Tag Archive | frogging

Weekend Knitting

I don’t have as much progress to show as I should; my knitting was hampered a couple of times the last few days. Part of it was my fault, part of it wasn’t. I had my day-long computer course on Friday, and it was fun to learn stuff again but a lot of the info was review, and the class moved a lot more slowly than I would have liked, so I picked up my hat knitting after I’d finished the exercise, or while we watched short videos. By the end of lunch, I’d made it to the end of the knitting I’d brought. Once again, I was not thinking like a good knitter, and I have now learned to bring much more knitting than you think you need!

That brings us to yesterday. The boy had a marching band competition in a small town about 40 minutes away, and we were going to be spectating for at least two hours, maybe three. I brought three projects. I was ready! I was prepared! I was…COLD. It was sunny and 60 out, so I wore a short-sleeved tee and a hoodie, not realizing that the wind was super blustery and chilly. I was too cold to keep my hands out and knit. The husband was even kind enough to go to the nearby Walmart to get us a blanket, and that helped, but still, I would have needed my nice wool fingerless gloves to be able to knit. Sigh. The best laid plans and all that jazz. Still, with some knitting here and there, I’ve gotten my sock project into the gusset. Plus, we stopped at an antique mall on the way and I found these awesome handmade crochet hooks for $6!

I’m also very close to the end of my first hat commission. I’m on hat four of four, and I’m onto the easy section of plain stockinette in the round. This one will get finished either today or tomorrow, and the hats will be delivered and out of my hands! These are my pombe yeast hats for some friends at work, and you can check out the Ravelry page if you want more info.

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My other hat commission isn’t going as well, and it’s totally my fault because I’m so stubborn about not checking gauge. As always, I got overconfident because almost every time I’ve checked gauge for a hat, knitting or crochet, it’s the same as the designer’s. So I started this project without checking, and got about halfway through and realized it was too big. Frogged and started over with a smaller hook. Got a little farther and it still seemed a little big. I could either go down yet another hook size, or adjust the stitch count. Since I like the density of the fabric, I decided to drop my stitch count and omit the last increase round, which meant frogging back about half my progress. This is the current state of this hat.

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You might think it’s frustrating, but crochet goes so quickly that it’s not painful to frog back that much and start over. And I’d forgotten how much I enjoy crocheting, so it’s been fun to let my hands settle into that rhythm again. Plus the yarn (Expression Fiber Arts Pearlescent Worsted, with SILK!) is heavenly, so I don’t mind spending more time with it! Still, I’m hoping to get this project finished in the next few days too. I’ve got too many other projects waiting in the wings!

 

“Progress” on my Shawl

I have been working on my Mermaid shawl for a few weeks now, sporadically. The last photo I shared was this one, though I’d made it a few more rows after taking this:

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Now, please, allow me to show off the progress:

Isn’t it impressive? (heavy sarcasm there, you can hear it, I’m sure.) Sighhhh. I had just figured out how I wanted to split up the five colors, instead of using six like the pattern calls for, and on my next row I checked my stitch count and it was WAY off. Like more than 30 stitches too many. ARGH. My conclusion is that I cast on too many (maybe 462 instead of 426?) and there was no choice but to frog and start over. Silver lining: I was only 11 rows in and I feel confident in my stitch count this time. Should be smooth sailing now!

Visiting the Frog Pond

For you non-knitters out there, frogging is ripping back your knitting. It’s called frogging because you “rip it, rip it”. It’s pretty common during the knitting process to frog when you’ve completely messed up several rows or a big section. But to frog a completed project? That’s less common, and always seemed crazy to me, until recently.

When I started my most recent Hitchhiker, it made me think about the Hitchhikers I’ve made in the past. Two were for other people and two were for me, and I rarely wear mine. One gave me hives the last time I wore it, so yeah, haven’t worn that again. But the other is a gorgeous rainbow shawl in Done Roving Frolicking Feet yarn, which is amazing yarn.

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This isn’t even a good photo and still, you can see how pretty the colors are! The problem is that it was my first Hitchhiker and I thought I could get away with using just one skein of DK weight instead of fingering and not making any other modifications. I ended up with a shawl so short it was hard to wear. Thus, I never wore it. Thus, I frogged it. And now I have a beautiful cake of rainbow yarn that I get to knit all over again!

That made me so happy that honestly, I’m thinking of frogging this big cowl I made last winter.

