Frog it? Or not?

I was talking to my friend Valerie and telling her that I had to frog a project I was working on FOUR times last weekend. Granted, I only got a few inches into it each time, but it was far enough to know that I wasn’t happy with it and needed to re-jigger the pattern. She related that she had spent last weekend working on a vest and then noticed a cable-gone-wrong near the bottom, so she frogged it.  That got me to thinking – do you typically frog things when you see a mistake, or do you call it a “creative design” or “happy spontaneity” and move on?  I had one of those in the cables of my Mr. Greenjeans sweater, and I was just fine with leaving it there, missing one crossed row. But this scarf that I was knitting this weekend – I couldn’t leave it.  It would bug me the entire time I was knitting.  So I’m curious – do you ever frog? Or not frog? And if you do, how do you decide what gets frogged and what is ok to leave?

Thank you for your extremely enthusiastic response to the Malabrigo Sock that we put up last evening! It’s beautiful yarn and I know you’ll be happy with all of the skeins you ordered.  You’ll be glad to know that more is already on the way, and a third order is in the queue as well. We will keep you well-stocked with it. I stayed up watching election coverage last night so that I could finish my Malabrigo Sock to show you. I really liked knitting with this yarn and am anxious to pick a color to make for myself! (This one is destined for gift-socks, if I can knit the mate without too much delay.) I used the pattern called “Go With the Flow” from Nancy Bush’s Favorite Socks book. (Note – as with almost all of my socks, I knit it toe up and did a short row toe and heel – so the rest of the sock construction doesn’t follow that pattern.) The stitch pattern is easy and stretchy – perfect for this yarn. I’m already looking forward to seeing more Malabrigo Socks turning up on Ravelry, so that I can decide what pattern I want to use on my next pair. (See? I said “pair”. I have high hopes.)

Sock Clubbers – the November invoices will go out tonight or tomorrow morning, so watch for those in your in-boxes.  This is our last shipment for 2008 and I hope you love it!  We’ll do signups for our 2009 Sock Club in mid-January, with the first shipment going out in March.  Watch the blog in early January for details, and we’ll also be putting that notice in the January Monthly Email Newsletter.

Spring Flingers – we’ll open up signups sometime in early December (with the Fling being the last weekend in April, 2009). Again, watch the blog and the December Monthly Email Newsletter for sign-up dates!

Sheri sobacktotheoriginalquestioninthispost-Frogornofrog?


  1. The end of the sock club already? Where did time go? Your Sock Club is the best I have ever seen. The extra surprise goodies are like getting a Christmas present several times a year…and they just keep getting better and better. Can’t wait for the 2009 version!!

  2. Oh for the frogging question…I frog if I make a mistake and the item I’m knitting is a gift or if the mistake is too big to ignore. Otherwise, I just ignore and keep on knitting.

  3. Well, if it’s small, I just let it go. But, a few months ago, I must have been very tired when I was knitting socks because I made some serious errors – not once, but twice! I haven’t frogged yet, but it’s really bothering me, so when I catch up on all the other socks that need mates, I’ll probably go back & fix ’em.

    And, I can’t believe the sock club is almost over. You have done a fabulous job and I’ve enjoyed being a part of it!! I’ll watch for details for the next round. And, of course, I’m anxiously awaiting hearing more about Spring Fling sign-ups! I’d love to come back!!! : )

    Have a great evening, Sheri! : )

  4. 1st question – what colorway is your Malabrigo sock? I ordered Cote D’Azure and was wondering if that’s what it is.

    Frogging – only if necessary and especially if it affects the size I’m trying to get. I don’t do it too often, so it’s pretty major when I do. I like how you said “creative designs” – ya, that’s it!

    I’ve truly enjoyed my first year in your sock club and plan on staying in for 2009. I look forward to the yarn, pattern & goodie surprises that you so lovingly send us.

  5. I almost never frog because of mistakes. I think this is either because I am somewhat neurotic and therefore tend to catch them while tinking is still more or less an option (I draw the line at tinking back more than a couple of rows or 200 stitches, whichever comes first. Ripping and I don’t get along very well)… or because I figure that the pattern is sufficiently complicated and sufficiently far away from whoever’s looking at the garment that no one will ever know. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

    I do frog, sometimes, when I’m a short way into a project and decide that I hate the pattern (or the particular combination of pattern and yarn that I’ve selected), want to use the yarn for something else, or want to use the pattern with a different yarn.

