What does “Frogging” Mean in Crochet and Knitting

The term frogging in crochet and knitting refers to the act of unraveling or pulling out stitches from a crochet project. Okay, great. now that you know what it means, you have probably noticed it is something that people do not like doing but happens way too often! This post is going to go through everything about “frogging” to help you understand when you need to frog a project, what you can do instead, and how to properly frog.

Why is it called “frogging”?

As mentioned above, frogging refers to the process of undoing stitches. The origin of the term comes from the world of crochet and knitting where people would often say they are “ripping out” stitches and the repeated act of ripping out each stitch – this is going to sound so funny! – such as “rip it” “rip it” is like a frog’s “ribbit”. What can I say? We are cheeky people now aren’t we. haha

Another interesting thing to note about frogging is after ripping out all those stitches, all the frogged yarn actually looks instant noodles haha

Despite how cool this might look, the curves actually make it easy for the loose yarn to gather on itself and create a tangled mess. in this case, a yarn winder comes in handy. I love using yarn winders and how they always make a nice cake of yarn. 

Some types of yarn are more difficult to work with and frog. Novelty yarn is notorious for being quite difficult to unravel. Eyelash yarn or extra fuzzy yarn with a thick halo like mohair yarn can also be very challenging to take apart after the fibres mesh together. 

How to properly frog yarn

Frogging yarn is very basic, just pull on the working yarn to release stitches. However, making a ball of yarn can be a time-consuming task after frogging. 

Do not to frog an entire crochet item and then attempt to ball them up. You will just end up with a birds nesst of a mess that may get tangled again anyways! 

My suggestion is to take out some rows of stitches and then start balling that up or use a yarn ball winder and continue frogging and winding in regular intervals. This will avoid any excess mess of yarn just laying around.

​When do people frog?

Some people purposefully frog an entire project in order to repurpose the yarn. I have done this a couple times myself when I just fell out of love with designs and wanted to make new things from an old project. In this scenario, the end result is always great because you have now repurposed something and have a new addition to your wardrobe. 

The most common reason why people end up needing to frog is because they forget to make a gauge swatch. I say this in almost every post, CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Without testing a gauge you may end up with pieces that just simply do not fit. 

gauge swatch

Another reason why people frog is to correct mistakes made. Say, they did not count their rows properly, did not follow a pattern properly, or need to make some size adjustments. 

One last reason why someone might be frogging their work is to scrap an unfinished object and start a different project. This is why I refrain from working on multiple projects at one time! Once I start on something new, I lose track of where I am and after a long time I can no longer remember how to pick up where I left! The unfinished project goes into a pile that is later found and frogged. 

What can you do instead of frogging?

There are actually ways to remedy a crochet catastrophe without frogging and loosing countless hours of work. Unless done intentionally, I can bet you would do anything to avoid frogging a whole project!

Despite our best efforts we may end up in scenarios where we have to go back and correct a mistake. The good thing is, you do not always need to frog especially if it is just a small mistake. One easy fix to avoid frogging altogether is to cut your crochet project to the place that you need to adjust. 

You heard me right! You absolutely can cut crochet and it actually saves you a lot of time! When applicable, I would refrain from frogging and cut to wear I need to make adjustments, work the adjustments, and then reattach the cut piece. This is actually quite an essential skill that I think all crocheters should learn.

You can read all about cutting crochet here. 

Tips to avoid frogging yarn

As you may have gathered, frogging is not a fun task. I gathered lot of tricks along through my crochet journey that has helped me avoid frogging whenever possible. 

Try these tips on your next project:

  1. Make a gauge swatch! No surprise this is first on my list. By making a gauge you may find out that all you have to do is change the size of your crochet hook or knitting needles to achieve the right gauge. It does not have to be as complicated as you think.
  2. Utilize a counting device/tool to easily count your rows and stitch count. This makes keeping track of your crochet work a lot faster than trying to count outlaid then second guessing yourself and starting over again. We have ALL done that am I right?!
  3. Highlighting parts that you have done on crochet patterns or knitting project is also a great way to avoid encountering any mistakes at all
  4. Opt to use good quality yarn. Do not skimp on your yarn. Get some quality yarn from your local yarn shop or favorite brands. Using higher quality yarn will last longer and create things that you actually want to wear and keep rather than frog and work again. Aside from this, using better yarn lessens then possibility of making frogging difficult if needed as higher quality yarns fray less. Here are some of my best yarn choices for sweaters and amigurumi.
  5. Use stitch markers! Stitch markers can be used in so many different ways like helping you remember important parts of your crochet work, follow a stitch pattern, track rows, etc. these are my absolute favorite stitch markers!

Using these tools and tips on your future projects will help you finish a project without wasting all that hard work and needing to frog!

Now you know what frogging means in crochet!

Try out some patterns and use the tops in this post? Make sure to check out all of my beginner friendly patterns here where you can find garments, amigurumi, and accessories.

Want to see crochet sweater patterns for fall?

That’s all for now my maker friend! Remember, never miss a stitch by subscribing to my newsletter. See you next time!



Similar Posts