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I still love the yarn so much, but when I wear this, it rolls a lot and I’m not crazy about it. I think I want to try knitting a tube scarf. I could leave the ends plain and let them roll a little bit, but on a longer scarf, that wouldn’t be a problem. I just need to figure out if I have enough yarn to make a scarf that’s long enough to make me happy, and I’m not convinced yet. But I know I want to wear the yarn, and I didn’t wear it like this, so it needs to become something else and that’s that.

Have you ever frogged a completed project?

 

Frogging Time

I frogged two projects last weekend. Two completed, lovely projects. Maybe some of you are shocked, wondering if I’m crazy. Or maybe some you (knitters/crocheters) are nodding in commiseration. WHY did I do this, after spending hours carefully making pretty things? I swear it was for a good cause: I was rescuing the yarn. In both cases, the yarn was gorgeous and expensive, and I wanted to be able to wear it and enjoy it.

The first project was my Hill & Dale cowl. It knit up beautifully, showcased the colors nicely–but I could not get it to look or feel right around my neck. One loop was too big. Two loops made a giant mass of fabric that felt suffocating and looked ridiculous. Plus I couldn’t get the ribbed portion to lay neatly like it does in the project photos. I tried to wear it twice and both times took it off before leaving the house. It’s very possible mine came out slightly shorter than theirs; I didn’t measure. So I don’t blame the pattern at all. It’s a beautiful pattern, makes a lovely cowl. Just not right for me. That was two full skeins of Malabrigo, knitters. I did NOT want that to go unworn in a drawer. So, I frogged it and now I have that yummy yarn to play with again!

The other was an older project, a little shawlette I called Chocolate Cherries. The pattern is Find a Penny, and again, the pattern is fine. Well-written, lovely shawl. I’d bought two gorgeous skeins of cherry chocolate yarn that made me think of my dad and his love for chocolate-covered cherries, and this shawl used one. It was beautiful!

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Sadly, it was also too short for me, too short to wear around my neck like a scarf. I even blocked it as much as I could and while it helped, it wasn’t enough. I might revisit the pattern and see if I can use both skeins to make a long version, since the reason I chose it was for the round eyelets reminiscent of cherries. Or I might pick something else completely different! Right now the yarn is happily resting in my stash, waiting for its time to come.

Have you ever frogged anything that looks beautiful but isn’t what you expected?

Frogged Sweater

Way back in April 2104, I started knitting a sweater. It was to be a cardigan for me out of some lovely purple variegated cotton. It went well, if very slowly, but then the miles of stockinette bored me to tears. It got relegated to a project bag, then a drawer where it hibernated for a very long time. I thought maybe someday I’d get back to it. I really do want to be the person who wears hand-knit sweaters; I’m just not sure I’m a person who can *make* hand-knit sweaters.

Recently, if you remember, I discovered I’ve been purling wrong ever since I started knitting. Why is this relevant? Because of those miles of stockinette in that cardigan. ALL of it had been done with the wrong purling. So for me to work on it again, not only would I have to conquer my hatred of miles of stockinette, but I would have to deal with the unusual texture of the stitches. I could either do it with my old purling style, which made the knitting rows harder, or I could switch to the new and have two completely different looks on the sweater. Neither were good alternatives in my mind.

On Saturday at the craft show, I was talking about it to my Knitting SIL and she mentioned I could just frog it and make something else with the yarn. It is, after all, truly lovely and soft yarn. Frog it?? Frog the sweater that I spent so much time on?? Was she crazy?

Nope. It made complete sense. I wasn’t enjoying the knitting of the sweater. I would enjoy it less going back to it now with a different method of purling. There simply was no good reason to keep it.

So yesterday I pulled it out of the drawer where it had been hiding for months and months.  IMG_5146The colors aren’t good in this photo but you can see the great expanse of stockinette. I’d even already divided for the sleeves. But there was no going back. I pulled out the cord, attached the end of the skein to my ball winder, and started winding. In a very short time, especially compared to how long it took to KNIT all that, the yarn was wound into pretty cakes, ready to become something completely different.IMG_5149What will it be? I’m not sure yet. I have six skeins of it, so the options are wide and varied. For now it will go back in the stash while I ponder.

