Thursday, October 18, 2007

Finished Or Un-

I had a blast reading everyone’s responses to Knitting Daily’s UFO poll. (You do get KD, don’t you? Link is in my sidebar.) Obviously UnFinished Objects are a touchy subject with some people. Feelings of guilt or pride or apologies abound! Does it matter how many you have? Really? To whom and why? Apart from taking up space and maybe needles that you might need for another project, they just sit there. Are they screaming at you for completion? Are they imminently in danger of tripping you or self-combusting? No? I say, “Relax!”

What makes a project into a UFO anyway? I think there are several “flavours” of UFO. First there are the ones that are currently in play. They’re going along OK but you need to switch around for reasons varying from “too simple and boring” to “too complex for TV” to “too painful on the hands for long stretches” to “too heavy to carry around.” Having a few projects to choose from is crucial otherwise much less knitting will get done over all. However in my opinion the most common kind of UFO is the project that did something bad. It needs to sit in a corner in Time Out to figure out what it did wrong and learn how to change its ways and behave. And for you to figure those things out too and come to terms with what must be done. Sometimes it just takes a fresh perspective to carry on and sometimes the thing needs a good push into the frog pond. I believe you should have a time limit for the UFOs to hang around before they get frogged. If it hasn’t worked in a few months or a year, it’s likely not going to look any better a few years or decades down the road. Been there; done that. Frog now and release that yarn! You’ll feel so much better, trust me. When it’s back in its yarnish state it moves off the UFO list and into Stash. From there it can go into the Queue again to become something else that makes you much happier. It’s like going yarn shopping without costing you any more money. I promise you won’t regret it.

On the other hand, I don’t believe that the Stash should have a time limit. Some yarns just need marinating to find out what they want to become. I also consider yarns (and fibres too, of course) to have purposes outside of the obvious one. Besides making stuff out of them, they can be considered art if you leave some out decoratively arranged in baskets or bowls. They can also be house insulation if stored in the right places. Your fibre stash is a great investment in case of heating fuel shortages or the Australian drought causes a wool shortage (which it actually is currently). You’ll be prepared if you can’t get to your LYS very often because of high gas prices. Or, heaven forefend, you run out of yarn money because the kids need feeding (as well as hats and mitts) and the mortgage needs to be paid. If global warming turns out to be wrong and it’s really global cooling you’ll be well-stocked to keep your loved ones toasty. And if all hell breaks loose, you can actually sell or trade some (not your favourites though) to another desperate knitter who wasn’t as prepared as you. Hopefully, things will never get that bad.

The Queue doesn’t have a time limit either, but it does need to be reviewed on a regular basis. Did you change your mind? Find another pattern you like better? Use the stashed yarn for something else and need to reconsider what to use for this project? Wait too long and the kid grew too big for the item you’d planned? Decide to change the order because you want to start this one right now which pushes other things back? This is the type of thing that Ravelry helps so well with. I’m finding that it’s almost too easy to post items to my Ravelry Queue and then move them up to my Projects as fast as I can get going on them. Then they look so lonely without photos so I need to add them and so on. It’s so encouraging. Or maybe I just like to find out who else is working on that project too and see how they’re doing with it!

So. One thing to remove from the UFO list: I’ve completed my crocheted Boteh Scarf in a flurry of activity early this morning. It really didn’t take long at all once my hands remembered how to crochet. Here it is blocking with pins:

Just thought it might benefit from a true wet blocking session even though it’s superwash/nylon sock yarn. Doncha love the shapes? I’ll get a better photo when it’s dry and give all the scoop on in a later post. Maybe there will be enough light around here without supplemental lights being necessary. That big light in the sky sure is hiding its face today and clouds are crying another day of pouring rain. Bleh.

Meanwhile, back at the knitting, I’m cruising down the feet on the Earl Grey Socks. I’m not super happy about the way the baby cables happened at the heel and side of the gusset. One person on Ravelry did a better job of it but mine actually look more like Yarn Harlot’s except for a little extra twisting I did at the gusset. I decided that was kind of stupid since you can’t see it anyway and further down the foot I dropped 3 stitches down on each cable and picked them up without the extra side twists. Liking it better now. These are taking a longer time to complete than I thought they would because they aren’t really very easy to do while watching TV.

So for TV knitting, as I mentioned yesterday I’ve started on the free Berroco pattern, Jacoby. These are gauntlets knitted in sock yarn but I’m using a 3ply sport yarn that I completely spun with spindles. I started socks with the undyed yarn a long time ago and frogged them. Then I dyepainted the yarn in one of my Dye Day sessions. So now they are becoming long ribbed fingerless mitts instead of socks. So far I’m liking how they’re turning out even though they are quite thick. My modification of 56 stitches around seems to be a good size. This is how far I got while watching Heroes and Inspector Lynley last night:

Sorry it’s not terribly exciting. Yet. I’m working on it. Meanwhile I’m not working on either the woven Circus Blanket (which I needed last night because I was cold) or the Hepburn Cardi (which I need right now because I am cold).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I have several UFOs hiding in bags & baskets - maybe more than I'm even aware of. That being said, some need concentration, some are mindless TV work & some will be finished when I need them. I've taken Gail's idea of the 'almost finished' socks to heart. They're the ones you knit to the midfoot & leave on a stitch holder until you find the foot that needs them, measure it & finish them for that foot. Hmmm - love that weird scarf too!