Challenge Accepted… AND Completed

Several months ago, I posted about participating in Jill Wolcott’s Finishing Challenge, and I figured it’s high time I share what I finished. 🙂

Although I did not start this year expecting to go all in on challenge, I seem to have embraced being challenged, as I also completed #75Hard after I finished this one. This has certainly been a challenging year, and apparently I unintentionally adopted the theme.

Here’s the thing about challenges, whether you choose them or they choose you: they are NOT fun while doing them, but if you persevere and meet them to the best of your ability, you WILL become a stronger person. You WILL find strength you didn’t know you possessed, and you WILL accomplish what you didn’t know you could. Anyway my friends, that is my message for you today, which I hope will encourage you during a year that has been challenging for all of us.

Now on to the fun stuff – which projects came out of their naughty corners? Read on…

Taking a break during seaming…
Hexagon Throw by Kristin Nicholas
Put it on the couch…
Hexagon Throw by Kristin Nicholas
…but discovered it’s big enough to be a bed spread!

This is from one of Kristin Nicholas’s books about home decor, and I had done the crocheting of all the hexagons in California. Then we started the cross-country moving process, it all got packed, and then even after it got unpacked, the last thing I was in the mood to do was seam 40 or 50 hexagons together. Plus weave in the ends. Yuck. This is the project I took on first during the challenge because it was the one I was dreading the most. I would advise this as a life motto – get the hardest thing out of the way first! 🙂

knitted dish cloths
I may never buy dish cloths again
Isn’t that the prettiest stack of cotton you’ve ever seen?

After my 20 hours of seaming hexagons and weaving in ends, I figured it was time for a quick win. I hate weaving in ends as much as I hate seaming hexagons, so I had quite the stack of wash cloths sitting around. (You may be sensing a theme of how projects end up in the naughty corner around here, and you are correct.) One of the things I realized in this challenge was that I really need to commit to finishing before starting new projects. It didn’t take me very long to get this stack done so it could finally move from my pile of unfinished projects into the linen closet, so I cannot offer any good reason why I procrastinated so long on this one.

Sorry, my selfie game is not fabulous. This sweater, however, is. 🙂
The original pattern had cables on each side, but I preferred just to enjoy the color and keep it simple.

The Shimla sweater is another item I began in Burbank. This sweater was in Knitscene a few years ago, and I altered the pattern slightly because I didn’t like the cable that ran up each side. When I started Jill’s challenge, I had the second sleeve, the straps, and all the finishing work to do. If I’m honest, this sweater did not deserve to be in the naughty corner. It was just a matter of me getting bored and procrastinating about finishing it. There, I admitted it. 🙂 However, I have been wearing it constantly now that the weather is cooler. It goes with leggings and jeans, boots, and my slippers (important now that we are all staying home!). I am happy I got it done so I can wear it all winter.

My Boo, who has loved taking a nap in my knitwear since she was a wee kitten.
I started this as a log cabin blanket, but then I adapted the pattern to my own liking, and I think it turned out a bit like an Op Art piece.

I have always wanted to make a log cabin afghan because I love the idea of incorporating all the geometrics in quilts into knitting. But instead of the traditional log cabin pattern, I decided just to keep knitting around and around until I got to my desired size. I love the finished piece, which is on my couch currently, most likely with one of the pets curled up on it. This is probably the project that had the shortest time in the procrastination corner. I started it in December 2019, got a very long way on it, and then put it aside due to boredom. But I decided I was so close to the end, I might as well get it done during the challenge.

Debbie Bliss Basketweave Scarf

This scarf is one of the rare projects I’ve done in which I followed the pattern exactly, right down to buying the exact same yarn in the exact same colorway listed in the pattern. It is also the oldest project in the bunch. It must have sat around for at least 5 years, if not more. Why? Because basketweave stitch is ALL cables, and to knit a large scarf like this, it feels like endless fiddly knitting. This yarn is very splitty, which added to the tedium. I absolutely love the end result, and and my version looks as beautiful as the magazine cover where I first saw this pattern, but I won’t be clamoring to make another one any time soon.

It is my very first attempt at knitting cables, but I can’t say it did much to make me enthusiastic about cabling. If you are learning a new technique, obviously you need lots of repetition to get comfortable with it. However, once that initial challenge is overcome, projects like this can get tedious so fast! I did feel myself picking up some speed at the end, but even after making such a large scarf, I still can’t get a rhythm with cabling. If anyone has suggestions for enjoyable cable patterns, or tips for how to get in the flow with it, please share. 🙂

Just a little peek at one of the slip stitch designs I’ve been talking about for so long now. Coming very soon, I promise!

By the time I finished everything I already posted above, I had only a few hours left before the challenge was over. I figured I deserved a reward, so I decided to spend those last few hours knitting the third panel of my own slip stitch afghan design. I took this photo at the start so I could see how many inches it grew in a few hours, and I am happy to say that when you hunker down to see how much you can get done in a few hours, you may be surprised. Focus is everything! I am very happy to say I am very close to getting this pattern and a new shawl pattern published, both of which focus on slip stitching and color. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak!

4 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted… AND Completed

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