The frog jacket part of the pattern is way down at the end, you have to skip over a bunch of toad stuff first. Is it weird I want to completely finish one of them before I start the other? I guess so?
And its like the writer of the pattern decided “oh, well if they get this far, no beginner-level explanations necessary” we’ll just say things like “pick up some stitches and knit the armhole”. (There was lots of googling and VeryPinkKnits youtube explanation watching) Can you believe I forgot the difference between garter and stockinette?
The pattern doesn’t require difficult stitching, it’s literally stockinette almost all the way through (okay there are some M1L and M1R– which I accidentally just did all M1L because who can remember to insert needle through back or front? Not me) although you do have to move stitches onto yarn scraps, and it talks about “the front” as if I could tell what the front was. See what I mean?
It looks like some kind of twisted, one-wing butterfly. And the yarn is really tweedy and splits easily or gets fuzzy when you accidentally only insert the needle through half a strand. What even.
Notice the different color yarn for the provisional cast on. The first provisional cast on I did involved some kind of complicated twisting thing. This time I used VeryPinkKnits method of just crocheting a simple chain and using that as a provisional cast on. Only took me three tries to get it right!
After holding it in all the different angles, and getting about halfway through the jacket pattern, I realized the “fronts” were the little wing parts.
It’s easier to see when you spread it out. The pattern part called “shaping the neckhole” stressed me out until I realized that by knitting the fronts that automatically “shaped the neckhole.”
Then the connecting of the armholes begins. The picture in the pattern shows the little wing twisted around when you knit around it to connect. I started that, then realized the pattern picture is to show you something else other than the orientation. (Orientation in knitting anything other than scarves is really, really important. Like “metaphor for how to live your life” important)
Once you knit around the entire thing with the three DPN needles, voila, you actually have the top half of the jacket and you realize it was so simple (with the right orientation) that you worried and groused for nothing.
Remember those “pick up stitches and knit the armhole”? Yeah, I had to take off my bifocals and squint because those are some tiny teeny armholes. And also the pattern says pick up like 18 stitches but somehow my frog’s armholes had like 20….and that was with skipping places. So the join from sleeve to jacket isn’t the prettiest thing, but these are rustic, right?
Lo an behold, after two inches of sleeve, the jacket began to look like a jacket!
One thing that changed my life: buying a new pack of tapestry needles. I angsted over weaving in loose ends (there’s a lot of breaking of the yarn and rejoining in various places) I finally ordered a pack of needles from Amazon and its made a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge difference.
Where before I struggled to get that tweedy, achy breaky yarn over the eye of the needle when going through those tiny stitches, the new tapestry needle with a flexible wire head…that goes through those tiny stockinette stitches when I need to weave in ends like a hot knife through butter. Genius.
I knit both armholes, “finished” the top of the jacket, decided the vague pattern instruction about the finishing didn’t mean going around the whole neckhole, soaked it in my wool yarn soap and spread it out so the edges wouldn’t curl (they still curl) and then put it on Frog (and immediately decided the vague instructions DID mean finish the whole neckhole but oh wells) and he was….so dashing. So handsome.
Make every girl crazy about a sharp dressed frog.
And now I’m going to hand him over to the friend who bought the yarn. And I feel like this calm, slightly disapproving presence that has been there for me through bloody samurais and singing cat burglars will be missed. But he is off to a good home 🙂 And besides, Toad is waiting.