Although I am fast, I am not a perfect knitter. And almost every project I work on teaches me something new. I think that’s one of the things I love about knitting, there’s always something to learn. A new cast-on, a new stitch pattern, a new construction method, a new fiber…the list could go on forever. My latest works in progress is the Party Top sweater (I told you I’m trying to clear out my stash and this is a perfect stash buster for some of my leftover dk weight). I decided since it was a simple dk weight sweater that I could try something new, adding in a strand of mohair!
I’ve been seeing mohair a lot lately, I’ve been curious so I took my Fibre Space gift card my Mom gave me for Christmas and picked up two skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Loft a silk and mohair lace weight yarn to add to the sweater. I initially thought I was going to add this mohair to a white speckled yarn but when I pulled out a skein of Berroco Vintage DK in Breezeway from my stash it seemed like it was a better way to let the mohair yarn really shine and I was right. If you want to see a bit of what the blue green yarn looked like on its own check out my Pippi Sweater. So what did I learn with this project?
That frogging back is sometimes very necessary and that mohair isn’t easy to rip back. It’s delicate and can get tangled but if you have a little patience you can make it work. The top picture is when I was close to what I thought would be the end of my raglan increases but the initial instructions and chart threw me for a loop…so I ended up ripping back to the neckline and starting over. And now, it’s smooth sailing. And I have to say I’m proud of myself because I ripped all the way back to the neckline ribbing and was able to get it all back on my needles. Years ago I would have just started all over again. With time and patience you learn how to do better.
What have you learned from a knitting project? Maybe something you learned can help someone else too!
28 Replies to “Stitching Status: It’s Okay to Frog It”
I learned very early on that Mohair is not the best beginner fiber for this reason. I am vigilant when knitting with mohair. I’m impressed that you successfully frogged without throwing the whole thing out the nearest window. That’s what I wanted to do as a newish knitter, faced with frogging mohair. Instead, I think I just cursed a lot and didn’t give up. That’s the most important lesson right there- don’t give up.
Thanks for sharing your mistakes too! I love your blog.
I’ve been knitting a long time, ‘cause I’m getting along in years, and the best thing I ever learned from knitting is that it doesn’t HAVE to be perfect. Life’s not perfect, people aren’t perfect, and I for certain sure am not perfect, so give yourself a break.
Thanks for your lovely blog. It always makes me smile, even on days that aren’t going so well.
Oh, a second thing I have learned over the years: things really work out better if I don’t knit after 10:00 at night. I’ve made some REALLY amazingly stupid errors after disregarding this. In my head I call it the First Rule.
I understand from where you’re coming from. Oh how many times I ripped out in every project. Working on a color work shawl with locking every other stitch, which I have never done. When I started, it took me an hour to knit 3 rows. Thought I would pull my hair out trying to master the technique-thank God for videos. It’s rewarding when you hang in there and learn something new. Like the color combination of your sweater. Happy knitting!!!
I, too, have recently come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to frog back or even start over. I think that comes with confidence. I use to hate starting over or frogging but now I know it’s okay to do that and that in the long run it’s better. Is that Fiber Crafting Maturity? 😉 LOL
Ooooof, I have a project that’s in timeout right now because there are two serious mistakes . . . many rows back. The main reason it’s on hold: it’s mohair. And not mohair knitted beside another strand of wool. Just mohair. Not looking forward to frogging, but there’s no way forward with the sweater.
That looks like it will be another beautiful sweater! One of my greatest fiber tragedies is that I am apparently allergic, or at least reactive, to mohair. 😦 I love the look of it so much, but I cannot wear it or knit with it without feeling instantly itchy – no other fiber causes that for me. Ah, such is life.
I have been knitting close to a decade so I have definitely had some hard-earned lessons! For one, frogging is nothing to cry over (I did in the beginning!); you learn something new with every frogging. It has taught me more about ‘reading’ and recognizing my stitches than just simply knitting along. Also, sometimes you buy yarn and a pattern and as you work on it, you just don’t enjoy it – feel free to give up on projects that don’t make you happy – it’s knitting, not a required household chore! You can always find something else if you still like the yarn – even a simple ribbed scarf can be a quick project that might make you happy with the yarn. And my favorite lesson I’ve learned: when someone seriously asks you to teach them to knit, do it. Some people will put it aside rather quickly, but others may take it up zealously, and now you’ve got a new knitting friend! (Just don’t get too disappointed in those who don’t keep it up – asking them about it every time you see them will not make it any more of a fun idea for them!)
I’m always telling people that I learn something new with every project. This sounds so silly but I only have one yarn bowl which is heaven for keeping my yarn in place. My last project was three color fair isle and I discovered my salad bowls make good yarn bowls too! You don’t really need the little nook in a yarn bowl to hold the yarn in place. This made the whole project so much easier …except my husband kept putting the bowls away. 🙂
Because I’ve only been knitting for a year, everything has taught me lessons! And I can point out mistakes in everything I’ve knit so far, lol Knitting a dress for my granddaughter last year, I got confused about which way to go after joining in the round below the armholes. I ended up with about 3 rounds of reverse stocķinette before discovering my mistake😕 Frogged back to the armholes and took an entire day to figure out how to put the stitches back on the needles correctly and join in the round again. Then wrote myself a note on the pattern , which way to go when I picked it up to knit again
I totally agree! I frog things all the time, usually because I don’t like how something is turning out. I agree with Wanda (who posted earlier) that knitting is meant to be enjoyed! If it feels like a chore, then take a break. I’ll be choosing which of my languishing WIPS I want to keep this year and which ones I want to frog and rescue the yarn.