Surprisingly, I’m not sad. It felt good to let go of a project. I don’t want to feel compelled to knit things because I feel like I “should”. I’m not a sweater knitter, and I’m not a sock knitter, and that’s okay. That’s the wonderful thing about knitters: we can all do different things and appreciate the differences without judging (at least most of us can).

The craft show is over, so the pressure is off for now, and I’m going to enjoy the selfish knitting time. The goal is to work on some older WIPs; here’s hoping some things can cross over onto the Finished Object list!

“Now What?” Update: Old Favorite WIP

Remember that pink and gray Hogan Infinity scarf I was struggling with? I started it a couple of days ago, didn’t have enough pink, and frogged it. This morning I blogged about *why* I was running out of yarn, and a couple of comments supported my instinct to reknit it with a smaller needle.

So I cast on this morning with size 9s (instead of size 10) and made it through 8 of the first 11 rows before weighing my yarn. I’ve used exactly half of the pink yarn. Yep. That means I don’t have enough for the last three rows of the pink section, not if I want to repeat it on the other side. Sighhhh. So now what?

I have a few options: 1) knit it as a single loop cowl. 2) Eliminate two or three rows in the pink section. Not crazy about this, because I love the full pop of pink. 3) Add a third color. I do have another ball of the yarn in a winter white named Snow, so I could do the outermost 5-row edge in Snow, then the Fuchsia, then the Shale. When I bought them, I envisioned using them together. So why am I resisting? I just love the look of the original so much that I’m afraid the white tone will change it too much. What would you do?

My NEW new favorite WIP

Yep. Yesterday’s favorite WIP, the pink and gray infinity scarf, has been frogged again. 144 stitches was not long enough to double. And I kept going back to the pattern and the projects and I could not (can not) for the life of me figure out why my project is not working right. Everybody else was able to knit it with 50 grams or less of the accent color, so why not me?? Well, I did figure out part of it: I was using size 10 1/2 needles instead of 10; I just accidentally grabbed the wrong tips from my interchangeable set. Would that be enough to use up that much more yarn? Seriously. I don’t have a clue. Now, the pattern calls for sport weight, and I’m using DK, but other people have used DK with the same stitch counts and same amount of yarn, so I should be able to as well. So here’s my question: should I knit to the pattern with the 10s? Or should I go down a needle size? Will that use less yarn? You’d think I would know these things but I don’t so I’m counting on some of you knitting experts to help me out here.

Since that project stalled, I did go out to my LYS yesterday and it was very refreshing. I got to wander on my own for a while, and then the nice lady asked what I was working on. Well. I’ve been wanting a white and black striped cowl for a while now, and my SIL and I both want to make one with chevrons. I want to use a natural fiber. Well, she showed me every yarn she could think of that might work. Some had white but no black, some had black but no white. Some I liked, some I…didn’t. Some I liked but didn’t want to pay $14/skein. I told her I’d ponder for a while and kept browsing. This store is unusual in that it’s in a big warehouse, and it’s actually two yarn stores in one with a tape line dividing the two. I ended up on the other side (because you have to look at *all* the yarn, of course) and happened upon some Cascade Ultra Pima. DK weight, black and white, natural fiber, nice sheen, $10 for 220 yards. It was perfect for the warm weather cowl I’m envisioning. I felt bad buying from the other store when the first lady had spent so much time helping me but it was the right yarn, and that’s the most important thing, right? I did buy some Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande from her because it was on sale. It’s just awkward sometimes, having two stores in one place. We knitters are nice, thoughtful people, which means we are more likely to spend more so nobody feels bad. Maybe that’s their plan?!?

Okay, okay. I got home with my new yarn, and in talking to my SIL, we decided we both wanted a reversible cowl, one knit like a tube so the stockinette was all the way around. I played around with a lot of stitch counts and pattern repeats until I finally FINALLY ended up with something that pleases me. It’s fun, and it’s really cool that I just doing these simple things and out comes this nifty pattern. I mean, it’s just increases and decreases! How easy is that? Plus! Since it’s knit in the round, I don’t have to worry about carrying up the yarn neatly because it’s all inside. I did have to learn the provisional cast on, which was fine since I crochet and have picked up stitches before. And I will have to learn kitchener at the end to graft the two ends together to make a seamless circle. But I’m not thinking about that right now. So yeah, this is my new favorite WIP. It will travel around with me today on all my errands, and maybe tomorrow I’ll have lots of progress to show off.