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In Which Sandi Visits The Frog Pond

Oct 29, 2007

Bye-bye to the Blue Tank...

I was very amused by your suggestions of cross-stitch pictures and tee-shirts with "The Swatch is Good. The Swatch is Wise. Listen to the Swatch." emblazoned across them. Personally, I think I need this message engraved on the inside of my eyeglasses so I cannot possibly forget it.

I would just like to know why it is so darned hard to LISTEN TO THE SWATCH? What happens between the time we swatch and the time we are needle-deep into a project, blithely knitting something that appears to pretend that the Swatch never existed?

Not listening to the Swatch (or not swatching in the first place) can cause Knitted Objects to behave badly, and in some cases, turn into long-standing denizens of the Land of UnFinished Objects. If a particular piece of knitting spends too much time off in UFO Land, then perhaps it is time to re-evaluate one's commitment to that particular long-distance relationship. Painful though it may be, sometimes it is time to ask the Final Questions: "Am I really going to finish this? Do I really WANT to finish this?"

It's tough to make that Final Decision To Frog, after you have put time, energy, and thousands of knitted stitches into a project. But a knitter's gotta do what a knitter's gotta do, even if it means letting go, turning over a new leaf, and ripping out a bunch of knitting.

I reached that point this past week, as I looked over the remaining 17 UFOs in my possession. I evaluated, and came up with three projects that I no longer felt committed to: a pair of green socks, a woolly cardigan, and a blue tank top.

So long, Green Socks...

The green socks were the first to go, as they were an impulse cast-on, one of those ill-conceived projects where you just simply MUST cast on something, but you don't really have a plan, nay, not even a pattern in mind. (Am I the only one who does this? Please say I am not.)

Next to go to the Frog Pond was the partially-knit woolly cardigan, lacking one front and the sleeves. Well... OK. Also lacking were my entire set of NOTES on the pattern, which was a Sandi original and is now lost in the mists of time due to an unfortunate misunderstanding between myself and my cat Sparrow over the finer points of distinction between a scratching post and my knitting notebook. (Dear Sparrow. He really does love so much to be involved in my crafts, but he's a weensy bit over-enthusiastic at times.) I could count stitches on the remaining pieces and re-create the pattern, but it wasn't an earth-shaking design anyway. So: Off to the Frog Pond with the Partial Cardi, and my UFO count is down by two.

Farewell, Woolly Cardi!

Finally, The Blue Tank Top. This one actually made it all the way to the seaming stage, but when I tried it on, it was way too big. I think this is the piece of knitting that caused the LightBulb of Negative Ease to go off in my head, pre-Hot Tomato. I made the Blue Tank a bit larger than my actual measurements, and it just kind of hung on me, instead of looking fitted and svelte. Alas, in this case, the Swatch was once again Wise and Good and it told me that there was no way to make the tank fit, short of cutting it to size. So it, too, has visited the Frog Pond.

I am now down to 14 UnFinished Objects. I feel strangely light and free. Plus: Now I have more yarn to knit other things with! Whoo!

Are there any projects lurking in your UFO pile which you can let go of? How do you make that Final Decision to Frog or Not To Frog? A bona-fide Work-In-Progress is one thing, even multiple Works-In-Progress, but what about some of those projects you all wrote about which have been sitting in your closets for YEARS? Maybe it's time to set all that yarn free so it can be used for a new project, one you'll loveā€”and maybe even actually finish!

Next time: Ways to tame all the curly yarn that is the end result of a Frogging Session.

Happy Halloween! In honor of this holiday when dressing up as something from the Land Of Make-Believe is something even grownups do, our featured pattern of the week is the Make-Believe Crowns. I promise not to tell if the person you knit one of these for is yourself. Try wearing a crown whilst doing the dishes or vacuuming and see if that doesn't put a smile on your face!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Mwhaaaaa...FOURTEEN UFOS! The pullover for my husband is nearing the armholes, and I am considering the best way to proceed with a certain pair of lace socks.