I’m planning to knit Joji Locatelli’s Like a Cloud cardigan later this year with mohair held together. I’ve been a bit apprehensive about the mohair, but everyone’s projects with it are turning out beautifully, so I figured I’d give it a shot!
I checked out Loft and it comes in a hank. I’ve only bought mohair/silk in a ball. I don’t have a swift or ball winder and I can’t imagine trying to wind a hank of mohair. But I like that many are dyed multicolor.
I am knitting with my first skein of mohair. I have a swift and ball winder, but I chose to wind this skein by hand with the skein draped over my knees. I was slow and careful and it was no trouble at all.
Found my way over here from Ravelry, and I’m very happy I did! What a wonderful blog. I’ve been trying to do projects that are written clearly with good instructions at the moment, but that push me to learn or develop at least one new skill. I’ve got a Floozy cardigan on the needles at the moment – first time doing slipstitch colour work – and a stranded hat – first time properly doing any stranded knitting, and I’ve learnt the German twisted cast-on. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with doing something new successfully.
That last jumper I did I had to frog back to a very random point because I had started neckline decreases 4 inches too early – the problem of mis-reading numbers late at night. The yarn was a chained alpaca, and although I successfully frogged and got the stitches back on my needles, the yarn that I had knitted was a goner. Thankfully I had more than enough in stash!
I continually learn to knit to my own measurements. I am tall(ish) with long arms and have to remind myself that the length measurements will not match my own. This is hard when the written instructions tell me I’m ‘done’ and I know that I need to knit 3-4 more inches for the sweater to fit me. I’ve ended up with a few ‘too cropped’ or ‘cropped instead of full length’ when I need to be patient and keep on knitting to get the length I need. This has also taught me to buy more yarn to compensate for the extra length!
I’m participating in the Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery knit along and I found myself stressing out about the project and trying to rush through it. Generally, knitting is fun and relaxing for me so I am learning how to calm myself down about a project so I can enjoy the process.
Frogging is good for the soul! Rather than ask yourself, ‘Can I live with this,’ ask, ‘Am I up for the challenge of ripping back?’ Go for it!
Yes! I dread the idea, but once done it was never as bad as I thought. In the end you feel kinda proud:)
One thing I’ve learned from my knitting is if you make a mistake or don’t like how things are going you can rip it out and start again. You sure can’t do that once you’ve cut the fabric for a sewing project.
I’ve learned that if I think I should frog it, I probably should— or I’ll keep noticing the screwup. 🙂
Congratulations, Dana! I just saw you on the front page of Ravelry! 🌷
Oooh…so pretty! Knitting has taught me so much, including: swatches are sometimes very important. There is a bit of an art to blocking. Knitting allows me to meditate. I have so much more to learn about knitting. Like you, every project teaches me something new. Thank you for sharing your lovely creations!
THAT is going to look A-MAAAZZZ-ZING when u get it done!
One important thing that I learned was that while I might be unable to make a pattern work at a given time that does not mean that I will always be unable to tackle said pattern. I fell in love with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s (EZ’s) baby sweater on two needles 9 years ago when I was a junior in college, but I did not successfully make one for another six years in the middle of graduate school. In between finding the pattern and making own successfully I had learned a lot about sweater construction and made a lot of smaller projects with the gull lace pattern used in the sweater. I also read through a few of EZ’s books so I understood her approach to patterns and sweater construction in general.
The TL:DR of this wall of text is that it is important to have a growth mindset about your knitting and that when you finally knit that pattern you’ve been ogling for years it is the culmination of all the skills you built to reach that point.
My most recent lessons were: frog somwthing if it’s no longer fun, and that lace and I do not get along.
I had to frog a fingering weight lace shawl I was a third of the way done with, because I was starting to hate it. I’m using one green skein in a new scarf, the other is still in time out because ripping back thin yarn like this is time consuming.
I frog when I find it’s needed. I prefer to think of it as “ripping for joy.” After spending time picking the pattern and finding the “perfect yarn,” I would rather start over and be happy with the end product. Other times, I roll with it, if the mistake is small and not noticeable.
I found you on Ravelry! You have inspired me as your knitting is beautiful, impressive your sweaters fit and you adapt them for your colors and design! I will get knitting again!
I find that sometimes I need to adjust what I am knitting to my state of mind. I usually have one easy project going (that I can watch TV and knit) and then to keep it interesting another, more complex project. This has worked for me for years. However, this December/January during year end at my job, I found myself so mentally exhausted that I could not enjoyably knit anything other than the dishcloths that I have knit for years. It is perfectly okay to just knit simple things over and over if it makes me happy. I am now coming out of crunch time and just started a new cowl and a shawlette for my mom. I think the goal is to enjoy the process as well as finished product and give yourself some room on what projects work at the time.