Inspiration and Frogging

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Inspiration and Frogging

Happy Wednesday!

This week I am having craft ups and downs. While the pattern for Journey sweater is still brewing in my computer (I am the slowest pattern writer ever!), I started swatching for a second project with Moeke. By the way, you should definitely check #Journeysweater hashtag on Instagram (if you don’t have one just click the link) – Josh and Saskia are posting so many photos of their progress! Can’t wait to see their Journeys!


Swatching part is always such a challenge for me – I am inspired by so many stitch combinations that narrowing down the choice to just a couple of them is the hardest thing in the world! Elena yarn is inspiring to work with… It’s so different from all yarns I have ever used and I am curious to see how that or this stitch will appear.


My crochet project is unfortunately not doing so well. The pattern doesn’t have anything to do with it, I am using it more like a guideline than the instructions. My first problem was the gauge that kept changing on me, I restarted the whole thing 4 times because of that! Then I realized that I cannot just crochet straight without shaping as the pattern suggests, because the yarn I chose (2 threads of mercerized cotton) is creating a very firm and stiff fabric and the cardigan will pucker without shaping. With this kind of fabric, it has to be pretty fitting. So, I restarted for the 5th or 6th time. Still, no luck – to taper the cardigan perfectly I would have to decrease every second row and this is what it creates:


Do you see how the fabric puckers on the sides? It happens when the decreases are stuck up too close to each other in a very stiff fabric like this one, but it also puckers if I don’t decrease, because of a big difference between the hips and the waist 🙁 So, after struggling and struggling with it for weeks, I have to admit my defeat. Frogging. Yes, I am frogging it. This is the first project in 2 years that I am frogging. I can’t stand frogging. I love the yarn, but it is just not suitable for this project. I have to choose something soft and woolly for it to wrap myself in this wonderful cardigan. But not now, I have to take a break from it.

Things to learn from this experience:

  1. Don’t try to make yarn into something that it is not.
  2. Don’t crochet hip length tapered garments in a stiff fabric.
  3. Know when to stop. (I had a feeling I had to give up on it after the 4th ripping out, but I loved this relaxing crochet rhythm and deceived myself).


I hope you are having only great experience with your projects! See you at Yarn Along.


By | 2016-05-18T06:18:39+00:00 May 18th, 2016|Crochet, Knitting, Work in Progress|18 Comments


  1. Tina May 18, 2016 at 6:30 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry about your crochet project and I hate it when that happens. Love the yarn you are using, soft neutral colors are always my favorite 😊

    • Alina May 18, 2016 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Yarn is amazing! I will definitely use it for another project. I used it once for a crochet dress (one thread) and it is perfect for it, the dress is still in an impeccable shape. But this yarn/project marriage was definitely a failure 🙂

  2. Andrea @ This Knitted Life May 18, 2016 at 7:39 am - Reply

    The good news is your photos look killer, right? I hate it when I am trying to get a project going….I can see it in my head…and it is close…but doesn’t quite work I. Real life. That is why God invented vodka.

    • Alina May 18, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

      Haha 🙂 You are the best! Unfortunately (or fortunately? 🙂 )I don’t drink (to those who ask how on earth I don’t drink vodka if I am Russian, I always answer – that’s why they kicked me out of there 🙂 ), but there is always a chocolate muffin in a nearby bakery to soothe my craft failures!

  3. SarahD May 18, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Your photography is stunning! I’m so sorry about the frogging, I know that is so disappointing! I hope this week sees more ups than downs for your creating!

    • Alina May 18, 2016 at 7:46 am - Reply

      Thank you, Sarah! Taking photos of yarn is my favorite thing! I kind of feel relieved that I am frogging, I can start fresh now!

  4. Katrine Birkenwasser May 18, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

    This reminds me of a skirt that I crocheted in mercerised cotton. It also turned out super stiff, but instead of frogging it when I noticed that it’s not working out, I kept on crocheting. It turned into a skirt that can stand on its own, and I never wore it. Took ages to crochet in fingering weight yarn. So what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s better to call it quits instead of stubbornly continuing. Hope your other project works out better!

    • Alina May 18, 2016 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Absolutely! This is the lesson I’ve learned – never keep going just for the sake of finishing it, life is too short!

  5. Ali May 18, 2016 at 8:33 am - Reply

    That is the sign of an experienced knitter/crocheter, knowing when the yarn isn’t right and knowing when to stop a project. I look forward to seeing your completed crochet sweater once you decide on the right yarn!

    • Alina May 20, 2016 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Thank you, Ali! I became much more honest with myself; several years ago I would close my eyes and just keep going!

  6. Zeta May 18, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    My dear, I’ve been there so many times.
    I have spent equal hours knitting and frogging. We all must learn when it’s time to give up. I don’t count these moments as failures but as tough,important lessons.

    • Alina May 20, 2016 at 6:38 am - Reply

      Oh, absolutely! I really don’t think of anything in my life as a failure now, but as a lesson! Definitely an empowering philosophy!

  7. Nicky May 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Well, at least now you know and you’ve tried enough times to know absolutely that the pattern and the yarn are not going to work. Call it lesson learned. Save that yarn for the pattern it will eventually work with.

    • Alina May 20, 2016 at 6:39 am - Reply

      I will! I love this yarn and I think it will make a perfect summer knit cardi!

  8. sustainable mum May 19, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Knowing when to frog is a lesson in itself. I knitted something with cotton last year which I wasn’t convinced about, it is finished and has been for a long time but has never been worn. It needs ripping out but I am still not sure if it is salvageable I need to think on it some more.

    I hope this week is more positive for you!

    • Alina May 20, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

      I’ve made quiet a lot of things for the sake of just making it. I guess I am over this stage and wearability is the key for me now! I hope you will save your project!!

  9. Julie May 24, 2016 at 6:48 am - Reply

    frogging is no fun, but it’s better to stop before you finish it and then have to frog it because it’s unwearable. The yarn will be something else, and it’ll work out so much better.

    • Alina May 25, 2016 at 7:03 am - Reply

      Absolutely! I feel much lighter right now when I finally made a decision to frog it!

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