Fear Not the Frog! (Lifelines)

After reading a very amusing post about the lengths a certain blogger went to not to have to frog/undo some rows of her project (I'm not naming anyone - you know who you are!!!!) I got chatting to a couple of other knitters about this over the weekend. It seems many of us crafty-types are prepared to go to extreme lengths to avoid ripping out rows that have been completed incorrectly - and it seems the effort required to work around the mistakes is often much greater than that required to just rip out and re-knit some rows. Curious. 

Two people I spoke to both said their fear of frogging was because they were worried that they'd miss some of the stitches they needed to pick up, and the whole thing would unravel or they'd end with a huge ladder somewhere, requiring further re-knitting. Now I'll openly admit (and have before, I'm sure) that I like a bit of bodging myself. If there is a little mistake - an extra stitch, or a missing stitch for example - I'll usually just remedy it by k2tog or M1 in an inconspicuous place. But if I really need to go back to reknit, it isn't something I worry about since I started picking up and counting the new 'live' stitches before I rip anything out. 

I'm not sure when or where I first read about this technique of adding a 'lifeline', but here are some pictures I took before I removed the ribbing on my socks last week, after deciding to make them longer.  The last one is a little blurred, but I hope it will be clear enough to help some newer knitters, like the friends I was chatting to, who haven't seen it before... 

Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves. The key is making sure there are the right number of stitches on the new needles (and that each stitch has only been picked up by one 'leg') and that all the stitches are picked up from the same row - easier with stripes than plain colours (ask me how I know about that one!!!). In this instance, I had actually picked up the wrong 'leg' of these little stitches and so they were back to front on the new needles - easily remedied by knitting into the back of the row. And there you have it, simple no-stress frogging! 

There's a stomach bug doing the rounds and Little Miss got sick yesterday and for this reason I didn't write my Year of Projects post, which was to include a things I'd learned from making the first pair of socks, and another YoP cowl Ta-dah. I have now updated my summary page - ten projects completed, 2 in progress (kind of) and another 2 to go!!! 
 
PATTERN: Two-hour Crochet Cowl (Improvised)
YARN: Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed

As I missed out on the quiet bloggy evening I'd planned, I'm now way behind on visiting other blogs and replying to your generous comments here. Thank you all - I will get around to it...eventually, but not today.  Today is a day for cwtching (snuggling) my girl, and starting the second pair of (BLUE!) socks.
Hope to be back with you tomorrow!
xxxx

27 comments

  1. Brilliant!! Thank you so much for sharing, this is such a great idea. I really struggle to frog multiple rows this will be my new technique. Big thanks xx

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    1. Thanks - it's so obvious when you see it, isn't it!

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  2. Well they say you learn something new everyday; I never even thought to pick up the stitches on the row/round you want to 'frog' back to! Will try that next time I need to ;)

    Hope Little Miss is better soon :)

    Oh and loving the yarn you've been knitting these beautiful cowls with. I may have to invest in some!

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    1. Well it looks nice but it's not so great to work with to be honest - it was on sale so I bought 4 balls before I knew that though!!!

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  3. Great technique, thanks - my hatred of frogging is because I always get the stitches twisted too.

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    1. I am a frequent twister, but I just knit into the back :)

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  4. Very handy, wish I'd known about that when knitting the Hitchiker!
    I hope your little one is better soon, poorly little people are very sad to behold.

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  5. That's such a good idea! Thanks for sharing the helpful tip!! :)

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  6. oh my word thats so simple. i seem to remember trying something similar not long after i started knitting and completely missing all the stitches.
    Oh well, you live and learn.

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    1. I wonder where it went wrong? It's worth trying again I think, as it's very useful.

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  7. Sorry your daughter got that nasty stomach bug. I hope she's been able to keep down some kind of electrolyte juice and that laying down helps. Do air out when you can; I swear that dang bug is airborne as we had here during Thanksgiving.
    Yes! Lifelines are a must before you frog or rip. I've done it a few w/socks and just right now. What a lifesaver it is and not to have to worry about ladders forming from dropped sts.

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    1. Thankfully she's much better today - although still looks 'not right' x

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  8. Why did I never think of this? I have the perfect project to try it out on tonight.

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  9. Ah brilliant tip...thanks! I hope little Miss is feeling better now..she looks so sweet in her cowl :)x

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  10. Thanks for this REALLY useful post! At the moment crochet is winning over knitting in our house because you only lose one stitch at a time with crochet and the fear of having to undo rows of knitting has been stopping me from making any further headway here... not any more!

    Hope Little Miss is feeling better :-(

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  11. I tried this technique a while ago (saw it on pinterest) and somehow I got it wrong, I'll have been working with plain yarn though so maybe that was the difference?

    I hope your daughter feels better soon.

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    1. With plain yarn you have to double check that you've picked up the stitched from the same row - I've done it quickly before and ended up with half of the row on the new needles and half not :)

      Little Miss is much better today, thanks x

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  12. Might it be my drunken socks of deformity that you are referring to here? *laughs a lot* In my defence, I was drinking, and lazy ;) Ok, fair enough, I do tend to bodge whenever possible, but I will rip back if necessary (just had to undo about 8 rows of my cardigan after realising a significant counting error!)

    This is a great tip for ripping back, can't believe I never thought of it! I'll probably still avoid frogging wherever possible, but I like this handy new technique for when it is unavoidable ;)

    Hope your little one feels much better soon

    x

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    1. Hahahaaha - you OUTED yourself!!! Yes, your hilarious post was what had me thinking about the things I've done to avoid frogging (because I'm lazy) and the conversation came up again at the weekend :)

      x

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  13. I really like your post of not fear the frog :) it is a great tip :)

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  14. This is an excellent idea! Next time I frog, I'll have to try to remember to do it this way. I'm definitely no stranger to frogging!

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  15. Thanks so much Sarah, you saved my Hitchhiker scarf from abandonment in the UFO pile....

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