CYC AIR: Happy Place With Twinkie Chan

Imagine walking into a colorfully immersive environment made entirely of fiber, exploding with vibrancy and texture. As you walk from room to room, new adventures await you in art installations you can’t help but sink your hands, and mind, into. 

The Craft Yarn Council is excited to announce a new partnership with Dallas’ premiere experiential art exhibit, Sweet Tooth Hotel, to bring an immersive fiber experience to audiences across the country. The new installation, titled “Intangible,” opened June 2020. 

“Intangible” showcases an all-female lineup of some of the top fiber artists from around the United States, including yarn-bomb extraordinaire London Kaye (Los Angeles, CA), Fiber Artist Niki Dionne (Dallas, TX), Muralist and Illustrator Alli Koch (Dallas, TX), Fiber Artist Jackie Lawrence (Denton, TX), Installation Fiber Artist and Yarn Bomber Hannah Busekrus (Austin, TX), Crochet Designer Twinkie Chan (San Francisco, CA), Textile Designer Molly Sydnor (Dallas, TX), Dallas Yarn Bomber Co-Founder Sally Ackerman (Dallas, TX), Knit Artist Joanna Lin (Dallas, TX) and Embroidery Artist Kara Herman (Denton, TX). Each artist has been given a dedicated space to create their own whimsical world completely made from fiber and are the first cohort for CYC AIR (Craft Yarn Council Artist-In-Residence program). 

Since each of the artists used large quantities of yarn for their installs, we wanted to do a special series of Happy Place blog posts to dive into how each of them stored and organized their yarn. Read on for our CYC AIR Happy Place with Twinke Chan! Twinkie is a crochet artist who designs and crochets fun, food-themed accessories like cupcake scarves, hamburger mitts, and hot dog purses. Twinkie’s unique work has been featured online, in print, and on television, from BuzzFeed to Mollie Makes to Crochet Today to HGTV. 

 

 

How many skeins of yarn did you receive for your Sweet Tooth Hotel installation?

About 100 skeins.

 

What brand and fiber content did you use in your installation?

Mostly Lion Brand Vanna's Choice and Red Heart Super Saver, but I also supplemented along the way with other brands that I purchased.

 

What colors did you use for your installation?

Yummy ones! Lots of warm browns for bread; candy pinks and teals for frosting.

 

 

What system did you use to organize your CYC AIR yarn for Sweet Tooth Hotel?

I normally organize my everyday yarn in Ikea shelves. It's all roughly ordered by rainbow and separated by fiber content and/or brand.

 

What furniture or storage systems did you use to organize the yarn you received?

My personal yarn stash lives in Ikea shelving, and to be honest, I kept the yarn donated to me in two big cardboard boxes! Not fancy at all, but I wanted to keep it separated from my personal skeins, and at that point, I didn't have much time to devise anything else!

 

Do you or have you ever found it difficult to manage or organize your yarn?

Yes, my yarn stash always seems to grow on its own, and I start to feel like I don't want to store it all. I find myself donating a lot of yarn every two years or so.

 

 

Knowing the amount of yarn you were going to receive, how did you find an organization system that worked for you?

I was really not focused at all on a system for organizing it. I was super focused on writing new crochet patterns and managing my crochet team! But compared to other artists in the show, I know that I wasn't dealing with quite as much yarn, since my work - amigurumi - is quite small.

 

How do you like to de-stash?

Constantly working on new projects is its own de-stash process! I love being able to dream up an idea at two a.m. and then already have the yarn that I need to make it in that very moment. However, as I mentioned, the stash tends to overgrow my space, so I tend to donate quite a bit of it.

 

Do you work in the same space where your yarn is stored? Why or why not?

No. I really love working on the floor of my living room in front of my TV watching something terrible like 90 Day Fiancee.

 

 

How important is a well-organized yarn corner/office to your mental wellbeing?

While I don't spend a lot of time organizing my craft room, I do think it feels GREAT when everything IS organized. I go through busy times when I just don't have a moment to spare to really keep things in order, but it's always on my mind. If I have a lot of back-to-back projects, yarn organization tends to fall down the old priority list. I love knowing that every thing has a place to go. When I run out of places for things to go - that's when I run into problems!

 

Where did you purchase everything shown in the photos you submitted?   

The smaller shelving is from IKEA. But I purchased them years and years ago, and I believe the GNEDBY shelving for CDs is no longer available. Because, you know, nobody knows what a CD is anymore! The pink shelf was originally handmade for a craft show when I was vending at a lot of shows 10 years ago. It's really cool because the top two shelves are removable so you can take them out and there are scarf racks instead. Currently, I'm hanging sunnies instead of scarves.

 

Share any tips or advice your have for someone who is trying reorganize their stash.

Everybody's sense of organization is different. I would say to go with what feels good for you. For me, color is a big factor, but for others it might be fiber content or yarn weight or brand. Make things easy for YOU to find and also easy to put away. Make sure everything has a spot. If a thing doesn't have a spot, think about whether you really need to keep it.

 

Sweet Tooth Hotel installation image courtesy of TA Visuals. All other images courtesy of Twinkie Chan

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