I have worked on a crocheted shawl for a coworker over the past month. It’s been easy-going since the beginning. She picked out a pattern I knew well and I’ve had no problems. Of course, that is until I start watching TV and skip a stitch, then I don’t realize it until 4 rows later! So what do I do? Some might say make it a “design feature.” I say frog it back.
Frogging in the world of fiber arts means to rip out your work back o a point where you’ve made an error in the pattern. So , for example if I make a double crochet where there is supposed to be a row of single crochets I will rip out the rows up until I get to that stitch so I can fix it.
This causes much stress for many crocheters, and especially many knitters. It’s a bit harder to frog your work and continue from that point in knitting.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I found a post on ravelry that sums up how I look at frogging now. The poster asked these questions. Are you more concerned with the finished product or are you concerned with the craft and the making of the item. If you’re concerned about the finished product to the point that the frogging will cost you precious time, then couldn’t you just go buy a sweater or scarf for a lot less money? Or, is it more about the process of making something and learning a new technique? In this case wouldn’t it make more sense to go back and figure out what you did wrong and fix the problem so it doesn’t cause more problems later?
I’ve really had to think about this myself. I tend to get really upset when I’d have to frog a project. Even if I only have to tear out a couple of rows it always makes me mad that I messed up, that I now have to do this part of the project over and waste time I could have progressed. I would put projects in my UFO bin for this reason. I didn’t want to frog. I figured putting them away for a while might help me come back to it with a fresh look, a way to make the flaw in my work coöperate and look like it belongs there. But why? I’m making something for myself or a loved one. Shouldn’t I want it to look perfect? I think so.
Frogging back to a mistake really helps me to pay attention to what I’m doing. Usually a mistake gets made when I am not paying full attention to my fork. The mistakes happen while watching TV, chatting with friends at my knit/crochet nights or when I am going too fast because I’m on a deadline, weather self-imposed or a real one ike a holiday or birthday.
THere are those times though, usually when I make something for myself that I just leave a “mistake” in my work. If it actually makes the item look cool somehow I’ll just do the same thing on the other side too. But if it is something that could be a huge problem later, causing stitch counts to go off count or something I will frog and fix it. I’m concerned with the crafting process. Yes, having that FO is nice but I’m in it to perfect my craft not just churn out FOs no matter what kind of flaws they have.
I’ll be talking a bit about this on this weeks episode of Chaotic and Crafty Podcast so please take a listen. Send me any questions you may have and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Are you a pro frogger or anti frogger?