Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Winner + Frogging Failed Fo's

First off, congrats to Laura (aka skiddoo0 on Instagram), who is the winner of last week's Kraemer Yarns project kit giveaway. I'll contact you shortly to arrange the delivery of your prize. Many thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway!


Frogging Failed FO's

Most of us have a few projects that didn't turn out as planned. Some Finished Objects (FOs) fall out of the rotation in favor of newer, more exciting projects - if you knit or crochet for long enough, it's bound to happen. But there are always those finished projects that fall short of expectations: perhaps the gauge was a bit off, the colors didn't play together as well as you'd hoped, or the yarn subbed in proved to be a poor choice, even though you were certain it was a great choice at the time.

Only recently have I been able to spot those dealbreakers which resulted in an unloved/unused FO before I reach the binding off or finishing stage; earlier in my knitting and crocheting, I would stubbornly plod ahead, certain that something magical would happen along the way to resolve whatever nagging issue had cropped up. Now, I'm more likely to tink back or totally scrap the project if enough red flags are raised (I find that putting a project in time out for a few days or ever a week or two is enough to make the call re: frog or finish).

While that's great progress, I still have a cache of finished projects hidden away because they had flaws that bugged me too much to enjoy using them. Recently, I've been slowly working on reclaiming that yarn so that it can be used in another project.

IMG_2859I won't lie: frogging back a totally finished knit takes patience - a LOT of patience. This step-by-step tutorial on the Knitted Bliss blog will help you with the process. I've been using my Knitter's Pride Ball Winder to complete the initial frogging step, after which I re-skein each reclaimed ball on my swift before washing the ramen-like yarn to relax the strands back into something knittable.

Should Your Frog or Should You FO?

A few questions I ask myself before committing to the full-on frog:
  • When was the last time I wore or used this project? 
  • What bothers me about this project, to the point that I am not enjoying it? 
  • Can this yarn withstand the abrasion of the frogging process? 
  • Will I really make something else with the reclaimed yarn? 
If I'm answering these questions honestly, it's pretty obvious what I should do. Mentally, it's a bummer to undo hours/weeks/months of work, but isn't it just as tragic to never put the resulting project to good use?

What I'm Frogging

Here are some of the projects that have gone on the chopping - er, frogging - block this spring:


1. Mystery lace shawl (or blanket?) in Malabrigo Sock - this project was a series of unfortunate events, starting with the fact that I simply didn't have enough yarn to actually make the project. Also, a square shawl that is knit from the middle out is clearly not my cup of tea; quite frankly, I'm amazed that I even finished the thing. I am not totally sure when I knit this project - there is no entry for it in my Ravelry notebook - but when I found it, it had some holes in it from what I suspect were dropped stitches I never noticed. It's way too tiny to use for anything but a baby blanket, but I can't imagine anyone with a newborn who would want a kinda-wonky handwash blanket. Riiiiiiip.

2. Pioneer in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport - another project from the days in which I was a tiny twentysomething. When I came across this sweater stashed in the bottom of a drawer, it honestly looked child-sized. I can't believe I ever wore this thing and it actually fit! It's a great pattern that I would probably knit again in a size that would actually fit me (although the v-neck could be a little shallower), and I love the perfect dye lot of Pewter that I dyed myself in this yarn. Shepherd Sport is definitely worth frogging and reusing.

3. Honey Cowl in Lorna's Laces Honor - this project was made with some of the very first skeins of Honor, dyed by me in my own personal color palette back when I worked at Lorna's. Although the project turned out well and I love the yarn, I don't think I have worn it more than a handful of times since finishing it in the summer of 2011.

4. Elfe in Grinning Gargoyle Seda Sock - when I finished this five years ago (holy hot dogs!), it fit me perfectly. But as I progressed into my thirties and my metabolism took a nosedive, this sweater became a tiny, ill-fitting top. You know what really accentuates a weight gain? Vertical stripes. Again, this yarn is too pretty not to be worn, so I have reclaimed it for a TBD project.


5. Design sample that never actually became a design in The Wool Dispensary Useful Irradiant - Honestly, I don't know why I never bothered to write up this pattern and release it, but here we are. I guess I just lost interest? The yarn is from my friend Sam's former hand-dyed yarn company, and I would much rather frog this yarn and use it for something else since I don't have any more of her yarn left in my stash.

6. Lory Shawl in Bijou Basin Ranch Himalayan Trail - I love, love, LOVE this yarn. Yak and merino is divine! It's too wonderful to sit in a bin, and that's just what this project has done ever since I finished it in Fall of 2014. The pattern was supposed to be a wrap, but because I didn't check gauge (shame on me!) and I made my welts larger than the pattern called for, my FO became a sadly narrow scarf.

Not pictured: Openwork Dolman in Bijou Basin Ranch Shangri-La - WTF was I thinking? In what scenario would I ever wear a mesh top like this? Sure, it looked cute on the stick-thin model, but in real life, I found it to be much less flattering. This yarn is serious luxury - 50/50 yak and silk - and too precious to waste. It won't be easy to frog this one since it's seamed, but if I can do so successfully, I will be very happy to reclaim this yarn and find something new to do with it.

1 comment:

  1. I frogged a sweater I had made for my son. He loved it but I didn’t. I did everything I could but make the fit better but with no luck. Thank goodness I didn’t make it with a steek!
    I remade the sweater to everyone’s liking. There is something oddly satisfying about pulling apart something that isn’t great.