I have been collecting a pile of stuff to crochet for awhile. Yesterday morning I downloaded every episode of the first season of Rookie Blue (I’m not usually into cop shows, although I adore crime dramas, but for some reason I kind of like this one) and set to work on my frogging. It basically took me the entire day. It was a little bit sad and there were many moments of frustration but it was also a really inspiring day.

Crochet Items to be Frogged

The array of crochet items that I had in this “to frog” pile was a big mixture of stuff. It included:

  • A repurposed dress I worked on for many, many hours. I didn’t want to frog it but it wasn’t working and it really needed to be done.
  • A recently made dress that had a great front to it but the back just totally failed.
  • Lots of scarves that I’d made when I first started learning to crochet. Skinny scarves in cheap acrylic that weren’t ever going to be worn.
  • Squares of a blanket that I’d started and never finished. Had actually started frogging and gave up and threw it in the bag.
  • A nylon yarn corset that I thought I liked when I first made it. Wrong.

The Crochet Dress I Didn’t Want to Frog

I am working on a line of repurposed dresses, taking the tops off of shirts and dresses from the thrift store and adding skirts. And this one that I worked on throughout my June summer vacation and off and on after that was one that totally didn’t work but I kept trying to make it work and I put so many hours and hopes into it that I really didn’t want to frog it.

Here’s the brief story of making this dress:

  • I got a black Express top from the thrift store for a couple of bucks and cut it into a crop top, the bottom of which is lace.
  • I took my Candy Skein raspberry sorbet laceweight merino yarn and started adding it in a round, attaching it to the lace bottom. I did a pattern of diamonds for a few rounds and then started in on some ribbed single crochet, increasing to make the skirt.
  • I realized after about four inches that for some reason one side was longer than the other and I couldn’t figure out why. This is when I should have frogged and started over. I did not. Instead, I decided that this would be a design choice and I would exaggerate the longer side to have one short side and one long side.
  • The long side wasn’t working out right. Instead of throwing in the towel and frogging at this point, I decided that I would use hyperbolic crochet techniques to turn this side into a ruffle. I envisioned a long ruffle going down one side of the dress and then the rest of the skirt being fairly short. I was thinking a Spanish inspiration. Nevermind that I do not have either the fashion technique or the crochet skills to make this happen.
  • I spent hours and hours going rounds and rounds on this dress, convinced that this ruffle would work. There were even points in time when I thought I liked it. I certainly liked the idea of it. I used all of my Candy Skein raspberry sorbet. That’s 880 yards that I put my work into.
  • I didn’t want to order more because I wanted to keep working on this during my vacation so I decided that some random black yarn would finish the dress. What was I thinking? It wasn’t even laceweight. I don’t even know what it was. Clearly, I was desperate at this point to make this vision come to life.
  • Rounds and rounds and rounds later I finally decided to try on the dress. Yes, I really hadn’t tried it on before this. Denial is a powerful thing. It was then that I realized that this huge ruffle on one side was really, really, really heavy compared to this short skirt that was still barely developing on the other side. You would think I frogged at this point, right? Have I mentioned that I am an Aries, the Ram, the stubborn one? My brilliant idea was to now increase the ruffle so that it went further around the dress and ultimately the entire dress would have a bottom ruffle. Are you cringing yet?
  • Eventually, I realized that this wasn’t working and that I was being ridiculous and that I needed to frog this dress. That’s when it went into my frogging pile and it was the main reason I was avoiding touching the frogging pile.
So, with my eyes glued mostly to Rookie Blue to avoid the pain of taking this entire thing apart, I began to frog. The black yarn came out easily and is now sitting in two large balls in my basket of black yarn waiting to be used for something else (although let me say that it took me almost a full episode to get that black yarn undone because there were who-knows-how-many yards in those ruffles.
My intention at this point was to frog the Candy Skein yarn to the point near the very beginning where the whole thing had started to get lopsided and work the dress the way I should have from the beginning. But that’s when I found out that this yarn really would not frog. I don’t know if it was the way that I crocheted it or if it’s because it’s a laceweight yarn (which I’ve never tried frogging before) or if this dress was just cursed with all of my bad feelings at this point or what but that yarn would not come out. I tried for another two episodes of Rookie Blue and all I had was a tiny little ball of yarn, maybe enough to make a choker necklace, mostly made up of pieces that were broken and had been knotted together. It made me sad because I actually really like this yarn. I just made a capelet out of the Blueberry Sorbet and adore it. But I just really needed to give up at this point.
Out came the scissors. I cut the entire block of fabric off at the point where it joins the lace. And that’s when I got that AHA moment. I suddenly saw that the terrific diamond pattern I’d made in the beginning would make a really, really beautiful cowl or capelet. And although I couldn’t use what I’d cut off to do that, I felt like a really cool design just might have come out of this whole thing after all.
As for the piece of fabric that I cut off … I knotted it up into what resembles a bouquet of flowers and put it into a vase. It needs a taller, slimmer vase that is not the same color as the fabric but I actually really like it as is and will be keeping it in my living room.

Frogging the rest of my crochet

Yes, I did continue frogging after this. Check back tomorrow to find out what happened with everything else!

What’s your frogging story?

How do you feel about frogging your work? Has doing it ever broken your heart or inspired something new and wonderful? Share your frogging stories!

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San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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