If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I went through a heartbreaking, inspiring experience working on and then frogging a crochet dress. As I mentioned in that post, I spent pretty much all day on Saturday frogging my crochet work. Nothing was as difficult or time consuming or heart-wrenching or creativity-inspiring as that dress but I thought I’d share some of the rest of the stuff that I did.

Crochet Items to be Frogged

The above photo is just a small portion of the items that I had that needed to be frogged or repurposed. Here’s a list of what I had:

  • Two dresses, one of which is the heartbreaking one I wrote about yesterday (the reddish-purple and black one in the photo above)
  • Brown crochet bag, too big to be useful in carrying things around.
  • Set of blue and red crochet squares. Plush fabric that never turned into anything.
  • A black and blue Solomon’s Knot scarf I never wear.
  • A series of short, skinny, acrylic scarves from my early crochet days.
  • 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.

Frogging or Repurposing?

The first decision to make was whether the items were to be frogged to reclaim the yarn or whether they were to be repurposed into a crochet art project or some other item. What I found is that it is tough to decide this until you’ve actually started frogging the piece. Some of the items I’d planned to reclaim yarn from were actually difficult to frog and ended up being repurposed when I hadn’t planned on it. Which is fine. Art can never really be planned perfectly in advance. :)

Nylon Yarn Corset: Easy to Frog

This item was supposed to be the Outerwear Corset designed by Jennifer Hansen. I crocheted it before I really knew enough about crochet to be working on it. It’s a beautiful pattern but I wasn’t able to follow it entirely and just kind of did my own thing in a few points. And didn’t check gauge. It was my first time working with nylon yarn (Louisa Harding Fauve). When done, it was too tall to work for a corset for me (I’m only 4’11” with a short torso). I thought I’d use it as a tube top cover up, as you can see from the photo. But I’ve never worn it. So I frogged that, reclaimed the yarn and will use it for something else. And someday I do intend to properly make that corset.

Changed My Mind About Frogging a Few Things

Inevitably, a few things in the pile gave me pause. The brown bag is actually a great bag and I didn’t want to frog it. I ended up deciding it’s my bag for storing my random motifs that aren’t being used in anything yet. As long as I’m not carrying it anywhere it doesn’t matter that it’s too big. And the Solomon’s Knot scarf … Something in me is partial to this. I love Solomon’s Knots and yet it’s the only thing I’ve ever made with them. It’s really too long and skinny and I almost never wear it but I just decided I can’t frog it yet and put it back in my keep pile.
(Sorry, terrible photo of the crochet bag – it’s a really old photo and I don’t have a current one. I’ll showcase it by itself one of these days with better photos for sure!!)

The Dress That Didn’t Frog Right

Earlier this year I started a dress in Lion’s Brand Fisherman’s Wool. Instead of working in the round, as I usually do, I decided to do front and then back. The front is adorable. The back doesn’t fit right. Plus I ran out of the yarn I was using and decided to be spunky and add a pink that really doesn’t work. So I had to frog the back. I planned to reclaim the yarn but for some reason it just wouldn’t frog properly. This was getting to be the end of my frogging night and I was exhausted so I just frogged the seams, left the back intact and decided I’ll repurpose it as is for an art project. The front is still pretty and intact and I’ll be adding a back to it again soon. No photo of this one yet but it’s the brown, white and pink item on the left of the top photo of this post.

Crochet Items That Will Become Crochet Art

I collected all of the scarves that were to be frogged and decided that frogging them was silly. They aren’t going to be worn as scarves but I think they’re going to work as they are in an art project. I fiddled around with them a lot to make sculptural shapes but didn’t find anything that I liked. And then I realized they may be perfect as scarves in my Swaddle art project. So that was inspiring.

I also decided that it was ridiculous to frog the red and blue squares since they were always intended to be an art project so I collected those, put them together in a prominent pile in my art space and need to work on that ASAP instead of putting it away again!

Ah, Those Crochet Blanket Squares

So here’s the deal with these squares. I made the yellow squares years ago with my sister during one of her visits. I’m sure the pattern came from some book although I don’t remember which one now. Then about a year and a half ago I added the white part. And then about a year ago I decided to join them all into a blanket with black yarn. I envisioned four sets of four squares each, with larger swaths of the black in between each of the sets. The problem is that I didn’t know at the time that I needed to increase around the corners when I joined and added to each set of four squares. So I ended up with sets of squares that were joined but curving in on themselves. Worse yet, when I realized the problem and decided to frog, it wouldn’t frog right and kept catching and I got frustrated and had the brilliant idea to just cut away in random places to tear out the black yarn. Clearly that didn’t work very well. Have I mentioned I apparently like to learn things the hard way? I was sad because I liked that black yarn (although to be honest I now have no recollection what it was). And I got frustrated and gave up and buried it in the bottom of a yarn basket. And I’ll be honest. When I took it out to frog it this time around, it just gave me all this icky feelings. And it was late and I’d been working on this whole frogging project for hours and hours. And I just gave up again. But I did put them out in the middle of my living room floor where I have to look at them so that I will feel forced to deal with the mess this week or next. Maybe next. :) Honestly I may make some of them into bags or something so that they don’t need to be frogged. We’ll see what I can do with this falling apart black yarn around everything. Ugh.

Less Frogging than Planned

As I write this, I realize that this is really the story of a bunch of things that didn’t really get frogged! I don’t know how I spent all day on this over the weekend. But I did. A lot of it was spent making decisions, organizing the pieces into the art projects they’ll be going into, etc. And I did frog a few things at least!

How and Why Do You Frog Your Crochet?

I am curious – what causes you to frog a crochet item? Do you only do it when the item hasn’t worked out or do you do it for old items that aren’t being used? And do you save it all up to be done at once (like I do!) or do you do it immediately when you realize it needs to be frogged?

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

4 Comments

  1. Sophia Roberts Reply

    Thanks for an interesting and inspiring piece! I’m glad you didn’t frog the Solomon’s Knot scarf – because I rather like it :) I know what you mean about having too many scarves. I usually give mine away, but your idea of an art project is an excellent one.

    To be honest, I’m not really a ‘frogger’, in the sense that I think you mean. I tend to finish what I start – which is not to say I like something once I’ve made it, but there’s always the goodwill shop (!) Or the textile recycling scheme. Otherwise the only time I frog is when I’ve made a mistake. I often end up making something again and again until I’ve got it right. I’m a perfectionist

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Sophia – Thanks for adding to the conversation! I’m definitely not a perfectionist and admire people who are. My dad and my sister are and their work of any kind always looks flawless as a result of it. Oh and thanks on the Solomon’s Knot – I actually made it a runner on my fireplace mantle for the time being and it looks super cute there. :)

  2. I rip things out a lot. I often get an idea for a project and will start it and then rip it out if it doesn’t go the way I imagine or if I decide that I’d rather use the yarn for something else. To me, frogging is all part of the design process :). Sometimes, it is too hard to rip out and in that case it can be textile recycled as Sophia mentioned.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @UndergroundCrafter – Good point that it can be an important part of the design project!

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