Jul 25, 2011

The big question

It often amazes me how connected we knitters can be. I've recently read several blog posts about the heartbreak of frogging and whether it should be done or not. Two that specifically caught my atttention were by blogosphere friends:  Knitted Bliss wrote about having to accept the fact that she would be frogging a languishing project that just wasn't turning out right, and  Erin wrote about her dilemma with deciding to frog back a sleeve or leave the mistake and not look back.

Make Up Your Mind Tank (Julie Crawford)

To frog or not to frog is a big question we knitters face at least once, and I guess it always depends on the project, the patience we have at the moment, and what our ultimate goals are with that project or our knitting skills in general. As one of my year of projects, I cast on this beautiful tank and happily knitted it during one of my road trips last week.  It's a lovely pattern but eventually, I started to lose a stitch here and another one there.  Eventually, I was off by a few stitches but kept plugging along, thinking to myself that a stitch here and there wouldn't matter much ... right? (Sorry, Julie!)

M tried it on yesterday (I'm knitting it for her) and it looked fine ... well, except where it didn't (if you know what I mean).  But being the sweetie that she is, assured me that those little mistakes barely showed and it fit fine and she loved it.

I got the front part done with the straps (yes, one is slightly wider than the other) and continued on the racer back.  I love the varied stitch patterns that is developed over the body of the tank and how the straps and racer back meet up to finish the top.  But it's not right.  There are too many mistakes, and I don't feel good about giving it to M knowing all those mistakes are hiding in the stitches.  So, I've decided to frog this attempt and start over.  And while it was a painful decision, one that I mulled over quite a bit, I'm taking a new approach to this experience.

I'm not the most experienced seamstress but I did make a dozen Motown-style costumes last year for M's end-of-school year musical so I know what it takes to sew up a sample before creating the final piece.  Knitters swatch, but I don't think we tend to knit up samples before tackling the pattern again, getting all the kinks out, and creating the FO.  Now that I've practiced this pattern (yes, I'll call it a practice run), I'm ready to cast it on again and do it right this next time.  And I'm not crying (okay, just a little).


  1. It would have broken my heart to have to frog all of that work, however it would have been worse to 'make do' and have M not wear it. It will be worth it in the end and looks like a beautiful pattern.

  2. Good for you. I think you'll be so much happier when it's finished (with no mistakes)

  3. Argh........It looks great to me. I can't believe you frogged the whole thing. To me, yarn is never in good enough shape after that to make a nice garment, so I might have frogged in a few placed and taken care of the glaring issues; but probably would not have frogged it. I hope it all works out for you. Will you be selecting different yarn this time round?

  4. I agree I cant give something to someone unless I am 100% happy with it!

    But knitting I find is a craft where you are always learning!

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone. To Sandy -- I know what you mean about yarn not having the same texture once it's been frogged but I'm going to try and re-use it for this tank. And while I thought about frogging it back onto where I made the mistakes, the yarn is fingerling and my mistakes were mostly in the rib lace portion so I don't think I would have had the patience (or even the confidence) to frog back properly. I frogged it last night and actually feel like it was the right (and brave thing to do!). Onward....

  6. ouch ouch ouch

    It will be twice as beautiful second time round, I'm sure of it.

    You may have inspired me to write a post on frogging that has been kicking around in my head these last few days.

  7. Wow, you are brave, but I think it is easier to accept mistakes in something you are making for yourself. I have dodged a frog decision this week so you have my sympathies

  8. That was just a really, really, really big swatch. :)

    Now, onto the good stuff!

  9. I agree with Voie de Vie, it was a trial run, a very large swatch, and now that you are familiar with the stitches in the pattern it will probably fly off the needles.
    I am so glad that I did frog my sleeve back because I learned to use a new technique... magic loop, and the sleeves look perfect.
    I have frogged before, an intricate cabled hat, and it got easier as I became familiar with the pattern, it was a confidence builder.
    Plus Evelyn, I think you are like many of us who keep plugging away at the craft... the mistakes made on our first few projects were ok, but now that we have so many FOs behind us, why compromise and accept mediocrity???

  10. I don't knit so didn't know the term "frogging" but as I read on, I got the gist. In other words "rip it" out. Oy. But you're not your mother's daughter for nothing. It had always amazed me when Mom would knit a whole sweater and then not liking "something" that was certainly not visible to the naked eye...would "frog" it. I would rant and rave and claimed that it was perfectly fine - that no one could see the mistake..etc and she would always say "Yes...but I know it's there" and so it was not good enough. :-)

  11. oh boy, do I know the frog well. It's going to be beautiful when you reknit it. I think the one you did the first time was beautiful. i love the color.