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JoanneH wrote
on Nov 5, 2007 10:32 PM
I've really enjoyed this topic. I know have the willingness to give up and frog a pair of socks on size 13 needles that I just don't enjoy kitting enough to make the 2nd sock.
UFO's -- I don't have an exact count, but it is at least 6 from my recent "knitting binge" of the last 5 years, plus 2 sweaters started during a previous "knitting binge" in the 1990's and one sweater that is entirely knitted and needs embroidery all over the sleeves that I began in late 1960's. This UFO count doesn't include all the planned projects that have not been started. Joanne
BetsyS wrote
on Nov 3, 2007 8:21 AM
OK, so here's another one. I'm knitting with some wonderful yarn from Tess, but the color is getting all over my hands. ANy suggestions? I wondered if it was that my hands were dry (duh --am I a knitter?), and tried using lots of lotion, which has made the color come off more easily, but I have no idea if I can actually wash the yarn (superwash wool) first. What do I do?
KathyC@2 wrote
on Oct 31, 2007 10:50 AM
Yes! Letting go is good! I have two mystery shawls out of lovely Zepher that are soon to be dunked in the frog pond and reborn as a shawl from Fiber Trends. It seems that mystery KAL's and I don't mesh. I rely on imagining the finished piece to keep me going and don't have the faith necessary for mystery knitting.
I also started an afghan as a Christmas gift, that after 50 rows or so, is not cutting it. So that needs to be frogged and re thought as well. I hope that the act of reclaiming the yarn on these projects propells me to finish the ones I really want to! Kathy
Meeb wrote
on Oct 31, 2007 10:19 AM
linda m. and anybody with "pieces" of yarn from frogging stripes - or maybe their puppy chewed the skein (like mine did :p ). you could try looking at sally melville's "styles" book... many of the designs incorporate smaller pieces of yarn. or knit a sideways scarf where the beginning and ends of the rows create the fringe...

