Friday, 16 December 2011

Rippit rippit

Every knitter has experienced that moment when knitting a project where they start feeling that something is not quite right.  Maybe it's a problem with the size of the project, or with the stitch pattern, or perhaps it's the yarn itself.  The knitter will hem and haw for awhile, perhaps knit a few more rows to see if the feeling will go away.  It usually doesn't, and finally the knitter can knit no more without making a firm decision one way or the other:

To frog or not to frog?

It may seem like a simple question, but I assure you that it is not.  There are many factors to consider.  How far along is the project?  How many hours did it take?  How much does it matter if the project is not perfect?  Is there a deadline?  What is the boredom factor?  And so on...

I've come to these crossroads a few times over the last year.  Luckily it's usually been before I was pot-committed to the project and I could think about it rationally.  In each case I decided the answer was to frog, and I haven't regretted it.  However, all of these projects were for me, there was no deadline, and I am enough of a perfectionist that I prefer things to be done correctly or more attractively, and it's not like I have the money to blow on projects that I will end up hating.

So frog I did.

One example of my successful frogging is my started lace-tipped striped scarf.  Don't get too excited, this is not the free pattern for today.  It's from the book Closely Knit by Hannah Fettig which I do not own but I did borrow from the library, so I suppose it is free if you have a library card...  Anyway, I started out as the pattern suggested with my alpaca yarn (grey) for the lace part at the tip, and continuing on with alternating mohair (green) and alpaca stripes.

I got to about the point pictured when I realized I hated it.  I couldn't figure out why I hated it.  I mean, I liked the colours, and I liked the pattern, and I had followed the directions exactly, so what was the problem?  I started browsing other projects on ravelry and soon realized that many of the other knitters had started with the mohair for the lace bit at the tip and continued on from there, and it looked pretty good.  I did my obligatory hemming and hawing and it didn't take long before I decided it was frogging time.  I started over and I am MUCH happier with the results:

I still can hardly believe the difference switching the yarns around made.  It looked like a dogs breakfast before, and now it looks like mossy rocks.  I dunno, maybe you really like dog food, you're entitled to your opinion and all, but I prefer mossy rocks.

Free pattern time!  I know that's the only reason you're here anyway.  Because, and I know I've said this before but I'll say it again, this blog is the only place to get them.  So it's good that you're here.  You are part of the elite club that is privy to free patterns.  All two of you.

When my buddy Helen showed off the Snowbird Mittens she made last winter I decided I needed them really badly and made it my personal mission to learn how to make them.  Learning how to make mittens was step one (check), and learning how to do colour work was the next step (check... sort of).  So I went out and bought yarn, attempting to coordinate the yarn purchase with the Quilted Lattice Mitts so that I would only have to buy 3 skeins instead of 4.  I started knitting the cuff which was fine...

But once I got past the cuff and into the pattern part I realized that these colours just weren't me.  I couldn't envision spending a bajillion hours on these things (give or take a zillion), and then be unhappy with them.  I briefly entertained the notion that they could be a gift for someone but Helen quickly stomped on that idea since they really are a ridiculous amount of work.  So I had to go buy more yarn.  Life is rough.  I frogged the blue and white ones and started the purple and grey ones.  Now I love working on them and I can't wait to finish them!

Only eleventy billion more hours to go...

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