Stop three on the tour is to Indonesia to visit Thata Pang, a crochet and knitwear designer.
Hi Thata! Can you tell us a bit about where you are from and where you live now?
I live in Surabaya – East Java, Indonesia. I was born at Jakarta, lived there until high school. After that, I moved to Surabaya, took my Masters of Economics, married, worked and opened a shop.
What’s the best thing about where you live? If someone came to visit your town, where would you take them?
The second biggest city in Indonesia is Surabaya (after Jakarta). You can see many interesting things here. Surabaya is a green city and clean, too – there are many parks and trees here. They still keep heritage buildings, a public library, and there is a free city tour at House of Sampoerna.
You can also try Javanase food, like Bubur Madura, Sate Klopo, Lontong Balap, and Tahu Campur. Restaurant Tempo Doeloe is one of my favorites. I love the atmosphere. If you don’t like our traditional food you can try Chinese food or European food. We have many delicious international restaurants here.
Mirota, located at Jl. Sulalwesi, is the one spot where I always love to be. There are so many crafts there from all over Indonesia and East Asia. It’s like heaven – Batiks, paintings, etc. I think if you love crafts, you will love this spot.
Indonesia food looks delicious and I would love to go shopping in that market! How did you get started knitting and crocheting, and how did it turn into designing?
I start up and down. First, when I was 9 year old, my auntie taught me how to crochet. She is a crafter. She made tablecloth (big ones) with cotton thread. That’s why I love to make doilies. 😀
Knitting started when I was 20. My boyfriend’s mom (now he is my hubby) taught me. She is always making booties and caps for all her grandchildren. She can crochet, too. That’s why I love crocheting and knitting very much. 🙂
Many of my friends told me that I was a free style knitter or crocheter, because I always work with my feelings and inspirations. I love making something different and unique. My friends love my work and I want them to be happy with my work, too, so that’s why I always work with imagination.
People started to know me as a designer when I wrote my first book in the Indonesian language. After that, writing has become part of me. I love writing and designing. I have published 5 books on crocheting and knitting in Indonesia, and I am still writing.
Thanks to many friends from abroad that I know from the internet, like Debbie Butler, JD Wolfe from craft gossip, Rita H (passed away), Dena Casey, Barbara S, etc. I can’t write all of them but they told me that I must write up my designs and go international :).
And I’m so glad they did! What inspires your designs?
My culture, the environment (especially flowers), architecture, fashion shows, movies or TV shows, etc
Where is your favorite place to work?
In my craft room. Thanks to my hubby, I have a place where I can be myself. I sketch, design, and write there, but I work or finish my project in my car, because I’m a mobile person. 🙂
What is your design process like?
I don’t plan what I want to make with the yarns. But I look at something first and then inspiration springs out. I choose yarns and hook, flowing in my imagination, finger dancing in yarn. Aaah, I love it! It’s not always a success with the first trial. For a perfect design, I usually try 3 times before pattern testing.
What is your go to knitting and crocheting beverage?
I’m tea and coffee lover 😀
What are your favorite designs from your portfolio?
My favorite Square design: Sakura Flower Square – It is a square pattern with a 3-D effect flower that looks just like a Sakura flower. The pattern is available on Ravelry and Etsy
My favorite Baby Blanket design: Star Popcorn Blanket – This blanket has a 3-D effect with popcorn inside and is one of my favourite baby blanket because it is stylish and looks different. It is available on Ravelry and Etsy
My favorite Tablecloth design: Family Gathering Doily – named because this doily looks like a family to me. It’s made in 4 parts. Part 1 – small : Our Star Doily (Children), Part 2 – medium: Mom’s Peace Doily (Mother), Part 3 – large: Unforgettable Moment Doily (Father), and Part 4 – extra large: Mission in Complete Doily (Family). The pattern is available on Ravelry and Etsy.
I’m offering a coupon code on Family Gathering Doily and Star Popcorn Blanket. On Ravelry, use code “ina 80skeins” for $1.50 off through 10/27/2014
I love the Family Gathering Doily – it is such a sweet concept. Who are your favorite fiber art designers?
I love Barbara Walker, Nicky Epstein, Drew Emborsky, Maggie Swanson, Doris Chan, Shirley Paden, Hiroshi Takamura, Elizabeth Hiddleson, Patricia Kristoffersen, Margaret Hubert, and Kim Guzman. I think I have many favorite designers 🙂
It is hard to choose just one. =) Is there a distinctive knitting or crochet culture in Indonesia?
Ya, we have it. If you go to the Bangka Belitung Islands you’ll see beautiful crochet doilies there – all in white colours and cotton thread. We called them Rajutan Bangka Belitung.
Do you have a favorite local yarn store?
I have a craft shop and dye my own yarns – so I must said that my fave is Thalenta Store! 😀 😀
If I’m ever in East Java, I will definitely come shopping your store! I’m so glad we had a chance to meet you and learn more about your designs and Indonesia!
Thank you so much for your interest in my designs.