Today I have froggie brain. I have been working on an important knitting project with a deadline. I worked on it for a few days and then repeated a row out of turn. Being relatively new to how knits work, I didn’t know how to frog back just part of the project and wound up ripping the whole thing out and starting over. No problem, right? I could just double my efforts and make up for the lost time. Progress resumed for a week and all was going better and then A BIG PROBLEM! It was awful! A run in the last stages of the project. It would not be fixed and had to be undone : ( I fretted for many hours and lost heart and confidence. On the bright side, I learned to frog back some – and not ALL of a project. And so, this morning has found me thinking about the advantages of frogging and even the advantages of not frogging.
Years ago, I was given a box of yarn and a crochet hook. The yarn had been in my mom’s closet for some time. She had inherited it from my grandmother and some of the colors were a bit funky. She didn’t feel that she had time to use all that yarn so she offered it to me and tried to teach me to crochet. Now, my mom is right handed and I am a south paw and learning from her was a bit tricky. We started with granny squares. I made a dozen or more wobbly granny trapezoids and then the perfectionist in me just gave up. This was just a craft I wasn’t skilled at! That box of yarn went to live on my closet shelf…
Fast forward a few years. Holidays were approaching and our budget was tight. I decided I wanted to try to crochet dishcloths to give as gifts. If they all turned out ugly, I could still use them to wash my dishes. So I went back to my mom and asked her to try to teach me again. And this time, it worked out great! I stitched up dishcloth after dishcloth – and got better and better. Soon I tenaciously ventured to try new things and before long, I was fairly skilled with my hooks. Crochet became my favorite past-time (and still is). Now, like many other needlecrafters, yarn goes with me everywhere, is stashed everywhere, and is purchased even when I don’t really know what I’ll use it for… yet!
Now to get to the heart of this post, this better, more skilled yarn girl came across some of her dozen or so grannies. “Oh, how awful these look!” I thought to myself. And I commenced to
rip frog them. I yanked out all those sad looking grannies and used the yarn to make new, better looking ones. Some time later, a few co-workers asked if I would teach them to crochet. I gladly agreed and we started on dishcloths (even if they don’t turn out pretty, they are still functional, lol) Initially, a couple of my friends were experiencing the same discouragement I had felt when I first started. Like all beginnings, there were some bumps in the learning process. Tensions were not perfect and some stitches went missing. I kept reassuring them that they would overcome it. Some time later, I came across a few grannie ‘un-squares’ that had missed my big frogging. Did I frog them right away and make better ones? Nope! I saved them for the next time I teach a friend to crochet. Now I can use them to illustrate a very humble, bumpy beginning that turned into an ability to produce much nicer, prettier stitches.
Go ahead and frog those special projects and make them right. Take the valuable lessons that come from committing and then fixing a mistake. But once in awhile, maybe when working with scraps/stash, save those oopsies for a reminder that once in awhile, everyone experiences the occasional setback – and show them to someone who needs a little pep talk! Have a great day : )