A Lesson in Frogging

 

I wanted to make a bag out of my Bollicine Victor yarn, and I had trouble coming up with a design, so I decided to start from the bottom and work my way up. I chose the green loom, and stated with the woven technique from the Provo Craft backpack. Another KK loomer has done this and she's outlined the way she created the woven bottom here. This was hard. I used one strand of yarn and by the end of six hours, my fingers were aching and I had an elbow cramp. No matter, it was done. It looked like a green plate.

I then had the decision of what stitch to use on the sides of the bag. I liked the bottom because it was a tight weave, and I could imagine actually using this bag to carry my knitting projects to and from work. After a little bit of trial/error, I ended up using a flat stitch with two strands of yarn. This started out just great, but then, about ten rows into it all, something strange started happening. The sides of the bag were caving in, almost like the cuff of a sock. I switched to my blue (Sky) yarn, and kept on going with the flat stitch. After just another five rows, I realized I wasn't making a bag, or a backpack. I was making a bowl!

Bowls are fine, but one out of rather floppy yarn looks interesting but isn't strong enough to actually hold anything unless it was felted. My yarn is 70% wool/30% acrylic and I decided I wouldn't risk trying to felt it, so I taught myself how to "frog," or how to unravel the rows so I wouldn't loose them all. This is easy at first, but gets harder when you try putting the loops back onto the loom.

I frogged all the blue and then got down to the final two rows of green. I fished out my stitch holders and looped in all the loose stitches I could find, and then I put the whole thing back onto the loom. This was only truly difficult near the end, where I was pulling really hard on the yarn to get it over the final few pegs. I highly recommend a stitch holder for any newbie like me who's trying to frog. It lets you salvage your work without too much swearing.

So now I'm using an e-wrap and it's a looser stitch, not like with the flat stitch when it turned into a rolled cuff. I really have no idea how this will turn out, which is one of the reasons why I like knitting. I always learn something new.

I still need to make myself some slippers! It's actually cold out, and I'd love to make a felted pair but I'm a little stumped with how to size them. I'm guessing I'd use the red loom, but maybe the green. I'm also thinking about making a cowl, although minus the pom-poms. Saaski here on Vox made one, and it's pretty neat. Something else I've discovered is that people often salvage yarn from thrift-store sweaters. Not only is this frugal, it seems like fun. Ashley Martineau has created a tutorial that is very detailed and helpful. This may be a good (but also time-consuming) way to acquire wool if you don't mind the work.

2 thoughts on “A Lesson in Frogging”

  1. [this is good]

    When I first saw the photos, I trhought you were making a cat bed.  I have seen a pattern for a <a href=”http://wendyknits.net/knit/kittybed.htm”>felted cat bed</a> that looks like a bowl.  I used that Provocraft pattern to make a small bag, testing to see if I wanted to make a large version. I’ve started the larger version a few times but always took it apart.  It always ends up looking like a bowl.  I think a round piece of cardboard on the inside might help if you finish the bag and want it flat on bottom.

    I have that cowl pattern from the Lion Brand site.  They have some KK patterns now.  I had considered using that one for the gift I made but I have a habit of making things up as I go along.  I should really try following patterns.  Thanks for the link to me, btw!

    I have seen mention on various knitting sites of people buying sweaters in thrift stores and using the yarn.  Wool tends to be expensive but there are often cheap wool sweaters (maybe slightly moth eaten but still a good source of yarn) that would make projects much cheaper.  Eventually, I want to try making felted rugs and I have been thinking of trying a thrift store search instead of buying new wool.  I’ll have to check out the tutorial.  Thanks for posting it.

  2. Saaski–I’ve seen the pictures for the Kitty Bed, too, and I’d love to make one someday, but I can’t figure it out on a KK loom. As far as the backpack, I kept the “bowl” and gave up on the “bag.” Oh well… Thanks for the comments!

    Kim

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