September Meetings

Here’s the September meeting schedule
Saturday, Sept 6 at Daughters Cafe, Street 178 Start at 2pm.
Tuesday, Sept 16 at Joma on Norodom. Start at 6:30 pm.
Thursday, September 25 at Java. Start at 6:30 pm.

We’re launching a new campaign–Knit a Knocker– to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Send an email to Cambodia Knits to receive a forward of our September Newsletter that has the details.

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August meeting schedule

Get out of the rain and chill out with us!

August 7 Joma Cafe on Norodom, south of Independence Monumnet, Cr. St. 294 6:30pm onwards
August 16 at Bloom Cafe, Street 222, 2-5
August 26 at Java Cafe (downstairs), Sihanouk Blvd; across from statue of King Sihanouk 6:30pm onwards

Hope to see you there,
all of us

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June meetings

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Dear needleworkers and talkers…

Please join us for one of our June gatherings~  It is just fine to just come and visit even if you don’t have a project!

Tuesday June 10th -Pauls Brewehouse (on 51) upstairs  6: 30-8:30 pm

Wednesday 18th – World Knit In Public Day @ Bloom 2:00-4:00 pm.   Note that this date is also the Queen’s Birthday, a national holiday and a day off for many of us.  We are doing an afternoon meeting to reflect that mid-week holidays often entail a little unstructured time during the day.

I hope you can join us for this event,  hosted by volunteers in lots of places around the world. Cambodia and UAE are the only two hot weather countries!  Last year Monika organized some fancy cupcakes from Bloom  that garnered worldwide recognition.  This year, I might just bring some toothpicks and call them knitting needles and take a photo for the Facebook page.  Their website is here      http://www.wwkipday.com/about/

Saturday 28th – Java 2:00-4:00pm

Please note that Cambodia Knits will be open on June 2 and June 18 on the national holidays in addition to their regular schedule  and has a good supply of tropical-friendly knitting supplies.

Hope to see you there,
All of us who spend time chatting and knitting in air conditioned coffee shops in Phnom Penh

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May Stitch and Bitch schedule

Greetings all~
Whoopsie! I realized I had not updated the website for May’s schedule until I looked to confirm dates for myself.

Here we are with just a few days before our next gathering:

May 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Joma Cafe

May 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Java Cafe, downstairs

Hope to see you there.

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April Meetings

Greetings SnB’ers

Happy Khmer New Year.

This month’s meeting:
Thursday, April 10, 6ish pm-8:30pm, Joma Cafe, cr 294/Norodom

Tuesday, April 22, 6ish pm-8:30pm, Java Cafe, downstairs

Saturday, May 3, 2:00-4:30pm, Daughter’s Cafe, Street 178

Come on down and enjoy chill-axing in the aircon with us!

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March SnBs

Thursday, March 13, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Joma Cafe, cr 294/Norodom

Saturday, March 22, 2:00-4:30pm, Daugher’s Cafe, Street 178

Thursday, March 27, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Java Cafe, downstairs

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Yarn Storming Cyclos in Phnom Penh

Community, creativity and collective action prevails in Phnom Penh’s first “yarn storm”

“We didn’t want to call it a yarn bomb because of Cambodia’s history.” said Monika Nowacyzk, founder of Cambodia Knits and coordinator of Phnom Penh’s Stitch and Bitch (SnB) community craft group, which recently completed an ambitious effort to decorate 7 of the city’s iconic cyclo taxis with brilliantly colored pieces of knitted fabric.

Yarn stormed cyclos.

Yarn stormed cyclos.

The effort was orchestrated in conjunction with the 2014 Our City Festival, a celebration of architecture art, and ideas in Cambodia’s capital city.  Launched in periodic discussions in the previous months, the SnB group made a creative application and was accepted into the Festival’s program. The yarn storm was a collaborative community effort, integrating the efforts of over 40 knitters, crocheters, embroiderers and sewers. Yarn for the project, a colorful, bulky cotton, was donated by Cambodia Knits from their current inventory and supplemented by other decorative fibers that added increased visual interest. The festival program also included knitting workshops; participants were taught how to knit in a ten minute lesson and their pieces were also integrated into the installation.

New knitters getting a free lesson during the opening weekend of the festival.

New knitters getting a free lesson during the opening weekend of the festival.

Launched as public transport 70 years ago, cyclos and drivers now number only 450 in the entire country, according to the Cyclo Conservation and Career Association (CCCA).  Phnom Penh’s SnB group wanted to  integrate the tradition of the cyclo with the ancient craft of needle working, resulting in a visually attractive, utilitiarian mobile art project.  Throughout the effort, community participation was key— involving cyclo drivers themselves in the installation. Ms. Heidi Holzknect said, “It is quite rare to have a knitting project involve multiple knitters all united with a common vision to building community creativity. As a newly placed Australian volunteer, the project helped me form bonds with other like-minded people and make a very tangible and beautiful contribution to Phnom Penh street life.”

Coordination of pieces helped by a Google docs spreadsheet.

Coordination of pieces helped by a Google docs spreadsheet.

For the project organizers, the effort required significant coordination to ensure that the pieces were knit to size specifications. Early in the project, the team contacted the Cyclo Association to invite their support and then carefully measured to determine the different lengths needed to cover the cyclo’s various parts. With a spreadsheet posted on the internet, project leaders were able to assign different sections, resulting in a total of 91 finished pieces for the final installation on 7 cyclos.  The needle workers represented a wide range of Phnom Penh: expatriates, short-term volunteers, tourists, mothers of expatriates and needle workers from other countries who were connected with SnB. In total, it was estimated that each cyclo required 30 hours of knitting time. The project lasted 6 weeks.

cyclosstormed copy

Cambodia Knits and Our City Festival themed cyclos.

Two cyclos created specifically for the project’s sponsors — Our City Festival and Cambodia Knits — were decorated only hours before Festival’s launch. During the first two days of the festival, there were public installation and knitting workshops where the pieces were grouped by color theme and carefully stitched onto the cyclo’s frames. Pieces that were completed by newly competent knitters were added as final touches.

Our City Festival and Cambodia Knits themed cyclos lead the parade of musicians along Phnom Penh's Riverside.

Our City Festival and Cambodia Knits themed cyclos lead the parade of musicians along Phnom Penh’s Riverside.

The culminating event of the yarn storm included a visually stunning and dramatic premiere in conjunction with Cambodia Living Arts.  A procession of 38 cyclos, led by the brightly decorated bicycle taxis and 20 drummers, created a spectacle as they wound their way through Phnom Penh’s streets and were deployed through the festival week on the streets of Phnom Penh.

knitting gang

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