as to the kinky stuff left after a frogging session... wind the yarn into a skein and tie the loop in about four places. then either gently swish the loop in some warm water, or steam it with a good steam iron or CAREFULLY hold it over a tea kettle spout. then "snap" the skein out a bit between your hands, and hang it to dry with enough of a weight on it to straighten it out.
HeidiD wrote
on Oct 31, 2007 8:47 AM
Frogging can be a good thing. I had an almost finished cardigan in a beautiful yarn my mother bought me for a present. When I held up the pieces though I no longer liked the fact that it was "cropped", and also it was so light weight, I knew that buttons would just stretch it out. I wripped the whole thing out and made a beautiful sweater with a turtle nect that features the yarn at it's best. I get compliments everytime I wear it. I also recently ripped apart an Icelandic style sweater I made years ago and never wore because it was too oversized. It was made in a charcoal grey Brown Sheep Lambs Pride but the colors I chose for the yoke were jade green, hot pink, light green and off white. Yuk, what was I thinking, they must have been leftovers. I have turned this into an icelandic hoody with a tapered waist and kangaroo pouch, and better colors for the yoke. I still have to finish the hood. A whole new project without buying too much new yarn!!!
CarolynC wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 7:19 PM
You knitters are such an inspiration. You have convinced me that I need to frog that coat sweater that I thought would fit my 5' frame. Instead it looks like a tent!! No, I did not swatch but have learned my lesson. I am now on my way to the closet to pull it out and rip it, rip it, rip it.
Lynn G. wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 7:04 PM
The post by Fiberartsfanatic should win the "made me laugh aloud" award for October. I love the idea of knitting continents because that is often how it feels! I'm currently stuck about 15-20% of the way through my first graphic colorwork project, an electric guitar graphic on a bag, and it might as well be North America. I should not have chosen to try my first colorwork project on slippery denim yarn that is going to shrink when I follow the instructions to put it through the washer and dryer. I have NO idea how loose to make the "floats" to account for shrinkage, so I'm erring on the side of too loose. But this is not fun, and I'll probably be unusually grateful to arrive at the many "continents" of plain boring stockinette that comprise the rest of the pattern.
TammyM wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 5:58 PM
....Just casting on for the sake of casting on???? OH yeah...thats what most of my UFOs are from...but then again.....that is also some of the best unusual custom pieces I have made started that way. Heres to those moments!!!!
Beth@3 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 4:55 PM
After counting my UFOs I was shamed into finishing up six (!) of them. Now I'm down to nine with a game plan in place.
KathrynT wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 3:56 PM
I think you've convinced me to frog my green Noro jacket because I also lost (the cat ate my homework!)my pattern and move on wo a lovely Nora Gaughan coat on the cover of Interweave.
MindyB wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 3:34 PM
Your frog pond article totally inspired me to take a good hard look at all my UFO's. I frogged 6 projects and am excited to reuse the vast amounts of "new" yarn in my stash! Thanks for the inspiration and support, it was hard to start but I am so proud to have done it!
MeliseG wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 3:24 PM
Linda S...yes, my gauge varies from needle type to needle type...I am definitely looser with wooden needles than metal (I like having my knitting slide smoothly along the needles--I mostly use metal--and so when I am working with wooden, I tend to go looser just to keep that nice slidey feeling). Anyway, I ALWAYS make sure to swatch with the needles I plan on using for the project, because any excuse to mess me up and the knitting gods will laugh upon me!
KathyF@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 2:25 PM
Sandi, you have given me the courage to begin a huge frogging project, thanks. I love the pattern, the color and even knitting itself on this UFO but cannot bear to pick it up again!
back to the pond for now.
M.M wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:49 PM
oh and, Sandi, thanks for making me own up to all my UFOs. This little situation really needed to be addressed. I guess that even needing to attach one button or just weave in ends on a project still makes it a UFO!
M.M wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:46 PM
Frogging-2 projects for the price of one!
SharonC wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:31 PM
I'm not sure I've ever frogged a project. Oh, not because it didn't need it, or wasn't abandoned. More because when I abandon a project, I blame it on the yarn itself. After reading posts, and comments, I'll have to rethink that. I have a couple of candidates now for frogging that I think might just be the wrong pattern for the yarn. Hmm.
Anonymous wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:22 PM
Sandi, you are definitely not the only person who sometimes has fits of "must cast on something even if I'm currently working on x number of projects." I've done it a lot, and most of them do get frogged because when I come to my senses I realize I should have knitted on something in progress, since I really had (and have) no plan for the "gotta cast on project."
On your problem with ease in a garment: have you tried looking at sewing patterns which fit like you want your project to fit and seeing how much ease is put in them?
TaraR wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:10 PM
Ha! What a timely post. And I can't wait for the next one on what to do with the curly yarn (besides make a really funny green seaweed-hair wig for your kids and take pictures of your husband wearing it... Yes, I've done that, but I digress...). I recently frogged a square for a log cabin blanket that I knit with a migraine - and wow was my gauge all over the place. Weird. Also, I just got two consigment shop sweaters to recycle. One I got for free (and it was marked $22) because I pointed out a hole to the clerk. It's a big sweater, too, so lots of very pretty shetland/mohair yarn in a gorgeous blue/green/brown tweedy colorway. I'm so excited!! (Alas, I think it's fingering weight, so it's going to take quite a while and some patience to unravel this baby, but I think it's going to be worth it.) Also a yellow bulky wool from another sweater. Yay!
LindaS@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 11:37 AM
I am knitting the minimalist cardigan from Knits Fall 2007. An interesting thing occured re:gauge. I knitted the back and right front on bamboo needles and then decided to knit left front on my favorite metal needles (they are so smooth and fast) - even though they were the same size, my left side ended up shorter (I counted rows to be sure). The only conclusion is that my knitting on the metal needles was faster, smoother and obviously tighter - whereas on the bamboo needles the work does not flow as smoothly creating a looser stitch - has anyone else experienced this?
SherryS wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 11:04 AM
I couldn't help noticing that your green sock was on DPNs. I always knit socks on one circular ala Magic Loop method. It's much easier than fighting with DPNs and the holes they can leave. I rarely give up on socks now. If you or your readers haven't tried the Magic Loop method, I highly recommend it.
Grannie Sher
DeniseB wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 10:33 AM
The only project I have frogged recently was actually a finished object. I knit a christmas stocking years ago, and last year when I decorated for Christmas I took a good look at it and decided my knitting has come a long way since then. I frogged it last month with the intention of fixing the mistakes and getting a nice new stocking for this year!
LindaM@4 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 10:19 AM
I started the Koigu turtleneck from Vogue 20th anniversary issue two years ago, it meant actually cutting the yarn (six colors of Koigu) after each ten row stripe. I frogged it once already and reclaimed the yarn to knit it bigger (didn't listen to the swatch). I still hate it but can't bear to waste the yarn because it's Koigu and it's in so many short pieces from the striping and the adding on. My latest plan is to take off the rings around the hips (who needs puffy rings around hips???) and make ribbing or a hemmed edge and graft it onto the body... someday. It isn't a Lost Cause yet only because I'm too stubborn to waste all that gorgeous, abused yarn.
LucindaS wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 10:06 AM
I must say that I have now started to finish one of my frogs. And will finish it before doing any other knitting. Once that is done on to the next frog!!!
AmyS@3 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 9:53 AM
I never have to frog anything because my 6 yr. old daughter does it for me. I just leave the room so I don't have to see it happening!
KatP wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 9:25 AM
I have one ufo and one wip. I had to frog my shawl Sunday that I am working on. Seems I dropped an edge stitch and it all started coming apart. Ugh... So my hubby helped me frog it while we watched tv, and I restarted it. In a way it was a good thing cause it wasn't what I invisioned for the yarn once it was off the needles. So smaller needles and less stitches this time.

