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Twinkle's Big City Knits: 31 Chunky-Chic Designs [Hardcover]

Wenlan Chia
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 13 2007
Wenlan Chia, creator of the acclaimed fashion line Twinkle by Wenlan, is famous for knitting bold, chunky yarn into delicate, feminine designs. The look is at once whimsical and hip, classic and trendy; in short, Wenlan’s knits are like nothing you’ve seen before. Now, she shares her patterns and her secrets with knitters everywhere.

Twinkle’s Big City Knits is a collection of 31 of Twinkle’s greatest hits that knitters can finally make at home. From a mohair shrug embellished with ribbon and braids to a wrap vest with a plunging V-neck, every design in Twinkle’s Big City Knits puts an innovative, spin on classic knitwear and styles. Here are patterns for all of Twinkle’s hottest pieces: the bestselling seed-stitch Twinkle Hoodie, the cropped and flirty Best Friend Cardigan, the effortlessly trendy Shopping Tunic. For warmer weather, lighter colors and lighter knits reign, so you’ll find the classic sophistication of the Chanel-inspired Coco Jacket in soft pastels, a delicate and feather-soft scarf light enough for spring, as well as the St. Bart’s Mini that could very well be the perfect Little Black Dress. Full-color photographs and clear instructions make it easy to learn new techniques. In addition, Wenlan shares her advice on techniques, choosing yarns, and choosing materials to make knitting with chunky yarn as easy as it looks.

With designs this creative, colors this beautiful, and shapes this modern, you’ll want to make every project in this book—and they all knit up so quickly that you can!

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About the Author

Wenlan Chia launched Twinkle in the fall of 2000 with a collection of colorful and exuberant hand-knit sweaters and accessories. Making its runway debut in 2002, Twinkle received high praise from both the New York Times and Women’s Wear Daily. Since then, Wenlan has shown on the runway each season at Seventh on Sixth fashion week in Bryant Park. Wenlan has received well-deserved recognition from the fashion industry, winning major awards and nominations, including the Onward Kashiyama New Design Prize in Tokyo, the Competition of Young Fashion Designers in Paris, and the Vogue Fashion Fund Award in New York, among others. Most recently, she was selected as one of “Spring’s Leading Ladies”— a group of five notable designers— by Vogue magazine.

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Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Style...but please hire an editor April 5 2007
By Pat
Format:Hardcover
First off, I love the pieces in this book - there's everything from classic to very funky. Production design is gorgeous and the projects are very well laid out.

However...all of the sweaters are designed to be very small like any of Wenlan's patterns you may have seen in magazines - none of the patterns really goes past a 34"-36" bust.

Also, make sure that you download corrections from both Twinkle's website and the publisher's - they are not the same. There are a lot of mistakes in the basic information for the patterns - sizing, yarn quantities that don't agree and things like that. Most of this is common sense; just make sure to calculate all of the quantity information yourself, especially if you're substituting yarns - these guys really don't seem to know what a metre is...I guess they spent all their money on the photographer.

The pattern directions look pretty consistent but I haven't really checked in depth.

A last thing, some of the pieces are finished with fairly intricate crochet, and there's kind of an assumption that you know how to do this and/or read crochet charts (unlike me...looking for knitted alternatives).

So, buy this book from Amazon at a discount and then bombard the publisher with letters....
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1.0 out of 5 stars SWEATERS MADE FOR DOLL SIZED PEOPLE ONLY Jan. 19 2011
By siuox
Format:Hardcover
book was beautiful but the patterns were made for 27' inch bust in sweaters..not MANY people today that small....LARGE WAS 31 INCH BUST

JUST A LIBRARY BOOK NOW AND OF NO ACTUAL USE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pretty Dec 9 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is gorgeous, no doubt about it. The patterns are not easy however. This is not for the first time knitter! Check errata too!
Pretty designs. I like the twinkle series for ideas. If you can, this is a good book to get inspired by and make some of your own changes to the patterns.
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Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
112 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Knitting Book Feb. 20 2007
By bitter purl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I heard that Wenlan Chia, the designer of Twinkle, had a knitting book coming out I was, like many, extremely excited. Now you didn't have to be a rich fashionista with access to a cool boutique to wear a Twinkle design, you can make it at home!

