I know it might be hard for you to believe, but not every project turns out perfectly. Despite best efforts, some projects will end up in the Frog Pond. What is the Frog Pond, you say? Obviously it’s where the frogs hang out. More specifically, it’s where the knitting frogs wait to be ripped out. We call the process of ripping out “frogging” a project. (“Rip it! Rip it! Rip it!” Get it? Say it out loud, really fast. Get it now? Some unknown humorous knitter long ago thought that was a laugh riot, and the rest of us have followed along like sheep ever since.)
Why does a project end up in the Frog Pond? Maybe the fit of the garment isn’t right for the body type of the knitter/recipient. Following the pattern instructions to the letter will often result in a beautiful garment, but choosing a sweater with a round collar when you know that looks terrible on you will not keep the project from ending up unworn at the back of the closet. Maybe the size you chose turned out to be undesirable – too large or too small, too loose or too fitted. Maybe the yarn used wasn’t a good match to the project. If the garment needs the yarn to help give it structure, but you chose a yarn with too much drape or one that stretches with wearing, it’ll likely end up a floppy mess. You get the idea. It’s not always a knitting error, or failure to follow the pattern – though these are certainly possible too.
So what’s in my Frog Pond? Some things you might recognize, actually.
First up for ripping out is my Hedwig Cardigan. This is a case where the sweater turned out great, and is a good match for the yarn. However, the shape was a bad choice for me. I have increasingly noticed that round collared shirts and sweaters don’t flatter my curvy figure. I need a drape neck, boat neck, or v-neck to provide balance, none of which works with this sweater (even if worn unbuttoned). So into the Frog Pond it went.
The yarn will be salvaged as much as possible and used in a different cardigan project. I have several patterns picked out already and am just waiting for the right time to get started. It is worth expending the effort to save the yarn because it is special to me; it is part of the 100% alpaca stash that Husband brought back for me from his trip to Peru. Totally worth rescuing so I can actually wear it.
Next up is my Featherweight the Second cardigan. My first Featherweight Cardigan was knit in lace weight yarn and turned out to be very fitted. For my second one I chose a (slightly) heavier fingering weight yarn and went up a size for the knitting so it would be roomier. I also added a lace panel on the back, and some colorwork on the sleeves and collar. I love the result, and actually do wear the sweater. But it is a tad too roomy – on the slouchy side, really. I should have knit what I knew to be the right size.
I plan to rip back and salvage this yarn as well. Except I won’t be knitting a different pattern with the salvaged yarn. I will be knitting this exact sweater again, one size smaller. Yep, that likely makes me a perfectionist. Making the smaller size means that I’ll need to modify the lace panel on the back a bit. It also means that I’ll likely have enough yarn to end up with long sleeves, instead of 3/4. Until then, I’ll keep wearing it on occasion.
Those are the big ones for now. Most of my frogged projects get ripped out long before the finishing stage nowadays. Like the Gradient Top I talked about in this post. (No, I still haven’t decided to definitely start over. But it’s a likely thing.) Though you never know when a project you’re sure will be perfect will turn out to be a frog. My philosophy has always been to boldly rip out undesirable work, and to do it often enough that it’s not scary or upsetting. That works for me, so I’m sticking to it.
What’s in your Frog Pond?