Friday, May 8, 2009

Frogs and Frogging

I mark the coming of spring in the upper Midwest with great joy. Our winters are long and cold and bleak. They have their own beauty, of course, but by April, spring is welcome. Some mark the beginning of spring by the first crocuses or the song of the first red wing black bird. For me, spring comes when the frogs in the marshes start singing.

I fell in love with frog song during my first spring in Michigan. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, I had little opportunity to hear it. The watershed around the city is quite polluted and each year there are fewer and fewer amphibians of all kinds. I almost didn't recognize it when I first heard it in Michigan. Eight springs later, the first frog song marks a turning point in my year.

The frogs have been singing here in Iowa for almost two months now, and this week I saw my first frog, or rather toad, of the season. This week my car needed a new water pump and as I sat at the mechanics waiting for it to be ready, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. A small brown toad had hopped up on the path next to the glass door of the shop and sat there waiting patiently. He sat still while I photographed him and while other customers came in and out. He was still waiting when I left with my car. I guess maybe his car was in the shop too.

Which brings me to "frogging". When knitters make a mistake in their work and need to re-knit it, they "r-r-r-ip it, r-r-rip it". A lot of design work calls for frogging unsuccessful swatches and designs that didn't quite go as planned. As a process knitter I don't mind ripping out since reworking a design or modifying a swatch provides scope for creativity. Sometimes though, one can have two much of a good thing.

I finished my Triform Lace Shawl this week only to discover, as I was adding the edging, that one side of the shawl had four more stitches than the other. And so I will "r-r-rip it, r-r-rip it." Before I do, I thought I would share a picture of it. At least the colors worked out well.

The shawl pattern uses one skein of Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn and one skein of Noro Kureyon in a simple zig-zag lace pattern and will soon be available for sale. If only I had checked my stitch count a little more often I would be a little closer to publishing the finished pattern.

Walking Meditations
I have always enjoyed looking into mossy cracks between rocks. As a child of Norwegian ancestory, I imagined that they were the hidden doorways of troll caves. Even as an adult there is something mysterious about tiny passages into the rocks. I wonder who lives in here?