Frogging, named after the ‘rip it, rip it” sort of motion/sound it makes, means unraveling your knitting.
Many knitters I know are enormously frustrated when they have to frog some or all of a project — they see it as a colossal waste of their work and their time — and they are right.
As a beginner, I see it as one of the few real opportunities in life to get rid of all of my mistakes and start over with the same basic materials.
The thing about knitting is that some mistakes don’t make a huge impact on a project. They are small blips in the fabric that most people wouldn’t notice. Many knitters, including me, choose to let them be. It’s a great way to fight perfectionism.
Some mistakes have lasting consequences. A dropped stitch (which you can actually often fix without frogging if you catch it fast enough) will slowly unravel throughout the project, leaving a long ladder in the fabric.
OH LOOK HERE COMES A METAPHOR: I’ve got a lot of dropped stitches in the fabric of ME, and there are a lot of gaping holes I keep trying to fill up instead of fix.
I have to try to fix the damage my childhood and early adulthood did to me; I can’t frog myself.
That’s why it’s so satisfying for me to frog and start whole and fresh: look, says the knitting. I am still the same, but different. You can get rid of all of your errors and damage and start anew.
We don’t get a lot of opportunities for that in life, let me tell ya.
(Image above swiped from craftsy.com, and they didn’t have a copyright marker on it; if they come and ask me to take it down, I certainly will.)