The Freedom to Frog

As a designer, you’re always trying to make things work.

Trying to make sure before casting on for a written pattern that you’re using the right needle size, so it still has body, but will drape nicely. Or has a nice openwork feel, or will stand up to Wisconsin January wind.

Before knitting, you need to figure out if it’s the right stitch pattern for that yarn and that color; is the shade too dark to show that knit-purl texture (in person or in photographs)? A variegated yarn needs a calm stitch pattern, and a one-color yarn can show off something complicated.

Is this project the right use for the yarn? For example, not around the neck if it’s not butter-soft, and not mitts if it’s a yarn with very little twist, because it’ll felt or pill. If it’s for a child, can the parents wash it easily with no worries?

You try to figure these variables out beforehand. Especially because, as a designer, you’re knitting on a schedule, and of course, knitting is always enjoyable, but it’s much more enjoyable if your project goes as you expect, and on time.

Sometimes, you know you’re on the right track, but you just have to work and see how it looks, like  re-knitting the decrease section of a cabled hat five times to get the transitions just right.

And sometimes, when you get a good chunk of it done, you realize that it’s just not going to work.

kitten fodder

When you’ve given it the ol’ college try, and you realize that this yarn just didn’t feel like you thought it would, and that the stitch pattern and this length of the project are working against each other instead of together.

And sometimes, when you give up the idea that this is going to succeed somehow, you feel blessed relief. Sometimes, frogging feels like freedom from trying so hard to make this work, and the knowledge that the perfect project and stitch pattern are out there. And you will find them.

But today, we frog.

You set the ball of yarn aside, to wait for a riper day. And get going on the next project, because you have a deadline, and you know that this one is going to work out just fine.