Have you ever heard crocheters talk about “frogging” and wondered what in the world they were talking about? If so, you’re not alone! There is a lot of jargon in crochet, and frogging is one of those terms. So let me help you understand what it means!
What does frogging mean in crochet?
As you might’ve guessed, the term frogging does not refer to a cute little crocheted frog like the one pictured above.
Instead, frogging refers to the process of undoing a crochet project—taking the working end of the yarn and pulling it out, stitch by stitch.
So yes, frogging is actually kind of a sad term, because it means for some reason your project isn’t working very well and it needs to be taken out and redone!
Why is undoing called frogging?
From what I can tell, frogging gets its name because you are ripping out your project. And saying “rip it, rip it” sounds like the croak of a frog! LOL.
This seems by the WHY behind the term frogging. It makes much more sense once you understand that, right? I knew the term for a long time but just recently discovered the why. It makes me very happy to know 🙂
How to Frog in Crochet
So now, let’s talk about HOW to frog your crochet projects.
It’s really not too difficult, although like I mentioned, it can be very sad. In the tutorial below you’ll see I have a project that just never worked out, so I needed to frog the whole thing.
Take your crochet hook out of your project so you have the main yarn loop free.
Begin to pull the working end of the yarn. The stitches will begin to come out, one by one.
Be careful! If you frog for too long without rolling up the yarn being taken out, it will easily get tangled. I recommend frogging a few rows, and then rolling the loose yarn into a ball. Then, repeating this process – frog, then roll.
How do you wind frogged yarn?
There are a few different ways you can wind yarn as you frog it. The first is by rolling it into a simple ball, as I mentioned.
To do this, simply start wrapping the yarn around 2-3 of your fingerings (on your non-dominant hand). Once you’ve wrapped it around 15-20 times, take the yarn off your fingerings and continue to wrap until it forms a ball. From here, it will continue to grow into a larger ball until you’re done!
The second method, which is much quicker, would be to use a yarn winder. This is actually a genious way of frogging! First, cut your yarn and attach the end to the winder.
Next, begin winding. The process of turning the handle will frog your project, and the excess yarn will automically be wound into a cake. See below, or watch a video this method here.
More Winding Tips
- Make sure you don’t frog too fast. If you’re pulling the stitches out super fast the yarn can tend to get caught. It will actually sometimes knot around itself and you won’t be able to pull stitches out anymore. If this happens, you’ll need to carefully work out the knot. But try to avoid this by going slower!
- Some yarns are more difficult to frog than others. If the yarn you’re using is super fuzzy, for example, you will want to frog extra slowly.
Reasons to Frog a Project
There are a few reasons you might decide to frog your project. Even if you don’t want to, sometimes it is something necessary to do.
1. Frogging To Fix a mistake
The most common reason for frogging a crochet project is because you need to fix a mistake that you noticed later. This can be so frustrating, I know!
No one likes to find mistakes in their projects. But if that unfortunate moment comes, you have two options:
First, you can frog back to the mistake and fix it, then proceed with the pattern again. This takes time and can be annoying, I know, but the finished result is often worth it.
Second, you can ignore the mistake and continue on. If the mistake doesn’t impact the project much or it is very unnoticeable, it is not too bad to do this.
Which option you choose may also depend on your personality type. If you are a perfectionist, you may find that you need to frog a lot of your projects.
But if you’re like me and you think mistakes are just apart of the charm of handmade items (so long as it is not a glaring mistake of course) you probably won’t have to frog as much!
What types of mistakes are we talking about? Things like:
- Having too few or too many stitches
- Using the wrong stitch altogether
- Having a snag or knot in the yarn
- The project is not the right size
When it comes to the first two mistakes, this is where I sometimes choose not to frog, mostly when the mistakes is WAY far back in the work. If the mistake is not noticeable, I would rather save myself the time and effort of frogging and re-doing.
However, the last two mistakes are much MORE of a cause for frogging. A snag in the yarn can be more noticeable, even to people who do not crochet. And knots can come out over time, which would leave holes in your project. This makes frogging a bit more important.
Likewise, a project that is the wrong size will be harder to use – especially if it is a wearable item. In this case, it is also a good idea to suck it up and frog.
How to AVOID frogging
Since this type of frogging is never fun, let me give you a few tips for making sure you DON’T have to frog due to a mistake in your work:
- Always count your stitches at the end of a row/round. This will ensure you don’t accidentally skip a stitch or add a stitch and throw the project off.
- If your project is large, you may want to lay it out every once and awhile and just inspect it. Make sure the edges are looking good, there are no splits in the yarn, your gauge is staying consistent, etc.
- Speaking of gauge, make sure you check your gauge BEFORE starting a project! If you don’t, you may end up having to frog because your garment turned out the wrong size and doesn’t fit. Trust me – this is one of the worst ways to have to frog a project and you’ll want to avoid it by checking your gauge!
2. Frogging To recover yarn
There is another reason you might need to frog – to recover yarn from a project!
This is much less common, but it is still a very valid reason to frog. If you’re wondering why you would need to recover yarn, there are a few reasons:
First, if you started a project and know you’ll never finish it (I think all crocheters do this at one time or another, LOL) you may want to undo the project so you can use the yarn for something else.
Secondly, you might need the yarn to FINISH a different project you already started.
Either way, if you want to recover that yarn, it is possible!
Getting the Curls Out of recovered yarn
If you start frogging a project to reclaim old yarn, one thing you might notice is the yarn ends up quite curly.
If you’ve ever tried crocheting with this curly yarn, you’ll know it can be very annoying. It just doesn’t feel right. The good new is, you can get your yarn back to normal!
You’ll need to do a few extra steps to prepare the yarn, like winding it in to a special form and then soaking it. For all the details on how to do this, check out this article on Interweave. The article was originally written for knitting, but the concept is the same for crochet!
Frogging Crochet from the Bottom
One of the worst parts about frogging is when it is SO CLOSE to the BOTTOM of a project. For example, when you’re making a scarf and you’re almost done, but then you realize you made a mistake 10 rows from the bottom. Ugh!
The good news is, there is a way to frog your crochet from the bottom up! It is a bit more of a delicate process, but it works very well.
The steps to take include:
- Inserting a lifeline into the row you want to save
- Cutting everything below the lifeline OFF (yes, you heard me right!)
- Making a new foundation chain and attaching it to the row on the lifeline
I know that might sound a bit confusing, so I wanted to make sure and show you a video on it. This is one of those topics that is better to watch rather than read about!
Should I frog my project if it is already completely finished?
That depends on why you need to frog! If the mistake is not very noticeable and you’ve already finished, I do not recommend frogging. You can give yourself grace sometimes. Nobody is perfect! If the mistake is very large, on the other hand, you may want to redo it. It just depends on how much you care about how the project looks.
Should I frog my project if I find a mistake & I’m planning on selling it or giving it away?
Now, if the project is NOT for you, this changes the game a bit. You definitely want to make sure your item is high quality if you’re giving it away or selling it to someone else.
Is frogging different in knitting versus crochet?
Yes! It is actually much easier to frog a crochet project versus a knitting project. In knitting, you have a whole bunch of loops on your needles and you have to control all of them while frogging. Whereas in crochet, you just have one loop to think about.
Can you reuse frogged yarn?
Yes! As I mentioned earlier, you will probably just want to get all the curls out of the yarn first.
Frogging is the term for undoing a crochet project. While it might not be the most enjoyable thing to talk about, it is definitely necessary for fixing mistakes or restoring old yarn. Make sure you are careful to wind your yarn as you frog so you don’t end up with a tangled mess. I hope you liked this post and learned a lot about a new, interesting topic!