch, it turns out, is not that easy.  Everyone has an opinion on how to number!  In the end we decided we’ll think of codes later.  As long as the yarn is happily stored and organized for now, we’re...
Cambodia Knits now in Australia!

Cambodia Knits now in Australia!

It’s official.  Cambodia Knits products can now be purchased at Brindabella Baby in Canberra.  BB carries a full stock of monster and finger puppets and is the official distributor for CK in Australia (if you are a retailer and are interested in also carrying our products). We’re really happy to have found such a great partner in Australia!  Brindabella Baby has a mission to bring eco-friendly and fairly traded baby products to its shoppers.  Since 2006, Emma Davidson has been on a quest to bring Canberra parents the best in ethical products for their wee ones.  She started the business out of her house and has blossomed into a retail shop which opened just a few months ago.  BB products can also be bought online.  Just check out their website...
Local and Naturally Dyed Yarns

Local and Naturally Dyed Yarns

Yesterday, our friend and partner Han from Goel brought a student to the Cambodia Knits office.  She lives in one of the communities that Goel supports through weaving training and natural dyeing.  Goel does some fantastic work in cotton weaving and natural dyeing and we’ve been talking to each other (me from CK and Han from Goel) to find ways we can work together and help each other out.  Han hunted down some locally available (but we assume imported) cotton thread suitable for hand knitting and produced some samples for us.  After playing around a bit, we chose a handful of colours and two of the yarns and ordered a few kilos from Goel. The results are in: All the colours are from local, natural materials.  The middle orange colour is a kind of curry seed and the mauve and purple are from a tree found only in the area where the Laos, Cambodian and Thai borders meet.  Han also mentioned that it is somewhat rare and they are trying to find alternative sources for the colour.   The colours are lovely and we have already started knitting with them.  Results tomorrow! Below is one of the products that Goel makes; cute little bears that come wearing different animal costumes.  The ones below are dressed as a monkey (the smaller one) and as a lion (the bigger one).  They are very cute and once the CK shop is running, we’ll be carrying them for...
Fan Photos

Fan Photos

We’re always happy and excited to get photos of monsters that have gone to live abroad. We received a lovely email from a satisfied customer in California yesterday, Sobeny, who recently ordered a small family of monsters for herself, her daughter and her granddaughter.  She writes: “I am sending you pictures of my grand-daughter “Aveah” in company of Greta and Daphne and Delila.  She absolutely adores Greta and takes her everywhere she goes; as you can see she even falls asleep on Greta.” She also sent a few photos and with her permission here they are: We love these and the knitters really enjoy seeing where their creations have ended up, especially if they bring joy to those who buy...
Cables, not the networking kind

Cables, not the networking kind

Moving right along to a new technique, the CK knitters have mastered cables.  Cables are one of the easiest knitting decorations to learn, but they look complicated and so pretty.  Again, this is for a our future bracelet line. In other news, the accountant called in sick this morning and I was worried about him because he lives alone and has no one to take care of him.  Somehow he made it to the office, weak with fever and a massive headache.  Why did he come to the office you ask?  Well, the knitters spent 30 minutes ‘coining’ him.’  This means rubbing Tiger Balm into the skin as hard as you can with the lid of the Tiger Balm (there are no coins in Cambodian currency)  until it turns red.  Children of immigrant parents in Canada and the US are sometimes accused of abusing their children when they appear at school with the red marks.  Now he is lying in a pathetic heap in the stock room, covered in red marks and Tiger Balm.  The knitters will take care of him for the rest of the day.  This is one of those times when the Western manager needs to recognize culture differences and go with the flow. I’m just glad he has someone to look after him and that the staff are kind enough to help him...
Weird and wonderful yarns

Weird and wonderful yarns

Photos of playing around with fun, funky and a little crazy yarns: These are yarns I bought at the dollar store in Canada in January, mainly to give the knitters more exposure to different textures of fiber and novelty yarns.  Also, just to see how they knit...