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Day Two: Skill + 1UP or
why frogging is the path to true knitting enlightenment
This post is part of the Knit & Crochet Blog Week 2011.
One of the things that I’ve learned over this past year is knit lace. Very simple lace, but it’s lace. The first lace project I ever did was actually the Learn It, Love It, Knit Lace Scarf. I’ve since progressed to the Cottage Romance Shawl. I’m still painfully slow at knitting. My contract knitter finished the entire Cottage Romance Shawl in the time it took me to do a large gauge swatch.
Both of these projects require purling across the WS rows. Maybe one day I will progress to lace patterning on both sides. It’s not that I can’t do lace with patterning on both RS and WS rows- It’s that I can’t handle FROGGING* lace that is patterned on both RS and WS rows.
But you know what? I learned more about knitting from frogging than I did from the actual knitting. Whenever I would work in plain stockinette I was fine. I didn’t twist stitches. I could look at the stitch and just kind of tell where to stick my needle for it to turn out right. Placing yarn overs and decreases back on the needle after frogging forced me to learn standard stitch positioning: the yarn to the right is in front of the needle. (By the way, “front” and “right” both contain the letter R. Many thanks to Amy Shelton from Crochetville for that mnemonic. I seriously repeat it to myself almost every time I have to frog knitting.) My mistakes forced me to learn to “read” my knitting, which is an important step on the path of fiber knowledge.
*Frogging = ripping out yarn (b/c you “rip it. Rip it”)
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A big reason why I stuck with just crochet for so long is because frogging knitting scares me. I have learned to read my knitting with simple knit/purl stitches but with lace… yikes!
The thought of making a mistake and having to tink back and fix it, is one of the things that puts me off trying more complicated lace- I know I’ll struggle to read the stitches afterwards.
It looks like you’re doing really well with the lace. also, I admire your maturity with the frogging.
I am also a *painfully* slow knitter! Lace is on my to-do for this next year as well. I tried it last year, on a pair of socks, no less, and ripped the thing out not less than 4 times before throwing it in the frog pond!