WUA Challenge 2019

I set myself up with a simple goal: I wanted to make at least one blanket and one hat. I ended up doubling that goal.

I am so excited to share this amazing fundraiser I was able to be a part of!

For the past several years, the amazingly talented Brittany from Bhooked has partnered with the Warm Up America organization on creating a Crochet Challenge that usually takes place at the beginning of the year. What a great way to start the New year, right?

Last year, I found out about this challenge a little too late to participate, but when 2019 was approaching, I decided I was going to this time around. It was as if the Lord was preparing me for my year of giving since I had already committed this project to my calendar months before the announcement of the challenge was made public. I was anticipating on it so much that once January came I was constantly checking Bhooked for the Crochet Challenge.

This year, Brittany designed a beautiful red, white, and blue lap blanket that would be donated to military service personnel and their families who are being taken cared of at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. You can read more about the challenge here and listen to her podcast episode interview with Mary Colucci, Executive Director of the Warm Up America! Foundation here. If you’re extra curious, give her podcast episode 101 a listen where she talks about the personal journey of designing this beautiful project here.

In addition to her annual crochet design, she also included a very simple knitted hat pattern to broaden the audience of participation. The pattern was so simple, in fact, that crocheters who’ve had the desire to learn knitting could potentially do that by making this hat.

I was ecstatic once this announcement was made. Our military holds a special place in my heart, moreso because my cousin Jonathan served in the Marines. Also, currently, my stepbrother is proudly serving in the US Army and I had the privilege of seeing him graduate Boot Camp in SC last September.

I had no big project commitments at the time of the announcement so I felt like I could devote 100% of my time to completing this project. I set myself up with a simple goal: I wanted to make at least one blanket and one hat. Although Brittany had granted us the freedom to choose our own color combos, I went with the original design colors which were Red, White, and Blue (I realized after the fact that the red she used was Burgundy, and the red I had purchased was Cherry red. However, I think it still turned out amazing).

I worked on both the blanket and the hat at the same time. I just alternated between the two to keep my momentum going. I ended up completing my hat first, and I do have to say that, being my second knitted hat ever, it turned out REALLY well! I was really proud of myself.

The blanket was also very easy (remember I have been crocheting for 7 years now lol) and worked up really quick because of the very tall stitches that created the unique cable design.

I ended up finishing both of these items way before the deadline (I believe I had about 3 weeks left) and I ended up having a ton of yarn left over. Instead of having this yarn sit in my stash for God only knows how long, I decided to use the extra three weeks I had and make another hat and blanket.

Now this time, it took me until two days before the mailing deadline to complete the blanket (I had completed the second hat right after I had finished the first set) but I know that was because I struggled to get through the pattern a second time. I also allowed myself to lallygag because I “had the time”. All that matters is that I got it complete and mailed both sets off on the deadline date!

After participating in this amazing cause, I really felt great about making something that I know the person receiving it will appreciate it. The fact that I started AND completed two blankets in a month has literally never happened before in a long time for me. It’s usually really hard for me to stay on one project from beginning to the end. Usually I have to step back from it, work on something else, and then come back to that previous project.

Plus, I doubled my original goal. I wanted to at least send one of each and I was able to send two of each item from one yarn purchase. Needless to say I will definitely be doing this again in the future years to come and I cannot wait to see what Brittany comes up with next!

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