JOURNAL: TWINKIE CHAN
Crochet is for all seasons, but planning for the colder months makes Twinkie Chan very happy indeed…
oh, yes! I’m so excited that fall is coming! The leaves on the trees don’t really change colour in amazing displays around here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but all the decorations in the craft stores start filling with warm orange hues and spicy, cinnamon scents – plus, it’s exactly the time to start crocheting my most favourite and signature projects of all: SCARVES!
More on that later. This summer, I had the pleasure of collaborating on a fun, warm-weather collection with one of my favourite indie children’s clothing brands, Tiny Bangs (tinybangs.com), based in Los Angeles. They asked if I could dream up some food-themed bikini tops for five-to-nineyear-olds. I’d never worked on any bikini projects before, or projects for children, so I was excited to explore something new. It was certainly a challenge to visualise sizing and fit, but I think everything turned out super cute and funny!
MY FIRST LOVE
While I’ll never say no to the thrilling energy of a good collab, I’m really excited now about having time to write new and never-seen-before scarf patterns for fall and winter. Food-themed scarves are my first love. They were the first projects that I ever put out into the world back in 2005.
I prefer crochet projects that are useful. I wanted to bring the cuteness of amigurumi to wearable art for adults, since grown-ups deserve to have fun with their fashion, too. Somehow along the way, I was asked more and more to create patterns and video classes for actual amigurumi. While I find toy-making fun, it wasn’t really the path that brought me the most joy. When running a business, it’s important to listen to what your customers want and what the market demands, but as an artist, it’s equally important to pursue what really excites you. I need to be reminded of that sometimes!
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
What I love about a fun, imaginative scarf project is that it’s such an inclusive accessory – no exact dimensions required! A person of any size, age or gender can wear one. Just one pattern can become a gift for literally anybody on your birthday or Christmas list. I’ve even been sent photos of one
of my scarves on someone’s dog (I really wish I still had that photo to show you!).
HOLIDAYS ARE COMING…
With the festive season swiftly approaching (sorry, but it’s true!), crocheting for gifts and decorations for fall and winter is a high priority. While my themed scarves always make excellent presents, I have some other tried-and-true projects that I’ll revisit in the next few months, too.
For Halloween, I’ll usually whip up some tiny crocheted pumpkins to use as both décor and as unique hair clips. My jack-o’-lantern beret is also extremely popular during this time of year, and you can have fun with varying the shapes of the eyes and nose. For Thanksgiving, my top favourites are my turkey hat and turkey tissue box cosy – as you can imagine, a sense of humour is a must when you crochet one of my patterns!
For Christmas, I’ll make a TON of popcorn garlands. It’s a quick and easy pattern that you can take with you anywhere to maximise your crafting time. My lucky Christmas pickles ornaments and gingerbread men brooches are also quick makes, extremely irresistible and make everybody smile. Make up one of Twinkie’s seasonal projects for yourself by downloading the pattern from her Etsy shop, www. twinkiechan.etsy.com. You can keep up with Twinkie via her blog, www.twinkiechan.com
dream “They asked if I could up some food-themed bikini tops for kids.” “As an artist, it’s important to pursue what excites you...”
“I’m really excited about having time to write new patterns.”