Friday, December 08, 2006


The storm that the weather people said was supposed to roll in on Friday?? It rolled in today. Today. As in Today, Friday. That's why skies were blue Yesterday while I was making that idiotic blog post about it. Yesterday was Thursday. Duh. I knew that. Somewhere in my head. pparently I couldn't keep track while watching the news. Or posting.

Whatever. It ended up being a beautiful day yesterday, and today it is getting very blustery out there...right on target, just like they said...and I have ciders and/or wines to mull tonight while I cozy up with my video tape of the fake fireplace.
For real.

So. Can you guess what I did with the lace?

Michigan J Frog ( see him in action)

I frogged it.
(I know there are a couple of non-knitters out there reading, and just to explain...when one unwinds all of their hard work, they "". Hence it being called frogging.)

I was positive that I was at least ripping back to that little loopy thingy. It may appear small in the photo, but it seemed big enough to snag a finger through, and trying to ease it into the fabric wasn't working one bit.

Between the time I had written the entry on Wednesday, and the time I actually posted it on Thursday (delayed by grief), I found myself leaning more towards ripping all the way back to the earlier mistakes, but I was still undecided.

So I made the post.
And within about 2 minutes time, Cara comments, "rip it".
And I say to myself, "Okay."
And I get up from the computer, pick up the shawl, and without even blinking, I rip it.

The whole transaction sort of reminded me about this little game I occasionally play with myself. Every once in awhile, when I can't make my mind up about somthing, I will flip a quarter. Not that I am actually going to allow a coin toss be the deciding factor. I do it so so that I can test my response to the outcome. For example, if it lands on "tails" and my gut reaction is either, "awww" or "phew!"...well, that is some really good information.

But it never occurred to me to flip a coin over my knitting. And the directive to "rip it" was sort my quarter flipping "phew!" moment.

I frogged back to the edging errors, got the stitches back on the needle and then I knit a few rows. It was an immediate relief.

While I was knitting, I was thinking about the fact that in life, it's not often that I am presented with the opportunity to fix something I have fucked up. How often have I ever been granted a "do-over" pass. How often have I heard myself say, "if I had a chance to do that again I would (whatever)... ". And on the rare occasion when I do get a second crack at fixing a fuck up, it's most definitely not granted as quietly or forgivingly.

I mean, the shawl had a mistake, and I had an actual chance to fix it. So why would I not fix it? I also see this as one really good opportunity to try to teach myself to break an old pattern. You know, like how in life...when we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? Like me and the edge stitches?

I knit a couple repeats yesterday, came back to the computer, enjoyed all of your comments, and had a laugh that's Sara's mind was tuned in to my wave length.

So today I'm just about back to where I was when I frogged. And I haven't missed another edge stitch yet. And I'm not using a stitch marker.

I'm just paying attention ;-)


Carrie said...

My husband calls that a "Mulligan," and the first time I ripped and reknit, he was astonished. "Cooooool," he says, edging closer. You're right. It would be great if we got to do that with more things in our lives.

LLA said...

Do you know - I've been knitting for 31 years*and it wasn't until earlier this year that I learned the term "Frog It". Which I immediately loved.
(My mom is the one who taught me to knit all that time ago, and I guess she wasn't as hip and up on the cool terminology as Debbie Stoller...)

However, I don't think that Debbie Stoller told me WHY it is called frogging it - so right now, in my estimation, you are even cooler than Debbie. And that's saying something... So thank you for the definition!

Also, thank you for the very thought provoking post about just how often in life we get the chance for a do-over. I really enjoyed it...

* (SweetCrackerSandwich! That makes me feel insanely old to admit that...)

Anonymous said...

Dude! I'm drunk with power. ;-) The thing is is that whether or not other people will notice isn't the problem. It's that YOU will always know and it will niggle at you because you had the opportunity to fix and you couldn't.

I like what you say, too, about perfectionism. Knitting is the one area of my life where I do have a modicum of control. I can try my hardest to make it perfect. Screw that whole handknits aren't supposed to be perfect because the people making it aren't perfect. I want to know I did everything I could to get it right. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Knitting is the best teaching tool I've ever given myself. I'm much more patient and far more willing to own my errors than I used to be.

The Sheep embraces The Frog. :)

Carol said...

"It's that YOU will always know and it will niggle at you because you had the opportunity to fix and you couldn't." Cara, you are dead on.

Now I'm off to do the Michigan Rag...

Hannah said...

I haven't actually frogged my own shawl again yet but I've been doing a lot of tinking (tink=knit backwards). I certainly could use some of that cathartic joy you have!

Anonymous said...

Well, I had said "just frog to the loopy bit" and forget the edges. I was working on a crocheted shawl for my mother this weekend, and noticed that somewhere along the way, I had changed how I did the ends of rows, and they didn't look the same as before. (As in big scallops instead of a smooth line.)

So, I diddled for a while, then I ripped all the bad parts out, and worked on it again. It's back to where it was, and I'm happier.

I have my own problems with perfectionism in crafting, and sometimes I can let it go, and sometimes not.

You made the right decision for you, and that is all that counts!