A Frogging Nightmare, Some Solace and a bit of F2F

If it sounds like I’m swearing in the title I’m not, although I certainly felt like it.  For those non-knitters amongst you, ‘frogging’ basically means undoing what you’ve spent hours doing because you got wrapped up in an episode of something on the T.V. and let your concentration slip.  As you can see below, that happened to me during a binge watching session of ‘Silk’ and I didn’t do a twist where I should have done.  As I have explained before, these big, bouncy, beautiful blankets are knit with six strands of wool so undoing it when you’ve made a mistake is a bit of a nightmare.  To my shame, I did consider leaving it as it was because it’s going to be my Mum’s Christmas pressie and I thought she won’t notice or, if she does, she won’t mind but, when it came to it, I just couldn’t do it – what sort of knitter (or daughter) would I be?


This photograph shows where I had got to with my frogging before I decided to take a photograph, the error was much further down than that originally – 26 rows further down actually, if you must know.   I did this with one of my previous blankets and started frogging lots of rows at a time which resulted in the strands of wool getting so tangled up I had to cut them and rejoin the yarn which meant, instead of having tail ends to weave in only at the beginning and end of the blanket, I had some in the middle too.  I didn’t want that happening again so, after about 2 hours of carefully undoing one row at a time, I got into a system of having the strands going round the back of my neck and rewinding one ball at a time at the end of each row.    Nightmare!

Having got myself back on track my trusty 20mm circular needle – the conqueror of 3 and a half of these blankets so far – broke and I have lent my spare one to somebody who has only just completed the first 8 rows of her blanket and I haven’t got the heart to ask for it back.  I am about to continue with my needle held together with superglue, smooth duck tape and a prayer.

I made some of these to cheer myself up.

Banana & Choc Chip Muffins

They are Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate and Banana muffins and they are meant to be chocolate coloured but when I opened a tin of what I thought was luxury chocolate powder, it was a tin of chocolate chips which you add milk to in order to make posh hot chocolate.  Still, I added them anyway and it worked because how could luxury chocolate chips not work?

Anyway, all has not been a complete cock up.  I have mentioned before the F2F patchwork block swap I’m participating in.  I’m so excited as it’s my turn this month and, by the end of it, I should have received 11 packages from all over the world, each containing 3 blocks for me to join together with the 3 that I have made, to make a lovely big quilt.  Last month was Sue’s turn – she is one of the organisers and had requested black and white with a hot colour of our choice.  You could use more than one hot colour but once I’d settled on this hot pink I couldn’t get enough of it.  Also, I’m getting better at these Anvil blocks (a bit better anyway) so played it a bit safe, stuck with those and just alternated the colours.

F2FBlocksSeptember (1)

The black fabric is covered in tiny text which is a quote from George Eliot.

F2FBlocksSeptember (2)

I love this musical score print.

Anvil Block

A reminder for Sue that these blocks came from France – albeit nowhere near Paris!!

I don’t know why this one goes in the opposite direction to the others but I’m sure it won’t matter :/

Off to order another 20mm circular needle – just in case.

Have you ever had to undo something you’ve made which was such a pain it has lingered long in your memory?



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  1. #1 by autumnyarn on October 4, 2015 - 16:11

    Ugh, I am so sorry that you have to deal with that! Frogging can be so demoralizing. I’m not sure that it would be a wise thing to attempt with six strands of yarn held together, but have you tried just dropping back the section of stitches where the mistake occurred? You can then very, very carefully reknit just those dropped stitches in the correct pattern.

    But yeah, not sure that would be a sane approach here. Good luck and good courage!

    • #2 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 11:53

      I have never tried that method of dropping back just the affected stitches. It might be something to try out when I’ve only got one strand of yarn going on! Anyway, it’s all fixed now and I’ll make sure to lay it out flat and make sure the pattern is on track every eight rows so that I don’t end up with twenty four to take back again 😦

  2. #3 by knettycraft on October 4, 2015 - 17:06

    What a frogging horror… I totally feel with you! Alone to catch all the stitches again…. that is the only advantage of crocheting – you can’t loose any stich! I’m already working on your F2F blocks … surprise, surprise 🙂

    • #4 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 11:54

      I’m studiously ignoring the F2F Gallery so that I don’t spoil my surprises.

  3. #5 by Jan Marriott on October 4, 2015 - 17:12

    Glad to hear of someone else watch ‘Silk’ Nobody over here seems to have heard of it…..I think it’s brilliant

    • #6 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 11:54

      I never watched it when it was on T.V. but, now I have Netflix, I can binge watch it and I’ve just started series 3. Maxine Peake is brilliant isn’t she?

  4. #7 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on October 4, 2015 - 18:07

    Yes to your last question, many times! For your broken needle, have you tried SUGRU? It’s wonderful stuff to mend just about anything, and once set, is incredibly strong. – Google Sugru mouldable glue. Keep any leftover Sugru,in the fridge.

    I’m a knitter, but the only context I’ve heard the word Frogging is that fancy fastening you get on a duffle coat or on historic soldiers’ coats!

    I think you’re very brave but right to undo and re-do.

    • #8 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 11:58

      I think I might have read about it on somebody else’s blog. I think it might even have been Kate’s. I must get some.

      Frogging is probably relatively new but it’s supposed to refer to the process of ripping out the stitches – ‘ripit ripit’ – sounds like a frog – well, a bit.

  5. #11 by Emmely on October 4, 2015 - 18:34

    Oh no, I would probably have chugged it into a corner and ignored it for a year since that is what I tend to do when I have some major unpicking to do. You are right to do it though, otherwise it would have bothered you for years every time you see it when you visit your mum. Had to laugh at the duct tape solution though, useful in any aspect of your life. I’ve used it with success to build an experimental set-up in the lab, much to the amusement of my colleagues.
    You used some great prints for your blocks, I especially like the music one.