  6. Oh, man…I just made the third of a pair of mittens. Yes, three of them. Because the first one I made was just not right. I made it according to the pattern, gauge was dead on, and it was just. not. right. So I made the second one up one size, and it was perfect. The first one was frogged.

    I guess it depends on a few things: how egregious the error is, how much it will bother you (if you’re keeping it), or how much it will be noticed (if it’s a gift for someone else). If you can’t let it go, then frog. Good luck!!

  7. I am with Liz – small mistakes are part of the art of the knitting! Lack is something that I have to frog most of the time since it is very noticiable. Great sock color!

  8. Yes, I frog, I am queen of the froggers! If I notice I’ve done something not right. However, if it can’t really be seen I let it go. It drives me crazy though. Can’t wait for sock club shipment. Love being in it and I am looking forward to 2009’s. Have a great night. Hugs

  9. I think I’m going to have to go with frogging. I think there are two basic reasons-

    1) I’m an archaeologist–you know the profession that brought you the idea of excavating ancient cities with dental tools? We can be a little detail oriented.

    2) I knit because I like knitting. Frogging something just means more knitting before I have to buy more yarn. Not that I have anything against buying more yarn, mind you!

  10. It’s funny I just realized that I made a mistake in the heel of a sock I made as I was doing the 2nd one. It still fits and you’d never notice it otherwise, so I’m not frogging it. I just can’t imagine ripping out half of that sock now.

  11. I’ll echo Joannah here: I’m very much a process knitter rather than a project knitter. I love to see how something is turning out, and I have no heartbreak (nor heartburn) to find it’s not as I wanted and I need to rip out and redo. All part of the process.

    Now with sewing, I am completely the opposite: I have come close to tossing my sewing machine out the window when the stitching goes bad. Odd that knitting is so different to me – perhaps because it’s so much easier to frog than knit, but so very very much harder to painfully rip out stitches than it is to sew. Or maybe I’m just weird that way :o)

  12. I always say I’m not going to frog small stuff, but I always do anyway…mistakes just drive me nuts. Sometimes I even keep knitting while telling myself I really don’t have to rip out that “little mistake three rows below”, but then I still rip it!

  13. If it is really noticable or really bothers me, I frog it. Usually though, if something needs frogged, it gets put in a bag for awhile. I hate to frog. It also makes a difference if it’s for me, or for someone else. If it’s for me, i’m more forgiving. I knit socks alot, and really who is going to notice if I messed up a pattern on a sock?

  14. It depends on the mistake – if, for example, it’s a knitted or purled stitch in the wrong place on a patterned sock, I’ll leave it. But if it’s a cable crossed the wrong way – even if it’s a little one on a sock that no one will notice – I’d rip it. So I guess maybe it has to do with the number of stitches involved.

    I love the sock! I am trying so hard to knit up some of my sock yarn before I buy more….

  15. Machine knitting taught me that ripping is no big deal. The amount of time you spend reknitting, even if you’re knitting by hand, is inconsequential if you’re not going to wear the finished product because of the mistake.

    Also, you can “frog smart.” For example, a wrongly crossed cable can be fixed by cutting the yarn a few rows above the error, laddering down the width of the cable, recrossing the cable, reknitting to the open stitches, and grafting the open stitches with a matching strand of yarn. In lace knitting, you can ladder down an entire pattern repeat, fix the error, and reknit the pattern repeat from your chart.

  16. To frog or not to frog. Still a newer knitter so I frog a whole lot. I think I frog more than I knit. I’m very good at ripping out and picking up stitches! Sad but true.

    Soooooo, about the Fling Sheri…………..even though I’m local I really, really, really, really, really, really, really want to go. It looked like way to much fun.

  17. Frogging is relative, is it glaring? have I been knitting forever? Am I ready to be done? Is it for someone who may love me but has a discerning eye for detail. If it’s not glaring, not gonna matter and isn’t really bothering me I will leave it. 🙂

  18. What timing! I had to frog the yoke-to-sleeve transition on my Lady Feb. sweater two times last night…the first time I had an error in the lace pattern (right in the front, no hiding it!) and the second time, I forgot to cast on the additional underarm stitches….too uncomfortable to wear without ’em!

  19. Usually it depends on what it is and how noticeable a mistake brfore I frog something. I frogged 6 stitches only of a cable down several rows because it was noticeable and it was a sweater for my daughter. Everything turned out AOK!

  20. I frog………………… a lot.

    I am redoing a sock that was complete after realizing that it was knit at a looser gauge than its mate. Plus the fit was different.

