Monday, September 27, 2010

frog closure tutorial

Nana asked me to make some frog closures for her vest, and I was happy to do it.

I thought it would be fun.

I chose the "Basketweave Knots" from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments because they looked compact and the shape echoed those found in the intarsia design of the garment. I read the instructions, which said to leave the end on a stitch holder instead of binding off, and to "Form the frogs by using T-pins to anchor (beginning with the cast-on edge) against a piece of Styrofoam board." There was also a drawing with arrows showing the direction the cord should travel, and places marked "begin" and "end." It all seemed very clear.

I made a piece of cord, keeping the end of it on the needle. My plan was to make a frog, then untie it and measure the length I would need. But I first had to figure out the drawing. The frog was drawn completed, so the cord was going under some spots and coming back out . . . where? Maybe it's because I'm brain damaged, but it took me a while to work it out at first. And then again when I came back to it after packing my family off to the library. And then again after I had made all my cord and wanted to turn it into frogs. And then again . . .

I thought this would be fun.

So. I got the drawing figured out. I had a piece of Styrofoam board my husband had been saving for just this occasion (not likely) and T-pins. But it wasn't clear how to use the pins to anchor the cord. It seemed like I would have to constantly move the pins in order to make the knot, yet every time I moved them I lost the last three steps. Plus, I was trying to do this on the floor, and my back hurt.

Wasn't this supposed to be fun?

Having developed a good way to make these frogs, I thought I would share it with you. This method can probably be adapted to most of the frog closures in the book--but if you want to make the "Leaf Frog", you're on your own.

I calculated I would need a 10" piece of cord (using Lily Chin's Gramercy in color 15) for frogs and 12" for buttons. Here I have the cord with live stitches on the end waiting to be knotted. Since I needed 10 to 12 of these things (for 5 or 6 pairs of frogs and buttons), I didn't use stitch holders. I bound off and undid the bind-off. I could have just cut the yarn, taken a needle, and threaded it through the stitches.

Here I have the first two pins in the cord. If you look closely, you will see that I did not start with the cast-on end. Those are live stitches. Also, if you compare this to the drawing in the book, you will see that I did not pin the start point, but left it free. It is dangling off to the right of the picture and should be doubled back, under the rightmost T-pin.

Another pin.
And a third.
Now the cord has been tucked through the first loop.

Now I'm going to bring the cord up and under the right side of loop 2.
And over loop 3, and down through loop 2.
Tighten by gently tugging both ends and easing the loops.

Completed frog.

Note that some of the pictures show a very loose knotting. This is just for clarity. The fourth picture shows the approximate tightness of the finished frog.

I hope that was helpful! Next up: corresponding buttons.

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