So a friend asked me to make her Frog & Toad. Up until now I’ve been an accessories knitting type person (hats, socks, gloves, scarfs) as invariably I messed up knitting gauge and arm hole placement etc whenever I tried some other kind of knitting.

But….friendship and all that. So despite NEVER having knitted with double pointed needles in my life…I said yes. (Cue hours of knitting youtube videos). It wasn’t as hard as I feared, although it did take me three tries to get to this point:

head of frog

Luckily those chiao goo bamboo needles (steel ones are too slippery for my ham hands) come in packs of 6 because the first of many broken needles occurred during the making of this frog head. But I figured out how to knit from needle to needle, and how to do a provisional cast on! (and learned of the vast importance of rubberbands to keep your stitch marker from slipping off upside down needles) So a win over all.

The actual stitches required to get this point are super simple…just knit, purl, knit2together, and M1L and M1R are required. Simple stuff for folks used to doing mock cable or sock short rows.

I faithfully followed the “frog” directions (you use the same set of directions twice for frog and toad, but there are “toad only” bits so I did frog first) and got shoulders and arm holes…and then the legs. They were SOOOOO fun to knit. I’ve been watching Age of Samurai on Netflix whilst Tokyo Boy groans and comments over all the inaccuracies.

I got leg…..and I know how to use it

Lots of slashing swords and blood and angry men and Frog’s cute little nubby knees that you use short rows to make. It blew my mind, but the feet are so floppy and cute!

Such a handsome fellow so far. I will call him “peg leg” in my mind. He will be a pirate frog. He will sail the seas and kiss princesses.

Another chiao goo bamboo needle bit the dust in the making of those short rows in his wee knobby knee. They’re like tooth picks!

how many needles will bite the dust in the course of this project?

You can see both my little waste scraps of yarn I use as stitch markers and my supremely high tech method of keeping track of which row I am knitting in that picture. Very important when one is periodically required to look up from the frog to acknowledge how the young and handsome actor playing notorious northern Sengoku period daimyo Date Masamune looks nothing like the actor Tokyo Boy (Ken Watanabe) remembers from the most famous shows about his life. Does anybody have a Date Masamune knitting pattern? Maybe I could put an eye patch on froggy ….he would look even more like a pirate!

I finished the second leg last night and now all that is left is to add some arms and eyes. Then onward to his little jacket and pants. This is the most fun I’ve had knitting in a long time. Its completely satisfying to have little legs and knees take shape….much quicker gratification than waiting for a whole darn scarf to be done…

Arms, arms for the poor?

Part two: Fiddly Chaos