    I call froggin’ my knitting practice.

  21. Sock Club? Fling? Count me in!

    And Lori, I gotta tell you that even though I live right here in St. Louis, only a few miles from Loopy Central, going to the Fling last spring was Just the best! I stayed at the hotel with my great roomie Sharon, and pretended that I was on vacation in a faraway place that just happened to have a huge room full of the greatest and nicest knitters you could ever hope to meet. I highly recommend it (and really, really, really, really hope I can go again)!

    Oh yeah, that frogging thing. I started a pair of socks a couple of days ago and tried and frogged three different patterns before I settled on the one I liked. Only an inch or so of each. As far as a goof in a cable or something? I’d frog the whole thing cause I’m wayyyy too much of a perfectionist…

  22. I frog if after “jiggering” I can still tell the mistake is there and others will be able to tell it’s there. I like WendyKnits galloping horse rule and basically adhere to it. If you can’t see it from the back of a galloping horse, leave it. (Thanks for the rule Wendy.) Even then, I try to repair it first.

    Visits to the frog pond seem to come in bunches too and especially if I’m in a hurry to complete a project. (Haste makes waste.)

    I didn’t get any of the Malabrigo sock, opting for lace instead. After seeing your sock, I will be getting some next shipment.

  23. I frog if its a hopeless error. In other words, one that will either negatively affect the fit of the finished object, or one that will be so noticeable that no one will be able to see the beauty without noticing the flaw. I made a sweater vest for my mom a few years ago (the XO vest from Folk Vests), and one of the cable crosses went the wrong way. Not a whole row of them, just one. I decided that no one would notice and kept going. Other things, I’ve frogged back to where I could fix it when necessary. All depends.

    And Fling? Oh, yea! This year, we hope! 😎

  24. I always frog–big or little mistake.. I can spot it from a mile away and it haunts me until I correct it. This leads to a low number of finished things…sigh! Too many hours in the “Frog Pond!”
    A big YES to whether I hope to attend the 2009 Spring Fling!! Dr. Jackie and I were perfect roomates…so that’s 2 people you don’t have to match up this year, Sheri! 🙂

  25. My daughter says I frog as much as I keep! I’m not sure about that, but I do know that I re-started the shawl I’m doing now 4 times before I got going, and have since then taken out about ten rows or partial rows, and I am not yet to row 90.

    I think you have to be able to know that a mistake is there, and be OK with it. My Mom taught me that a little mistake or 2 are your sign that the article was hand made. However, if you enter it in the County Fair, the judges will find it

  26. Lovely Malabrigo sock – which color is it?
    I am pretty big on the frogging, but that’s because I’m pretty much a perfectionist. Sometimes I let things go. I’m never very good at fixing my knitting yet, but I’m trying. I must say that the great little crochet-hook thing (I’m not technical, if you can’t tell) that you gave us as a treat in the sock club, has saved many mistakes! It’s so handy! YIPEE!
    Wish I could come to Spring fling – but:
    A. Cost
    B. Maryland Sheep and Wool is the next weekend.
    C. Will probably have to work at least one of those weekends!

  27. It all depends on how far I’m into the project if it gets frogged or not. Sometimes I’ll just tink back to where I think the problem is and reknit. Other times I’ll just start over if it’s near the start.

    Thank you so much for an amazing sock club. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed it and I look forward to future Loopy Sock Clubs.

    I’m also looking forward to another Spring Fling (fingers and toes crossed). I’m still in the clouds from the first Fling (and I don’t want to come down!). It was a wonderful time with many good friends.

  28. LOVE the Malabrigo sock ! Especially the color. I can’t wait to get my order! I might actually finish the whole pair with this yarn!
    I only frog back if the mistake is noticiable and a gift. If it’s for me (and it rarely is) then I leave it. I’m most definitely one of those people who can live with mistakes! My knitting mentor once told me that to be a good knitter you have to learn to frog alot!

  29. I finished that vest, by the way, and I’m so glad I went back and started over because now I know it’s perfect. I hate frogging but one good thing is that once I’ve done it and started over I never regret it. How’s your scarf coming?

    Gorgeous sock and pattern. Nancy Bush’s sock books are full of patterns I really like and the format of the books,even the bindings, are great, too.

  30. Most of my frogging is because I’m not happy with the project—don’t like yarn, don’t like pattern, don’t like that yarn with this pattern—or haven’t gotten gauge even though I thought I had. It’s not unusual for things to go to the frog pond three or four times before settling down. Other than that, I don’t frog unless it’s a really, really big mistake and I can’t live with it. I do a lot of tinking, though.

