Know when to hold ’em, know when to frog ’em….

With apologies to Kenny Rogers for repurposing his wonderful song in my blog post title.

There is so much going on in the world this week, I offer this blog as a distraction from the reality of war, flood impacts and the ongoing pandemic.

Those who have been crafting for a long time will understand that sometimes a project will just not be going how you had hoped. This realisation often comes multiple hours into a project, and there is a point where you need to decide to persevere regardless, put it aside in the naughty corner for a while, or just decide to frog the project and move on. Over the last month, I have been wrestling with this decision with a project that I had hoped would become a special family heirloom for our first great-niece.

First, for those new crafters, to frog a project means to pull out the work done in crochet or knitting. The motion of unravelling the stitches which make up the fabric you have painstakingly worked on. We often say “rip it, rip it” back, which sounds like “ribbit”, hence frogging. That is the word origin story I am familiar with, anyway.

Now, to the problem item. A seemingly simple pattern, the knitted spiral baby blanket from Monsteryarns. I thought it would look amazing using a whirl, which has beautiful variegation and long slow colour changes. I had come to terms with it being a labour of love, over a kilometre of 4ply yarn on 3mm needles was going to take a while. So, in November I began knitting. By December I realised I had misread one of the pattern rows, so frogged what I had done (approx 30 rows in) and started again.

A top view of the swirl circular baby blanket, with colour fading from pink in the middle to mauve and bue on the edge visible in the image. The swirly lines begin in the middle of the blanket and spiral out as the blanket increases in size at the edges of the circle. The rest of the yarn ball is at the top left of the image.
Progress on the spiral baby blanket.
The swirl blanket on circular needles, folded in half to look like a semi circle. The colour fades from pink in the middle to blue and yellow at the bottom of the picture. It is attached to the rest of the yarn ball, which is at the top of the image. The pattern makes swirls of eyelet stitches which make diagonal lines in the fabric.
Another view of the swirl baby blanket.

I was happily working at least 2 rows a day over the Christmas holiday period, and into February. This is when the next issue surfaced, the shlubs in the yarn were really visible in the knitted item. Previously I have used whirls to crochet. The schlub (aka fuzz buzz) is where the new colour is added in to the yarn. It is a feature of this yarn, and usually not very visible in crocheted work. Unfortunately in this blanket these schlubs were very visible, making it look like the fabric had been caught and pulled. I tried to pull the fuzz to the back of the work, but this made the stretch in the stitch more obvious, somehow.

A very close up image of the knitted fabric. The fabric is pink and fades to pale pink. There is a stitch that is fuzzy and looks pulled, due to the nature of the yarn used.
The pink colour change on the whirl is quite obvious. The fuzz buzz makes the fabric look like it’s been pulled.
A flattened out section of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is blue which fades into a pink colour. There are two sections that look like stitches have been pulled.
Two sections here look pulled, and even blocking may not change it.
A close up imahe of knitted fabric on circular needles. The fabric is yellow and blue. There is a slightly fuzzy yellow stitch.
This yellow colour change isn’t very obvious, as it is on the lace increase section of the pattern.

There were two options that I worked through in my mind. I could keep knitting and hope the schlubs could be blocked out. Not likely, as the stitches are quite visibly different in the knitted fabric. I could frog and re-knit it, cutting the yarn before and after the schlub, then weave in the ends. This option defeats the purpose of using this beautiful, long gradient yarn, as the big draw card for me is having a stunning fabric made with only two ends to weave in. Could I really give this to a new baby when it looked so unprofessional? Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t do that, so have decided to frog it completely and instead finish off another bakewell blanket to gift instead.

So I will frog the knitted blanket and try the spiral blanket again with an 8ply hand dyed yarn sometime in the future. For my new great-niece I will finish off a bakewell blanket I had in progress, and will probably also have time to make another little kina or in threes cardigan also.

A square baby blanket with dusky rainbow colours which fade through blues, greens, yellows, pinks and finished on the outer round in purple. The pattern has a lattice shape with bobbles in the middle of each lattice square.
A bakewell baby blanket made in a popin candy whirl.

With the decision made I feel quite relieved. I can now stop worrying about what it might look like at the end of many more hours of work, and just move on to make some beautiful items.

I wonder if you have been through a similar thought process with a project you thought would be special?

Until next time, happy crafting and stay safe,

Fiona T

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Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy, Knitting, Patterns

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