Leading up to my celebrating a significant birthday in January this year (2020), I was struggling. This number was a defining one publicly whether I liked it or not. And there are things that come with aging that increase as that number does - new physical challenges arrive for you and your friends, and there is the loss of loved ones to deal with.
My last significant birthday I published my first book and celebrated with a crazy, fabulous launch party filled with wild entertainment, tons of people and lots of fun. What could compare with that?
After a lot of thought I decided to create The 2020 Year of Marilyn Bucket List challenge. This list would help me create amazing new memories, reach new goals, face fears, challenge a few I can'ts and overall let me focus more on just having fun. You can check out my ever growing bucket
One thing I wanted to face was my difficulty with finishing things. From a young age I've been a great starter when hit with a whim. Then as soon as the first glitch reared it's ugly head, the project would be dumped in a corner and forgotten. Time to move on to the next whim.
In light of this, one item on my challenge list is to finish THREE knitting and/or crocheting projects. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've bought yarn and needles or hook in a fit of passionate inspiration, only to leave the project laying half finished or sometimes never even started. Why three projects? Because that would show staying power. I wanted to face this demon more than once.
I can honestly say this single simple bucket list item has ended up challenging me to my core. My first project was a circular knitted neck scarf. I did finish it, but the cast off is a little tight. SIGH #1. It's still sitting in the bag waiting for me to take out the last row and re-do it. And it doesn't count for my challenge unless I actually finish it fully!
My second project is a crocheted shrug out of a bulky yarn. I took the yarn and pattern with me on my visit to my daughter in Ontario in January to get started. She has knit and crocheted many things, so I would have help getting started if I needed it. It's been a long time since I crocheted, so mistakes were made. I had to rip my meagre start out not once, but TWICE before I hit my stride. SIGH #2 and #3.
By the time I was well into my second ball of yarn, it became pretty clear that this shrug was going to be too heavy to be comfortable. It was also going to take a lot more yarn than I purchased. My daughter gently suggested I rip it out and find a new pattern, a knit one this time. SIGH #4! I put it back in my suitcase and carted it home where I set it right next to our living room couch. No tossing it in a corner to be forgotten this time around.
After a week of looking at it, I finally picked up the project and pulled it apart a THIRD time. With the yarn now in two big balls, it was time to decide on a new project. I had snagged several patterns for this specific yarn when I started. After looking through them all, I settled on this knit version - the Decisiveness Scoop Shrug Knitting Pattern by Jennifer Thompson purchased from Brome Fields.
|My fav children's book!|
I've now finished about 1/8 of the new shrug and am so far happy with the results. It's a simple square using only knit and purl stitches, so easy to follow without making mistakes. The knitting also seems less dense than the other crocheted pattern was, so it should definitely be lighter and more wearable. In the evenings I sit and knit while listening to one of my favourite podcasts to keep my mind active.
Will I finish this? The signs are good. And I honestly don't want to have to rip it apart and start over a fourth time. Facing the demon of pushing through frustration and restarting over and over is still not easy for me, but I'm getting there slowly - one yarn project at a time.
Note - While this was a purchased pattern, Brome Fields also has free patterns. You can check them out here - https://www.bromefields.com/.