Frogging Just Creates New Opportunities

This past week, I gasped in horror as my cat leapt into my lap, pulling apart a delicate piece of knitting I held in my hands. I couldn’t blame Scamper the Cat. He just wanted to sit in momma’s lap and purr. It’s not like he intended to make me lose several stitches that proved impossible to get back on the knitting needles.

I had to admit, I didn’t like the design of the intricate lacing of the shawl I was working on. The middle of the work looked messy, and I didn’t realize how bad it looked until I had progressed far beyond the point of fixing it. I played with the idea of frogging (“rip it, rip it, rip it out” for those not familiar with the knitting term for unravelling your work and starting over). But I couldn’t bear to tear out several inches of work. I had dithered back and forth for days, unhappy with my design and wondering if I should rip it.

Scamper the Cat made the decision for me. As I looked at the hopeless state of my knitting work, I realized he had actually done me a favor. Taking a deep breath, I pulled out several days worth of knitting and got the work back to a place where I could both re-do my design and get the stitches back on my needles. (Yarnovers and frogging don’t mix, I’ve discovered.) My evening of knitting turned out much more relaxing than I intended; ripping out is pretty mindless work.

We knitters are lucky. For those of us who knit, there are do-overs in life. Not many crafts allow you the opportunity to completely start over on a failed project with the same materials and without having to throw out pricey supplies. In fact, if you’re a “process knitter” like me, you just get more knitting time in with the same skein of yarn.

So if you have to frog your work, just remember it’s no big deal. Your work might look better in the end, and for once in your life, you get a do-over.

Blessings, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. 

Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe

Knitting & Cats Don’t Mix – Or Do They?

 Sitting down for a nice, calming session of knitting, and who turns up to “help”? The cat, of course. When my cats Scamper and Milo see me sit down in my favorite chair with a wooly skein of yarn beside me, to them, it’s an invitation to play. 

Knitting with cats is both the most wonderful thing in the world and the most annoying. A soft, furry creature with big yellow eyes plops down on your lap and purrs right as you take out your knitting needles. What a knitter to do? You want to knit, but you don’t want to run off the cutie pie sitting on your work-in-progress, either. Eventually, the cat gets exasperated by those sharp sticks waved in front of his face, and he moves along. Or you push him.

A ball of yarn is the ultimate temptation to cause mischief for a cat. My cats usually know not to mess with my knitting yarn, fearing an almighty tongue-lashing that comes with batting around a yarn ball attached to a sweater under construction. But sometimes, a cat just needs to play with what is obviously a toy provided for a cat’s pleasure. Occasionally, I let the cat play…until the ball of yarn is roped around six pieces of furniture and knotted into a mess requiring a half hour of untangling. Then it’s time to “re-think” my policy of cats and yarn.

The problem with cats and knitting is that many of us seriously love them both. Both are warm, fuzzy, and lovely to look at. Both knitting and cats require attention from our hearts and our hands. Cat People are often Knitting People. And in those moments when the two clash and chaos breaks out, I hope we’ll remember that really, what’s a little frayed yarn and knots when you have the pleasure of seeing a cute little kitten batting about a “just right” ball of yarn?

Blessings on your cats (and yarn), Cindy

New Resources of the Week:

Knitted Animal Friends: Knit 12 Well-Dressed Animals, Their Clothes and Accessories by Louise Crowther. This charming new book tells you how to knit and construct adorable animal toys. There’s a cat pattern, of course, along with other critters including a dog, mouse, hedgehog, and clothes for all of them. Perfect for making gifts for children or for trying something new and fun. Coming on May 7, available for pre-order at a good discount

Jill’s Beaded Knits Bitshas some new Abacus Counting Bracelets, along with some cute new stitch markers. She handmakes her products and ships them out pronto. I recently treated myself to some new stitch markers, but I’ve not tried the abacus counting bracelets yet. I’d love to hear from anyone who has.

P.S. This blog is completely independent! I recommend books and other items I’ve read/used and like. Books are usually provided to me free through NetGalley and their publishers.