Combining Individual Talents to Create a True Family Project

Mom's bag
The finished family project just in time for spring.

Everyone in my immediate family has their own creative talents.  Some of these talents overlap since Mom and I both crochet while I spin some of the yarn Mom likes to use in her knitting.  My Dad takes over the mechanical aspect of things when hardware is involved like adding grommets to the sock yarn bags my Mom sews.  Sometimes all three of us collaborate to create a true family project like the one I am showcasing today.  This one became even more multigenerational as you will see below.

How It All Started

Several months ago my Mom saw a cute sheep cowl pattern on Ravelry.  She asked me if I would spin some yarn for her.  Of course I would.  I love spinning so how could I refuse?  So together we chose the fiber, several colors of 100% Merino wool that matched the colors that the pattern needed.

The Spinning

Since I knew the amount of each color that was needed for the original cowl pattern, I calculated how much I would need to spin and overestimated to be sure that there would be enough yarn.  The fiber is 100% Merino wool which spun up quite nicely.  I put all the colors for each ply on their own bobbin so I could ply them all at once when I was finished.  This meant that there was some leftover that became short singles I will use in other projects.

The Knitting

Close up detail of Mom's knitting
Close up detail of Mom’s knitting

This project started as a cowl.  However, Mom just wasn’t happy with the way the cowl flopped and didn’t show the sheep in a way that she liked.  So she scoured Ravelry for a handbag pattern and found the Fair Isles Sheep Bag by Shirley Spencer.  She had to adjust the colors and pattern a tad since I had spun the yarn to match the original project.  Luckily, there was yarn leftover from other skeins I had spun, like the two colors of alpaca and silk she used for a brioche cowl.

I just remembered that there is also a bit more of the alpaca art batt I spun eons ago on my spindle!  Is that yarn EVER going to end?  No wonder it felt like it took forever!  I thought it was because I was spinning on a spindle.  It must have kept multiplying like proverbial bunnies.

Inside detail of Mom's bag
Inside detail of Mom’s bag including the magnetic closure and attachments for the handles from her mother’s suitcase.

In true Mom style she made other changes as well such as making a quilted lining with several pockets for the many items she keeps in her handbags.  She also did a kitchener stitch on the bottom using the light blue Merino since the alpaca she originally used was not stiff enough.

Where Dad and Oma Step In

My Dad attached the handles, magnetic closure, and also did some additional hand sewing.  He recycled the handles from Oma’s old suitcase so this project added another generation with the suitcase my Mom’ mom used when she would visit us from Germany.

These types of projects are fun and create a family treasure especially if you use items that hold their own special memories.  Have you ever completed a family project where everyone contributes their own special talent?  Did you included items that are remembrances from past family members?  Let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to know.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

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