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National Frog Something Day

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Dear Ann,
I declare today, June 9, to be my own personal Frog Something Day. I’ve virtually frogged two projects! That’s at least 2 years worth of Coming To Terms With Reality, for me. Usually when I’m knitting something and it’s not working out, the project gets put aside for a minute and then, like something on the ID Channel, it’s never heard from again. These projects are not ever coming back to me, but I pretend, by keeping them in the bottom of a tote bag somewhere with needles still in them (sometimes, poignantly, in the middle of a row–which makes me wonder, why did I quit after stitch 37 and not stitch 36 or 38? what got into me?), that I might hear from them someday. Like maybe they’ll write something on my wall. But it’s not happening. Something inside has died, and I can’t hide, and I just can’t fake it. You know? (OK, I watched that Carole King/James Taylor PBS sweeps special, maybe a couple of times. I’m weak.)
I say “virtually” frogged because I didn’t rip out actual knitting for either of them.
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In the first case, I am repurposing 6 finished sock-yarn log cabin squares, which I had intended to incorporate into a log-cabin version of Emily’s amazing Barn Raising Quilt, into another blanket entirely. Why? Because, in case you didn’t notice, and thank you for not hurting my feelings by pointing it out to me, a log cabin square, even in sock yarn, doesn’t really look much like a mitered square knit in the round. It was not going to be any kind of version of the Barn Raising Blanket. I still want my own shot at the BRQ, but I am going to have to get right with knitting mitered squares in the round. I can see that now.
So the plan is to incorporate these squares into yet another pattern with which I am quite overcome–Parcheesi! How come nobody told me about Parcheesi? Isn’t it so utterly quilty and Kaffe Fassetty? And intarsia-free! That’s the best part! I haven’t even read the whole pattern yet, but I’ve seen Vicki’s squares for her version, and that’s all it took. These photographers and their mad color sense, oy.
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In the second case, The Poet’s Shawl, I’m not physically ripping it out, either, because it’s no fun at all to rip back Haiku, or any other laceweight kid mohair yarn. I’ll save the remnant in case I really need a few yards of it at some point, but hopefully I won’t. The plan is to repurpose this adored yarn, in this adored shade of chartreuse, to knit the Birch that I’ve always wanted. Back when Birch was young, and you made (and famously modeled) your own Birch, I didn’t feel like I could handle the huge cast-on, and getting the stitch counts right across so many repeats, with decreases on the sides. But I’m older now, and more hard-headed. I was frustrated by the wabi-sabi gappiness of The Poet’s Shawl’s intarsia’d column of heavyweight stitches in the middle of the gossamer Haiku, none of my fixes were fixing it, so I’m going to face facts and knit something else.
Everybody–I am here to tell you that it feels really good to put “frogged” on a project in your Ravelry notebook. They even have a little frog sticker now. I feel lighter, younger, and better looking just by having done this. So go find a UFO, slide the needles out, and get to it. Don’t look back.
Frogging is the new yoga.
Love,
Kay

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50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Gosh, I wish I’d known. I would have prepared something… I don’t think frogging my 85%-done sweater is really a good choice, huh?

  2. I manned-up and made a Birch for the Olympics this year. It is not at all difficult, you just need to twist your brain a little bit around how the decreases work. How do you actually loose a little birch leaf off each end and not in the middle!? But with the help of a marker or 29, you can do it!
    That Parcheesi blanket will be awwwwesome! Though I’m not sure grey = hot pink, but whatever. It’ll be lovely.

  3. Last night, I actually DID frog a linen stitch hand towel which has been sitting in the bottom of a basket for 2 years! AND, I re-swatched , until I found a needle size that I liked….. AND started anew on needles that don’t bend
    Also feeling the lightness…
    MinM

  4. I appreciate the feedback on The Poet’s Shawl. It’s on my “one of these days I’ll knit it” list.
    It’s a gorgeous shawl and it’s good to know the rough road it might take to get there.

  5. Frogging is awesome.
    From the title of your post though, I was thinking that you were attempting to make a new pseudo-French holiday and couldn’t come up with whatever it was you wanted to celebrate about them.
    (“something” often being the English equivalent of je ne sais quois)
    C’est le jour national de grenouille! Vive la grenouille!

  6. I so freakin’ agree!!!!!

  7. Clearly, that Haiku was destined for the poetry of Birch. Wise decision.

  8. Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo… (that’s the theme from the Twilight Zone)
    I just frogged 2 projects today–the beginnings of Birch (gauge was off and I’m going to make the top-down/slightly opposite one from Ravelry) and a cotton string bag (also gauge),. If your Birch is chartreuse, it will be even eerier!
    Re-started the bag this afternoon and will take on Birch this evening when I won’t be interrupted. Good luck with your remakes!

  9. Please, please, please don’t entice me into Parcheesi! I’ve admired that pattern for years, and I have resisted starting it.
    So far.
    It could be all your fault, you know.

