SMALL WORLD
Simply Crochet|Issue 105
We chat to crochet and amigurumi designer Kwannie Chen who talks us through her journey to creating a world of wonderful miniature makes…
Lucy Evans

Born and raised in a small town in the Netherlands, Kwannie Chen, who has Chinese heritage, was always crafting. “Looking back into my childhood, I think that was my strength,” she says. “From writing to painting, working with my hands was my happy space.” Kwannie tried out many crafts before discovering crochet – and it stuck! She’s now a successful crochet designer, working under the name StudioManya.

StudioManya was born after Kwannie had her children, wanting to find something to do that was purely for her own enjoyment. “I was in a phase of discontent,” she explains. “I’d just come out of a period of immense lack of sleep, after having my first two children. So, after this, I finally had some space and time to think for myself.” Kwannie’s specialty is amigurumi, as well as miniature makes – delicate and unique little pieces that make a whole world of their own, which she posts as set-up scenes on her very successful Instagram account as a sort of ‘crocheted diary’. Kwannie initially chose to make small pieces of crochet for convenience – the smaller the item, the quicker for her to make and post on social media – but this time-saver has now become her trademark style!

SOCIAL PRO

You would never expect that Kwannie was a social media novice before all of this. With over 17,000 followers at the time of print, fans flock to her Instagram page to see what new magical scenes she’s created. “When I started on Instagram, I was so amazed by other people’s lives, all available on screen for everybody to watch and comment on. At the time, I thought people took it too seriously,” she explains. “That has meant my main purpose is simply to keep it light and entertaining. Also, I want to show people that there is so much more you can do with crochet. I want to help change the image crochet typically has.”

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