I have posed a question on the Ravelry Forums and I’m going to ask it here: To frog or not to frog? For those unfamiliar with knitting terms “frogging” is the name given when you unravel a knitting project and start again (or fall in a weeping pile on the floor covered in yarn and fluff).

I have been making the Rowan Miss Marple cardigan since December 2007. It grows, then I notice a mistake and it gets frogged. Then I do some more and… you get the picture. But now, I was soooo close to finishing the back. I was on the bottom ribbing. I had dedicated songs to it (The Darkness “Growing On Me”) and then it happened. I’ll let myself take over from my Ravelry project notes as I can barely stand to repeat it.

20/05/08: After starting this project in December 2007, restarting in January 2008 as I realised it was not quite right, I have now frogged it and started yet again!

I got about 10 cms into the cardigan (I know but it takes a long time and I’ve got lots of projects on, ok?!) when I realised that the pattern was not quite right. I got it sorted but then had to decide if I could live with the slight inconsistencies on the first 10 cms on the top at the back. No-one would probably see it or notice it, but I would know it was there.

After considerable deliberation I decided that I was investing so much time and had invested so much money on the yarn that if it was worth doing it was worth doing well.

So in April I frogged the project then blocked the wool (or whatever its called when you wash it and straighten it, perhaps it has another name?) to make it uncurl, and re-balled all the yarn into centre-pull balls. (Centre-pull balls are a great idea btw and I would highly recommend the time it takes as time very well spent).

On my flight over to Stockholm on 6 May I recast on all 299 of those blessed stitches and I started out again, pattern perfect from the start. It was a big foot in the face reminder to ALWAYS DO A GAUGE SQUARE so you can learn the pattern as well before you start, especially on a big project such as this.

Anyway, a week later while I was about 4 cms into the project (see how much quicker you can go with no job and no other projects on the go!) I sat on my wooden circular needle and snapped it. Faced with the choice of putting the project on straights to carry on, which is very cumbersome with a project of this size, I decided to retire it for a week or so in order to wait for the delicious Addi metal circular needle to arrive that I ordered. At least it gave me a chance to complete Jimmy’s Swallow Cardigan!

This cardigan is teaching me patience and positivity. My sister says even thinking about my cardigan makes her stressed!

24:03:09. I nearly got to the end of the back. After re-doing the wrong 10cms at the the top on my honeymoon, I’d worked all my decreases down. Then I realised I’d skipped a decrease so I didn’t panic I just compensated, and got down to the rib at the bottom. I was, in fact, halfway through the 15cm ribbed band at the bottom. Then I looked at it and thought “hmmmm, this looks rather long” and measured it. It was already 13cm longer than the finished article should be! I pondered. I drank a glass of wine. I wondered if there was a way around it. I put the project in the wardrobe for a couple of days while I decided what to do (and to prevent me from ripping it up and jumping up and down on it like a banshee). I decided to undo the bottom ‘compensation’ decrease, which meant unraveling about 25cms of the cardigan. Yesterday I took a deep breath and I did it. I unraveled it, I wound all the wool back up, got it back on the needles and knitted a couple of rows.

Then two things happened: I noticed that one row of the pattern which had been throwing the pattern out for a few lines was only about 4 rows higher than where I had unraveled to. Should I stop my progress and correct this mistake while I was so close to it? NB: I had noticed this before but was so far away from it near the bottom I wasn’t going to unravel that far just for half a line of pattern out of synch which was going to be on the back. But now I’m very close to it, perhaps I should just correct it?

The second thing that happened was that I realised that I’d been reading the pattern wrong for ALL the decreases. The pattern is on an 8-line repeat and I was rather inexperienced when I started this cardigan (oh what a learning curve!) so when it said to decrease “Every 6th row” while keeping in pattern, I thought that meant to decrease on the 6th row of the pattern. But of course it meant every 6th row of the cardigan. So effectively, apart from the initial 6th row decrease I was decreasing every 8th row – which would explain why it was so much longer than it should be.

So my question is do I adjust the pattern to compensated for this (perhaps shorten the ribbed band or something?) or do I take a deep breath, try not to cry, and frog all the way back to 23cm where the decreases start?

What do I do? Help me!

Here is a picture of the culprit, btw (I’ll show you the pattern pic rather than my cardigan as my cardigan is currently in disgrace and dare not show its face):