  10. Gee, I’m sorry no one told you about Parcheesi. I’ve been collecting Shetland yarns myself. I got some leftovers from friends, added them to my own stash and bought some discontinued colors right from the UK at an amazing price. Can’t wait to start. It’s a must do. I honed right in on that one!

  11. People are so afraid of frogging, but I find the frog experience euphoric. The sweater that grew 3 sizes that day, after I blocked it the first time, no longer mocks me now that it has been returned to its original state to await a more suitable project. The socks I ripped back when I was 2″ from the end of the second one? What a freakin’ relief! Now they have a chance to be GOOD socks. Fear not. Just frog it.

  12. Yes, I too am a big fan of the frogging. In fact, I’ve got about three things that should be ripped, because they have sat dormant for so long I wouldn’t even begin to know where to pick up with them again — what needle size, nothing! I need to sit down and knit something start to finish, or I’m done for. And then again, I wonder if I’ll ever knit again. Yes, I do think I will…. after gardening season is over. Heh.

  13. I’ve finally come to terms with “zzz” on ravelry, but I’m not sure I’m ready for “frogged” yet!
    I have frogged a couple completed projects to regain the yarn for something else, after having decided I would never use the current FO. Does that count?
    And reclaiming needles would be a good thing. I had to buy an extra Lantern Moon ebony size 6 circular because I couldn’t admit that the abandoned project was a sleeper. Some day I will face that fact…
    Knit on!

  14. “How come nobody told me about Parcheesi?”
    What, weren’t you paying attention when I put it in my queue and faved it on Ravelry? ;-)
    OK, just to make sure you’re not missing out on anything, there’s also Pathways Blanket, Ten Stitch Blanket, and another log cabin variation, Paintbox Kureyon Log Cabin Quilt.
    Now don’t say no one ever tells you anything. ;-)

  15. I’m right their with ya! Eiffel? A l’etang des grenouilles! (“To the frog pond!”)

  16. Sometimes a girls got to do what a girls got to do! I can’t convince my brother that frogging is the right thing sometimes. He showed his first scarf to my Dad and Dad said “Looks like New Jersey”. Some frogging might not have hurt.

  17. Gosh, I thought I learned about Parcheesi here, now I wonder where I did (must have been ravelry, I guess). Good luck with Birch, I still haven’t done much lace, but maybe one day, at the moment finishing some much easier free pattern tests! Happy Frogging day (dangerously close to Bastille day I think…..)

  18. I shall frog and rejoice! Thank you!

  19. And, PS, I loved that PBS special, not that I watched it or anything ; )

  20. Birch has been in my queue forever, since way before Ravelry and before I had ever knit lace. I even bought KSH. But then I discovered top-down shawls that didn’t require massive cast-ons AND charts, so I’m not sure my Birch will ever really be knit.

  21. But see, after I frog, I don’t want the yarn anymore and almost always wind up giving it away.

  22. I hate to tell you this, but when my daughter was home visiting last weekend, she asked me if I was ever going to finish “that”. “That” was your spiral rag rug from the first Mason Dixon. I think you’ve given me the courage to frog it. I’ll never finish it, anyway.

  23. I (not virtually) frogged a sock I was knitting (from my beloved Koigu yarn) so many times before I got it “right”, I had to hand wash the frogged yarn to plump it up. However, after that little episode in my life, I was never too afraid to frog again.
    The new yoga, indeed. OOOHHHMMM…….
    LoveDiane

  24. rip it rip it

  25. At our house we call my stash closet “Craft Motel” just like the old pest control traps – because Crafts Go In, But They Don’t Come Out.

  26. Parcheesi is gorgeous!!!!! I can see it both in yarn and fabric! Off to donate to Heifer and get the pattern immediately.

  27. Yesterday morning, well before I read this post, I sat down and pulled out a very straightforward sock I’d been knitting intermittedly for the past 8 years. I knew long ago that I’d never cast on for the second, but the first was already underway…
    I feel free without that sock on my To Do list, in my basket unfinished, silently nagging me. Instead the yarn is singing, like a robin, with potential from inside my yarn bin.

  28. Kay, thank you for liberating me from those #$%&*#@ Baltic Mittens!

  29. Parcheesi (and Vicki’s version) are spectacular. I need a shot of that colour sense. How playful!

  30. Those squares will make an AWESOME Parcheesi! I’m having so much fun with mine, though knitting time has all but disappeared around here lately… makes it that much more sweet, I guess.

  31. There are a couple virtually frogged projects lurking in bags in my office. They probably won’t be frogged till I need the needles.
    But there was one project, a pair of twined mittens, that I frogged with a vengeance, and boy did it feel GOOD. By the time those mittens and I reached that point in our relationship, I wanted not just to frog them, but to spanghew them.
    spanghew: to throw violently into the air; esp: to throw (a frog) into the air from the end of a stick
    quoted from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.
    I would rather give birth to a chair than undertake another twined mitten.

  32. I just did something kinda similar this very morning. I didn’t frog any UFOs, but I did clean out my Ravelry queue. Really, there was no way I was going to knit that many sweaters. Especially since I have 2 on the needles, going nowhere, and another 2 poised to start. ack! Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. There is at least one UFO I can think of that can be immediately frogged….