I have a ton of yarn hiding in the back room. I really need to work on that stuff. So that's my next project. Find something to do with some of my already purchased yarn. Trouble is most of it is novelty yarn and I have found I like working with cotton for summer and alpaca for winter. Very hard to go back to the novelty stuff once you've found the good stuff!
NanG wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 9:19 AM
as dustcloths, dust mops, felted for anything--none of that works for me; it is just keeps saying "and WHY did you start that" or "just WHY did you frog that" or "is it THAT bad" Get it Gone!!
NancyL@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 9:17 AM
Sandi said "...time, energy, and thousands of knitted stitches..." OMG! THOUSANDS of stitches. The vest for my daughter has 900 in just 10 rows (one of three projects currently actively on their needles). I can't fathom the idea of viewing a project for the individual stitches it represents. That's like counting the diaper changes for each offspring, or how many times you scoop out the catbox for a particular pet. You just shouldn't look at it that way. Shame on you, Sandi, for making my head explode this morning. Well, no, I'm not actually mad because every column of yours is very funny and thought-provoking. Knit on, sister!

LynnD wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 9:15 AM
I have two sweaters that my father bought for my mother years ago when they lived in France. My mother didn't like the necklines so as an adult child she gave them to me. I don't wear them but I have kept them as some sort of memorial to the original gift from my father. I think I will get them out and investigate ripping them for the yarn and knit a sweater for my mother in a style and size she will wear and give it to her. It will keep the spirit of the original gift, re-purpose the yarn in the sweater and give me the knitting time and project. I like best to knit from the top down in one piece from collar to hem with a back and shoulder saddle inserts, so I will work up a pattern I like and take it on the road during Thanksgiving. Thanks for giving me the bravery to rip out the sweater that's been in careful storage since the 1960's and give the spirit of the yarn a new purpose and life. Lynn
SaraV wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 8:04 AM
I have few UFOs - mostly because I have a "want to see the finished item" thing. However, I signed up for several classes last winter that were too close together and left me no time to finish the projects at the end before the next class started.

I limit my stash and UFOs by having a strict rule: My yarn and inactive knitting all has to fit in a wicker hamper in the living room. No new yarn for any reason unless/until it fits in there, no matter how good a deal it is.

