Second Quarter Challenge – Mark 1

Second Quarter Challenge – Mark 1

So we are just starting the 3rd month of the second quarter challenge and I have a finished piece. Everyone, please clap because I actually finished it in May, very early for me who usually finishes the challenge after the next one has started. Here’s the challenge if you need a refresher.  2020-second-quarter-challenge

Last time I teased you with the beginnings. No one could guess what it was. Grey didn’t seem to be a very summery colour. Well, I made a basket. I had seen a few online and thought that’s a good idea. I liked that they looked rustic and functional rather than pretty. Best laid plans of mice and men as they say.

I started with a pattern. I wanted it to be big enough and I thought an oval would be the best shape to start with.

I wanted a sturdy basket so I used 160 grams of Finnish wool. In retrospect, I think another 40 grams would have been better. I thought the handle and where it attaches will take the most strain so I added 5 strands of Briggs and Little sport singles between the second and 3rd of the 4 layers. This sort of thing is always much fiddler than I think it will be.

I added 3 lines of the Briggs and Little to the outside.

After rubbing and rolling and for a while it was time to cut the handles.

I measured to get the handle in the center and made a template but then not thinking I cut the whole piece out. I had intended to only make the horizontal cut. I cut both before remembering that was not what I had intended. Oh well, I can fix that later.

The shrinking went very well. At first, I thought the ends dipping down would be a problem and I tried to stretch them up but after shaping it I realized it was a good thing as the middle shortens as you open it up. I already knew that I just wasn’t thinking it through, probably because I was still mad I cut he 2 side tops off.

When it was dry I pinned the two cut off peices back onto the handled.

And used the machine to sew them back on.

Next, I wasn’t fussy about the edge of the basket so I used some fleece, double-fold bias tape around the edge. I had some grey in my stash so that worked out.

As I feared the red stripes all but disappeared. This is the best place they showed, not very impressive.

So, I went and got some of the yarn, the red and some yellow and stitched on 3 stripes. You can see the old red stripes more in the picture than you can in real life. I think I would just do the stitching next time. It is much easier really.

For the handle, I rolled up one side flap, then wrapped the other side around it and stitched it in place. It feels sturdy and comfortable in your hand.  I used the red and yellow yarn around the handle to make it more visually appealing. If you wanted the stipes to say exactly in place you could catch the underside of the handle as they go round.

Here it is in its entirety. I am still not thrilled with it but my daughter really likes it so it is probably just me. It is growing on me. I know what I will do with the next one to make it better, besides paying attention and not cutting off parts that I want to stay on.



10 thoughts on “Second Quarter Challenge – Mark 1

  1. I like the rustic look of the basket. That you used bias tape around the top edge is clever. It inspires me to try something new and different. Thank you.

    1. Thank you it is supposed to be rustic. Elegant takes a lot more thought and effort for me. I am glad you are inspired show us what you make over on the Forum. We would love to see.

  2. A felt trug is a novel idea! And it’s perfect for this time of year – it’ll come in handy for gathering the soft fruits from the garden. Can you imagine how pretty it will look when filled with strawberries – their bright red and green against the soft grey.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the making of it as we found it interesting and informative.

    1. I hadn’t heard the term Trug before so I had to go look. Yes that’s the idea. Now to find time for the next one. I think I would like to try different wool. maybe some BFL or Corriedale.

  3. Congratulations on getting the challenge done early! I think your basket came out great and as Lyn says, it’s good to see the process laid out and what you would do differently next time. I would think these would be great at the farmer’s market for carrying your purchases.

    1. Thanks Ruth, our market starts up this weekend with lots of social distancing rules. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

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