Term of the Week: Frogging



Ah, the dreaded frog. This term is despised among stitchers and once we go over the definition hopefully you’ll understand why. And we’ll put a name to the deed, because we all do it.

So what is frogging? Frogging is the act of having to undo all the prior stitches due to an error or mistake of some sort. It can also be called picking, or unpicking, but frogging seems to be the most popular term for the act.

In case the definition still seems a little confusing here’s an example: say you’re working on a cross-stitch project of an angel and stitch the wings. After you’ve done about half the wing you realize you missed a few stitches! So now the whole count is off AND you stitched in the wrong color! Oh no! You have to take out all of the stitches (or even cut them out) and start all over again.

That is called “frogging,” and that’s why everyone hates it. It is a representation of having to re-do a ton of work on your project. It’s also unavoidable; very rarely can you get through a project without having to frog at least once.

Why do people call it “frogging”? I just discovered this while planning the article. In English, the sound a frog makes is written and vocalized as “ribbit.” Change a few letters around and you get “rip it, rip it,” which is what you have to do when pulling out your stitches! Hence the frog has become the mascot of the dreaded act.


“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!