So I'm back, at last, to last winter's fair isle with steeks for my daughter. Thankfully I started it very large so it will still fit when I finish the second sleeve. I've got the yarn for 3 or 4 projects queued up from there. I allow myself 2-3 at once (if there's something complicated on the needles, I need something very simple and mindless, too)
ElizabethB@5 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 7:02 AM
Last week I made a pact with myself: I can neither buy yarn nor start anything new until all of my UFOs are finished. Today is day 7. UFO count is down to 9 from 11. Six of those 9 were impulse cast-ons. The imuplse cast-on is the true enemy, at least in my little corner of the knitting universe.
Rebecca@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 6:57 AM
I thought I was the only one who was compulsive to "just cast on". However, my compulsion is to "just turn the heel". I hate to say it and it feels weird to let the world know that all I want to do is turn heels in socks. No desire to mess with the toe just the heel. I get all caught up in the heel.
Rebecca@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 6:57 AM
I thought I was the only one who was compulsive to "just cast on". However, my compulsion is to "just turn the heel". I hate to say it and it feels weird to let the world know that all I want to do is turn heels in socks. No desire to mess with the toe just the heel. I get all caught up in the heel.
BethM wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 6:49 AM
I've revisited all my ufos and am a little stressed out by the 6 I have. 14 would pretty much finish me off, and I congratulate you on your resilience.
EmilyH@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 5:43 AM
Since the topic of UFOs has come up on Knitting Daily, I took out my one UFO, frogged it after thinking about not wanting to have to do it for a week, and have thus been reknitting it. I'm determined to wear it SOON!
DianeG@3 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 3:19 AM
I only joined this last week, and already I'm shedding the guilt of unfinished projects. It's lovely to know that I'm not an isolated knitter and that others are as fanatical about it as I am. I'm getting used to the Americanisms too. The word frog has taken on a new meaning. It's inspired me to sort out my knitting life. So thank you to whoever writes the articles, I do enjoy them. Diane from Manchester, UK.
ChristineL@2 wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 3:06 AM
How do I know when to frog a UFO? If the sight of that UFO causes me so much anxiety just sitting there unfinished, that's the sign to frog it. I think of it as freeing the yarn up for its true potential. That yarn was not right for that project. I got 90% of the way done through the Origami sweater by Norah Gaughan and then ripped it out to make the Minimalist Sweater, which I am almost done with. This was a better fit for the yarn. Free your yarn--frog it!
AprylB wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:34 AM
You made me think about not letting go of some of these UFO's I have cluttering up my space. One in particular, is a wool/mohair sweater about 3/4 of the way finished. The only problem is I started it about 21 years ago for my ex-husband. I can't quite pick up the needles to finish it for him. Besides, my current husband might find it a bit strange having me knit my ex a sweater! I guess it's time to let it go.
THW wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 11:53 PM
Since your UFO poll, where I showed up in the more than 20 catagory, I decided to make my Friday's a Fix-it, Frog-it, or Finish-it day. Progress has been made. Yay!
RoxanneR wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 11:41 PM
I have a New Year's Day ritual. I go through all my UFOs and FROG most of them. I realized if I let something sit more than a few months then it is probably for a very good reason, like I no longer like the project! It is always very liberating.
A.E wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 11:35 PM
I am quite likely to drop everything and cast-on to try out an idea. Often when I'm poking around the Internet, I'll see a knitted item that gives me an idea to try. I just can't put it out of my mind until I knit enough to prove that it can be done... or not. Then if it's a small project, I'll just finish it up over the next few days. If it's more substantial, I take notes, frog, and figure out when it will make sense to do the whole project. We're talking project management here, aren't we? LOL

By the way, my one UFO (the Interweave wedding dress skirt) is on hold because it's not a really useful item that I need or will give as a gift. I started it several years ago when I only knitted for fun. Now I am much more pragmatic and only knit what I need or my family needs.

Of course, my daughter really needed the black-and-pink ruffled pirate wristwarmers that I knitted as an experiment last month. Arrrrr.
Yarnmaniac wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 10:40 PM
I have SSS very badly. After I make a sock, something inside says, "I'm done." Why would I frog a single sock? I have decided that maybe I will start a trend of wearing mis-matched socks to counteract this problem.
DebC wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 9:32 PM
no frog ponds for me, I just get bunches and bunches of yarn and NEVER start the project.
Kaparsley wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 9:25 PM
I have been convienced to frog a lace scarf I was knitting for my daughters' preschool teacher as a gift last christmas. She is now in Kindergarten. I dropped a stich and have no idea how to reconstruct it. I kept hoping for inspiration, but, alas, none has come. A frogging I will go....
LoriG wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 8:42 PM
last year I frogged a sock I started a couple of years ago and left it undone and forgotten, so off to the frog pond, wind up the yarn.. then I left the old wound yarn in a box for about a year more, and finally, threw that away too as I didn't want to even touch those colors again.
kharman777 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 8:24 PM
You've inspired me! Maybe now I can frog that sweater wtih one sleeve sewed inside-out....
CatherineK wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 8:11 PM
I frogged a Paotn's Bluebell purple cardigan earlier this year - one started and almost completed about 25 - 30 years ago. Yes, that's correct, at least that old. I was a couple of sizes smaller then. One pair of lacy purple socks completed with more for a couple other pairs, too. For me, a very satisfying result.

