Living in the frogpond

Do you remember my post about UFO August?  Just in case you don’t want to look at the link, this was my plan to finish up some of my projects.  I had really good plans to finish a couple of pairs of socks, two or three shawls – I was going to clean out the knitting basket and get some of these old projects done.    I had four shawls going, three pairs of socks and a cardi.  Yeah, that was the plan.  And here it is, August 13 – and my knitting basket only has three pairs of socks socks, and two shawls.  Good, right?  Not so much.

It started before I went on vacation – I decided to do a little house cleaning in the basket (the basket ends up with odd things in it so cleaning it out is always a good idea).  I threw out yarn bands, put away needles and ring markers – and frogged Acer.  I love the sweater, love the yarn, but I wanted to start it over – I had only done a little bit and knew I couldn’t just pick it up again.     It felt pretty good to clear that out – so then I decided to look at the Swing Shawl – I didn’t like how it had knitted up – there was a ladder in the middle of each little shell, and it was driving me crazy.  So I frogged that too.   I want to do both patterns – but want to do them better.  That’s a good kind of frogging, right? (Well, except for the fact that I saw the Swing Shawl at a yarn store on vacation – and it had those ladders too – but I’m going to ignore that and try again!)

As I mentioned before, I am trying to find more of the yarn to finish the Van Dyke socks – so its not frogged, but its definitely hybernating.

But tonight, I frogged something that I didn’t plan, and something that sort of hurt to rip out.

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I haven’t knit Ulmus in a while – I took it on vacation, but didn’t touch it once.  So last night I picked it up for the first time in weeks – and as I knit, I realized that I’ve been knitting it wrong.    If you look on Ravelry at other Ulmus’, you will notice that mine doesn’t look all the garter stichy – it looks like stockinette.  Ulmus is a garter stitch shawl.  I kept on looking at the pattern, looking at other people’s shawls – and I even emailed Rachel (who has made two beautiful Ulmus shawls!).   I just couldn’t accept what the pattern was telling me – where the chart clearly said to knit, I purled. 

I don’t know why I did this – I can read a chart, and have knit a bunch of shawls.  But for some reason, I just saw the purl symbol, read the key that said that on the wrong side to knit the stitch – and translated that to purl.     So I’ve been purling all the wrongs sides, and all the nice garter stitch of the shawl was just missing.  I suppose I could have just kept going, but I was just unhappy with how it was now that I knew it was wrong.    I’m planning on restarting this – but I’m going to finish Nefertitti and the Wool Peddlar’s shawl first. 

I’m really unhappy with my knitting lately – I think I’ve not been focused enough, and I’m just making too many mistakes, being too half-assed about it.  I think part of the problem is that I just don’t spend a lot of time on it – a little time on the train, but nights have been Facebook, Ravelry and all that.   Maybe I’m just out of practice.  Or maybe I’m an idiot.    Either way, I am planning on taking a little more time, focusing a little more and trying to get back into knitting well.

I am doing something well, though…

1631 1636

These are from my deck containers – Larry does the big garden, but I planted some leftover plants in my deck containers, and now I have some lettuce, little tomatoes and even peppers! 

I think the first week back from vacation is always the worst – and this week has been no exception to that.  Its been really busy, and long, and I’m ready for another vacation.   I am starting to plan a little trip for Larry and I this December to celebrate our anniversary – we were originally thinking Montreal, but Montreal in December just seems like a bad idea (average temp is 14-29 degrees Farenheit!).  So we’ll see – maybe we’ll go earlier, or maybe I’ll find somewhere warmer.   I do know that thinking about it is helping me get through this very long week! 

Ravelry destash tempted me this week, so I’ll have some yarn to show you next time!  Have a great Friday!

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19 Responses to Living in the frogpond

  1. Valerie says:

    December is actually a great time to visit Montreal… but not if you don’t like the cold… but you have lots of nice handknitted items dont you?
    Sorry about the frog pond, but sometimes its best. If you’re not happy when you’re knitting it, chances are you probably won’t be happy with the finished project.
    I lose my knitting mojo every once in a while, but it comes back after a week or so.

  2. Oiyi says:

    I am sorry to hear that Ulmus had to be frogged.

