04 March 2012

Embrace the Frog

When knitters have to undo some of the work they’ve done, it’s called “frogging” – you ribbit ribbit rip it out.

Frogging is an inherent part of design work, unless you have an awful lot of yarn … and probably even then. How will you know if that border looks as good in yarn as it does in your imagination? You have to knit it to find out.  What happens if I do a few rows in stockinette here? Well, knit them and see. If they don’t look right, you can always take them back out. This is one of the wonderful things about knitting: you get your raw materials back. But you do have to be open to the idea that frogging might be necessary, and you have to be willing to yank the needles out and pull back all those stitches if the situation calls for it. You have to be willing to embrace the frog.

Today I found out that an asymmetrical border is a bad idea for a shawl that will have a centre back spine. Of course I knew ahead of time it might be an issue, but until I saw it, I didn’t know just how much of an issue. Turns out, it just didn’t look right. So I’ve started over again, with an integrated border rather than one worked sideways. That’s a couple of days’ worth of knitting that I just pulled out, but the yarn is none the worse for wear (being a lovely silk merino blend), and the beads were all safely captured and put back in the box, and in the process I learned that the border I had designed is really awesome, just not for this project.

So, now I’m trying something else that is completely different – I made it up entirely in my head and was pretty sure I’d end up with some kind of scalloped effect but not positive how it would look. It’s only a centimetre or so long right now, but it is indeed scalloping and I think I like it. I may decide that I like it so much the border becomes the body of the shawl and the whole thing gets worked in this pattern. I haven’t quite made up my mind.

I’ll just knit a bit more and see how it looks. I can always frog it if it doesn’t work out … but I have a good feeling about this one.

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