I finally saw the book this weekend and it is gorgeous, Potter Craft has really upped the styling of knitting books and working with a well known New York Designer no doubt helps. The first half of the book consists of model shots of each of the patterns printed on glossy paper. Color and energy ooze out of these pages. Towards the end of this section you get to find out what Chia's ideas of what a size large are....a 37" at most. OK no big deal, except she doesn't provide an extra large.

The second half of the book is the pattern section that switches over to a matte paper and flat sweater pictures. This is where it gets really confusing and infuriating. Some of the patterns are one size only (and no I'm not just talking about hats or scarves) while some go as big as a 35" and worse for some the large is a 27"! 10" of negative ease in a bulky knit?!

I know enough about knitting to resize patterns, but why should I spend 30 dollars for that honor when Chia, her pattern writer, or her technical editor were being paid to do that? My theory is that Chia didn't write the knitting patterns (she's more of a free form knitter, which brings a sense of fun to her work) and someone else (the other author whose name I can't remember)had to look through her runway samples to 'decode' the knitting. When it was too hard to resize they just went with one.

I'm giving it 3 stars because the designs are gorgeous, unfortunately they aren't going to be wearable (imagine carrying over 1.5 kilos of yarn)or knitable for most people. Maybe a revised edition will be printed with sizes for a wider audience rather than just models.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Patterns riddled with errors Sept. 20 2007
By Jessica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The designs are creative, and I continue to receive compliments on the sweaters I've made from this book. But the patterns are full of errors and unclear instructions, most of which are not included in the errata sheet. Just thumbing through the book before I made anything, I could tell that there were major mistakes in the yardage requirements. And once I began knitting, I became quite frustrated. I am used to encountering some mistakes in knitting patterns and books, but this book seems not to have been edited or checked by the author at all. I am amazed at the number of errors throughout. Since I do like many of the designs, I will probably knit more, though I am thoroughly disappointed in the quality of the patterns.
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pattern Sizing is MISLEADING - these patterns aren't just for skinny models! Nov. 1 2007
By J. Wendell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
So, I went to an event at Anthropologie tonight and Wenlan was there. I asked her what was up with the impossible pattern sizing. Because the patterns are knit on HUGE needles with big yarn, it stretches like mad. Also, there is a bit of negative ease in there to make the garment hug the body.

Basically, what it comes down to is that those measurements are the KNITTED measurements, not the "will fit" measurements. There's a really important distinction. I'm no tiny girl...i've got a 41" bust...and I just bought this book after several months ago giving a copy someone gave me for free away.

Also, with the crazy large gauge you'd get for any of these patterns, it will take hardly any time at all to re-knit something if you need a size larger or smaller.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars crying right now July 9 2007
By S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Word of warning: do not buy the twinkle "cruise" yarn- it's a silk/cotton blend. I wanted to try it and started one of the sweaters, despite the fact that the patterns call for 4 strands held together. 4 strands of very slippery, easily knotted horrid yarn. I tried everything- i put the 4 balls of yarn in seperate bags, in jars, in the 4 corners of the room. It just ends up being a huge tangled mess no matter how hard I try. I have had to make several cuts because it's just become impossibly tangled, I can't make it more than a row or two without having to stop to untangle and it's really easy to drop one of the four strands at any point, especially during increases, decreases, etc. I really want to finish this sweater, but it's taking me forever because I can't take it with me anywhere and i spend so much time working on knots. I like the patterns but stay away from the suggested yarn.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book will break your heart Aug. 19 2007
By Mary K. Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I just finished my fourth attempted project out of this book and was hard pressed not to throw it out of the car. The pictures of the finished garments might be beautiful, but the patterns are riddled with mistakes, require a serious combination of both knitting skill and intuition to compensate for their omissions and, even when completed successfully, often turn out to be incredibly ugly. What was supposed to be a winter hat wound up looking more like a fishnet shower cap with overly long ear flaps. The only thing I can think to do with the book now is to use it as a basis for creating my own patterns. Even in this capacity, however, it will require serious effort and time to overcome its failures and inadequacies. In short, I hate this book.

(My boyfriend just came upon me typing and asked whether writing the review was sufficiently cathartic. Frankly, I don't think so, but it's a start.)
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