I'm so excited finally to be able to introduce you to a project that's been sitting in the wings for over two years! Meet My Grandmother's Knitting, a new knitting book by Larissa Brown that features both a pattern by me, and a profile about the Family Trunk Project.
It's been a long time coming to see this in print, but the end result is something to be proud of: Larissa and the folks at STC Craft did a beautiful job. The first half of the book consists of profiles on seventeen knitwear designers and the relationships between our families (and/or a specific family member) and our artistic practices. It's a little daunting to find myself in such august company: there are pieces on Meg Swansen's memories of her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman; on the backyard art pieces made by Jared Flood's father; on the knitting and violin-making of Ysolda Teague's grandfather; on Norah Gaughan's artist parents. The profiles are accompanied by vintage shots of the ancestors or relatives under discussion, and it's so cool to learn about the geneses of the knitting practices of so many fellow designers!
The second half of the book includes patterns. Many of them are by the designers profiled in the first half, although there are both stand-alone profiles and patterns. When I was first talking to Larissa about the book, she stressed that she wanted the full gamut of patterns from very "serious" (Kristin Spurkland's Norwegian-inspired yoked colorwork Rose & Cross Pullover, for example), to the smaller or more whimsical (Robin Melanson's lovely Vintage Gloves design, or Hanna Breetz's Storm Cloud Shawl)—and I think that variety ended up being a real strength of the finished product. Jared Flood and Ysolda Teague both do lovely, delicate colorwork with the Tilden Hat and Fiddler Mitts, and I like David Castillo's fraternal-twin Conover Mitten design. My own contribution is the 'Olina Socks pattern:
Rather than being inspired by any particular family member, as the Family Trunk Project patterns proper are, these socks are a general homage to the Hawaiian islands where Jessie Lambdin and Charles Victor Morine moved, and where my mother and her brothers grew up. The "Blossom" colorway reminds me of guavas and guava juice, and the twisting vines and wide leaf motifs of tropical vegetation.
I'm super-excited to be included in this book, and to see the end results of all Larissa's hard work and that of the many others involved. If you're in the Portland metro area tomorrow, many of us who live in the area will be doing a signing and book release party out in Gresham; please stop by and say hello.
Andersen Fiber Works
20 NW 3rd St
6:30 - 10:30pm (signing at 7pm)
They tell me there will be appetizers, beer, wine, and karaoke (!). I hope to see you there. (And to listen to you sing, as I do not do karaoke regardless of the quantity of wine available.) If you aren't in the Portland area, be sure to take a gander through My Grandmother's Knitting at your local yarn shop (it's also available to order through Powell's and Amazon). I'm eager to hear what people think.