Knitting Faster & Faster: Checking in on the 17 in 2017 Challenge

“How’s that knitting challenge going?” a coworker asked yesterday. “Still knitting faster?” She wanted to know if I’d made progress on my crazy personal knitting goal for 2017: starting and completing 17 garments before year’s end. When I last blogged about this challenge at the beginning of June, I’d finished 7 projects—2 of them from my handspun yarn—and had 2 more sweaters on the needles. I’d also planned to intersperse each selfish project with a charity knitting item. Now, nearing the end of August, how do things look? I’d say great for selfish knitting and poorly for the charity projects. It looks like I’ll finish up my sweaters way ahead of schedule, so I’ll finish out the year knitting hats, mittens, and/or socks.

My yarncraft queue became both focused and unfocused since I first blogged about this challenge.

• Unfocused, because too many projects: The lace shawlette I’d promised my hairdresser turned into 2 shawlettes, so she could pick her favorite. I also had 2 sweaters (1 tangy, 1 mindless) on my needles at the same time. With 4 simultaneous WIPs, I had something to knit in every situation—chatting with friends, sitting in meetings, watching TV. But none of these projects moved very quickly!

• Focused like a fan-girl: Then I decided to jumpstart another project in my queue, so that I could crush on the designer, Jennifer Dassau, during her visit to Interweave. I also had to finish an older WIP to photograph for work. That’s one of the few downsides about employment at a craft publisher—too many knit-for-work “opportunities.”

• Refocused to spinning: I signed up for Tour de Fleece, which meant spinning every single day for the first 3 weeks of July. (If you haven’t already seen the Interweave team’s video for TdF, it’s linked at the bottom of the page.)

Despite all these distractions, I did finish more sweaters!

8. Blue Hiking Henley

knitting faster

Melissa Leapman’s wildly popular top from Love of Knitting Summer 2017. I adapted the pattern for seamless construction.

9. Cityscape Pullover

Sat in my queue for at least 4 years. Once I fell in love with the design, I decided to process a raw fleece and spin the yarn for it. My resulting colors didn’t have enough contrast, unfortunately, so I used a commercial yarn. I also turned the cardi into a pullover.

10. Stormy Berry

Jennifer Wood’s beautifully textured top, in a grey-blue that matches my eyes. This was a tangy project! I can’t wait for the weather to get colder so I can show it off without dying of heatstroke.

11. Red Hiking Henley

Melissa Leapman’s casual top in another color, and with waist shaping. You’ll hear more about both these henleys, I promise.

Currently, my needles hold 3 top-down sweaters—Jennifer Dassau’s Broken Lines Pullover, the Acorns cardigan (another queued-for-way-too-long project), and another cardi from my handspun yarn! I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: there is nothing more satisfying than knitting a big project from yarn you spun and dyed.

Happy knitting,


Check out the patterns I used and other patterns by these designers!


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