  33. That reminds me that I have a sock to frog. I still want to make it, but it was my first real attempt at fair isle and I had things twisted a bit more than was necessary. The poor sock looked great but it wouldn’t go over my heel!

  34. Must be something in the summertime air. I always get that froggin’ feeling in the summer. I recently moved and took only my tub of UFO’s into my new apartment. Finish it or frog it 2010 is ON!

  35. Jeez, I feel like I’VE frogged something, just reading all this. Way to go, everybody!!! Way to lighten the load!!
    However, I have to say that it’s a sad day when an MDK projeck is frogged. Somewhere, a rag ball is weeping.

  36. Gwyneth, I think it is all the rain we are having this year!
    I just finished frogging (NOT virtually, thank goodness) a 90% complete sweater made with Berocco’s Origami, since it appears that I have breasts and the sweater designer’s intended wearer did not!! [Who knew?]
    After a very comfortable frogging session (while watching the DOORS special on PBS over the weekend), I’m working up another sweater with the same yarn, watching every inch that I’m knitting and checking to be sure MY proportions will fit the new sweater.

  37. Oh, yeah, baby! Ribbit!

  38. … did you know that the kiri shawl is the birch upside down … start at the small end and keep going … so imagine … you could stop whenever … now isn’t that brilliant … one must kiss a lot of frogs before the knight in shining armor comes forth!!! … happy days … happy knitting … ina and gumby … the dog that tante sophie has …

  39. Every two years, when there’s a Ravelympics on Ravelry, I dig out old projects that are either WIPs to be finished or WIPs to be frogged. This gives me some Ravelympic “events” I can successfully compete in, cleans out old projects that just aren’t working, and frees up otherwise usable yarn to go back into stash. And this takes some pressure off me about WIPs hanging around here. I have a couple of years to decide whether the project is a failure (aka “learning experience”) or not. A WIP either is a project I’m going to get back to sooner or later, or it’s something I’m saving for the next Ravelympics. This works best when I’m debating the fit of a project (like a sweater). If it’s too snug across the chest and I set it aside to let it reconsider how it fits (or to let myself lose weight–hah!–or let my breasts come to grips with gravity), if the sweater is still a bad fit at the next Ravelympics, it gets frogged.

  40. Good for you! Maybe I’ll finally do that with a few things. Of course, I’ll have to find them first……
    Also, yes, the parcheesi is delish and i’m going to have to find an excuse to make one.

  41. The concept of virtual frogging…so post-modern. Love that.

  42. AWESOME! I LOVE THE PARCHESI AFGHAN. Wow. Very similar to what I have been envisioning for my bastardized Turning 20/Kaffe Fasset merging of patterns afghan. wow. Alright, I will donate to Heifer.
    On another note. i am headed to Omaha, NE on Monday. Never been. Anything I shouldn’t miss? Like yarn stores? Quilt shops?

  43. I am child-free for a week, which seems like the perfect time to frog the Twinkle sweater that might fit Olive. If she lost some weight.
    Too bad I worked in my ends as I went …

  44. I just saw the Parcheesi afghan today, and actually I’m pretty sure you invented it. It’s so you that I swear I saw the odd square of a different color knit in a log or two.

  45. Parcheesi? You had to go and mention Parcheesi?! I had turned a blind eye to that quite some time ago as a hopeless, but wishful thought. It may need rethinking as something to actually work on. Please don’t make me start anything else.

  46. I feel the earth move under my feet… Such fun for this long-time quiet reader to see that you are going to knit the Parcheesi Afghan! And with a little bit of wonkiness in the squares–love it. Can’t wait to see how you progress.
    Also, nearly fell off my chair laughing at Susan in Katonah’s comment about twined knitting. I concur heartily–twined knitting is probably what brought down the Vikings….

  47. Oh, the blocks are so pretty, so modern, and sophisticated! I keep following you guys in The Knitter Magazine and saw your blocks there too! I came wondering by to see if you could share the name of the pattern for the beautiful light/dark purple with white stripe garment on the needles in the photo near the blocks which was made with Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere. I can’t say enough about how beautiful your log cabin blocks are. I can never seem to be in the right place at the right time to find the gorgeous one of a kind hand dyed yarns you keep showing off on your site! It just makes me smile so much every time I see another project with your lucky finds!

  48. I have seen Vicki’s squares *in the flesh*, so to speak, and they are wonderful. You will love doing the Parcheesi blanket.

  49. Hey, I just did the frog thing myself, but a few days early. You can see the once-upon-a-mystery-shawl in a pre-frog photo on Ravelry, and very soon — like when I get off this computer — you can see its Malabrigo lace become the first garter contrast stripe in my Volt!

  50. Kay, could you work the Poet’s Shawl if you carried the Haiku through the vertical stripe, by knitting the two yarns as one for those central stitches, then dropping the silk and continuing with the Haiku? That way, you’re not working intarsia with the gaps, because the Haiku carries through.