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Family Trunk Project

The other day we met Portland’s own Emily and David from the Family Trunk Project. And I’m going to go ahead and say this is just about the coolest thing I’ve heard of in quite a while.

marjorie sweaterYou might have seen, and loved, Emily’s sweater design Marjorie in the last issue of Knitty. The write up at the beginning of the pattern gives you a sense of how much Emily used the memory of her grandmother’s extraordinary life as inspiration.

That inspiration is the essence of the Family Trunk Project. With the help of David, her trusty “web designer, graphic artist, and muse”, Emily is creating one garment for each member of her family tree, all the way back to her great-grandparents’ generation. She draws on all sorts of inspirations for her designs – ethnic origin, trade, personality, and fashions in vogue at the times they lived.

jessie shawlAlthough the garments are inspired by bygone days, they’re meant to be worn and fashionable today and, as far as I can tell, totally succeed. Eventually, Emily hopes (and we hope, too!) that all the patterns will be published together in book form. For now, they’re available on the Family Trunk Project website and Knitty.

If you think this project is as fascinating as I do, check out the website for the full story. There’s also a wonderful interview with Emily by Ysolda here. Keep an eye out for Emily’s work in upcoming issues of Knitty, too. Word on the street is that she’s got an eye on Louet MerLin for her next project…

All this goes to show (as my third grade teacher told us to end our essays), that Portland has the most amazing crafty people in the world!

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