QueerJoe

QueerJoe's Knitting Blog
Crochet Post Scarf 02-20-19

When To Cut Your Losses

What factors go into deciding on when to frog a project for you?  How do you decide when it’s time to rip out a project because it just isn’t working?

QueerJoe’s Failure Factors

Here are some of my factors.  This is a list of some of the items I consider when deciding.  Do I forge ahead?  Do I rip out?

  1. Color Patterns – If I’m doing multi-color work, is the patterning creating something displeasing?  Years ago, I knit a two-color zig-zag sweater that was dizzying in terms of the pattern.  I finished that sweater.  But I  shouldn’t have.Very Bad Sweater
  2. Color Blending – Again, with multi-color work, am I getting the intended effect of blending, mixing and/or keeping colors distinct?  When colors blend to make an overall muddy blur, I rip it out.  If colors mix to create a really trite combination, I will usually rip it out.  I remember one time I created a peach and aqua combo of colors.  It wasn’t dreadful so I kept it to sell.  But if it had been for me, I would have ripped it.Interlocking Koigu Scarf 04-30-14 Close
  3. Unintended Fabric Characteristics – Does the fabric need to lay flat and curls instead?  Is the garment intended to be reversible but the “wrong” side doesn’t look good enough?  Can the fabric be salvaged through blocking?
  4. If I am clearly not going to have enough yarn to finish the project, I rip it out.  That assumes I can’t come up with a way of including other yarns into the project.
  5. Better Use of Yarn – Is the yarn in a mediocre project much better used in something else?  The topic of today’s blog came from a project I decided to rip out.  The crochet scarf (in the top photo) I was making had three undesirable factors:
  • The fabric rolled too much (although I probably could have fixed it with blocking).
  • The stitch pattern blended the colors in a way that muddied them to much.
  • The yarn could MUCH better be used on something else.

I’m not sure what I’ll use the frogged yarn for.  It will most likely become a Knitted Cross Stitch Scarf.

Current Knitting

There has been a lot of progress on the Tilt Cardigan.  I’m actually starting to imagine finishing it!

Tilt Cardigan 02-20-19 01

Tilt Cardigan 02-20-19 02

I’m still reducing at the front opening every four rounds of knitting.  So, it still requires some concentration.  But I’ve made it a bit easier by writing out a chart of decreases, including the pattern row the decrease is made on.  Not too much longer and I steek for the sleeves!

I also did a couple of rows on the Black & Blue Garter Stole.

Black and Blue Stole 02-20-19

It’s looking quite fine.  This shows the garment at the halfway point, so it will end up being twice as wide as shown in this photo.

3 comments on “When To Cut Your Losses

  1. Just joined your blog, although I’ve known about it and you for some time now.
    Keenly looking forward to future posts.
    I consider myself a rather good knitter and one of the first things I tell a new knitter or just another knitter is that the future success of a knitter depends on his willingness to rip out. I have ripped out whole projects, completed and nearly completed, because I realized, late, that I didn’t want to “sign” it. I’m older and more patient now and know a lot sooner when a project is not working. ALSO (big also) I swatch like crazy, always have been a greater swatcher. Even so, sometimes no guarantee of success. It’s funny how the gauge can alter from the virtual swatch to the real project. 😂
    If I am a successful knitter (I believe I am) it is down to sheer doggedness.
    I am sure I share that with you and every other “good” knitter.
    New topic.
    Going to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show next week at Olympia in London.
    Will you be there? I was thinking of going on Friday.
    I live in Washington DC, but visit London frequently, and try to time my visits with knitting exhibitions.

    1. You and I seem to share a similar base philosophy on knitting.

      I have never been to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London…in fact I’ve never been to London. I think I may have to consider that at some point in the future, although it definitely won’t be this year.

      1. Thanks for your comment on my comment.
        I went to my first Knitting and Stitching show about 25 years ago when it was much smaller and only once a year. Now there are many of them around the United Kingdom and Ireland. Perhaps five or so a year.
        I’ve been to Stitches a number of times when it was held in Baltimore and outside of Philadelphia, but that is in the past. These venues no longer exist.
        Anyway, it’s a very similar experience.

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