    • #12 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:01

      I knew I’d be able to get it back to how it should be – and once I’d worked out a system of keeping the strands (relatively) untangled it wasn’t too bad. Also, it’s my Mum’s Christmas present and I felt good that I’d already decided what to give her so I didn’t want to have to come up with another idea.
      I have yet to try knitting with the duck taped needle so I think I’m going to order another one just in case. They aren’t cheap but I haven’t the heart to ask for my other one back from the woman I’ve lent it to. Always good to have spares as I think I’m going to be making quite a few more of these blankets.

  6. #13 by katechiconi on October 4, 2015 - 19:48

    I cannot conceive of starting such a knitting job, let alone having to pull so much of it out, so my deepest sympathy there. Your consolation prizes look extremely delicious, put the kettle on, I’ll be right over. And I’ll be getting your blocks done this week, I hope. I have to go and find some nice block designs for you!

    • #14 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:02

      If I’d have known you were on your way over I’d have made them gluten free 😉

  7. #16 by jendavismiller on October 4, 2015 - 22:53

    Those little cheer-er-uppers do look luscious, and the tablecloth (?) underneath them is cheery as well! Sorry about the frogging, I wonder if that is applicable to the zipper issues I’ve been having? And your quilt blocks are seriously fabulous, love the hot pink.

    • #17 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:03

      I think you can apply the term ‘frogging’ to any stitches that have to be ripped out – be it sewing or knitting – although I generally hear it used for knitting.

      • #18 by jendavismiller on October 5, 2015 - 22:55

        Well then. I am becoming an expert in frogging! It’s good to know ones strengths. 🙂

  8. #19 by sew2pro on October 4, 2015 - 23:22

    I think it’s worth it. Recently while making the Mara dress and being almost finished, I had to unpick three sections of stitching for each collar point because I realised I’d pushed out both collar tips too far and broken through (how amateurish, and even worse, I thought I’d got away with it. The interfacing was showing through the ripped collar points..

    I restitched, making the collar tips slightly smaller. I don’t think the dress would have been wearable otherwise; I would have felt a total loser, these badges of incompetence staring back at me.

    I often wonder if I’d be better at sewing / concentrating if I didn’t have Radio 4 on but I like having ‘the company’

    • #20 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:07

      I know – I’ve felt that I can live with mistakes in the past and end up never wearing the garment because, even if nobody else notices, I know it’s there. I have a cropped cardigan that took me quite a while to make but there is a fault in the stitches on one of the sleeves and it stands out so obviously to me that I think I’m just going to frog it and use the yarn for something else. Luckily, I made it about 18 months ago so the hard work that went into it is a distant memory so the deed will not be as painful as if I’d done it straight away.

  9. #21 by dezertsuz on October 5, 2015 - 00:54

    The knitting would drive me nuts, even if I didn’t make a mistake. =) Beautiful, though, and I wouldn’t have ever noticed, personally. I love your blocks. I think that one just needs a turn 90 degrees, doesn’t it? Or maybe two turns, but I think it is the same as the others. =) I would love those muffins, and your use of the chocolate chips sounds delicious!

    • #22 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:09

      You’re right of course. I think I was just trying to keep the majority of the Eiffel Towers in the upright position but it really doesn’t matter in a quilt so a couple of turns would do it.

  10. #23 by nettyg on October 5, 2015 - 09:11

    Oh poor you, gnashing teeth here for you. I agree, I’d want to undo it even if I thought…hoped ….it wouldn’t be noticed. Have you thought of putting lifelines in….. usually used on lace knitting, but I often put them in if doing a complicated pattern and am concerned about being distracted by something……dental floss is good, as it slips out easily, woven across your row, between the stitch and the needle, as often as you feel you need to, maybe for your big blanket, every few cables, then if you find a mistake you can slip the stitches off the needle, pull it back to past the mistake to the lifeline, which is holding your stitches and you don’t lose any, they’re held by the floss. Much easier than frogging. If you google ‘knitting life line’ there’s lots of info and videos even. Of course, you won’t need it again, there’ll be no more mistakes:)
    You know I already LOVE your pink and black anvils, and even more in close up. And Miss October F2F Pinup, I have fabric sorted, blocks decided and one cut ready to go…who feels virtuous then!

    • #24 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 12:11

      That’s a good idea – I might well do that because it sounds easier than another suggestion of dropping back just the section of stitches that are affected which I think would be too difficult with so many strands.

      I keep worrying that I’m not making any blocks this month. I might steal a march and start on Miss November’s – then I can feel virtuous too 😉

  11. #25 by nettyg on October 5, 2015 - 12:23

    Go on then:)

  12. #26 by lovelucie1 on October 5, 2015 - 13:25

    I feel for you! I’m sure the pain will lessen in time. Do you think this will teach you against making the same mistake in the future? Probably not 😉

    • #27 by tialys on October 5, 2015 - 13:29

      I’m afraid not as I already did the same thing with the rusty/orange one I made for my friend. At least this time I was better at frogging it and didn’t have to cut the strands of yarn. I will make a pledge to lay the blanket out flat every 8 rows or so to ensure I’ve not made any mistakes before moving on. It won’t be that easy as it is a bit of a beast to manhandle while you’re actually knitting it but I suppose, if it avoids the hours it took to go back, it must be done.

  13. #28 by Bekki Hill on October 5, 2015 - 17:07

    Lovely blocks 🙂 Sorry to hear about the frogging – I seem to have done loads lately, although fortunately not with 6 strands of yarn. It’s definitely worth it though as these things nag if you don’t and mum’s definitely deserve it doing well.

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