Lucky and the Frog Pond

Shamrock Socks  Frogged sm


Okay, so this wasn’t the way I planned to open my next blog entry, but what’s a knitta gonna do? I’ve decided to look at this mess as a breakthrough. I hate to frog. Haaaate to frog. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever done it. In the past I’ve always soldiered on even if it meant winding up with something no one would wear. Thankfully, there were few flat-out failures. A nice pair of lace socks in size 27 comes to mind.

Anyway . . . The Shamrock Socks should have been wonderful socks. I loved the shamrocks, loved the yarn, loved the whole idea of having handknit socks to wear on St. Patrick’s day. But here’s the thing. I fought with them for two years. Mostly, the battle happened in my mind, but periodically, I’d take them out, knit a few rows and dream of how snazzy I’d look wearing them on March 17th.

But then the yarn would start doing this thing again. It was killlllllling me! Don’t get me wrong. It was gorgeous. The heavyweight STR “Lucky” was mesmerizing variations of green on green, and the “Moira” was . . . just so perfect with the “Lucky.” But the twist was insane. It was one giant corkscrew. Especially the “Moira.” It was constantly winding itself around itself, my needles, my fingers. Ahhhhhh!

And then there was the pattern. Turns out it only really works if your foot is the same size as the one in the pattern photo. I realized this some time ago, but it wasn’t a happy thought. So I just kept knitting a few rows every couple of months–until yesterday.

The day had had its own challenges, but I’d decided it was time to KNIT THESE SOCKS. So I sat down and started doing it. I probably knit on them for two hours. With each stitch further along I got, though, and each corkscrew of yarn I had to untangle, I was getting more and more verklempt. I should also mention that during all of this, I had to stop and let dogs out several times and respond to a couple of other home things, and every time I returned to the socks, the situation felt a little worse.

And then it hit me.

Knitting is supposed to be fun!

It was like a thunderclap in my head. Of course, I know that knitting should be fun. I say it to other people all the time. Why in the world would you torture yourself over something that everyone in the free world has the luxury of doing because of the FUN?! Even when it’s not fun fun—when you’re struggling with a mistake or trying to adapt something where the numbers are impossible or wondering how you could have ever thought that all that stockinette was a good idea—it’s still FUN!! It had been staring me in the face for two years, and I hadn’t seen it. These socks were not fun. Frog the socks!!!!

So I did.

At first, I tried to save the yarn, but after I’d spent half an hour (I refuse to admit that it might have been more) untangling corkscrews as I tried to rewind it, you know what I did?


Shamrock Socks  Frogged 2 sm

I can’t say I didn’t feel a small twinge of regret in consigning this project to the back corner of the yarn closet. I did. I just really, really loved the idea of shamrock socks. And the green yarn. The variegation in the green yarn is absolutely luscious. But even so . . . the back corner of the yarn closet is where this  no-longer-a- project belongs.

And then I wound this:

Coquette sm

How’s that for fabulous color?!!! It’s going to be a Honey Cowl. I can hardly wait.

Knitting is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!


  1. I love that you frogged it. I love that it’s the color of frogs. I love that I get to see you frogging things – I do it all the time. I mean ALL. THE.TIME. And you’re my knitting hero, so it must be okay. I do it out of petulance, fear, ambivalence and general pissiness. I’ve had this one handspun skein that I have knit three times and hate everything I make with it, although I love the yarn. (Why, I don’t know. It’s pink. I hate pink) FROG!!! Embrace your inner under-achiever and have fun! Have a honey of a cowl!

  2. I do have a technical question re the twisting of the yarn. Is it because of the direction it was spun, the direction you knit (English or Continental) or something inherently ‘not right’ with the skein?

  3. melinda

    Cari, I would love to know what caused the twisting. I’ve never encountered it in a commercial skein before. I was planning to ask YOU! It had to have been connected to the preparation of the yarn, but whether it happened during the production phase or afterwards, I don’t know. The Moira was significantly worse than the Lucky, for whatever that’s worth.

  4. I have a question about the “twist” you mention. Is it twist inherent in the yarn that is the problem or the two yarns twisting around each other as you knit and turn the sock? I don’t understand why twist would have prevented you from knitting?? If the sizing of the pattern is a problem I can probably fix that for you.:) Email me!!

  5. melinda

    The twist is inherent in the yarn. I don’t remember its being obvious in the unwound skein, but every bit that came out of my center pull ball of the Moira was corkscrewed before I ever touched it. I went through various untwisting sessions, but it never seemed to be enough to solve the problem. I’m going to save some of it to show you the next time I see you. I’m really curious about what could have caused it. I almost wonder if it was plied in the wrong direction (same direction as the singles were spun).

    As for the pattern, I could redo it by resizing the shamrocks so that they lined up front and back with my size foot. It was all just seeming so arduous, though. Still, I don’t think I’ve completely let go of the idea of doing something with this yarn because I couldn’t actually bring myself to throw it away! 😉

  6. Here is the TechKnitter post I read about twist in yarns, winding them, and using a yarn buddy.
    I can’t find (yet) the post I’ve read about direction of twist as it relates to Continental vs. English knitting, but I’d say that it might apply more to hand spun than commercially spun yarns. I would expect commercial yarns would be more balanced. Have you looked at reviews of the yarn to see if this has happened to other people?

  7. melinda

    Thanks, Cari! I think my Moira is what she describes in the “Kinky Yarn” post, part of the way down the page. She talks about “knitted in twist” and “overtwisted yarn.” I think the Moira is “overtwisted yarn.” I’m confident this twist has nothing to do with the Continental vs. English issue. I guess you might have to see it to know what I’m talking about, but it’s no mild twist I’m getting. Plus, the twist comes from the yarn in the ball rather than being introduced as I handle it. I bought this years ago at a Fiber Festival, so finding info on this particular batch would be difficult if not impossible, and honestly, I don’t care that much. I’m mildly curious to know what would cause a skein of commercial yarn to be overly twisty, but that’s about it. TECHknitting is a terrific blog, isn’t it?!

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