RuthS@3 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 8:00 PM
I also recently frogged 3 items which were not turning out as envisioned in my mind. One actually turned out beautifully, but by the time I got it "almost" done, my infant daughter was close to a year and it was too small. This one I will reknit, but in a generous size. This is something I just love about knitting. If it doesn't work out, it can become something else, even if that something else is a cat toy. Frog On, Knitter! Frog On!
KimP wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 7:38 PM
I usually don't frog, I give it away! I have a friend who loves to recycle yarn, so when I really can't stand to frog, I just give her a call and she comes and takes it off my hands (and needles!). It's so freeing!
MaryM@7 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 7:36 PM
Listen to the Swatch! After spending the better part of two days drafting a two-color Scandinavian pattern in Excel for Christmas stockings, it was only in the middle of knitting the patterned part that I realized I should have swatched the pattern, not just the non-pattern area. Actually, it looks fine, but the proportions of the design are different than I expected. Mary in Seattle
MaryW@5 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 7:29 PM
I've given up even pretending to frog my UFOs. Instead, I wait for someone on freecycle to ask for yarn for a kids project, and dump my half done projects on them. Minus my precious needles, of course! So far, the recipients have been happy to do their own frogging! Freecycle is also a great way to get rid of all that "What the hell did I buy this stuff for?" yarn. Admit it! You've got a few balls of that hanging around!
FranceenG wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 7:12 PM
I am the ultimate UFO owner! I must have over 50 of them.
However I should have much bigger Frog Pond than I do.
Here's a story of one of my donations to the water level of my pond:
I fell in love with a Berroco oversized, bulky sweater (Guiletto in Duo). I even bought the exact yarn! It had two sizes, Sm and Lg and I am not small. So I made the Lg. ALAS I did NOT swatch and my typical gauge problem magnified itself horrendously - I knit TOO loosley and either row or stitch gauge is out more than the other. I should have noticed it DURING the project but I ignored it and even seamed it all up. The sweater was big enough for 3 big guys (maybe 2 horses too). It was about 100" in diameter! So I frogged and when I did so I just made ONE BIG BALL of yarn - which I still have - the ball is about 36" in diameter and is stuffed in a closet. I was going to re-knit the sweater, but was never motivated to do so.'s now a UFO of yarn!
Grammaresa wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 7:03 PM
When I was a fairly new knitter, it was impossible for me to frog anything. But one Saturday our guild had an informal workshop where we frogged each others stuff so it didn't hurt so much. Now, I look as knitting as my entertainment. So if I have to frog something it's like getting two projects in one! Plus I usually learned something when doing the first one.
Jamie wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 6:48 PM
All this talk of UFOs is making me feel guilty enough to start dealing with mine. Saturday I finished a lacy vest that had only been banished to UFOland for a few months (yippee!). I've decided to discipline myself to only start a new project after completing at least two projects from the WIP and UFO group. This will make the whole process a bit more palatable than giving up starting new projects altogether. I plan to keep to this until I get my partially done pile down to 10 or fewer, if my resolve holds.

Unfortunately, I still have over 20 partially completed knitting projects, so this could take some time...

