Thursday, March 27, 2008

Word of the day: Failure

Today we will learn some knitting vocabulary, shall we? The two terms we'll familiarize ourselves with are frog and hibernate.

To frog means to completely unravel a project. It is referred to as "frogging" because you "rip it rip it" (I know, lame, but I didn't make it up). One frogs if a project is coming out so poorly that it cannot be fixed without re-starting, or if it is so hopeless the yarn should be rescued and used for a more suitable project in the future.

To illustrate, the Here And There Cables Scarf:

I couldn't think of one good reason to keep going on this scarf. The only reason I started it was because I had the yarn leftover, and I had a copy of Scarf Style which I had never used. These, my friends, are not good reasons to embark upon a time- and effort-consuming project. I don't need another warm winter scarf, the color doesn't match my coat, I had nobody to give it to, and it wasn't even coming out as nicely drapy as I had hoped. So there it is. A reminder of why I normally choose a pattern I want to make, and then buy yarn appropriate for it. Very simple.

When a project hibernates it means that no further progress is being made, but it is not being frogged. Hibernating occurs when you are so despondant at your failure that you cannot even bring yourself to frog. The article is simply stuffed into a bag and then into the farthest reaches of your least-visited closet.

My hibernation example, sadly, is the Sweater with Rib Pattern:

I was told by Eric that I should go ahead and make the second sleeve as "it's not terrible," but I won't. First of all, "not terrible" isn't a good enough reason to continue putting in that much work on a project. Secondly, perhaps it doesn't look terrible but it was not his arm that was losing circulation from this sleeve.

Had I used wool I could block it larger, but of course I used a cheap acrylic as I wasn't super-excited about the pattern and just wanted to use up the yarn (see above lesson learned about using these determinants to choose projects.) I could, if I had the wherewithall to do so, take the sleeve out, knit a new slightly larger sleeve, then another similar sleeve, and finish. But honestly, I just can't. I have been bogged down by this project for too long and don't like the sweater enough to continue. I've already made 3 back/fronts and a sleeve. I have nothing more in me for the Sweater with Rib Pattern. And of course, I have only myself to blame as I knew from the start that this project was ill-conceived.

So there you have it - two perfectly apt real-world illustrations of important knitting concepts. There will be a quiz. I hope we don't have to go over these concepts again. I really, really hope not.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Bummer. It's so frustrating when a project doesn't work out like you hoped. May your next vocab lesson be FO!