Fine Kettle of Ill-Fated Work

This year I really wanted to take part in Camp Loopy, which takes place every summer and is put on by my favorite online yarn shop, The Loopy Ewe. And every summer I’m either traveling too much or taking care of babies or a myriad other excuses I would come up with so that I wouldn’t be able to participate. This year, I finally decided, would be the year I’d do it. So I committed myself, picked out the patterns, bought the yarn I needed and was off! The first two patterns I made (to be shared in subsequent posts) weren’t that hard or time consuming. I finished them just fine and was excited to take on the third project. It was supposed to be done in August and had to take 800+ yards and the theme was for us to knit something that amazed you. I always thought the Fine Kettle shawl looked complicated and amazing, so I figured I’d give it a try. Sigh. It didn’t work out the way I planned.


The pattern is very well written and easy to understand. However, I didn’t count on just how much work it would be, nor how much time it would take. When I was nearing the end of August I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish it. So I asked for, and was granted, a 7 day extension (due to some ordering issues). I figured, I could do this! No problem! But no, I was severely underestimating the amount of butt kicking this shawl would dole out…


The 1,051 stitches for the last 40+ rows killed me. Each row would take me 35-40 minutes and it was dragging. And then, at the end, when I finished the third chart and thought, “This is it! I’m casting off!!” is when my size 4 circular Signature needles broke. The words spewing from my mouth are not for the faint of heart, but after I (very slowly) managed to calm down, I miraculously did not lose any stitches AND finished the cast off (with a lot of tricky back and forth and precariously working with a single short 6″ needle).


So you can imagine how livid I was when, after I cast off, washed, blocked and sang out “hallelujah” to the skies, I figured out that I utterly and completely forgot to do the border. 6 tiny rows of garter stitch, which apparently were very important because the edge was curling ridiculously without them. So there was nothing to do but wait until it was dry, undo the cast on, put all 1,051 stitches BACK on the needles (another pair of size 4 Signature circulars, which this time held up, thankfully), knit 6 garter rows, cast off (again!) and wash and block (AGAIN).



In the end, it is warm and lovely and I love how big it is too. I am sure to get a lot of wear out of it in the Fall and Winter.


So even though I didn’t get to accomplish Camp Loopy as I had hoped, and I admit I am a little disappointed, at the very least I did get to make this very beautiful (and, yes, very problematic) shawl. So I suppose in the end, it was pretty worthwhile. And my daughter happens to agree… she asked me as I was making it if I would make her one and I said, probably not because of how much work it was, and she said “When I’m growed up, can you let me wear it then?” My “yes” earned me a huge smile, hug, and lots of “thank you mommy, I love you so much!” How can you stay mad at a shawl that did that for you?? 😉


And as you can see, I even let her wear it for a bit… and she loved it! 😀


Pattern – Fine Kettle by Jennette Cross (project link | pattern link)
Yarn – Tumbleweed Yarn Aurora Fingering Weight in Indigo and Sour Apple (rav link | store I used)
Needle – US4 (3.5mm) and US6 (4.0mm) for bind-off
Cast on – August 7, 2015
Cast off – September 18, 2015
Modifications – none


PS: I’m dipping my toes back into blogging. I’m going to see if it’s something I will enjoy doing once again. Hope to catch up with the people I have fallen out of touch with over the years. I do miss all of you! Hugs!

17 thoughts on “Fine Kettle of Ill-Fated Work

  1. I was excited to see your blog pop up in my reader! Love the pics, as always. Your Shawl is gorgeous…but yikes! That’s a lot of stitches. And you unpicked the bind off? I would have thrown it in a drawer for eternity. Your daughter is beautiful! Wasn’t she born, like, last year? Geez…time flies.

    1. ha! She’s 3.5 already. Can you believe it? My youngest, who I haven’t introduced, actually was born last year. She’s 18 months.

      And yes, it was tough to put all those stitches back… I almost threw it in a drawer myself!

  2. I am so happy to see you blogging again. I tried to do Camp Loopy one year and failed miserably so don’t feel bad. I always want to do it but with my Crazy schedule I just cheer and look at the pretty pictures. I never finish my projects on set schedules. I finish them when I can. Your shawl is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Well worth the trouble 😉

    1. Thanks, Kim! Yes, it’s crazy to do things on a schedule. I don’t know why I ever bother, but I was SO close this time! Finished on time for 2 of 3 projects. So annoying!

      And I’m happy to be back blogging too!

  3. So happy to see you pop back up in my feed! Your shawl is amazing! Your daughter is beautiful and a new one as well(18 mons is still new). Thanks for a good Monday pickmeup!

  4. Awww, that last picture is so sweet! She obviously has awesome taste in handknits because the shawl is gorgeous! Love the colors. So happy to see you in this space again! Your knits and photos are always inspiring 🙂

    1. I’ve never tried Camp Loopy because I’m rotten at deadlines tied to my hobbies/interests. Enough of those at work! Glad to see a post from you again and your daughter is just precious!

  5. See …. this is why I have to keep reading knitting blogs like yours … for the inspiration!!! I would have tossed that sucker in the drawer never to be heard of or seen again!!! But I’m glad you fought the good fight though; it’s really beautiful and the colour combo awesome. Plus who could resist the little cutie model … she made that demon shawl even more amazing. 😛

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