Has anyone else with a bad case of startitis ever dealt with it successfully? What worked for you?
on Oct 29, 2007 6:41 PM
I have a friend who puts her knitting projects in "time out" and does not say that they are unfinished. I love that expression. Quite often she takes them back out of time out and works on them some more! I think this is a more positive approach than "unfinished."
PatA wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 6:38 PM
My most recent "frogging project" was not a UFO but a sweater on the needles. I had purchased two hanks of gorgeous hand-dyed wool from Nova Scotia. I have no idea why I bought so much fine yarn! I wound it all into four neat cakes. First I made a lovely lace shawl for my sister. Then I decided to make a lacey summer sweater for myself. When I was nearly 80% done with the first side, I discovered that I had used the remainder of the shawl hank to the underarm and the second hank for the rest of the back. The yarn is variegated. Even so, there was a definite "line" where I had changed balls. Now I know that each hank of hand-dyed yarn is slightly different even you buy the same color. I kept looking at it in hopes that it wouldn't be noticable, but in my heart I knew that I would never wear it "as is".
I frogged that entire half sweater. To date, I have reknit the back and am just beginning to work the front. Guess I will have to put it away for next year.
KellyN wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 6:26 PM
I am the cast on queen. I am always casting on something new. Right now I have two different pairs of mittens, (in 2 seperate patterns) casted on. I don't know why I do this? Anyone care to theorize?
JoB wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 6:11 PM
I frogged a few ufos a couple of years ago -- one that the recipient declared would be much to warm for him to wear and another that I realized I did not have enough yarn to complete. A third that I had lost interest in. They were not my ONLY ufos -- just the oldest, but they were all fairly far along. One was double stranded and another was an aran with every pattern a different color (groan). Once frogged, I found myself looking for directions on how to recycle the impossibly kinked yarn. It turned out to be pretty simple, and I have actually used some of the yarn for other things. One of them is a current project which is my first attempt at designing my own pattern. This one will be finished AND worn. Recycling reigns! Jo B.
NancyM@4 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 6:08 PM
What does Frog mean? Is it an acronym or what?
Ginger wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:59 PM
Hi far as which to frog and which to not frog...if i don't absolutely LOVE something it gets frogged...yarn is too dear (esp. when compared to going to a store and buying socks, sweaters, etc...)it need to be something special that i'm excited about and want to show others and also knit again and again! Hope that helps others feel good about frogging!!! I have frogged so many things in fear and feeling a little ridiculous for wasting all my time only to end up with an absolutely amazing finished product (the second time around or third...) that i am truly proud of and the extra/wasted time did not matter in the end!!!
SandraW@3 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:47 PM
Some of the ill fitting ufo's would be much appreciated in a thrift shop or the Salvation Army! Remember the saying: Someone's trash is someone's else's treasure!
AnnR wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:45 PM
All these comments about the UFO's had me feeling guilty. I only had 3 to start with.
Now I am down to one project. But I keep buying yarn, am addicted to my yarn shop.
BarbaraN@2 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:45 PM
Children's jumpers seem to be my bug-bear. By the time I am half way through, the recipient has grown in ways I cannot include in my now UFO.
on Oct 29, 2007 5:43 PM
Sadly enough...I must visit the frog pond with about 5 ufo's and ill-fitting fo's. *Sigh* the yarn needs to be free.
JannyW wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:27 PM
Okay, I submit to the swatch! I really do like the t-shirt idea too ... anyone want to design it??
Luv2knit wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:22 PM
The overwhelming urge to cast on something came over me last evening and I said you can't think of all those UFO's. I looked at a couple of those and decided I should really go to bed.
LouF wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:22 PM
I don't have unfinished. Really. Anything I haven't worked on in a month gets frogged. And on New Year's Day, I take a couple of hours to look at my projects. Anything that's not going to get done by January 31 get frogged. I have a lot of unravelled knitting in this house, but no UFOs.
JascinthW wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:22 PM
My first topdown - got to the boobage and it just felt wrong. The yarn was chunky, and I was using a 5mm needle and the fabric felt like cardboard. The yarn was splitty (I think the relative smaller size of the needles made it worse)and my ybfs were looking odd.

So, hello frogpond.
Gwen wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:19 PM
You call a pair of socks an ill-conceived project. Wow - I am in amazement. How can there not be a use for another pair of socks? I'd NEVER frog a pair of socks; I think my religion would forbid it ;).

Gwen S.
MarinU wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:06 PM
OK... forgot to finish the comments.

In answer to your question: I have one of those curly "potato chip" scarves I started for my cousin about two years ago.

I don't know *which* curly potato chip scarf pattern I was using, so every time I run across one in perusing my many books and magazines, I grab the thing and knit a couple of pattern repeats and it ends up looking weirdish and I put it down again.

It was a really slow knit even when it was working, and I'm pretty sure I can find some use for 700 yards of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.
WyomingK wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:04 PM
The decision to frog is easy for me. This is a good thing, considering that I'm not much for swatching. ;) Of course, it helps that pretty much all I make are socks, scarves and shawls. :)
MarinU wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 5:01 PM
But what about when the swatch is a dirty, stinking liar?
KimJ wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 4:49 PM
I have a few "frog ponds" in my house, mainly large buckets with projects in them that are destined to be ripped. However, there is one project i have had for a few years now that I just can't seem to let go of. It is the Bliss short sleeve wrap cardi from a past Rowan magazine. Lacey and adorable, and oh so much work. I can't bear the thought of ripping it out, but it takes more brain power than i can muster at the moment to go through and count all the stitches and repeats to figure out where i am in the lace pattern and how many more decrease rows i need. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.
SusanF@3 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 4:43 PM
Can't wait to learn how to tame those curlies, since I spent an hour last night ripping out a 30-year old mohair scarf that my husband never ware. I can't believe I used nine skeins on this thing.
BryonyR wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 4:06 PM
Ahhh, I would love to frog a bag that isn't even on my needles any more. I have a small amount of sewing to do, and have had this bag on the go since January, purchased lovely Rowan wicker handles, and yet I can't face finishing it :( And I felted it all. On purpose for the pattern, but still. I can't frog it. But I can't face binning or finishing it! Maybe I'll cut it up and hand sew something in it.
on Oct 29, 2007 2:15 PM
I started a Vogue Knitting World Map sweater 17 years ago. I knitted North and South America and was halfway through Europe when I lost the will to continue it. I don't even like doing colorwork. So, after looking at it occasionally for the last several years, I started frogging it for the Reynolds Saucy yarn. I am now knitting ball band dishcloths from Mason-Dixon knitting - much more enjoyable and useful also! On the subject of frogging, I admit that I am an addict. I go to Goodwill, buy a sweater with nice fiber content, bring it home and rip it out! Fun : )) and lots of great yarn! Renae
Bonnie wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 1:23 PM
I'm so busy right now I don't even have time to frog! But when January rolls around, I will frog a brown Silky Wool pullover that's been in hibernation since last winter. Two reasons: 1) I have fallen out of love with the pattern, and 2) I've lost weight and it's too big now!