    Just took care of my invoice for the Sock Club—I can’t believe another year has gone by! Thanks again, Sheri, it’s been wonderful!

  31. Oh yes, I frog! I can feel the mistake, it presses on my mind, and it has to co me out. Perhaps I am just a bit loopy when I say that but if I find the mistake, it comes out. if someone else finds the mistake, it most certainly will co me out, even it it means ripping an entire project. Been there, done that. My husband says that I am way to particular, but he loves my socks.
    Fling? I certainly hope so. Sock Club? My fingers are again crossed. I missed last year and am really hopeful for the next.

  32. I have to admit that I usually frog something if there is a mistake, unless I am REALLY sick of the project.

    I can’t believe that my two years in the sock club is up. Still debating about throwing my name in for the next year.

    That sock looks great. I know you can finish the second one. Go Sheri.

  33. I agree with others who have said frogging depends on how big/noticeable the mistake. And sometimes I frog if the yarn doesn’t seem to work with the pattern. Looking forward to hearing about the sock club…

  34. To me it depends on the project, and how much it bugs me… I frogged a whole cowl that I knit up last summer, and reused the yarn for a Feather and Fan scarflet-neck-wrap thinggie.., and it felt wonderful to get rid of the ugly cowl… now that I am knitting the F&F I realized that on one repeat I messed up and knit 4 rows of garter stitch that makes a noticeable line… what to do? I made it the center line for the scarflet and will keep knitting until the scarflet doubles from that line. Problem solved and it becomes TA DAAA a “Design Element” as in “Yes, I meant for that to be there”…LOL
    Usually mistakes tend to bug me to my core and, knowing myself, it is worth the time and aggravation to fix them… otherwise I cannot take it. I tend to learn more when making mistakes too. Making mistakes, and learning how to fix them makes me love knitting all that much more… some mistakes in life are hard to fix… knitting, not so much…
    Gosh, I hope these Spring Flings continue so that one day I can go… I just can’t leave the kids, especially with DH that travels…

  35. I frog, usually. However, I noticed three incorrect color stitches (should have gone blue, brown, blue not brown, blue, brown) but I left them in because I didn’t feel like frogging two rows of colorwork. I guess I’m a fickle knitter.

  36. I frog if there is notable mistake in the pattern or if I find I have dropped a stitch
    way back and can’t pick it up. The Indians use to always put mistakes in their
    creations to show that they were not perfect. Only their “Gods” were perfection.

  37. I’m something of a perfectionist, so I frog. The sock I’m working on now is from a previous pair where I got a whole sock done, and it was too tight to go over my heel. It was frogged and the yarn placed on timeout for a year. I think it’s going much better this time around.

    But my knitting time has gone out of the window because I’m working on National Novem Writing Month! You write 50,000 words in 30 days, starting from scratch. This is my fifth year of NaNoWriMo and it’s always such a blast! I only let myself knit or spin if I’ve written 2000 words for the day and my sock in progress (Tempted yarn’s gorgeous “Envy” colour) is woefully neglected.

    PS, Happy Guy Fawke’s Night for the 5th!

  38. I usually frog for a really big mistake or if it’s a gift. For myself, I’m willing to let a little mistake happen. I’m getting ready to frog some socks because I’m not liking the yarn. I was aiming for yellow semi-solid but it seems to be more orange.

    Thank you for a lovely Sock Club 2008! I can hardly wait to see this last one!!!!!

  39. I love your cute froggie! 🙂 On frogging: I have to go with frogging for most all noticeable mistakes. And, to me, anyway, a noticeable mistake is one that I can notice. Since I am detail oriented, let’s just say that I notice almost all of them, sigh! My monkey socks, which have been in time out for a long time, have been frogged so many times that I lost count. I am trying to do them toe-up, with the lace the reverse of the pattern as written. My loose knitting makes them huge. The one listed in the pattern is a joke, as far as my gauge is concerned, anyway. I still haven’t found an appropriate needle size. The pattern has a long repeat, so it’s not like I can just leave out a repeat, or part of a repeat, or something. Oops! Oh well, sometime I will get back to them.

