Crochet, frog, repeat

Sometimes you make something and everything goes smoothly… the instructions contain no mistakes, the materials are cooperative, it ends up looking exactly how you want it to and you’ve enjoyed the whole process. And then sometimes that’s not the case.

I had some lovely New Lanark aran yarn in “Blackberry” that Mr Snail bought for me a couple of years ago. I had fallen out of love with the crochet pattern that it was originally intended for and I couldn’t find one that was exactly what I wanted. So, I bought a pattern that I was sure I could adapt. It was knitted rather than crochet, but that was ok – I’m happy to do either. I made the sleeves full-length rather than 3/4 and that worked well. Rather than adapting the wide, low-cut neck, I decided to in-fill with crochet once it was knitted. And that was where my problems started…

First I crocheted in a little triangle so it wasn’t as low-cut, but on inspection I discovered that it wasn’t quite centred, and in fact I’d made the triangle slightly too wide at the top, so it distorted the neck shape… so I frogged it. Then I decided to start slightly differently, so I edged it first, but it was saggy… so I frogged it. Then I edged it with some decreases and that was better, so I tried the triangular insert, and some more edging, but when I tried it on it still gaped and seemed very low… so I frogged it. Then I switched to a smaller hook and edged it and made a triangle using a different stitch pattern (which got partly frogged as I went) and then I realised I’d miscounted stitches down one side of the front edging, so it was uneven… so I frogged it.

Finally I got out my notebook and wrote down how many stitches I needed to work in each of the five sections. Then I counted as I worked and recounted once the first row was done. Then I put in a second row and counted again. Then I made the triangular insert based on all that I had learned from my previous attempts, which included using stitch markers to ensure that the two sides matched exactly. Then I crocheted another row and then I tried it on. It seemed to be ok, so I finished off with a crab-stitch edging.

It’s worked and I’m happy with it (it really is the colour in the first four pictures not the last one), but my word it has taken hours and hours and hours. Once all the ends are woven in, that will be another completed item made from my stash. I’m planning to spend time on something less challenging now before I return to the stripy cardigan that I abandoned months ago because of some technical issues with the pattern. Have you been struggling with any challenging makes recently?

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40 Comments

  1. Yes, I have and I said something very similar to ‘frog it’ quite a few times during the process. Still, it was worth it in the end and you have ended up with a very nice, one of a kind jumper and a little less in your stash and UFO pile.

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  2. It’s perfect now, worth all of the effort you’ve put in.

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  3. I love the patience that allows us to work away at a problem until it is solved. When I was young if it didn’t work out first or second time it was generally discarded. Now I’ll immerse myself quite happily in tricky creations even though if for some of them it may take many weeks of on again and off again attempts 🙂 I do like what you did with the neckline on this one.

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    • I really like to wool and was so keen to have a finished garment that I just kept beavering away at it. I suspect that when I was younger I would have just given up and followed the pattern and ended up with something I didn’t want to wear. I may have got more determined as I’ve aged… I’m simply not prepared to be bested by a hook and some wool!

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  4. The last tricky thing I did was knit a copy of the jumper Rose brought back from Brazil. First I got the wrong yarn and only realised when I had done a long rectangle – that got made into a jumper dress but I need to do something better with the neckline I think. Then working with better yarn I had to have a few goes at the shaping. I knitted a second one for my daughter to fix the pattern in my head but you have reminded me I meant to re-write the instructions to be clearer and that was before Christmas! Hope they still make sense

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  5. Laurie Graves

     /  February 25, 2018

    Pretty!

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  6. That was definitely worth all your effort as it’s beautiful!!!!
    I have a sweater that I’m hating on right now and I’m not sure if I’m going to continue or frog it, so for now it’s sitting and I’m knitting socks🤣

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  7. It is a triumph m’dear. As to frogging, how many goes can it take one person to attach a mock pocket flap to a baby cardigan- 4!

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  8. Wow – that’s what I call perseverance. Well done. I hate all that stitch counting too!

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  9. It looks lovely. We’ve a completed project this weekend too – the new wood store! It looks like it will hold about 6 cubic meters of wood (or there abouts) and is 5/6 full of wood already! Oh, and FPA tomorrow….

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  10. Lovely to have something that you will happily wear (and it is very pretty) rather than a garment that just sits in the cupboard. It’s a great solution to the low neck, and looks like it was always part of the pattern. Well done you!

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  11. That jumper is a tribute to human persistence, and also a very nice colour! I think the repetition of ‘oh, frog it’ is one of the reasons I stick to the smaller needles rather than the knitters or the hook. I love the *idea* of knitting but know myself too well to pretend I’ll ever make myself a wearable garment!

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  12. Your tenacity has paid off. It’s wonderful and such a pretty colour ❤

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  13. Full marks for obstinate persistence 🙂 It looks gorgeous!!!

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  14. You are one amazingly multi talented lady Jan.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  15. Your problem solving technique is impressive–she persisted!

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  16. Well, it was worth persevering until you got it right, otherwise you’d never have worn it – and you will now! What an interesting addition it is to the neckline, too, so much nicer than the obvious V-neck.

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  17. The Jumper looks amazing and I think the word for all your hard work is tenacious. Like the add to the neckline.

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  18. I do this all the time with my crochet projects 🙂

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  19. Congratulations for persevering. And now you have a gorgeous, purple sweater/jumper to keep you warm.

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  20. CC

     /  March 22, 2018

    This is so cute!!

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  21. Determination won through in the end and you have something that will be a pleasure to wear. Well done for the final article it is so pretty and will bring you many compliments. And a well done to Mr Snail, gorgeous colour.

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