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A frog goes “Rip It”

There are some people who can handle having things laying around unfinished, but I don’t think I’m one of them. Until very recently I would slog through a 300-page book I didn’t like. Realizing I could put it down was a revelation, but actually putting it down? That my friends, takes skill.

Do you remember when you learned about frogging? I’m not just talking about ripping back a few rows (or 50) to fix a mistake, which is never fun but worth for the right project. I’m talking about a full-on stop your project and rip it, rip it all the way back to your original ball of yarn.

Something most knitters love is the marvel of creating something from nothing. Ball of yarn + time = scarf! Yay! So when I first read about someone getting through half a sweater and realizing that no, this yarn must not be this sweater, it astonished me that she frogged it. The. Whole. Thing.


Frog my Emmery? Not a chance.

I was perplexed. All that time and energy gone! And instead of staring at a WIP, you’re staring at … yarn. How depressing.

After 1.5 years of knitting (!) I have finally come to the project that I have to frog. It’s those darn socks! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.) Despite all of your kind advice I can’t get the laddering to stop when I purl, and I think maybe I just don’t like knitting socks. I have to pull so tight on the yarn and knit around tiny double-pointed needles. I’m not into that.

So for the past few months I’ve been uninspired to knit. Well, uninspired to knit those socks anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I am in the middle of a little project for Lydia, my favorite six-month-old, but that project with its gorgeous yarn just sits there, staring at me. It got to the point where I hid it in a closet.

The other day I realized it had been months since I knitted even a stitch on it. I’m feeling guilty, like I’m cheating on the sock with my cardigan. This is serving no one. I have to let go. It’s like a book I never want to finish. It ruins the whole fun of knitting for me.

So I’d like you to (virtually) join me as I frog for the first time a half of a sock. I know it’s not half of a sweater (thank goodness!) but still, I’m a little teary about the whole thing.


Half sock + very little energy = ball of yarn.

half sock




ball of yarn

Wait. That’s not right.

More like … Half sock + very little energy = BALL OF YARN!!!

Suddenly there are a world of possibilities out there. (I’m pretty sure I just lost an hour on Ravelry.) For joy! Maybe I’ll try socks again. Or wrist warmers? Or, to get away from the whole DPN thing perhaps a cowl. I’m giddy with glee!

I get it. Frogging isn’t always the worst thing in the world. In fact, it can be super liberating. More liberating than leaving a book unfinished because when you re-open that book it’s still the same chapters and words. With a ball of yarn, the world is at your fingertips.

Have you ever frogged anything? Was it worth it? Did it break your heart? Were you happy to see it go? Tell us about it in the comments.



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5 Responses to A frog goes “Rip It”

  1. Katie Lynn /

    May 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I rip things all the time. In my opinion, I’d rather use that yarn (which was by no means inexpensive) on an item that I love everything about. I recently ripped an entire finished sweater that was made in fingering weight yarn just because I wasn’t happy with everything about it. That yarn is now in queue as another sweater, that will fit my taste more.

    It doesn’t look like you steamed your yarn? I highly recommend that as the kinks from being ripped can mess up the tension in your next project. I rip directly onto my swift, tie a few pieces of string around it and steam it to work those out. I either use the steam setting on my iron or put it in a pot in the steamer basket (you need to watch it closely!). Or if I have lots of time I just give it a soak to relax it.

  2. Kathleen Bruner /

    May 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

    No, I’ve never frogged a project to quit and make something else, but I can totally understand how liberating that must be. I relate to your comment about books as I just finished one that I wasn’t really enjoying and was so glad when it was finished so I could start on my husband’s new book that needed editorial reading. However, if I could, I would frog one of the things I’m working on now. If I hadn’t promised it to my husband I would totally give up on it. But not to make something with the same fiber as I don’t plan to EVER make anything with size 10 crochet thread again! The thread & steel hook are just TOO small to be enjoyable. Thank goodness that I have 2 yarn projects going that I can alternate with or it would be making me hateful! :)

  3. CJ /

    May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve frogged a few projects, but the most memorable/worst for me was 2 years ago.
    I knit a tank in this beautiful variegated yarn. It was such an enjoyable knit and the yarn was so soft and easy to work with.
    And then I finished the tank, and I hated it. It just didn’t work no matter what I did.
    I put it away in the closet for a few weeks, then one day was hit with “I have to do something with that yarn!” – so I frogged it all. It was liberating, knowing that I would still be able to use this beautiful yarn on something I really will want!

  4. Rebecca /

    May 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Kathy Lynn, Thanks so much for the tip about steaming my yarn! I will definitely have to do that before I try knitting something else. I like the idea of using my iron.

    Kathleen, Ah the gift that you already promised. That’s too bad you hate working on it. I think you have the right idea about alternating projects. Find the joy in something!

    CJ, Thanks for sharing your story. It’s such a heart breaking thing for many people but it seems like the ones who do it are happier that they did.

  5. Nena /

    May 21, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I have frogged items in the past but not for many years now. But now I am going to Frogg at least five projects two not quite finished, one finished but never blocked and two finished blocked and worn at least twice. All of these sweaters.
    You see I love to knit, hate to frogg, but will when necessary. I made these items last winter and the one before that but I was wearing a size 2x or 3X at the time. I have since lost 97 pounds and wear size 2 petite. I can almost make two items out of each one I Frogg! And these are made from expense yarn.
    I hope to have fun the second time around.

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