  3. Stephanie says:

    It sounds like it was for the best to frog those things. You’ll have a little more mental energy for re-doing them. And besides, you’re still sticking to the point of UFO August — getting things out of the knitting basket, right?

  4. Rachel says:

    All this frogging sucks but it is best to fix all those projects we don’t really like before we have an unused woolly thing in our closet. I just frogged a shawl I knitted with two threads of very thin lace alpaca yarn, I knew almost all along that I knit it on too small a needle but I just didn’t stop until I had quite a large piece,,, frogging it was a pain I tell you, I need help separating the threads but we managed to salvage all the yarn.

    And thank you for the compliment 🙂

  5. tiennie says:

    Glad you had a fun time on your vacation! The Ulmus is looking great!

  6. Christianne says:

    I think we all go through phases like that – you’re not an idiot – just the opposite – you have too much on your mind! Relax and don’t let the knitting stress you out – it’s supposed to be enjoyable. And now you have a clean slate – that is refreshing in a way.

    Nice veggies! Our garden is slooooowww this year. Too much rain, not enough sun.

    Have a good weekend!

  7. Kim says:

    I am convinced that ‘mistakes’ like Ulmus are how great, new patterns are born.

    We didn’t move here in time to plant veggies. There are two seasons in LA so I hope to make the next one.

    How about a trip to New Orleans to celebrate your anniversary?

  8. Lorraine says:

    Jeanne- You are being much too hard on yourself. If you’re not feeling the love, then put your energy into something you’re really happy about.

    Quebec City is a little further-but so much nicer- even in winter. A few nights in the Chateau Frontenac?

  9. hakucho says:

    Sorry about all your frogging, next will be the charm and hopefully everything will work out even better! I’m envious of your garden…I do miss having one this time of year 🙂

    have a happy weekend 🙂

  10. lynne says:

    Whenever we get back from a vacation, it takes about two days before I’m thinking about the next one! And a vacation from your Ulmus may be just some good old plain stockinette!

  11. CP says:

    I’m sure it will all come together and you’ll get back in the swing of things!

  12. rhoda says:

    first of all, you are not an idiot! now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s okay that the two items you frogged were because you wanted to do them better. (i’ve been contemplating doing that to one of my items too!) and ulmus..ulmus will live again. 🙂 i just know it! just not yet. i haven’t really been focused enough to knit either so you’re not alone. wow, look at your lettuce and tomatoes!!

  13. brokeknits says:

    Sometimes knitting just works out that way. I’m always happier when I take the time to really work on a project — it’s not always easy to find the energy though. Good luck with the fresh starts!

  14. You are way too hard on yourself! Knitting is not a job or an achievement. I try to remember that it’s a journey and not feel like I’ve wasted time when I have to frog something. I’m actually very hesitant to do so, and I admire you for taking charge and frogging and being ready to move on.

  15. Rhonda says:

    Sorry to hear about your Ulmus. But I’m all for the Wool Peddler shawl, I had my eye on that one next.

  16. rebekahsyarn says:

    I know the feeling…..I just can’t seem to get into my knitting even though I have some projects I really want to do. Maybe its the weather. Maybe its I’m spending too much time on the computer. Maybe I’m just not as inspired as I thought.

    Oh well, this too shall pass.

  17. Steven says:

    I think your Ulmus looks good anyway, even if the stitches are reversed. At the Sock Summit, I took two back-to-back classes, one of which used dots in a chart to denote knit stitches and one of used dots to denote purl stitches. It was maddening. Just saying that it can be really easy to get these symbols switched around.

    Don’t worry about frogging and starting over. It’s important to be happy with our knitting!

  18. weezalana says:

    Sorry about Ulmus! I personally think there should just be one symbol per stitch for charts. The whole this-means-this-on-the-RS-but-this-on-the-WS annoys me. I know they do that so you can visualize the pattern when you see the chart, but I’d rather have clear instructions!

  19. Opal says:

    i’m going through the same phase with knitting. i just can’t focus. i blame it on the heat. it’s hard to concentrate on warm weather garments when it’s been so hot!

    we’ll pull through and get our mojo back though!

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