    But, for frogging in general: yes, I frog mistakes, etc. I am too much of a perfectionist with my own work, I guess. 🙂

  40. I’m usually too much of a perfectionist to let mistakes remain, but if they aren’t too noticable or don’t affect the pattern too much I’ll leave them. Case in point – the fingerless mitts I’m making for holiday gifts…
    On one pair I noticed the cuff of one mitt had 2 extra rows – it didn’t affect the overall length, so I left it. On another pair I had missed 3 repeats of the lace motif on one mitt, and even though I didn’t notice until I had already cast off and worked the afterthought thumb…I frogged the whole mitt! 🙁
    At least the yarn is nice and soft and I will have the pleasure of working with it a little longer 🙂

  41. To frog or not to frog?

    Depends on if it’s for me, or for someone else. And how visible the mistake is. I will do a lot to avoid frogging, including letting stitches down even a long way etc and reknitting just that bit. I hate doing over unless it’s necessary. Now, designing involves a lot of do-overs, and that’s expected.

    But if the project’s for me, and especially if I was trying something new or a design idea, I’m pretty laissez-faire if it’s not a very noticeable boo-boo. Not so if it’s for someone else. However, I’ll fix other ways than frogging if I can, depending on how far into the project I am. But if it’s just not working, I’ll be kissing the Frog Prince too!

  42. I have a sock on the needles. The original pattern calls for it to be knitted from the cuff down, but I wanted to try out Judy’s Magic Cast On and convert the pattern to a toe up pattern. So, once I got the heel figured out and done I realized that the sock would be just a quarter inch or so too long for my foot. Rather than frogging it I decided that these will go to my sister for her birthday in February (if I get the second sock knitted). I measured her recently and wrote her measurements in my trusty Loopy Ewe notebook, so I know they will fit her. Also, the yarn I am using is wool-free and she specified that when I measured her feet.

    Being a cross stitcher in addition to a knitter, I have made mistakes in those projects and will leave them if it is not too noticeable. I do the same in knitting. After all, to err is human…

  43. it seriously depends on the mistake and where i am at in the project. Usually if it is minor i just figure this is hand knit and i am not a computer! smile

  44. Hi Sheri! Good question on the whole frogging issue. I’m with a lot of the other posters – it depends on the situation if I frog or not. I have reknit 1 sock 3 times! (remember the Lacy Pillars sock?? Still haven’t knit the mate – need time for the memories to fade). If I can’t see the mistake at first glance (or using Wendy’s rule) and it doesn’t affect the fit, I’ll leave it in.

    But I have learned to knit a bit more slowly when knitting a complicated pattern to help avoid frogging.


    Keeping fingers and toes crossed for the 09 fling!!

  45. I mainly ask myself whether I’ll be proud of the knitting if I don’t fix it. Is the problem something that would make me not “show off” the knitting?

    Once when I was a teen, I was sewing (not a knitter yet), I had a pleat in a sleeve (not supposed to be there). I showed it to my mom and and asked her if I needed to fix it. She said, “If you want to wear it like THAT, you don’t have to fix it.” I fixed it.

    That’s my test.

    Happy Knitting,
    Lisa Kay

  46. Usually I just leave the mistakes. It shows the finished product is handmade and that the hands that made it are in no way perfect.

    If its a super easy fix (like dropping 1 st down and laddering it back up) I might do so… or if I know it will bug the ever living crap outta me (usually reserved for mistakes in gift knitting) I will frog it if I can’t simply fix it.

  47. It depends what I’m knitting. I don’t usually frog lace knitting (if the mistake is not glaring). I also don’t usually frog socks. Nobody should be that close to my feet anyway! I would frog a sweater. No matter how minor, those mistakes just jump out at me!

  48. I do a little of both. I often leave a tiny mistake, if the project is for me. But two days ago I frogged about four inches of a fingerless mitt I was working on. I THOUGHT I’d adjust a pattern I was familiar with to add something and make a different stitch pattern on the front. But I could see that it was requiring way more time and effort than I wanted to spend as these were surprise gifts (for the lady who stands in the school yard every morning watching the kids – she must be freezing!) and I wanted them fast and well done. I’ll experiment on my own time!

  49. Yeah, I have that dilemma every time I find a mistake. and being a perfectionist, I find them often! I have frogged an entire sock for an error. I frogged 2.5 inches of the aran sweater (knit in the round) because I crossed one cable wrong. But I’m getting to a place where I look at the error (sometimes I ask dh if he can see anything wrong) and try to decide if someone else would notice. If I can convince myself that I (or maybe someone else who has knitted that pattern) am the only one who would see it, then I leave it. But I frog often. (or tink, because like I said, I notice things often, and thankfully usually fairly soon after a mistake)

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