Category Archives: frogging

Sometimes, I am an idiot.

It’s true. I tend to be a more detail-oriented kind of person, which is very good in some ways but there are times when I kind of tend to overlook the big picture because I get too caught up in the details.

For example…

I received a new knitting book for Christmas and have been very excited to try my first pair of socks from it. The book is 2-At-A-Time Socks(affiliate link) by Melissa Morgan-Oakes and it has a lot of really fun looking sock patterns to try out. My oldest daughter is the only child left in the family for whom I have not yet knit a pair of socks, so I let her choose her favorite pattern from the new book.

She chose the Athena pattern – a really pretty cabled sock that I was looking forward to working on. This book is done with charts – so I’d be learning something new since I hadn’t worked from a pattern chart before.

The chart is fairly easy to follow – like a grid. Start at stitch 1 of row 1 and work right to left and bottom to top. Simple, right?

AbbisSocks 003

As I got further into the pattern, I noticed that my cables weren’t winding around each other the way the pattern shows. I realized that I’d gotten so wrapped up in following each stitch and step exactly as written that I’d forgotten that I knit left-handed. And since I knit left-to-right and I was following the chart right-to-left, I figured I was doing the pattern wrong and should start again, this time following the chart backward, beginning at stitch 28 of row 1 and working left to right and bottom to top.

So I frogged the entire pair of socks. And began again from the very beginning of casting on both pairs of socks.

After (re)knitting the cuffs and getting back into the pattern stitches, it didn’t take more than a few rows before I realized that the cables definitely weren’t looking better – in fact, this time they didn’t even look like cables but rather a jumbled mess.

Thankfully, this time I was able to simply ‘tink’ back those few pattern rounds that I’d already knit (a lot of fun dealing with the cable hook there), back to where I’d started cabling. I looked again at the photos I’d taken of my first attempt and decided that the cables really didn’t look that far off anyway – and if something wrapped to the back when it ‘should’ wrap to the front… As long as everything lines up in the end, it shouldn’t matter.

AbbisSocks 004

So my lesson learned is that I shouldn’t try to second-guess a pattern or analyze why it works or doesn’t – but just accept the fact that the designer knew what she was doing and apparently left-handed or not, I simply need to follow the directions as written.

I may be an idiot – but I do (usually) at least learn from my mistakes!

To ‘frog’ or not to ‘frog’…

That was the question that faced me a few days ago.  See this partially knitted sock? The one I’ve been working on (rather slowly) for the past few weeks?

HannahsSock-PreFrogging 002

Yeah, so this particular sock no longer exists.

I’d gotten pretty far along – I finished the leg portion, knit the heel flap, turned the heel, and was finishing up the gusset decreases into the foot area when I got the bright idea of actually trying the sock on my 8-year-0ld daughter’s foot to make certain that it was going to fit her.

Can you guess where this is going yet?

Yep, not only did the sock not fit, but there was absolutely no way that any amount of stretching or force was going to get it over her heel. I thought briefly about finishing it anyway and giving it to my youngest – it did fit onto her foot. And my 8-year-old was rather understanding – she just asked that when I started her socks (again), that I use the same yarn and pattern.

And that’s actually what decided me. Making two identical socks from the same yarn and pattern is hard enough – but necessary in order for the project to be usable. But to make an extra two identical (although larger) socks beyond that is more than I think I could bear right now. I get tired of doing the same thing over and over again and this is a slow-moving pattern anyway. So rather than taking the time and energy to finish another sock-and-a-half and then knit a whole new pair for my 8-year-old, I decided to re-use the yarn I’ve already got, and I tore that entire sock apart.

Rip-it, rip-it, ribbit, ribbit… See where ‘frogging’ comes from?  ;)

Which of course, then left me frustrated to start back from scratch when I’d had an almost wearable sock in my hands just minutes previously – so I immediately began the new sock. With the same pattern and (very curly) yarn – but at the next pattern size up. I’m not sure what about the ankle/heel area on the first sock was off specifically – but I was winging the pattern a bit, since the actual pattern calls for something termed a ‘forethought’ heel that sounded very intimidating, since it involves a bunch of stitches done in a provisional cast-on, something I’ve never done before. So I had gone rogue and decided to stick with the same heel I already know how to do. I’d estimated the number of rows for the heel flap and figured out turning the heel with the help of my friends Google and YouTube… And it had appeared to work – sort of, at least until I tried the sock on an actual foot. So this time I think I may actually try the heel as written. I’ve read and watched a lot about provisional cast-ons over the past few days, so I think it’s worth a shot.

Especially since I love a challenge – and it’s definitely better than knitting the exact same sock four times over!

Here’s the current sock at the moment – I’m still in the curly, previously knitted yarn…

HannahsSock-2ndAttempt 001

Let’s just hope I can finish this and start blogging about a new project at some point before 2011 ends!

Where did I go wrong?

So after successfully completing one version of the Father’s Day knit-along project from Caron and Vickie Howell, I decided to make a second Snookie – this time for my husband’s PDA that he carries for work. It’s slightly narrower but longer than my iPhone, but close enough in size that I figured I could use about the same measurements and be ok.

This time I decided to make the ‘Twisted Rib’ variation and being somewhat daring, also made the decision to try knitting it in the round, on dpns (double-pointed needles). I’ve knitted using dpns before – for one of the hats I made last fall and the sock that’s been sitting around unfinished forever is also on dpns. I have the general concept down – how to join in the round, how to deal with the multiple needles… But somewhere I still must be missing something, because after I’d gotten a few inches done, it looked nothing like the pattern was supposed to.

Near as I can figure (and this type of thinking inevitably makes my head hurt), I probably should have only knit the pattern row and other RS row and then reversed the two WS rows since I was knitting all in the same direction instead of back and forth. That’s something that had never occurred to me, probably because both the hat and the sock were simply knit with no real pattern involved. Straight stockinette stitch, which on circular or dpns means knitting every row – something I’d forgotten about.

So I pulled it all out and started over again, this time just on the two needles as written. This way I can get used to the pattern itself and then if I want to try modifying either of the versions to do in the round afterward, I’ll at least have a better idea of what I’m doing. Here’s a look so far – it’s the same yarn as the previous one I made, but somehow the color keeps looking off when I take photos with my iPhone in sunlight…

Ron's PDA Snookie

See, I am definitely a beginner!  But that’s how you learn – from making mistakes. And pulling out stitches. Over and over again.  :)