The yarn will be perfect for some other project, I'm sure.
LeslieB@2 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 1:12 PM
One of my UFO's is a Classic Elite Wool Bamboo cabled pullover. I was knitting away happily on it when I discovered that I had reached the point in the pattern to start the armholes and the darn thing was going to be too short -- I know, I know -- proper swatching would have prevented this! Anyway, I ripped back and thought the yarn had relaxed enough but the re-knit just looks awful. I hope you can help me save this beautiful yarn 'cause the first round looked gorgeous.
LindaS@4 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 1:11 PM
I,too, like Sandi, went thru my UFOS and sent a couple of them to the FROG pond. One, I liked the pattern but not the yarn plus I couldn't find my notebook of what row of the pattern I was on! So I spent an afternoon of a day I had taken off to rip and wind. I now don't feel so bad when I look at my UFOS to know I'm not alone in my addiction of project starting.
sulitk wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 1:03 PM
Laura L. - What I do is CO the number of sts for the 4" width and then knit 2" up and with a ruler do a quick cusory check, if it's way off then back I go to the beginning and change needles, otherwise if close I will continue on with the process. That way I don't waste too much yarn because I am at least in the ballpark and will only have at the most two swatches made in the end.

I'm down to 2 WIPs and they are both keepers and around 75% done. :)
KaroleeL wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:59 PM
Since I do not have the cash for a large stash, I have learned to view frogging in two ways.

1 - If I remake the object, I can discount the price by 1/2 (Knitting twice for the price of one sweater equals a half price item)

2 - if I frog and make something else, I've just added to my stash and have the joy of knitting again.

It's all about the joy of knitting. If I didn't enjoy knitting, I'd just go out an buy a sweater or a pair of socks.
Korinthe wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:20 PM
I frogged an entire (80% complete) afghan a couple of years ago, when it became really obvious that the yarn was in fact two slightly different colors. Re-crocheted the same pattern, big hook, two strands of not quite identical yarn held together. Damn, that worked up fast.
MaryD wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:14 PM
I loved today's post because this morning I made the decision to frog both of the pieces I was working on. One was made sans swatch (after all, it was a shawl and I just knew it was the correct size yarn) only to discover I was using worsted when it should have been bulky. Way too small - Not redeamable. The second one I had actually made a wonderful swatch, which measured correctly, but when I took the work-in-progress off the needles to check it was a full inch too narrow. No idea why!

So both are now in the recycle basket - frogged, rewound into nice balls to work from!! So onward and upward!
Kelly wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:10 PM
You must have read my mind....can't wait to hear what to do with the frogged yarn. Even before your survey on UFO's, I had started frogging a few of my UFOs to ease my guilt...(actually, I was in need of some of the needles!) I'd been wondering if the yarn was reusable 'as is' will look forward to Wednesday's post.
NancyK@2 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:04 PM
Just downloaded crown pattern - how adorable! I might make these for the gals in my knitting group for Christmas - making a little bigger of course.
AIRknitter wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 12:00 PM
...a long time ago in a far away land, when I was young and slim a dear friend and I would swap UFO's. It was the most wonderful solution. We were the same size which was a benefit.
LauraL@2 wrote
on Oct 29, 2007 11:46 AM
You have convinced me - I solemly swear to swatch each and every project before I cast on and start knitting! A couple of questions, though: 1) If I make a swatch, cast off, wash and block it, and it doesn't work out - will I have enough yarn to make a second (or third) swatch and still be able to finish my project? 2) If I can't get row gauge and just work to measurements for length, etc. will the amount of yarn specified still be accurate? Thanks a lot from a beginning knitter!